Profar, Phegley homer to lead A’s to 10th straight win
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics are riding the long ball to their longest winning streak in 13 years.
Matt Chapman homered for the third straight game, Jurickson Profar and Josh Phegley went deep off former Oakland starter Trevor Cahill, and the Athletics rolled to their 10th straight win, 8-5 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
“We’ve been playing our kind of baseball,” Chapman said. “This season kind of started slow for us. There have been some ups and downs and injuries. ... It just feels good to find ways to win. We haven’t let anything get us down and we keep rolling.”
Profar tied the game with a two-run homer in the fourth against Cahill (2-5), and Phegley gave the A’s the lead for good with a leadoff shot in the fifth. Stephen Piscotty added a two-run single that inning to help Oakland to its first 10-game winning streak since 2006, with a caveat.
The A’s had a suspended game in the middle of this streak on May 19 at Detroit. Oakland is leading that game 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh and if the A’s hold on and win when it’s resumed Sept. 6, the streak will be at 11 games. If the Tigers rally to win, this current streak will officially only be considered a seven-gamer.
“We’re just a little bit relentless right now with how we’re going about out our business,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’re doing some good things right now.”
Chapman tacked on a solo shot in the seventh. Robbie Grossman had two doubles and an RBI in support of Chris Bassitt (3-1), who allowed five runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
“People were kind of freaking out about our offense and now it’s like, ‘Here it is,’” Bassitt said. “We have one of the best offenses in the league. We knew this was coming. It’s just a matter of time. It’s here, so keep riding the wave.”
Albert Pujols hit his 642nd career homer, and Kole Calhoun and David Fletcher each had RBI doubles for the Angels, who have lost six of eight games.
The Angels couldn’t get anything done against the A’s bullpen as five relievers held them scoreless over the final four innings. Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
“If the A’s have a lead late in the game it’s going to be tough to get back in the game,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “They run those three guys out there, (Lou) Trivino, (Joakim) Soria, Treinen. You’re trying to have a lead through six to keep those guys out of the game because you know it’s an uphill battle. Today they did what they normally do when those three come in.”
Angels: C Jonathan Lucroy was scratched with a stomach virus. ... OF Justin Upton, who has been out all season with turf toe in his left foot, traveled with the team so he could work with the hitting coaches during the road trip. Upton hasn’t worked in the outfield yet.
Athletics: C Chris Herrmann (knee) did running drills and is getting closer to being able to start a rehab assignment.
Cahill allowed six runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He has just one win in his last eight starts with an 8.66 ERA in that span.
“Today I felt like I threw better than six runs,” Cahill said. “Just kind of been the story of the season. I just have to figure out how to, when I have my good stuff, to get through it, a good quality outing.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Phegley has homered in consecutive games, giving him seven in 42 games this year after having just six in 121 games the previous three seasons combined. ... Piscotty has reached safely in 23 straight games, matching his career best set last year.
Frankie Montas (6-2, 2.40 ERA) starts the middle game of the series for the A’s. The Angels will use an opener before turning the game over to Nick Tropeano, who will be called up from Triple-A Salt Lake to make his 2019 debut.
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