OAKLAND (AP) — Chris Bassitt bounced back nicely after giving up four consecutive hits in the first inning, including a two-run homer to Cleveland’s Carlos Santana.
It still wasn’t enough to get the Oakland rookie his first major league win.
Bassitt allowed only two runners over his final five innings but the punchless Athletics managed only two hits in a 3-1 loss to the Indians on Thursday night.
“Sometimes that first inning’s the toughest one on a starter, where they find their rhythm after they throw a few pitches,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re just not giving him any run support. He hasn’t won a game yet but I don’t think he’s given up more than three runs. He’s been good and he knows he’s here for a while.”
Making his second start since getting called back up from the minors on July 25, Bassitt (0-4) gave up three runs and six hits over seven innings. The 26-year-old, who is in his fourth stint with the big league club this season, set a season high with six strikeouts and one walk.
Bassitt got off to a shaky start when he gave up hits to the first four Cleveland batters. The A’s also committed an error in the inning, but it was Santana’s 12th home run of the season that was the big blow.
“I tried to throw two-seam in,” Bassitt said. “It ran right down the middle and he hit it a long way.”
Bassitt gave up just two hits the rest of the way, retiring 18 of the final 21 he faced.
“I’m kind of a guy that gets ready really quick in the bullpen and I feel like I just got ready a little too fast today,” Bassitt said. “I probably had 10 minutes sitting there in the dugout just waiting and waiting. My stuff wasn’t sharp the first inning and after that I kind of got going.”
Carlos Carrasco threw a two-hitter while Francisco Lindor had two hits for the Indians, who won their second straight following a six-game losing streak.
Josh Reddick doubled in a first-inning run for the A’s, who have lost six of their last seven.
Carrasco (11-8) did not allow a hit after Reddick’s double, facing one over the minimum from that point. He walked one and struck out seven. He was coming off his worst start of the season in which he allowed six runs in four innings.
Cleveland did all of its scoring off Bassitt in the first.
Jason Kipnis singled on the game’s second pitch but slipped trying to get back to first on a pick-off throw and was caught. Lindor followed with a single and scored on Michael Brantley’s double and a fielding error on Sam Fuld. Santana then homered on a 1-1 pitch.
The A’s got a run back in their half of the first when Reddick doubled home Billy Burns, who had singled.
Indians: Lonnie Chisenhall was recalled from Triple-A Columbus when the Indians traded Brandon Moss to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league pitcher Rob Kaminsky. Chisenhall opened the season with Cleveland and was sent down on June 7. He’ll get a chance to play in the outfield and at first base. Chisenhall appeared in 50 games at third base. “That’s a way to have a career,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s understanding how to make himself valuable to a club.”
Athletics: Left-hander Sean Doolittle was encouraged by his bullpen session before the game. He said it was the best he’s felt and indicated he intended to pitch before the season ended.
Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar (8-6, 3.72) makes the start Friday night looking to continue a solid season. He lost his last outing but recorded a quality start, allowing two runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. He has struck out at least seven hitters in 15 of his last 21 starts.
Athletics: Right-hander Kendall Graveman (6-7, 4.13) is 0-3 with an ERA over 10 in his last three starts. He was 3-2 with a 1.26 ERA in his previous six starts.