Chapman lifts A’s over Diamondbacks 2-1Posted: Updated:
A little patience at the plate helped the Athletics offset the normally pinpoint accuracy of Arizona pitcher Zack Greinke in the sixth inning.
It was just enough to beat the 2009 AL Cy Young winner and made a winner out of Oakland rookie Frankie Montas in his season debut.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Diamondbacks]
Matt Chapman hit a tiebreaking RBI single off Greinke following a pair of two-out walks in the sixth, and the A’s beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Sunday.
“You can’t rely on the homer all the time, especially against really good pitching, and that’s what we saw today,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “You need to be able to find ways to scratch out some runs.”
The A’s scrapped together the winning run in the sixth by taking advantage of some control problems for Greinke after he struck out the first two batters in the sixth. Matt Olson and Chad Pinder walked before Chapman sent a sharp liner into left field.
Greinke (3-4) had yielded only seven walks all season. The right-hander allowed six hits over six innings with five strikeouts.
“He’s normally a guy that’s around the zone a lot and he likes to work the edges,” Olson said. “He just wasn’t really hitting those edges that inning. We did a really good job of not chasing those pitches that could get us in bad situations.”
Jonathan Lucroy homered for the first time this season and Montas pitched three-hit ball over six innings in his first start with Oakland.
The A’s have won nine of 13.
Jake Lamb drove in Arizona’s only run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth.
The Diamondbacks went 1-8 on their road trip and have dropped 15 of 17 overall.
“It bothers us because we care,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I feel like our guys are focused and continuing to stay focused and I think this thing’s going to turn, but we’ve got to continue to ask ourselves why and improve every single day.”
Montas (1-0) was mostly dominant in his first start since Sept. 25, 2017. He retired his first 10 batters, took a no-hitter into the sixth and matched his career high with seven strikeouts.
The right-hander started two games previously while with the Chicago White Sox in 2015. He spent last year working out of Oakland’s bullpen where he earned his only other career win.
“We’ve been waiting for that,” Melvin said. “I thought his two-seamer was really good today, which is what he’s been working on. And then his offspeed stuff mixed in to keep them off-balance and make his fastball play that much better.”
Yusmeiro Petit and Lou Trivino retired three batters apiece. Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Lucroy’s homer off Greinke leading off the third was his first since Sept. 25, 2017, with Colorado.
Trivino has been one of the A’s top relievers since being called up from the minors in April. The right-hander has allowed two runs over 19 innings (0.95 ERA) and has 20 strikeouts over that span. He’s been used primarily as a setup man, although Melvin indicated Trivino could be the closer if something happens to Treinen.
Arizona scored one run over the final 18 innings of the series, an ongoing issue for Lovullo’s ballclub. The Diamondbacks have been held to two or fewer runs in 16 of their 24 games in May.
Diamondbacks: RHP Shelby Miller will make his first rehab start for Class A Visalia on Tuesday. Miller is attempting a comeback from Tommy John surgery last May.
Athletics: DH Khris Davis (strained right groin) took batting practice before the game. ... RHP Paul Blackburn (strained right forearm) is scheduled to make his first rehab start next week with Single-A Stockton, although Melvin was unsure what day.
Diamondbacks: RHP Matt Koch (2-3, 3.77 ERA) pitches against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Koch has allowed 12 earned runs over his previous 17 2/3 innings.
Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill (1-2, 2.75 ERA) faces Tampa Bay on Monday in the opener of a four-game series. Cahill is winless in two starts since coming off the disabled list.
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