OAKLAND -- Robbed of his would-be first Major League hit after a replay review in the second inning, Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman absolutely outdid himself with the one that counted.
Thrown into a bases-loaded situation for the second time in as many days that span his big league career, Chapman delivered a go-ahead, two-run single that catapulted the A's to a 7-6 victory over the Yankees on Friday evening.
"I guess having your first hit taken away from you," Chapman said, "I was just waiting for something sweeter."
"The kid is here for a reason," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've seen in Spring Training he's a tough kid. He wants to play, he likes to play. He's not afraid of the situations. He hasn't seen the pitcher before, he hasn't seen the pitch he hit. He waited long enough to see it. A lot of courage in that at-bat. Certainly for a first big league hit, pretty impactful."
Chapman finished with three RBIs, his first coming on his second-inning grounder that was initially ruled an infield single. The Yankees, however, challenged the play at first and successfully stole away his hit.
The Yankees had a 6-5 lead by the eighth inning, but the makings of an A's rally quickly unfolded: Yonder Alonso drew a one-out walk, Ryon Healy doubled and Stephen Vogt was intentionally walked, bringing Chapman -- who had struck out with the bases loaded to end the ninth and send Friday's game to extras -- to the plate.
Chapman took two strikes from reliever Jonathan Holder before turning on a curveball for a sharply hit single down the third-base line.
"My approach was to get something up in the zone that I could handle and just get the ball into the outfield at the very least and get the job done and make sure we tied the game up going into the ninth inning," Chapman said. "Going down 0-2 wasn't exactly how you envision that at-bat going, but I stepped out and maybe getting some experience yesterday, I was able to slow it down a little bit more and go in there and battle. Luckily I was able to put the bat on the ball right there and get the job done."
Chapman, who totaled 80 home runs in just 317 games as a Minor Leaguer, can't remember the last time a teammate was intentionally walked in front of him. He laughed when asked the question, replying, "It's been a little while."
"The situation kind of called for that anyway," he added, "but for me, I was just ready to get the job done. I wanted to be the guy."
Surely it made for a better story.