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Game #95: A’s lose again, but by 2 runs this time

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Variety!

Cleveland Indians v Oakland Athletics
Big mistake by Laureano
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

At least it wasn’t another one-run loss?

The Oakland A’s lost again but by two runs this time, 4-2 to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday at the Coliseum. The Indians win the weekend series.

*** Click here to revisit today’s Game Thread! ***

Cleveland controlled the game from the start, as the very first pitch of the afternoon was drilled for a homer. The two clubs then traded runs until it was 2-2 after five innings, and then the Indians scored two more to take the lead permanently.

Starter Chris Bassitt was quality, though he did allow two homers — including the first career dinger by Vallejo product Daniel Johnson in the 7th inning.

  • Bassitt: 7 ip, 3 runs, 8 Ks, 0 BB, 6 hits, 94 pitches, 80.4 mph EV

Other than the homers, Cleveland did virtually nothing against Bassitt. The other run they scratched out against him came on a hard-hit single, followed by a bad bunt that still worked out as a sacrifice, and capped off by a soft bloop RBI single.

Oakland’s lineup mustered even less. The run they scored in the 2nd inning was effectively unearned, as it was purely a gift from Cleveland’s defense on a botched double play grounder, though in the box score it goes down as earned.

In the 5th, Seth Brown hit a solo homer.

It didn’t have to be solo, though! Two batters earlier, Ramon Laureano had doubled to lead off the frame, but then made a terrible decision to break for third base on a wild throw in from the outfield. He never had the opening he thought he did, and it was the textbook definition of a TOOTBLAN. One batter after Brown’s homer, Mark Canha was hit by a pitch. But when Brown went deep, at that moment there was nobody on.

The 9th inning might have been the biggest bummer of all. Matt Chapman made an error on a routine grounder, putting a free runner on base. Later in the frame, Matt Olson dropped a catchable foul popup, though it wasn’t ruled an error and the batter was later retired anyway. Still, seeing both Matts mess up on defense in the same inning is jarring, especially when the unearned runner did come around to score on a single for a valuable piece of insurance.

Sleepy Sunday

Lately the A’s have been coming one play short of winning, but today it was more like three or four plays probably. Not really any excuses for this loss, they just didn’t hit enough, and they made several bad mistakes on defense and on the bases. But they got more great pitching, and that’s some consolation.

Trade deadline coming. Another bat and another late-inning reliever would be nice.