Athletics

Matt Chapman's 455-foot homer highlights biggest game yet with A's

Matt Chapman's 455-foot homer highlights biggest game yet with A's

OAKLAND — Matt Chapman got the pie in the face Saturday that typically would be reserved for walk-off hero Khris Davis.

In the winning clubhouse afterward, the A’s rookie third baseman proudly wore a T-shirt that Yonder Alonso had made up for everyone. In neon lettering, like you might find in the window of a barber shop, the shirt read: “Oakland, Walk-offs Welcome!”

“I thought it was appropriate to wear for this,” Chapman told the gathered media.

Chapman soaked up the atmosphere of the A’s wild 5-3 victory over Cleveland, which came courtesy of Davis blasting a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth off the Indians’ Bryan Shaw.

But Chapman was as responsible as anyone for Oakland’s second win in as many nights against the defending American League champs. While his teammates were befuddled all night by right-hander Corey Kluber, Chapman blasted two homers off the 2014 Cy Young winner — the first two homers of Chapman’s big league career.

He also doubled to complete his 3-for-3 night. Combined with his triple the night before, Chapman is showing major signs of turning the corner from an awful offensive slump since returning from a knee infection that briefly hospitalized him.

He was in a 3-for-27 rut coming into Saturday.

“You wouldn’t know if he was 10-for-10 or 0-for-50, which tells a lot about him,” A’s starter Paul Blackburn said.

Chapman’s own comments on the biggest night of his brief major league career lends some insight into the mature mindset he brings to the ballpark.

“Do I think tonight means I’m just gonna be perfectly fine and never have any struggles again? No,” Chapman said. “But it’s obviously nice to have some sort of success and know you can compete at this level, and that you are good enough to do it. If anything, you just use it as motivation to keep working hard.”

Chapman drilled a 2-1 cutter from Kluber over the wall in left-center for his first homer in the third. Leading off the bottom of the eighth, Chapman sensed that Kluber might try to blow a first-pitch fastball by him. He got a 92 mile-per-hour two-seamer and belted a game-tying blast 455 feet, the ball striking off the base of a luxury suite in dead center.

For that, Chapman received a whipped cream pie in the face from Josh Phegley and two buckets of water over his head from Ryon Healy and Bruce Maxwell as he conducted a TV interview that on many nights would have belonged to Davis.

“He deserved it,” Davis said. “There’s many more to come where he’s going. It won’t be the last.”

A's keep rolling, beat Rangers to run winning streak to four games

A's keep rolling, beat Rangers to run winning streak to four games

BOX SCORE

ARLINGTON -- Jed Lowrie hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night, tagging Cole Hamels with his fourth loss before the end of April for the first time in the left-hander's career.

Texas slugger Adrian Beltre exited with a left hamstring strain in the eighth after pulling up at first base on what would have been a double but was instead a single for his 3,075th career hit.

Lowrie's liner over the glove of diving center fielder Delino DeShields came against reliever Matt Bush after two doubles off Hamels in an inning that included a pair of Oakland baserunners getting thrown out at third base.

Andrew Triggs (2-0) allowed one run in six innings with six strikeouts, and former closer Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save.

Oakland rookie Lou Trivino struck out two batters to finish the eighth after coming in cold when Blake Treinen took a line drive from Shin-Soo Choo off his right leg and had to leave the game.

Trivino was called up from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day when Yusmeiro Petit went on the bereavement list following the death of his mother in Venezuela. Petit was away from the team for four days earlier this month to spend time with his mom.

Hamels (1-4) gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings and plunked three batters, matching the 2008 World Series MVP's career high set on April 20, 2016, in a 2-1 win against Houston. Rangers reliever Jake Diekman also hit a batter with a pitch.

The Rangers clinched their fifth straight series loss at home, the most to start a season since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972.

Mark Canha broke a scoreless tie in the sixth with his third homer, a solo shot that went in and out of leaping right fielder Nomar Mazara's glove just above the fence. Matt Olson hit an RBI double in the eighth.

Beltre's liner to the gap when he was injured was a single that scored Choo from first. The 39-year-old in his 21st season limped to first and went immediately to the dugout. Beltre had two hits and both Texas RBIs, driving in the first run on a sacrifice fly.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Athletics: RHP Liam Hendriks was to have a procedure to remove a cyst in his right hip, with a plasma injection for a muscle tear. Hendriks was already on the disabled list because of a right groin strain. He should be throwing off a mound in a few weeks.

Rangers: RHPs Tony Barnette (right shoulder inflammation) and Tim Lincecum (blister) threw live bullpen sessions. Manager Jeff Banister said Barnette probably won't return before Friday. Lincecum is on the 60-day DL.

UP NEXT:
RHP Kendall Graveman (0-4, 10.07 ERA), Oakland's opening day starter, has allowed at least four runs without throwing more than five innings in all five starts, the longest such streak to start a season for an A's pitcher since at least 1908. RHP Doug Fister (1-2, 3.59) is scheduled for Texas in the series finale as he returns from a right hip strain. His most recent start was April 9.

A's reliever Yusmeiro Petit wanted to pitch hours after his mother died

A's reliever Yusmeiro Petit wanted to pitch hours after his mother died

A's reliever Yusmeiro Petit suffered the worst kind of tragedy on Monday and still wanted to do his job.

Petit's mother, Rubia, passed away Monday, and just hours later, he made sure manager Bob Melvin knew that he wanted to pitch in the game against the Rangers.

"His mom passed away, actually, before the game yesterday. We all had heavy hearts for him. He really wanted to pitch. I was not going to use him in that game unless he really wanted to. And he really wanted to pitch yesterday. It ended up being a really tough day for him. I think early this morning he was flying home. We're all saddened for him. He's a pretty big personality in our clubhouse, which has nothing to do with that. It's been a tough couple of weeks for him," Melvin told reporters in Texas before Tuesday's game.

Last week, Petit was placed on the family medical emergency list. He returned to the team on Saturday, but was placed on the bereavement lists Tuesday.

Petit pitched 1.2 innings in the A's 9-4 win on Monday night. The first batter he faced, Jurickson Profar, lined a ball off the back of Petit's left leg. Despite getting hit, he stayed in the game.

Melvin was asked about Petit's outing in light of what he was dealing with.

"I'm amazed. And then gets hit on top of it and remains in the game, finishes that inning and goes back out and gets two other hitters out. I didn't expect it. Obviously, I appreciated it," Melvin said.