LOS ANGELES -– For all the recent change on the A’s roster, fans were treated to a familiar turn of events Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
It involved Oakland’s bullpen, and it wasn’t a good thing.
After the A’s rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead, the Dodgers answered with five in the bottom half to snatch it right back and roll to a 10-7 victory and split a two-game series. It was the first chance for the A’s bullpen to protect a lead after the trade of interim closer Tyler Clippard.
The verdict – buckle in and hold on when the A’s take a lead into the late innings. Five relievers combined to give up seven runs on seven hits as the A’s missed a chance to leave Southern California with a feel-good sweep. Then again, can this one necessarily be blamed on Clippard’s absence? Holding leads has been an adventure all season for a bullpen that came in with the fourth-most losses in the American League and the second-most blown saves.
The loss put a damper on a monster night from A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie, who notched a career-high four hits to go with four RBI, including a tape-measure homer in the ninth.
Starting pitching report
Jesse Chavez worked five innings and gave up three runs, his big mistake being the two-run homer that Yasiel Puig crushed to left in the fourth to put Los Angeles ahead 3-1.
Set up man Drew Pomeranz, who entered in the seventh in relief of Fernando Rodriguez, faced three hitters and gave up three runs on two RBI doubles and an RBI infield single. Dan Otero and Eric O’Flaherty also experienced their share of struggles.
At the plate
Lawrie had just one RBI over his previous 14 games, but he delivered a huge hit in the seventh when his two-run single put the A’s ahead 4-3. That highlighted a four-run inning in which the A’s sent nine men to the plate against the Dodgers’ bullpen. Lawrie finished 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and four RBI. After Lawrie’s hit, he and Josh Reddick executed a double steal, and then Eric Sogard punched a two-run single past a drawn-in infield for a 6-3 lead.
Reddick (3-for-5) enjoyed another big game and went 6-for-9 for the series.
In the field
Sam Fuld made a terrific diving catch in left in the eighth.
A crowd of 51,788 was easily agitated anytime the A’s did something positive.
The A’s begin a season-long 11-game homestand Thursday as the Cleveland Indians arrive. Thursday’s 7:05 p.m. opener pits Chris Bassitt (0-3, 2.94) against Carlos Carrasco (10-8, 4.26). Friday – Kendall Graveman (6-7, 4.13) vs. Danny Salazar (8-6, 3.72), 6:35 p.m. (fireworks night). Saturday -- Aaron Brooks (0-0, 6.23) in his A’s debut vs. Cody Anderson (2-2, 3.26), 6:05 p.m. Sunday – Sonny Gray (11-4, 2.16) vs. Trevor Bauer (8-8, 4.13), 1:05 p.m.