OAKLAND -- The A's continue to be tormented by their divisional foes.The unabated trend has harmed their stock: Friday's 8-4 series-opening loss to the Angels left them two games under .500 at 34-36 -- a record that includes a 10-25 mark against American League West opponents.The A's were mighty happy
OAKLAND -- The A's continue to be tormented by their divisional foes.
The unabated trend has harmed their stock: Friday's 8-4 series-opening loss to the Angels left them two games under .500 at 34-36 -- a record that includes a 10-25 mark against American League West opponents.
The A's were mighty happy to see the Astros leave town on Thursday following a forgettable three-game sweep, but their new guests treated them much the same, jumping out to an eight-run lead before the home club reached the board.
Defensive blunders led to four unearned runs under the watch of right-hander Chris Bassitt, who was forced to throw 102 pitches in four innings.
"The early part of the game was about as bad as we've played," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Kept grinding and came back, which is good to see. You don't want to just continue to play a bad game like that.
"Against Kansas City we played a little better, against Houston they gave it to us, and then we had a really rough start today. Hopefully we can come out and play a lot better tomorrow."
Bassitt, pitching in place of an injured Trevor Cahill a second time, was charged with six runs. He allowed seven hits, including Ian Kinsler's solo homer in the fourth, after holding the Royals to three hits and one run last week.
"Just didn't seem as crisp," Melvin said. "He threw a lot of pitches in four innings. They did foul some pitches off, but it means you're not as in command of where you're throwing the baseball. That was the biggest difference."
Bassitt's own throwing error on an Jose Pujols ground ball led to two runs in the opening frame, and fill-in third baseman Chad Pinder's erroneous throw thwarted a potential double play in the third, leading to yet another unwarranted run.
"I fielded a ground ball with my bare hand, and when I did, just a funky throw," Bassitt said. "I kind of had some time, knowing Pujols doesn't really run that well, but I obviously sailed it. I obviously wish I had that back, because things just kind of started to snowball."
Having to play catch-up, the A's managed just two unearned runs against Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs in his seven innings, both coming with two outs in the fifth when Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien teamed up for back-to-back RBI doubles. Wild pitches helped the A's tack on runs in the eighth and ninth innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bassitt was tagged for consecutive singles by Michael Trout and Justin Upton to begin the third inning, but he managed to induce a potential double-play ball off the bat of Pujols -- only for Pinder, subbing for Matt Chapman (right hand contusion), to make an errant throw to second base, bringing in a run. Bassitt subsequently needed 27 pitches before recording a single out in the inning, exiting the frame with a pitch count of 72.
The A's have lost 12 of their last 13 games against AL West competition. They're 24-11 against all other teams.
HE SAID IT
"He's very important for us, especially for us with the potential of losing Chapman for a while, too. You need to lean on the guys in the middle of your lineup a little bit more. Everybody's going go through slumps. Some guys are a little bit more meaningful than others, but to see him get three hits tonight, both left- and right-handed, is a good sign." -- Melvin, on Jed Lowrie, who recorded three hits after entering the day with one hit in his last 24 at-bats
Lefty Sean Manaea will toe the rubber for Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT matchup with the Angels. Manaea (5-6, 3.59 ERA) faced the Halos on March 30, yielding a lone run across 7 2/3 innings in a tough-luck loss. He'll be opposed by lefty John Lamb, who will be recalled from Triple-A for his first Major League start since 2016.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.