|10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, May 16, 2019
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 18,527
A's look to pave new road in Motor City
Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers
- The Athletics fell to the Mariners, 4-3, in Seattle on Tuesday. It was their 10th consecutive game decided by three runs or fewer, their longest such streak since a 13-game streak in June 2012, and tied for the third-longest such streak in MLB this season (Seattle and San Francisco, 11 games).
- The Tigers were swept by the Astros, culminating in a 5-1 loss at home on Wednesday. Since a 10-3 win over the Angels on May 8th, Detroit has averaged just 2.4 runs per game, going 2-6 while allowing an average of 7.1 runs per game.
- This will be the first meeting between these teams this season after Oakland went 7-0 against Detroit last year. These franchises have played at least three games against each other every year since 1901 -- it was the first season sweep by either team.
- Chris Bassitt gets the start for Oakland. In his last start, he allowed three runs (all earned) in 7.2 innings against the Reds, but suffered the loss as Cincinnati won 3-0. It was tied for the second-longest outing of his career -- he also had a 7.2-inning start in Detroit in 2014 where he earned his first career win.
- Spencer Turnbull allowed two runs (both earned) on four hits in 5.2 innings in Minnesota on Saturday, taking a no-decision. Detroit has won each of Turnbull's last four starts, after going 2-5 in his first seven career starts.
- Matt Chapman is 5-for-24 (.208) in his six career games against the Tigers. However, four of those hits have gone for extra bases (three home runs and one triple), giving him a career .667 slugging percentage against Detroit.
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The Oakland Athletics have not fared well on the road this season. They're hoping for a turnaround over the next four days when they meet another struggling team, the Detroit Tigers.
The A's had Wednesday off as they flew to the Midwest to get ready for the four-game series.
Oakland carries a three-game losing streak into Thursday's matinee. A pair of those losses came by a single run and the other was a two-run decision. And the one-run losses both came at Seattle as the A's dropped to 5-15 on the road this season.
"I think there is definitely some urgency," third baseman Matt Chapman told MLB.com about his team's mentality. "It's not like we need to win every game, but we need to be able to find some ways to put up some more runs and just be a little more competitive."
Right-hander Chris Bassitt will start the series opener. Bassitt (1-1, 2.55 ERA) has pitched well in all four of his starts but has only one win to show for it.
In his most recent start last Thursday, Bassitt allowed three runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings against Cincinnati while striking out nine. But the A's were shut out.
Nearly all the runs scored against him have come via the long ball. He's given up five home runs among seven earned runs.
"I feel like I've made four or five mistakes the last couple of outings, and they've all been home runs," Bassitt told MLB.com. "It's frustrating, but at the same time, you just tip your cap. They've been to good hitters."
Bassitt doesn't have a blazing fastball -- he averages around 93 mph -- but he keeps hitters off-balance with his sinkers, cutters and curveballs. He underwent Tommy John surgery three years ago, which forced him to make adjustments to his approach.
"I learned to pitch. When you're throwing 89-91 (mph), you have to learn to pitch without a really good fastball," Bassitt said. "The fastball came back and I was able to learn from that, and it made life easier."
Bassitt is 2-2 with a 4.56 ERA in four career starts against Detroit.
The Tigers were swept by the team with the best record in baseball, the Houston Astros, over the past three days. Their pitching staff has been battered by injuries and now their No. 3 hitter is dealing with some discomfort.
First baseman Miguel Cabrera sat out Wednesday with a sore knee. He exited early in an 11-4 loss on Tuesday and manager Ron Gardenhire wasn't going to take any chances.
"It just swelled up," he told the Detroit News. "It's not a big deal. He's had it before. We weren't going to run him back out there, for sure. We've got to protect this guy. I've been saying it all year."
Cabrera is batting .282 but has hit just one homer.
Right-hander Spencer Turnbull (2-2, 2.42) will get the start for Detroit. That's good news for the Tigers, who have won the last four games in which Turnbull has taken the mound.
Turnbull got a no-decision in his last outing on Saturday, when he allowed two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to Minnesota but also walked four.
Oakland will be facing Turnbull for the first time.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 16, 2019