The A’s win handily 12-3, despite it being a Sunday. Chris Bassitt is the winning pitcher and Matt Chapman is the hero on offense.
It didn’t take too long for the A’s to take control in this game.
To lead off the second inning, after working the count full, Mark Canha was hit by a pitch. Following up, Chad Pinder needed just one pitch to slap a ground ball double to the left field wall to give the A’s the lead. The team would never give up the lead, and despite the score getting as close as 2-1 and then 5-2, Oakland was in full control.
Andrew Heaney, of the Angels, looked solid to start things off, but his lack of control ultimately led to his downfall. A single and a walk in the fourth inning precipitated a run scoring double off the bat of Ramon Laureano, and then, as the A’s sought to extend their lead, in the fifth, a three run home run off the bat of Matt Chapman pushed things out of hand for Anaheim. The home run was Chapman’s 21st on the season. Heaney wound up giving up five runs in six innings pitched, despite getting eight strikeouts during that span.
On the day that it was announced that Chapman would be on the All Star Squad, the hot-hitting third baseman finished a single short of the cycle. In addition to his home run in the fifth inning, Chapman also jumpstarted an A’s rally in the eighth with a triple, and after the team managed to bat around, he drove in three more runs with a bases-loaded clearing double. On the whole, Chapman earned six RsBI on the day.
Chris Bassitt took the mound for Oakland for today’s game, and he performed in stellar fashion. Despite only pitching 5.2 innings, Bassitt managed to get seven strikeouts opposed to just one walk. Only six Angels reached base during his entire outing. Bassitt’s big, slow curveball kept the Angels off balance all game long, and Los Angeles just never had a chance to mount a comeback after the A’s took the lead.
Petit, Wang, Soria, and Brooks combined to finish the final three innings of the ballgame. While Brooks surrendered a home run, the bullpen was mostly dominant, striking out three and walking one over three-plus innings pitched.
The A’s are now only half of a game out of a playoff spot, and are finally starting to play like a playoff team as well. With the season halfway done and the A’s poised to do better in the second half as their pitching returns, the outlook is looking good for this scrappy franchise.