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Padres can't cash in on chances in loss to A's

July 3, 2018

OAKLAND -- For four innings Tuesday night, the Padres had chances to score and didn't. In the fifth inning, they scored twice, and had chances to tack on -- but didn't.All those runs the Padres didn't score? They loomed large in a 6-2 loss in Oakland. The A's scored five

OAKLAND -- For four innings Tuesday night, the Padres had chances to score and didn't. In the fifth inning, they scored twice, and had chances to tack on -- but didn't.
All those runs the Padres didn't score? They loomed large in a 6-2 loss in Oakland. The A's scored five times in the sixth inning, leaving the Padres to rue those opportunities -- a handful of which withered away out of their own doing.
Travis Jankowski stumbled around second base in the first, and was stranded at third. Manuel Margot was thrown out on a questionable steal attempt in the same inning.
In the second, Cory Spangenberg was doubled off on a line drive. In the fifth, Eric Hosmer was ruled out on an RBI grounder for stepping on the ankle of A's pitcher Chris Bassitt instead of the first-base bag.

"It was just a weird night," said Jankowski. "There was a lot of stuff going on on the bases."
It was equal parts bad luck and bad baserunning, and it took Bassitt off the hook. The Padres took the lead on Hosmer's groundout. William Myers' ensuing RBI double made it 2-0. But they probably should've been comfortably ahead when Clayton Richard took the hill for the sixth inning at Oakland Coliseum.
"The game takes on a different tone if you score [those runs]," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Clayton maybe doesn't try to be so fine. ... If it's a five-run game at that point, he's probably attacking more aggressively.
"He was completely in control of that baseball game for five innings," Green said. "Absolutely dominant, one of those that feels like he's going to go nine. The first four guys get on in the sixth and the game changes really quickly."

Richard ran his streak of six-inning starts to 11 games, but barely. He surrendered five walks, his most in a start since May 6, 2017, against the Dodgers. Two of the free passes came in the sixth as he loaded the bases with no one out.
Jed Lowrie unloaded them with a three-run double into the left-field corner. Two more runs scored in the frame, and Richard finished having allowed five runs on six hits with only two strikeouts.

"Just too many three-ball counts, and I put too many guys on with the walk," Richard said. "When you do that, especially when you're not striking guys out. It's usually a recipe for bad baseball on the pitching end."
That said, Richard was only truly on the ropes one time. The A's capitalized. The Padres never did.
Loaded no more: In the third inning, the Padres simply couldn't get the run across. They loaded the bases for the heart of their order. But Margot and Hosmer grounded into forceouts at the plate, before Myers went down swinging to end the threat.
Tiring Richard: Richard only threw 83 pitches, but he was clearly unraveling in the sixth. Khris Davis plated Lowrie with an RBI single, bringing Matt Olson to the plate. Meanwhile, right-hander Adam Cimber was loose in the bullpen. The lefty Olson was going to be Richard's final batter -- until Olson bounced into a double play. With the bases empty, Green stuck with Richard. That decision backfired. Mark Canha blasted an 0-2 fastball into the left-field seats, giving the A's a 5-2 lead.

No one questions the speed of Margot. But the Padres center fielder has yet to harness that elite tool and become a stolen-base threat. He's attempted 13 steals this season, and he's been thrown out on seven of them. That's the lowest success rate in the Majors among players with at least 10 attempts.
"He's going to get better than that," Green said. "We have all the confidence in the world he's going to get better at that. It's time to continue to improve."

Margot's first-inning caught-stealing was particularly costly. Jankowski -- who went 3-for-4 -- opened the frame with a single. He swiped second and could've gone to third but stumbled as he tried to get up. After a wild pitch and a Margot walk, the Padres had men on the corners and one out. Then Margot took off. He was out by a wide margin.
"We want to see Manny learn on the bases," Green said. "The only way Manny's going to learn on the bases is to turn him loose, at times, and let him make decisions at first base as to when he can run and when he can't run. That was the one aggressive mistake I saw on the bases today."
The Padres were already without righty setup man Kirby Yates, who was placed on paternity leave earlier in the day. After the game, Green revealed lefty closer Brad Hand was also absent as he attended to a personal family matter. Hand is expected back for Wednesday's game, and Yates should rejoin the club Friday in Arizona.
Meanwhile, right-hander Colten Brewer pitched a scoreless eighth inning Tuesday night. Brewer was recalled Tuesday to take Yates' place. He's a candidate to be optioned back to Triple-A when the team recalls Luis Perdomo to start Wednesday.
In their last 20 series openers, the Padres are 1-19. Green has downplayed the significance of that stat, but it's still one of the more perplexing numbers surrounding the Padres this season. 
"When you lose, you get frustrated. That's what happened. We did enough offensively to win. We did enough defensively to win. I did not do enough on the mound to win." -- Richard, on showing his frustration in the sixth inning 
The Padres finally broke through in the fifth when Hosmer bounced a slow chopper up the first-base line to score Jankowski. Olson looked home at first, but he wisely chose to flip to Bassitt instead. Bassitt dropped the ball -- and for good reason. Hosmer had stepped squarely on Bassitt's ankle instead of the bag.
Bassitt -- who sustained a large gash on his shin and was removed later in the inning -- picked up the baseball and tagged Hosmer. He was initially ruled safe, but a replay review overturned that call.
"Hoz just tried to get to the base, stepped on his ankle," Green said. "I could see immediately he didn't touch the base. I was hoping they didn't see it and hoping he got back to the base without a tag. When they went to tag him, I knew we were in trouble."

The Padres plan to recall right-hander Perdomo on Wednesday to make his first start since April. Perdomo's season started poorly, and he was demoted to Triple-A after four outings. But he bounced back nicely and earned his way back to the big leagues with a 3.10 ERA in 11 starts for El Paso. Left-hander Sean Manaea starts opposite Perdomo with first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m. PT.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.