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Game #79: Chapman, Fiers Lead A’s to Bounceback Victory

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough day of news for the A’s — one in which we lost Montas to suspension and Treinen to injury — the provided a much-needed dose of joy to the team and its fanbase.

Though we lost our best starter to an 80-game suspension, Mike Fiers showed that he can still be a solid anchor to the Oakland staff. Despite not getting the win, Fiers threw six innings of one-run ball and put the onus on the team’s lineup and bullpen to finish the job.

Matt Chapman provided most of the firepower tonight, driving in the A’s go ahead run twice today. First, it was with a homerun to right-center field in the third; later, it was on an RBI double that drove Josh Phegley in to put the A’s up 3-2. He also scored the A’s fourth run after Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Turning to the bullpen, there was a slight hiccup with Ryan Buchter, who couldn’t get out of the 7th inning. Fortunately, Yusmeiro Petit came in and had one of his best outings of the year, striking out each of the 4 batters he faced.

After him, it was unclear who BoMel would give the opportunity to close it out with Treinen on the IL. It turns out Liam Hendriks is now the most trusted pitcher in the A’s bullpen, and he’s done nothing but earn it. Today’s two-strikeout, no-hit save brought his ERA down to 1.49. I guess Hendriks is the ace closer we didn’t know we had or even needed.

A great and much-needed win against against a good team that shows the season’s not lost yet!