Oakland Athletics’ starter Chris Bassitt got the first win as a member of the Athletics Tuesday night at O.Co Coliseum as the A’s defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-0. This was a new occurrence and first for Bassitt. The A’s have been having a down year, that’s not a secret, but it hasn’t been the fault of the A’s offense except where Bassitt has been concerned.
With Bassitt on the mound the A’s had scored a total of five runs in the rookies five starts for the team. Tuesday the team’s bats finally showed Bassitt a little love.
Bassitt had pitched brilliantly for a rookie each time the A’s had called upon him. He hasn’t been on the big league club the entire year. After coming over from the Chicago White Sox in the Jeff Samardzija trade, Bassit has made 11 appearances for the A’s.
His first appearances came out of the bullpen in April and May, he pitched well but was sent down to Triple-A Nashville as the team’s biggest weakness, the bullpen, was shuffled around attempting to find a combination of pitchers that could close out games after stellar outings by the starting rotation.
On June 30 Bassitt, 26, was re-called to the big club for his first Major League start in Oakland and he hasn’t been sent back to Nashville since. He’d made big league starts before in Chicago, four to be exact, and had only one win to show for it due to – wait for it – a lack of run support while he was on the mound. He’s never given up more than three runs in a start for Chicago.
His first five big league starts for the A’s went similarly with the offense providing, as previously noted, just five total runs and the team also ended up losing each of those games. On Tuesday night in Oakland the Athletic’s bats finally showed Bassitt, who combined with relievers Fernando Rodriguez and Fernando Abad for a shutout, some love.
Center fielder Billy Burns, who is making a strong case to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award, started off the scoring in the fifth with a little help from second baseman Eric Sogard who doubled with one out in the inning. Burns singled off of Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez to earn his 20th RBI on the year and put the A’s up 1-0.
Billy Butler lead off the sixth inning with a ground rule double. One batter later third baseman Brett Lawrie tripled on a sharp line drive to center, putting the A’s up 2-0. This led Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter to go to his bullpen replacing Gonzalez with Chaz Roe.
Roe retired Mark Canha and, for what was probably the first time in his career,intentionally walked Sogard to get to shortstop Marcus Semien. Semien then took Roe deep to left on 1-0 slider giving the A’s a 5-0 lead.
That was all the offense the A’s would need to secure Bassitt his first win in Oakland. Bassitt went seven innings allowing five hits, two walks and striking out seven. Rodriguez and Abad each pitched a scoreless inning and the game was in the books with both the A’s and Bassitt getting the W.