Detroit — OK, that’s not exactly the Toledo-to-Detroit pipeline Tigers fans had in mind.
Chris Bassitt, who was born in Toledo and who grew up in nearby Genoa, pitched eight brilliant innings in front of a rowdy cheering section of friends and family behind home plate, and the Athletics hit five monstrous home runs in blitzing the Tigers, 17-3, on an otherwise glorious Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
It was the A’s 12th consecutive victory over the Tigers, a streak that dates to May 2017.
The horror show continues for the Tigers, who now have lost four straight and seven of nine, and who’ve been outscored 41-9 on this home stand. They were a single out away from being shut out again, until Dawel Lugo, just called up from Toledo to play third base, hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth.
BOX SCORE: Athletics 17, Tigers 3
The Tigers’ defense was brutal, again, helping the A’s to a six-run third inning, and the pitching — well, you saw the final score.
Spencer Turnbull (2-3) started and wasn’t at his best, though the defense, again, did him no favors. He couldn’t get past four innings, marking the fourth consecutive game a Tigers starter didn’t get past four innings.
The Tigers only were credited with one error, though that’s deceiving. In the third, shortstop Ronny Rodriguez was slow to get the ball out of his glove in botching what should’ve been an easy double play. Two batters later, Niko Goodrum grabbed a grounder at first and threw wildly to Rodriguez, another double play that wasn’t to be.
And three batters after that, Jurickson Profer launched a long home run into the seats in right field for a grand slam — and the rout was on.
The A’s then poured it on against relievers Blaine Hardy, Reed Garrett and Victor Alcantara, who combined to give up nine runs on 10 hits in four innings.
No. 9 hitter Josh Phegley, who was 4-for-5 and a triple shy of the cycle, homered off Hardy in the sixth, before Matt Olson followed suit later in the inning. Marcus Semien made it four bombs in the seventh, off Garrett.
For good measure, Mark Canha hit a 419-foot missile to left in the ninth off the Tigers’ last pitcher, Brandon Dixon, who you might’ve heard is actually not a pitcher. That ruined Dixon’s previous career ERA of 0.00. He pitched twice for the Cincinnati Reds in 2018. Dixon, clocking between low 60s and 70s, began the ninth with a strikeout of Semien.
Anyway, all told, the A’s hit 1,970 feet worth of homers.
A two-run double by Robbie Grossman was the big hit against Alcantara in the eighth.
The Tigers’ ERA is now 6.83 for the month of May, after it was 3.86 in March and April.
Detroit’s offense continues to look lost. The Tigers had one scoring threat when Rodriguez hit a one-out triple in the second — 17 of his 25 hits this season are for extra bases — but he was quickly removed from the bases, out at home after an ill-advised break for it on Harrison’s grounder to a drawn-in infield.
And that was it until Lugo’s three-run homer off reliever Aaron Brooks in the ninth.
Bassitt (2-1) allowed just four hits while walking two and striking out seven, to the delight of several of his fans, many decked out in No. 40 green-and-gold shirseys. Bassitt also pitched collegiately in Ohio, for the University of Akron.
The five-year major-leaguer is off to a fine start in 2019, having allowed just 21 hits through 32.2 innings. The eight innings Thursday tied for the longest outing of his career; he also went eight innings in a game in August 2015.
Published at Thu, 16 May 2019 20:20:53 +0000