The Oakland Athletics hope to build on earlier successes this season when they host the fighting Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Both teams had two games off on the Monday before their interleague series. The A’s return home from 2-1 wins in Seattle and Colorado while the Diamondbacks were swept in a series of four games in Milwaukee.
Oakland ace Chris Bassitt (5-2, 3.53) is set to duel against Arizona rookie Jon Duplantier (0-1, 9.35), who is tasked with ending the Diamondbacks losing streak after five games.
In April, Bassitt went head-to-head with Madison Bumgarner in the opener of Oakland’s two-game sweep in Arizona, benefiting from a 12-hit attack in the 9-5 win. In his first decision against the Diamondbacks, the 32-year-old right-handed allowed two runs and two hits in five innings in two career starts (4.35 ERA).
The Arizona start began a continuous stretch of 10 Bassitt starts in which he is 5-0 and the A’s 9-1. He allowed a total of 22 runs in these 10 starts.
The A’s have made a total of 59 runs in these 10 games, including 12 in a 12-6 win in Seattle in Bassitt’s last start. He didn’t get the win, however, after allowing four runs in four innings – the only time this season Bassitt has served less than five innings.
While Bassitt and the A’s graze in one direction, the Diamondbacks slide in the other. You’ve been 6:29 am since the beginning of May, lost a franchise record of 17 directly on the street and not won away since Bumgarner on Jan.
Manager Torey Lovullo saw some positive aspects in the four games in Milwaukee against a hot Brewers team over the weekend, which ended in two hard-fought losses in two runs.
“We’re starting to get things right,” he said after the 2-0 defeat on Sunday, “but we’re not doing everything right because we don’t win baseball games. So we’ll keep working on all of these things.”
Duplantier started the season in the minors but was promoted when the Diamondbacks attempted a long distance without rotation regulars Bumgarner (shoulder pain), Zac Gallen (elbow wound), Taylor Widener (tight groin) and Luke Weaver (shoulder pain) deal with.
The 26-year-old right-handed player, who made 15 games (three starts) in 2019 but retains his rookie status, has made two starts since he was called up late last month. He allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings without a decision in a 5-4 loss to St. Louis in his season debut, then was marked for loss to Milwaukee when he gave up five runs in four innings in a 7-4 loss last Thursday.
When Duplantier takes on Oakland for the first time in his career, he’ll meet a team that not only has won four straight Diamondbacks, but is 8-0 after a day off this season.
A manager Bob Melvin was surprised to hear the latter.
“No matter how many games you play in a row, when you have a day off or come back the next day, it almost feels like you’re starting over,” he said. “It seems like a day or two (off) could throw you off track.”