A’s use big second inning to split double-header, shrink magic number

The A’s scored seven runs in a marathon second inning and got another solid performance from starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to wallop the Texas Rangers 10-1 on Saturday night and salvage a split in their double-header at Globe Life Field.

The A’s sent 13 batters to the plate in a second inning that lasted roughly 40 minutes. In the rally, Sean Murphy had a two-RBI single and Ramon Laureano, Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, Matt Olson and Khris Davis all had one RBI each.

Semien added a three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning, his sixth of the season, as the A’s improved to 7-4 this month. The A’s lost the first game of the double-header Saturday 5-2 and will wrap up their four-game series with the Rangers on Sunday.

Bassitt had eight strikeouts in six innings and improved to 4-2 this season, backing up his effort from Sept. 7. In that game against the Houston Astros at the Coliseum, Bassitt pitched seven scoreless innings with no walks and four strikeouts in a 6-0 A’s win.

Saturday, Bassitt had four strikeouts in the first two innings. In the third inning with runners on first and third, Bassitt got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to ground into an inning-ending double play. In the fourth with runners on first and second and one out, he struck out both Sam Huff and Ronald Guzman to end the threat.

Bassitt lost the shutout bid in the sixth inning, giving up a solo homer to Joey Gallo with one out.

The A’s came into the second game of the double-header with a 6 1/2 game lead in the American League West. Entering Saturday, their magic numbers to clinch a playoff spot and the AL West title were eight and nine, respectively.

The second place Houston Astros were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers late Saturday night.

There’s an outside chance the A’s could clinch a playoff by the time they return home to play the Giants on Sept. 18. They play a double-header with the Seattle Mariners on Monday before they travel to Denver to play single games against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Go to Source
Author: Curtis Pashelka