MLB LOOK AHEAD

A’s aim to ride momentum vs. Indians

Field Level Media

May 11, 2019 at 7:44 am.

The Oakland Athletics haven’t been shy about working overtime this week, with three of their five games being decided in extra innings.

The Athletics look to ride the momentum of winning their second such outing into Saturday’s middle contest of a three-game series against the visiting Cleveland Indians.

Matt Chapman provided the fireworks on Friday with a homer to lead off the 12th inning in a 4-3 victory. The 26-year-old deposited a 3-2 slider from Brad Hand over the wall in left field for his first walk-off homer of his career.

“It feels good to get some of those clutch hits,” Chapman said. “We’ve been grinding a little bit and to be able to come out on top of those games is huge. Last year when we were going well, we were finding ways to win those close ballgames.”

Josh Phegley answered a 1-for-12 stretch with three hits in the opener for the Athletics, who have won eight of their last nine games against the Indians. Cleveland has not won a series in Oakland since 2014.

Both teams likely will need to lean a bit more on their starters on Saturday after taxing their bullpens in the extra-innings affair. The Indians used seven relievers in the opener after Cody Anderson worked just three innings.

“Other than Neil (Ramirez) leaving a breaking ball a little too much over the plate to (Ramon) Laureano (home run in the sixth inning), they did a great job to keep us in the game,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Their bullpen was doing the same thing. They kind of had their way with us.

“It’s tough. You’re on the road and make one bad pitch and you’ve got to go home.”

The Indians will look to make amends when they return to the Oakland Coliseum with right-hander Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.42 ERA) receiving the start.

Bauer sustained his first loss since April 10 with a disastrous outing on Monday, matching career highs in runs allowed (eight) and earned runs (seven) in five innings of a 9-1 setback versus the Chicago White Sox.

Khris Davis is 5-for-12 with one homer and two RBIs against the 28-year-old Bauer, who owns a 1-3 mark with a 4.09 ERA in six career starts against the Athletics.

Speaking of Davis, he remains day to day with lingering effects from his left hip contusion.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin said that the team is holding off on placing him on the injured list as long as it can.

“It’s not something we want to do,” Melvin said. “Even if he came back on the eighth day, it’s something we’re going to hold out. He’s just so important to the team that you want to get every day that you can out of him. We’ll try to be patient with it.”

Oakland right-hander Aaron Brooks (2-3, 5.74), who will provide the opposition on Saturday, has been idle since allowing five runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings of a 5-1 loss against Boston on April 30.

Brooks was taken deep twice for the second straight outing and has surrendered eight homers in his last five trips to the mound.

Francisco Lindor (1-for-3), Carlos Santana (0-for-3) and Jason Kipnis (0-for-3) have limited plate appearances against the 29-year-old Brooks, who won his lone career start versus Cleveland on Aug. 1, 2015.