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Game #25: A’s Bats and Defense Defeat the Rangers


Apr 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Stephen Piscotty (25) celebrates with shortstop Jurickson Profar (23) after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum.

All the pieces came together for the A’s this evening as pitching held the hot Ranger bats to one run. With a number of key defensive plays as well as a home run, a couple of doubles, a few walks and sacrifice flies—the A’s ended their losing streak with a 6-1 victory.

Pitching:

In his 31st big-league start, this photo pretty much sums up the relief and joy of getting through five innings unscathed thanks to your defense!

Bassitt struggled with his pitching location in the first couple of innings. Eventually Bassitt settled down and benefitting from strong defensive and offensive support. Here’s how he pitched:

Bassitt’s total pitches for the first inning was 20. Bassitt gave up a leadoff double to Shin-Soo Choo who went the opposite way to start the game. With one out, Bassitt then nailed Elvis Andrus in the hand to put runners on first and second. After an injury delay, runners were on first and second with one out. Nomar Mazara hit into a double play that was deftly handled by Profar to Semien to Canha.

In the second inning, Bassitt gave up his first of 4 walks to Joey Gallo. Like yin-yang, he then nabbed his second strikeout by sitting down Asdrubal Cabrera. Help from Profar with an amazing diving catch for the second out kept Gallo in place. That was until he then walked Mathis. DeShields grounded out to Profar who fielded a little hopper and threw it to Canha for the third out. Total pitches for the two innings sat at 52 with 31 of them being strikes.

The third and fourth innings were strong for Bassitt. In only 10 pitches he struck out Shin-Soo Choo. Danny Valencia then grounded out to second base where Profar easily threw him out at first. Elvis Andrus then went down looking for strikeout #4. Despite walking his third batter, the fourth inning followed a similar suit for Bassitt as he ended the inning with strikeout #5 to Logan Forsythe.

Similar strong pitching was performed by Ryan Dull, J.B. Wendelken and Joakim Soria. While Wendelken did give up a run in the 7th he was able to putout Mazara with a throw to first after fielding a dribbly roller that left two runners stranded.

Fernando Rodney made his 907th appearance, passing Cy Young. He dispatched the Rangers striking out Jeff Mathis looking for the first out. While he walked Delino DeShields, Rodney quickly came back—A’s players on the dugout steps waiting—to get Choo to flyout to Pinder in left and struck out Santana to end the game.

Hitting:

The A’s struck first in the second on a deep shot to center field.

In the third, the bats continued to do damage. Phegley doubled and moved to third on a liner by Canha over Andrus’ head. Match Chapman then picked up his 16th RBI with a sacrifice fly deep enough to right field to score Phegley. A’s ahead 2-0 on three hits.

In the 6th, Pinder and Piscotty both picked up RBI’s to give the bullpen some breathing room going up 4-1.

In the 8th, the A’s were merciless with two runs on three hits. Piscotty just wasn’t done for the night. Having hit a home run in the second and a sacrifice fly and RBI in the 6th, he finished his last at bat with a 2RBI single to put the A’s up 6-1.

Defense:

Profar had an outstanding defensive game. His defense began with a double play grounder fielded cleanly and whipped to Semien at second who threw to Canha for the third out of the inning. In the second, profar made an outstanding diving play to his left to send Logan Forsythe back to the dugout denied. In the third, Profar then gave Bassitt another diving catch to pop up throwout Santana at first.

Other strong defensive plays included Laureano (shocker) who stretched out and almost robbed Asdrubal Cabrera in the sixth with a tailing flair that he grabbed with his throwing hand and body to smother it and hold Cabrera to a single.

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