Athletics

Instant Replay: A's score four off Darvish, end four-game skid

Instant Replay: A's score four off Darvish, end four-game skid

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The A’s crammed all of their scoring into one action-packed inning, and it was enough to snap their four-game losing streak Tuesday.

Held silent through five innings by Yu Darvish, the A’s broke through with a four-run sixth. They combined that with excellent pitching to turn back the Texas Rangers 4-2 in the middle contest of a three-game series at the Coliseum.

Adam Rosales keyed the game-winning rally with a two-run homer off Darvish that erased a 2-0 deficit. He turned on a 3-1 pitch and deposited his first homer well over the left field wall to make it 2-2. Having been shut out on three hits the night before, Rosales’ blast generated the offensive momentum they’d been lacking.

Jaff Decker, drawing a start as the leadoff man, doubled to left-center. Yonder Alonso walked, and after Tony Barnette relieved Darvish (1-2), Jed Lowrie drew another walk to load the bases. Khris Davis delivered a sacrifice fly to center to put the A’s ahead. Then Ryon Healy, pinch-hitting for Stephen Vogt, dropped a bloop single to score Alonso for a 4-2 lead.

That made a winner of Andrew Triggs (3-0), who has been the A’s best starter out of the gate. He threw six innings of three-hit ball and handed things over to a bullpen that got the job done in efficient order. Santiago Casilla nailed down his second save, as the A’s will now try to capture this series in the finale Wednesday afternoon.

Starting pitching report:
Triggs is justifying the A’s faith in him as a starter in the first month. He gave up just three hits over six innings, getting the Rangers to chase his breaking stuff out of the zone and keeping the ball off the barrel of the bat. He struck out five and didn’t issue a walk. The stat that says it all: Triggs has yet to allow an earned run in 17 2/3 innings pitched. That’s the longest season-opening streak by an A’s starter in Oakland history.

Two unearned runs off him in the sixth gave Texas the lead. The rally started with Yonder Alonso’s fielding error. A wild pitch from Triggs moved Jurickson Profar to second, and Elvis Andrus’ line single to center scored Profar him with the game’s first run. Andrus’ then used his legs to create the second run, stealing second and third and scoring on Nomar Mazara’s fielder’s choice grounder to short. Andrus broke for home and slid in ahead of Rosales’ throw.

Bullpen report:
All went according to plan. Sean Doolittle came on for the seventh to relieve Triggs and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Dull got the final two outs of the eighth and Santiago Casilla delivered a 1-2-3 ninth. Casilla appears to have emerged as Bob Melvin’s preferred closer, though Doolittle will be an option too depending on matchups.

At the plate:
The A’s have scored in just one out of 18 innings so far in this series, but they rallied at the right time Tuesday night. Decker scored a run after his double in the sixth. He finished 1-for-4, and that may earn him another shot in the leadoff spot Wednesday. After two games off, Healy will return to the lineup Wednesday.

In the field:
Alonso made two excellent plays at first base in the early innings, but a miscue in the sixth opened the gates to a Texas rally. He mishandled Profar’s chopper for an error, and Profar eventually scored on Andrus’ line single to center. That makes 11 consecutive games with an error for the A’s, and a major league-leading 17**** for the season.

Attendance:
The announced turnout was 12,091.

Up next:
The A’s and Rangers wrap up this three-game series with Wednesday’s 12:35 matinee. Jesse Hahn (0-1, 3.75) and lefty Martin Perez (1-1, 2.20) take the ball.

 

Bregman's big night against A's catches attention of his counterpart

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USATSI

Bregman's big night against A's catches attention of his counterpart

HOUSTON — A subplot to Friday night’s game at Minute Maid Park is one that will likely repeat itself often over the next few years.

The A’s and Astros boast two of the better young third basemen in the American League in Matt Chapman and Alex Bregman. Both are under 25, excellent with the glove and sure to face each other plenty as AL West opponents. The difference right now is Bregman is a key piece to a team likely to contend for the World Series.

Dallas Keuchel dominated the A’s on the mound Friday, but he got a huge assist from his 23-year-old third baseman.

Bregman made several standout defensive plays and drilled an opposite-field homer off Sean Manaea in the Astros’ 3-1 victory. Paying close attention from the opposing dugout was Chapman, who’s part of the A’s young nucleus that’s taking its lumps as it tries to learn how to win consistently at the major league level.

“He definitely showed up ready to play today,” Chapman said of Bregman. “He was all over the place at third base. I like to watch opposing third basemen and see what they kind of do. He’s definitely good at his craft.”

The two know each other well. Chapman, 24, played at Cal State Fullerton while Bregman attended LSU. They never faced each other in college, but they played together on Team USA in the summer of 2013, and Chapman praised the way Bregman goes about the game.

“(Bregman) literally is a shortstop playing third,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “So the ones on the run, especially to his backhand, he’s used to making those plays. He was significant in where the game went.”

Bregman has filled in at shortstop lately for Houston with Carlos Correa on the disabled list, though Marwin Gonzalez played short Friday.

Manaea, his fastball still lacking its typical zip of late, went six solid innings and showed improvement after three consecutive poor outings. The difference Friday was his ability to pitch inside better. He had a good changeup to offset a slider that he’s still trying to rediscover the feel for.

“I was just trying to let loose and not worry too much about the little things —mechanics , pitch grips, finishing through the ball,” Manaea said. “Today I just threw everything out the window and let my arm take care of everything.”

But his margin for error was minuscule with Keuchel dealing over seven innings of three-hit ball. Manaea fell behind Bregman 2-0 in the third and watched Bregman deposit a ball into the right field seats. Manaea then got ahead 0-2 on the next hitter, MVP candidate Jose Altuve. He tried to go high and tight with a fastball but caught too much plate, and Altuve made it back-to-back homers.

Former Athletic Josh Reddick singled home another run off Manaea in the sixth for a 3-0 Houston lead.

That was sufficient for Keuchel, whose repertoire was an eye-opener for Chapman and some of the A’s other young hitters. Chapman -- who came in leading AL rookies in runs, homers, RBI and extra base hits since the All-Star break -- doubled off the lefty in the fifth. But the A's only run came on Matt Joyce's eighth-inning homer against reliever Chris Devenski.

“(Keuchel) was getting ahead,” Chapman said. “If he happened to fall behind, he was still making quality pitches. You can prepare as much as you want, but until you get out there and see for yourself, that’s how you make adjustments.”