OAKLAND, (AP) — Jesse Chavez’s record hardly tells the story of his season and first year as a full-time starter.
In a rare outing when he was rewarded with enough run support, the right-hander struck out six over eight innings to win for just the second time in six starts, and the Oakland Athletics beat the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Wednesday for a two-game sweep.
“The work that I put in will lead to results and that’s all I want to show is that I’m still out there working to get through this season, a full season at that, as a starter,” Chavez said. “I want to build off this and this should be something to build off of.”
Billy Burns hit a tying double for Oakland in the sixth then scored the go-ahead run on Danny Valencia’s double-play grounder two batters later.
After the low-budget A’s won 5-4 in 10 innings Tuesday night, they beat baseball’s biggest spender again to win consecutive games following a seven-game skid on a recent road trip through Toronto and Baltimore.
“That was huge,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It was not a great feeling, and then we have the all-night flight and come here and play last night, then an early one today. I think winning the game last night, everybody was a little bit more invigorated this morning.”
Back home in the East Bay for a rare appearance at the Coliseum, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer in the third, but that wasn’t enough as Los Angeles dropped back-to-back contests for the first time since Aug. 9-10.
Chavez (7-12) allowed two runs on two hits with a pair of walks while throwing a career-high 116 pitches. He began the day tied for the American League lead in losses with Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, who was set to pitch at Boston on Wednesday night.
“Our starting pitcher holding us in there today, Chavez, it was just a great team win overall,” Burns said. “You love those kind of wins and it just gives you a little bit of energy going into the next game. Hopefully you can build on that.”
Drew Pomeranz finished the 2-hour, 34-minute game for his second save.
In a scene reminiscent of early last season for Oakland fans, former A’s closer Jim Johnson loaded the bases in the eighth before being pulled as Stephen Vogt entered as a pinch-hitter. Vogt lined a sacrifice fly to right for an insurance run off Luis Avilan, and Jake Smolinski followed with an RBI double against another new pitcher, Pedro Baez.
Los Angeles lefty Alex Wood (8-8) was trying to win consecutive starts for the first time since being acquired from the Atlanta Braves at last month’s non-waiver trade deadline. He had pitched into the seventh inning in two of his three starts for the Dodgers but was done after 5 2/3 against the club with the American League’s worst record.
Wood was tagged for three runs on five hits, struck out one and walked three before Don Mattingly turned to the bullpen. The Dodgers now travel to Houston for a tough weekend series against the AL West leader.
“We’re going to see what our guys are made of in a pennant race,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Are guys going to come through? Are guys going to step up? This is really the best time of year to be playing, and especially to be in the race.”
Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig had an MRI exam on his injured right hamstring that forced him to exit after an infield single in the eighth Tuesday night. He has a mild strain and will likely try to test it Friday at Houston and perhaps play during the weekend series against the Astros. Puig said in the clubhouse he is feeling better. “I’m off today and tomorrow and if it’s not hurting as much I will do some work Friday,” he said.
Athletics: OF Coco Crisp (hip and ankle) and 3B Brett Lawrie (strained lat) each missed his third straight game. ... Oakland recalled OF Smolinski from Triple-A Nashville and placed 1B Ike Davis on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hip. Smolinski started in LF and went 1 for 4.
Dodgers: Off day Thursday. LHP Brett Anderson (7-7, 3.48 ERA) is 1-0 in two appearances with one start against Houston, and he will pitch against the Astros for the first time since Sept. 8, 2013, while with Oakland.
Athletics: Off day Thursday. RHP Chris Bassitt (1-4, 2.60) faces Tampa Bay for the first time Friday.