Oakland – Another unbelievable outing by Chris Bassitt proved he’ll be more than ready for the postseason which begins next week. After a scoreless shutout through seven frames, Mark Canha’s walk-off homer in the tenth was what the A’s needed in their 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
“He’s been so consistent for us you almost expect it out of him,” said Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin. “Seven innings was plenty tonight with what’s coming up in potentially his next start. He knows where everything is going and has a good feel for his breaking ball. Really good game again, and similar to what we’ve seen all year.”
Bassitt tossed a season-high tying 7.0 shutout innings (last Sept 7th vs Houston). Over his last four starts, he is 3-0 with a 0.34 ERA with 25 strikeouts, allowing two runs or less in eight of his 11 starts this season. Bassitt had a 0.72 ERA with 31 strikeouts in six starts at the Coliseum.
The night was certainly a pitcher’s duel. Between Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi, they both kept runs off the board for nine innings. Plenty of opportunities for both teams but a stellar defense presence made everything that much more difficult. Bassitt lasted seven frames, allowed five hits, walked none and struck out six.
“I’m not too worried about when I pitch,” Bassitt said. “I think I’ve had the year that I’ve had this year and last because I’ve not worried about stuff I can’t control. For years, that was hard for me. But this year, to the extreme, I feel like I haven’t one time worried about that.”
Tied 0-0 to start the 10th, the Mariners pinch-hitter Dee Gordon replaced Ty France who was the automatic runner on second base. Luis Torrens fly ball moved Gordon to third and he scored on a passed ball by Sean Murphy to make it a 1-0 game. Murphy walked Evan White and retired the last two batters to end the frame.
Bottom of the 10th Murphy started the inning on second base, Nate Orf replaced Murphy. Ramon Laureano doubled and drove in Orf to tie the game 1-1. Canha followed with a home run to center field for the win. Canha hit his third walk-off home run and his first since Sept 27, 2017 vs Seattle.
“It was crunch time,” said Canha. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are clutch. Ramon is one of those guys, and I consider myself one of those guys. The moment is never too big for us as a team. That felt like a lot of the wins we’ve had this year. We have a special ability to win in dramatic fashion. It’s a good thing to have.”
The A’s recorded its sixth walk-off win of the season and moved into the second seed in the American League with tonight’s win and Minnesota’s loss. Oakland trails the first seed Tampa Bay Rays by 2.5 games. The A’s improved to 21-8 at the Coliseum, including wins in five of the last six games.