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Chapman hopes All-Stars shine light on A's

@MartinJGallegos
July 10, 2019

Matt Chapman and Liam Hendriks had the chance to simultaneously experience their first taste of All-Star action in the American League's 4-3 victory at Progressive Field on Tuesday. Both A's representatives entered the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard to begin the sixth inning, with Hendriks showing off his blazing fastball

Matt Chapman and Liam Hendriks had the chance to simultaneously experience their first taste of All-Star action in the American League's 4-3 victory at Progressive Field on Tuesday.

Both A's representatives entered the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard to begin the sixth inning, with Hendriks showing off his blazing fastball that has led to a breakout season at age 30. The right-hander surrendered a solo home run to Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon, but impressed overall with strikeouts of Kris Bryant, Trevor Story and Pete Alonso, all with fastballs as the put-away pitch. Alonso swung through a 97 mph one for strike three to end the frame.

Chapman battled from 0-2 to draw a leadoff walk against Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff in the bottom of the seventh, the lone walk of the night earned by an AL player. He then went first-to-third on a single by James McCann and scored on a double play by Xander Bogaerts to put the AL side ahead by two.

"It was so awesome," Chapman said. "Just to be able to meet all these dudes and just see what everybody is all about was just so much fun."

Though he participated in Monday's T-Mobile Home Run Derby, a walk was perhaps the most fitting outcome for the A's star. Chapman's improved eye at the plate has been the catalyst for his breakout year on offense, and it certainly was on display Tuesday night.

Sharing the left side of the infield with Francisco Lindor, Chapman received some love on the television broadcast from the Indians shortstop, who was asked to give his thoughts on the 2018 Gold Glove winner while wearing a mic in the sixth.

"He's a great defensive player," Lindor said. "He can hit, he can do it all. But at the end of the day, he's an even better person."

Without much action at the hot corner in his four innings, Chapman did not get a chance to show off his Gold and Platinum Glove-defense. But he did get a chance to be on the field for the final out of the victory. He became the seventh third baseman to represent the A's at the All-Star Game and the first since Josh Donaldson in 2014.

Feeling the A's seemingly fly under the radar every year despite often contending for the playoffs, like this season as they entered the All-Star break just 1 1/2 games back of a Wild Card spot at 50-41, Chapman said he hopes he and Hendriks represented the club in a way that could bring Oakland more recognition as the season goes along.

"I take pride in my team and really love my teammates," Chapman said. "To be able to get us some attention is huge because I feel like there are a lot of guys on our team that deserve it and anything we can get will be good for us."

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.