Semien homers to push A's past O's 5-0
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Chris Bassitt knew early on that he was overthrowing, and the Athletics' rookie pitcher wasn't having much luck slowing his delivery down.
A few calm reminders from teammate Stephen Vogt was all it took to get Bassitt on track for his first win in an Oakland uniform.
Bassitt gave up five hits and had a season-high seven strikeouts over seven innings and the A's used a four-run sixth inning as a springboard to a 5-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
''Thank God Stephen Vogt knew how to handle me,'' Bassitt said. ''I was really fast tonight and he just knew how to slow me down. Vogt might not have a hit tonight but he for sure won us the game, no doubt about it.''
Vogt, Oakland's All-Star catcher, struck out three times in four at-bats and is in a 2-for-34 funk.
He still made a significant impact while helping guide Bassitt to his first win of the season. The 25-year-old rookie's only other big league win came Sept. 22, 2014 against Toronto while Bassitt was with the Chicago White Sox.
''He's a really intense kid out there,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ''Since he's been in the rotation, you see each and every time he's out there he's more and more confident. He's on a roll.''
Bassitt is in his fourth stint with the A's this season and owns a 2.43 ERA in six starts.
''He threw strikes,'' said Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones, who went 0-for-4. ''We hit the ball hard but right at guys. There are days like that. He did what he wanted to do.''
Marcus Semien hit a two-out, three-run home run in the sixth inning to back Bassitt. Brett Lawrie added an RBI triple and Eric Sogard scored twice as Oakland won for only the third time in 12 games.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched the eighth and Fernando Abad worked the ninth to complete Oakland's AL-leading 14th shutout.
Jonathan Schoop had two hits for Baltimore. The Orioles dropped into third place in the AL East, 6 1-2 games behind the New York Yankees.
Billy Burns hit a two-out single in the fifth off starter Miguel Gonzalez (9-8) to drive in Sogard, who scored easily when Adam Jones' throw from shallow center hit the back of the pitching mound and bounced in the air. Coco Crisp followed with a five-pitch walk before Gonzalez got Stephen Vogt to strike out swinging.
Billy Butler hit a leadoff double in the sixth and scored on Lawrie's triple to make it 2-0 and chase Gonzalez. After Mark Canha struck out looking, reliever Chaz Roe intentionally walked Sogard before Semien homered on an 0-1 pitch to put the A's up 5-0.
Semien's 10th home run of the season bounced off the top of the 15-foot wall in left-center and capped a four-run outburst for the A's.
''Late run support,'' Melvin said. ''Marcus had a fairly good idea of what he was going to see based on what Canha saw.''
Gonzalez gave up five hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked three.
Orioles: RHP Tyler Wilson was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk, one day after Wilson pitched a season-high 7 2-3 innings in Baltimore's 9-2 win over the A's. . LHP T.J. McFarland was called up from Norfolk and will pitch out of the bullpen.
Athletics: RF Josh Reddick was scratched from the lineup due to lingering stiffness in his lower back. ... INF Max Muncy was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room for Danny Valencia, who was acquired by Oakland after being designated for assignment by Toronto. . LHP Eric O'Flaherty, who was designated for assignment by the A's, was traded to the New York Mets along with cash considerations in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.
Orioles: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-6) pitches the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Chen has allowed 10 hits in two of his last three starts while his ERA has risen from 2.78 to 3.24.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (6-7), who has a 6.63 ERA over his last four outings, makes his first appearance against Baltimore as a starter. He faced them twice last year as a reliever for Toronto.