On a windy night at the Coliseum, the Oakland A’s only needed one gust of offense to take control.
The A’s did all their scoring in the 4th inning and breezed to a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, using all singles and walks and no extra-base hits. Oakland only put three other runners on base the entire evening outside of that one rally, their pitching staff faced just six batters over the minimum on the other side of the ball, and the whole thing was done in a brisk 2:44.
This game pretty much boiled down to that 4th inning. The A’s were in an early 1-0 hole, but they brought 11 batters to the plate and sent home a flurry of runs. The first six hitters reached base safely — they loaded the bags, then Sean Murphy walked to force one in, and Chad Pinder and Matt Chapman each delivered RBI singles.
The seventh batter of the inning was finally retired, but then another RBI walk from Elvis Andrus pushed home a run, and Mark Canha beat out a double play grounder to let one more cross the plate. When the dust settled, they’d tallied five runs on four hits and four walks, going 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
The A's scored 5 times in the bottom of the 4th pic.twitter.com/N8qxUY77Fw— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 9, 2021
Other than that outburst, Murphy drew a walk in the 2nd, and Pinder had two more hits. Pinder went 3-for-3 despite coming off the bench — he sat against Arizona’s righty starter, but pinch-hit in the 4th against a lefty reliever.
Chad Pinder joins Ossee Schrecongost and Mike Gallego as the only players in Athletics history with two career three-hit games in games they did not start.— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) June 9, 2021
Meanwhile, Chris Bassitt and the A’s pitching staff made similarly short work of the D’Backs, without the crooked number mixed in.
In the 2nd inning Bassitt served up a homer and put a couple more runners on base, but he didn’t let it extend beyond that. The right-hander went on to retire the next 15 batters in a row, until a leadoff single in the 7th. By that time he was staked to a comfortable lead, and when Arizona followed their scarce hit with another single and a sac fly (by Josh Reddick!) there was plenty of cushion on the scoreboard to absorb the individual pinprick.
- Bassitt: 7 ip, 2 runs, 6 Ks, 1 BB, 1 HR, 4 hits, 88 pitches, 91.4 mph EV
Another gem by the ace of the rotation. He didn’t miss many bats tonight but still got his strikeouts, and most of the hard contact he allowed stayed on the ground. Even the dinger was a wallscraper, which was probably really a double that got swept over the top by the wind.
The bullpen was equally effective in cleaning up the last two innings, as Yusmeiro Petit tossed a perfect frame and Lou Trivino worked around one single to seal the save. No gale could blow this lead.
2:44 minutes for the whole game and it seemed like an hour of that was the fourth inning.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) June 9, 2021
(The bottom of the 4th really did take 30 minutes though.)
One final fun note regards former A’s in the visiting lineup. Reddick started in right field, Stephen Vogt was the catcher, and Ryan Buchter pitched out of the bullpen.
Winds of change
May went out like a lion for the A’s, as they played a couple weaker teams they’re supposed to beat but dropped several winnable games to them. Now they’ve opened June by beating the teams they’re supposed to, taking five of their last six from the Mariners, Rockies, and now D’Backs. That’s more like it.
Petit? Nope— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 9, 2021
Elvis? Got it pic.twitter.com/HTVdf383py