Instant Replay: Offense silent again, A's lose 3-1 to Astros

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Instant Replay: Offense silent again, A's lose 3-1 to Astros

BOX SCORE

It was another rough night offensively for the A’s on Tuesday, and the signs of that came early courtesy of Astros left fielder Colby Rasmus.

He made a throw home to nail Ryon Healy in the second and extinguish an early A’s scoring opportunity. Then Rasmus did it with the bat, homering off Kendall Graveman in the bottom of that inning to send the Astros on their way to a 3-1 victory over Oakland at Minute Maid Park.

It’s been a barren two days in the Lone Star state for the A’s so far. Over the first 18 innings of this three-game series, they’ve managed to score just one run on nine hits. On Tuesday it was right-hander Collin McHugh who handcuffed them. McHugh came in having allowed 12 earned runs over his previous 13 1/3 innings, spanning three starts. But he went six scoreless innings in this one and held the A’s to just four hits, striking out five and walking one.

The Astros put on a show defensively throughout the night, including terrific plays from the dynamic double play combo of Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve at different points. That continued a month-long pattern that has seen the A’s score just 3.4 runs per game throughout August. Their 93 total runs are the fewest in the American League for the month.

Starting pitching report:
Kendall Graveman (10-9) took the loss in this one, but he certainly didn’t get much help tonight. The sinkerballer went seven inning sand allowed three runs on just four hits. Rasmus got to him for a homer on a 1-2 pitch. Then Houston added a run in the third on Alex Bregman’s two-out single, set up by George Springer’s steal of second and Stephen Vogt’s throwing error that moved him to third. Then Evan Gattis added a solo shot in the seventh to make it a 3-0 game.

Bullpen report:
John Axford pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the A’s within striking distance.

At the plate:
The A’s appeared to be in business against McHugh (9-10) in the second, when Healy advanced to third base with one out. But Max Muncy lofted a fly ball to left, and Rasmus fired his throw home as Healy tagged up. The throw was well off-line, taking catcher Jason Castro well to the first-base side of home plate. But Castro retrieved the ball and made an excellent diving effort to tag Healy before he touched the plate.

The A’s scored their only run in the eighth when Max Muncy reached on an error and came around to score eventually on Marcus Semien’s grounder to short.

In the field:
Marcus Semien made a terrific diving play up the middle, then hopped to his feet and threw out Marwin Gonzalez for the A’s best defensive play of the night.

Rasmus’ throw home to nail Healy wasn’t the first time he’s hurt the A’s with his arm this season. He made a terrific play earlier this season at Minute Maid Park, fielding Jed Lowrie’s base hit off the wall and firing a perfect throw to second to get Lowrie, who had to figure he had a double as the ball came off the bat.

Attendance:
23,114

Up next:
Ross Detwiler (1-3, 5.74) matches up against Mike Fiers (9-6, 4.40) in Wednesday’s 11:10 a.m. matchup that closes this six-game road trip for Oakland.

Instant Replay: Casilla blows save in 10th, Angels walk off in 11th

Instant Replay: Casilla blows save in 10th, Angels walk off in 11th

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – After the A’s appeared to deal a knockout blow in the 10th inning, the Angels countered and ended up handing the A’s their first walk-off loss of 2017.

Kole Calhoun’s two-out single off Ryan Madson in the 11th scored Danny Espinosa and Los Angeles hung a 2-1 loss on the A’s on Tuesday to open a three-game series at Angel Stadium.

Mike Trout hit a game-tying homer off Santiago Casilla to lead off the bottom of the 10th. That came right after A’s pinch hitter Josh Phegley broke a scoreless tie by hitting the first pitch of the top of the 10th for a homer to right-center off Jose Alvarez.

For two teams who didn’t advance a single runner past first base through the first nine innings, the A’s and Angels packed a lot of excitement into the extra frames.

Phegley delivered the A’s first pinch homer in extras since Chris Carter hit one against Seattle on July 6, 2012. After Trout answered with his homer, Albert Pujols lined a single off Casilla, who came in having allowed opponents just one hit over 23 at-bats this season. Ben Revere pinch-ran for Pujols and stole second, representing the winning run with no outs. But Casilla buckled down and stranded him there to keep it a 1-1 game.

Espinosa led off the bottom of the 11th with a single off Madson, then Martin Maldonado executed a two-strike sacrifice bunt to move him to second. With two outs, Calhoun lined his game-winner to left-center, and Espinosa easily beat Jaff Decker’s throw to the plate.

A’s starter Jesse Hahn was outstanding, facing just two batters over the minimum over eight innings and limiting the Angels to one hit. The only problem was the A’s couldn’t get anything going on their end against right-hander J.C. Ramirez, who threw seven scoreless innings. All told, they struck out 11 times against five Angels pitchers.

Starting pitching report:
Hahn was as dialed in as he’s been wearing an A’s uniform. Manager Bob Melvin talks often of the upside he thinks the right-hander has, and Hahn demonstrated that Tuesday. He coaxed 12 ground-ball outs but also showed a good curve ball and struck out six. Hahn walked two, but after the one single he gave up to Marte in the fifth, he promptly picked Marte off first.

Bullpen report:
Sean Doolittle threw a perfect ninth to send the game into extra innings scoreless, and he struck out Kole Calhoun with two nasty sliders. Looking to protect a 1-0 lead in the 10th, Casilla fell behind Trout 2-0 and Trout sliced a homer to the right field corner that landed just inside the foul pole.

At the plate:
The A’s mustered just five hits total.

Ryon Healy, hitting .524 over his previous seven games entering the night, got a start in the No. 2 spot and struck out swinging four times in five at-bats.

The A’s got the leadoff hitter aboard in four of five innings from the fourth through the eighth but couldn’t cash in. And with the strong-armed Martin Maldonado behind the plate for the Angels, Oakland couldn’t jump-start things on the bases. Jaff Decker was thrown out at second so easily in the fourth that he didn’t even bother to slide, as it appeared either him or Healy missed a sign.

In the field:
In line with how well Hahn was dealing, the A’s defense played stingy. Matt Joyce made a diving catch in right to rob Jefry Marte to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Jed Lowrie made a nice play from the outfield grass to retire Danny Espinosa in the sixth. Credit Hahn for keeping his infielders engaged with so many ground-ball outs.

Attendance:
The announced turnout was 30,124.

Up next:
In the middle contest of this three-game set, Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) squares off against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Shoemaker’s six homers allowed are tied for third most in the American League.

 

A's lineup: Healy batting second, Khris Davis back in vs Angels

A's lineup: Healy batting second, Khris Davis back in vs Angels

PROGRAMMING ALERT: A's-Angels coverage begins at 6pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

After batting fourth on Sunday, Ryon Healy moves up a couple of spots on the opener against the Angels on Tueday evening.

Oakland A's:
1. Jaff Decker (L) CF
2. Ryon Healy (R) DH
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Stephen Vogt (L) C
6. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
7. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
8. Matt Joyce (L) RF
9. Adam Rosales (R) SS
Jesse Hahn -- RHP

Los Angeles Angels:
1. Yunel Escobar (R) 3B
2. Kole Calhoun (L) RF
3. Mike Trout (R) CF
4. Albert Pujols (R) DH
5. Jefry Marte (R) 1B
6. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
7. Cameron Maybin (R) LF
8. Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
9. Martin Maldonado (R) C
JC Ramirez -- RHP