OAKLAND – If you caught the first inning of Thursday’s game at the Coliseum, you witnessed all that was worth witnessing from an offensive perspective.
The Indians scored three runs off A’s starter Chris Bassitt before he settled into a groove. Oakland got to Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco for a run but then went silent. Remarkably little changed after that as the A’s fell 3-1 in the opener of their season-long 11-game homestand.
Carrasco (11-8) held the A’s hitless over the final eight innings. In fact, the A’s went 22 consecutive batters without hitting a ball that reached a Cleveland outfielder.
If that’s not strange enough for you, consider that Bassitt (0-4) gave up four consecutive hits to open the game, but then held the Indians to just two hits over the next six innings, finishing with a stat line that looked remarkably impressive given how his night began.
Carrasco struck out seven in a two-hitter that wrapped in 2 hours, 15 minutes. Remarkably, it snapped a streak of 144 consecutive games in which an opposing pitcher did not throw a complete game against the A's, which was the longest such streak in franchise history.
Starting pitching report
Bassitt, an Ohio native who pitched well against the Indians in Cleveland right before the All-Star break, was solid again. He got off to an incredibly bumpy start, allowing the first four batters to reach, and gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Santana. Then he settled in, allowing six hits over seven innings with three runs. He struck out six and walked one.
R.J. Alvarez and Fernando Abad did their part to keep the game close late.
At the plate
Billy Burns led offwith a single in the first and stole second. He came around to score on Josh Reddick’s double. And that was it for the A’s.
In the field
Bassitt’s rough first inning included an error from the normally solid-as-a-rock Sam Fuld. Michael Brantley sent a double down the left-field line that hugged the wall and got by Fuld. It was scored a double that allowed Francisco Lindor to come all the way around from first and score.
The A’s other error came from catcher Stephen Vogt on a throw to second that wound up in center field on Lindor’s stolen base. But Vogt made up for it by nailing two others trying to steal second, and the A’s also retired Jason Kipnis when he got hung up between first and second.
Three trades of the “rebuild” variety … Cleveland Indians in town … Thursday night. Attendance was 13,173, and it wasn’t a surprise.
Kendall Graveman (6-7, 4.13) is looking to right the ship after allowing 10 earned runs over his past two starts. He’ll match up against Danny Salazar (8-6, 3.72) in Friday’s 6:35 p.m. game, with fireworks afterward.