CLEVELAND – Mitch Moreland homered twice, Chris Bassitt posted his AL-leading 12th win and the Oakland Athletics routed the Cleveland Indians 17-0 on Thursday for their seventh straight victory.
By the end, the only drama involved Matt Chapman, who walked in his first five plate appearances for Oakland. The remaining fans from the crowd of 16,559 on a sweltering afternoon were cheering for a record-tying sixth walk when he batted in the ninth inning, and expressed their disappointment after he struck out swinging against Blake Parker on a 1-2 pitch.
Bryce Harper, Jeff Bagwell and Jimmie Foxx share the major league mark of six walks in a game. Chapman became the first Oakland player since Mark McGwire in 1997 to walk five times.
Chapman said his teammates were pulling for him to draw another walk, but he knew that was in jeopardy when he got down 0-2.
“We may or may not have Googled what the record for most walks in a game is,” he said. “We were all joking around. They were like, you got it, try to walk. Then I took the first pitch right down the middle and I was like, oh man, I don’t think it’s going to work out this time.”
Chapman scored three times and Matt Canha and Starling Marte each drove in three runs as the Athletics moved a season-high 18 games over .500, enjoying an easy day after rallying for late victories the previous two nights.
Bassitt (12-3) allowed three hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. The right-hander has a nine-game road winning streak, tying Bob Welch’s club record set in 1989-90. Bassitt hasn’t lost away from home since Sept. 12, 2020.
Bassitt gave full credit to the offense.
“Everyone put on a show,” he said. “Our hitters were pretty ridiculous today.”
Bassitt, who also ranks first in the AL with 150 innings, is a native of Toledo and pitched at the University of Akron. He estimated he had about 100 supporters in the stands, including family members and friends.
“It was pretty sweet, a little nerve racking,” he said. “Obviously, a little more pressure than normal knowing how many people are coming.”
Oakland scored three times in the second off Eli Morgan (1-5). The rookie allowed five runs in four innings.
Five Cleveland pitchers walked 10 and hit three batters, leading to a direct observation from Indians interim manager DeMarlo Hale.
"Just look at the walks and hit batters ... I’m not gonna dip too deep in to it” he said.
TAKE A DAY
Jed Lowrie, who drove in the deciding runs Tuesday and Wednesday, was given the day off by Oakland manager Bob Melvin.
“Typically he does have these day games off especially when he played in the field the night before,” Melvin said.
Lowrie’s double in the 10th inning Tuesday gave Oakland a 4-3 win and he hit a three-run homer in the eighth for a 6-3 victory Wednesday.
ON THE HILL
Cleveland ace Shane Bieber is scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time since straining his right shoulder June 13. The bullpen session for the reigning AL Cy Young winner is expected to be Friday or Saturday.
Aaron Civale will pitch a simulated game at Class A Lake County on Friday. He’s been out since June 22 with a strained right middle finger.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said manager Terry Francona, who had hip replacement surgery Aug. 2, speaks with the front office and coaching staff regularly.
“Lots of communication back and forth,” Antonetti said. "He likes being in the dugout more where he has more control than watching on TV where there’s a little bit less control and he’s an observer like most of us.”
Antonetti said Francona went for a walk outdoors this week as he recovers from the operation.
Athletics: 2B Josh Harrison returned after not playing Wednesday because of a bruised left hand and was removed after drawing a walk in his only at-bat because of a strained right quad. He was hit by a pitch Tuesday.
Indians: RHP Nick Sandlin (strained right shoulder) was placed on the 10-day injured list … LHP Alex Young, a native of suburban Westlake, was called up from Triple-A Columbus. … OF Harold Ramirez was out of the lineup with a sore right knee.
Athletics: LHP Cole Irvin (8-10) will pitch the opener of a three-game series in Texas on Friday night.
Indians: RHP Zach Plesac (6-4) will look for his first win since July 28 at Detroit on Friday night.
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