All-Star Chris Bassitt leads A’s against Rangers

Sports

Facing the Texas Rangers might help Oakland’s Chris Bassitt bounce back from his worst start of the season — and possibly make some personal history.

Looking to match a career high with his 10th win, the recently named All-Star tries to continue his success against the Rangers and help the visiting Athletics take this final series before the All-Star break on Sunday at Arlington, Texas.

Bassitt (9-2, 3.41 ERA) has not suffered a losing decision since dropping his first two starts of the season. However, he allowed a season-high six runs — five off two homers — with eight hits over 4 1/3 innings of a 9-6 loss at Houston on Tuesday.

“Missed locations and having no life to any pitch,” Bassitt, who won 10 games in 2019, told the Athletics’ official website. “If you’re going to miss locations, you better have life to the pitches.”

Bassitt added to the San Francisco Chronicle: “I’ve obviously created some expectations for myself of being one of the better pitchers in the league. And, I just want to live up to those expectations.”

The right-hander, still scheduled to pitch Sunday after being named an All-Star Game replacement, showed plenty of life while yielding just one run and eight hits over 14 innings to win his prior two starts against the Rangers last month. He allowed three of those hits, plus a walk and struck out seven over seven innings of a 3-1 home victory on June 30.

Dating to last season, Bassitt has given up two runs and struck out 15 over 20 innings to win his last three versus Texas. On Sunday, he’ll aim to help the A’s take back-to-back games for the first time since winning seven straight from June 11-18.

Jed Lowrie had three hits, including an early solo homer and tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning of Oakland’s 8-4 win over Texas on Saturday. Lowrie is batting .385 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 14 games.

Lowrie homered off scheduled Texas starter Kolby Allard (2-5, 3.45 ERA) this season and he, Elvis Andrus and Matt Olson are a combined 6-for-17 against him in 2021. Allard will try to avoid losing a fourth straight start. Two of those defeats came against the A’s last month, both opposite Bassitt, when he allowed seven runs and 12 hits over 12 combined innings.

The left-hander was charged with five runs during Monday’s 7-3 home loss to Detroit, but only two were earned. He also fanned a season-high nine over 5 1/3 innings.

“I think we were doing a pretty good job of getting ahead (in the count). We came out attacking,” Allard, referring to himself and battery mate Jonah Heim, told the Rangers’ official website.

“You’re a lot more successful when you’re ahead than when you’re behind. So, I think just take that and continue to work with it moving forward.”

Rangers star Joey Gallo is 4-for-11 with two homers versus Bassitt, but fellow Texas All-Star Adolis Garcia is hitless in six career at-bats against him. Rangers outfielder Eli White is 4-for-7 with two doubles when facing Bassitt.

Garcia and Gallo each homered Saturday. Gallo’s hit 11 of his 24 homers this season and recorded 19 RBIs over his last 12 games.

–Field Level Media

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