OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A torn piece of skin on the middle finger of his pitching hand gave Chris Bassitt a few problems early. A lapse in focus later nearly cost the Athletics righty his best outing of the season.
Another big day from Oakland’s offense made both issues irrelevant.
Bassitt took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and won for the first time in more than three weeks as the A’s beat Baltimore 8-3 Wednesday, handing the Orioles their eighth straight loss.
“I felt a whole lot better than I have the last couple of outings,” Bassitt said. “For a couple outings I went into this weird mode where I was trying to throw strikes, and that’s not me. I’m just trying to throw a fastball by you 80 times a game.”
Bassitt (4-3) allowed two hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking three. The right-hander retired 16 of the first 18 batters he faced and didn’t give up a hit until Jonathan Villar lined a 3-2 pitch for a single with one out in the sixth.
Manager Bob Melvin nearly had to replace Bassitt in the first inning. He tore a piece of skin on his finger throwing a pitch to No. 2 hitter Anthony Santander, then hit Trey Mancini in his left elbow before a team trainer came out and clipped the loose skin off Bassitt’s finger.
“He was fine after that,” Melvin said “It’s the best we’ve seen him early in a game in a while. That was as good as stuff as we’ve seen him have in a while.”
Josh Phegley had a three-run homer, Marcus Semien extended his hitting streak to 16 games and Stephen Piscotty doubled twice to help the A’s complete a three-game sweep. Oakland won six of seven games against Baltimore this season.
Villar had two overall. Renato Núñez added an RBI single for the Orioles.
“We’re not playing well and it’s frustrating,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “Early in the year we were competing really well and losing a lot of close games. The last two series we have not played good baseball. We made some elementary mistakes today . things that shouldn’t be done here at this level.”
A day after the A’s set a season high with six home runs, Phegley homered against Josh Rogers (0-1) in the fifth after Piscotty doubled and Chad Pinder was hit in the helmet.
Bassitt cruised through the first five innings but immediately got into trouble following Villar’s single in the sixth. After Anthony Santander flew out, Bassitt walked Chris Davis and Chance Sisco and allowed an infield single to Núñez that drove in Villar.
Reliever Ryan Buchter walked Rio Ruiz with the bases loaded to force in another run before Hanser Alberto struck out swinging against Yusmeiro Petit.
“I put it in my head that Chris Davis was going to hit a home run off me,” Bassitt said. “I, for some reason, just blacked out. I pitched around him for some stupid reason. I don’t know why. So I tried to nibble and walked him on four straight.”
Jimmy Yacabonis allowed one hit in two innings as Baltimore’s opener.
The Orioles were swept for the seventh time this season. Baltimore hasn’t won a series since taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox in late April.
Orioles: Mancini left the game with a left elbow contusion after being hit by a 92 mph sinker from Bassitt in the first inning. X-rays taken were negative. Davis entered as a pinch-runner and replaced Mancini at first base. … Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion) is expected to rejoin the team Thursday in Seattle. Smith has been on the injured list since June 7.
Athletics: Sean Manaea will throw a 60-pitch simulated game in Arizona on Thursday and could begin a rehab assignment shortly after that.
Orioles: RHP Dylan Bundy (3-8, 4.44 ERA) has lost his last two starts entering Thursday’s game in Seattle. Bundy has made it past six innings twice in 14 starts this season.
Athletics: Frankie Montas (9-2, 2.85) takes a career-high five-game winning streak into Thursday’s start against Tampa Bay. The right-hander has faced the Rays once previously, as a reliever last season.
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