Big Bassitt battle today at Safeco Field against King Felix. Taking until the bottom of the 7th for a score to finally be posted (unearned run, by the way), it was a pitching duel with a few sighs of relief leading up to that scoring moment. The A's were going for their first three-game sweep of Seattle since September of 2012.
Felix Hernandez started the day 7-1 with a 2.60 ERA in his last 11 starts versus the A's. Hernandez gained his first strikeout victim in Josh Reddick, fanning him on an 80 mph curveball to end the first inning. In the second inning he struck out Stephen Vogt on an 89 mph fastball. After giving up a double to Lowrie, Hernandez took down Khris Davis on a changeup for our number. Strikeout victims #4 and #5 were Crisp and Vogt who both struck out on changeups in the third inning. Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Josh Phegley all struck out in the 4th (also on changeups) punctuated by Yonder Alonso singling on a bunted ground ball down third to Seager. The K-fest continued in the 7th as Khris Davis and Josh Phegley go down swinging. Guess what type of pitch. You got it: Changeup. So King of K's, Felix Hernandez exits at the end of the 7th with his first double-digit strikeout game since April 18th, 2015. If you lost count, he had 10 strikeouts and gave up 3 hits and 2 base on balls on a total of 99 pitches (62 of which were strikes).
In the top of the 8th Joel Peralta took us back to a clean slate. Call it a managerial mistake or Marcus magic. Either way, Semien took the ball 345 feet over the left field wall to tie the game at one apiece. Great support from Semien's bat to help Bassitt exit with a 1-1 tied game after a great battle. Bassitt's final stats for the game: 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 5 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Madson replaced Bassitt and took care of business right away. He struck out Robinson Cano on a 90 mph cutter. Although he gave up a single to Nelson Cruz who grounded to left fielder Khris Davis, Adam Lind popped out to left followed by Seth Smith grounding out Jed Lowrie for a 4-3 putout.
In the top of the 9th, Steve Cishek replaced Joel Peralta and, after getting Vogt and Lowrie to ground out, walked Khris Davis. A well-hit ball by Yonder Alonso wasn't enough to get by Robinson Cano who ended the inning by throwing to Lind at first for the out. This took us to the bottom of the 9th with John Axford on the mound. A drag bunt by Marte leads to a Jed Lowrie flip for the out. Clevenger grounds out to Chris Coghlan who easily threw him out at first. Not so easily handled was a ground shot on the line by Leonys Martin forced a shifted Coghlan to move and throw but not in time. Aoki grounded out to Jed Lowrie who threw him out at first to end the inning. And to the 10th we go.
Nick Vincent takes the hill from Cishek and Billy Burns pinch hits for Josh Phegley only to pop out to shortstop Ketel Marte in foul territory. Vincent follows with a strikeout of Marcus Semien. But not to despair, Coco followed with a 376 foot long ball to right that put the A's ahead 2-1.
Doolittle enters the game replacing Axford and after one pitch, Kyle Seager doubles on a line drive to left fielder Khris Davis. Facing Robinson Cano next, Doolittle strikes him out on a 1-2 count with a 94 mph 4-seam fastball. Nelson Cruz then flies out to Khris Davis. Pinch-Hitter Dae-Ho Lee replaced Adam Lind to step in the box with two outs. On three pitches, all strikes, Doolittle takes down Lee and the A's sweep the Mariners in this three-game series! Go A's!