Chris Bassitt makes emergency start in place of A's ace Sonny Gray in 2-1 loss to Rockies



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OAKLAND, California — Chris Bassitt was in Nashville early Tuesday morning when he learned he was going to pitch on short rest in Oakland that night. Hours later, he was on his way up from the minors.

Bassitt gave the Athletics a solid outing in a pinch, but it wasn't enough as the Colorado Rockies edged Oakland 2-1 for their first interleague victory this season.

AL ERA leader Sonny Gray was scratched from his scheduled start for the A's because of illness.

"I felt OK," Bassitt said. "Short rest is never good for anybody. I'm used to throwing a side on the fourth day, so I told myself, all right, this will be a really extended side."

Four days after throwing five shutout innings in a no-decision against Triple-A Oklahoma City, Bassitt nearly repeated his effort in his A's debut. He pitched five innings, giving up a run and five hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

"I don't know that we could ask for much more," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He threw strikes, got outs, mixed his pitches, and used different velocities with his two-seamer and four-seamer."

Colorado broke through when Charlie Blackmon's two-out single in the fifth drove in Ben Paulsen on a pitch Bassitt termed "a terrible curveball."

"He's way too good of a hitter to make that mistake," Bassitt said. "It was a bad pitch and he made me pay for it."

Bassitt said he didn't have much feel and just wanted to throw strikes and hope for the best.

"As long as I don't walk guys, I like my chances," he said. "I'm just worried about whenever they call me, I want to be ready to help this team win."

Wilin Rosario singled for the Rockies in the seventh and scored on a wild pitch by Fernando Rodriguez.

Colorado had been 0-7 in interleague games this season and had lost 14 straight in American League ballparks before Jorge De La Rosa (5-3) and two relievers combined on a six-hitter.

LaTroy Hawkins worked the ninth for his second save. Hawkins was needed to close after John Axford was placed on the family medical emergency list.

Bassitt (0-1) retired his first 10 batters and didn't allow a baserunner until Troy Tulowitzki flared a single to left that landed just in front of a charging Mark Canha.

Ben Zobrist had two hits and scored Oakland's run in the eighth on Billy Butler's two-out single off reliever Tommy Kahnle.

Nolan Arenado singled in the fourth to extend his major league-leading hitting streak to a career-high 17 games. Tulowitzki has hit in 14 straight for the Rockies, who snapped a three-game skid.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: RHP Christian Bergman was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. LHP Yohan Flande and RHP Justin Miller were called up from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Athletics: INF Max Muncy was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room for Bassitt on the roster. Muncy was batting .203 with two homers and six RBIs in 34 games with Oakland. ... RF Josh Reddick is "a little banged up," according to Melvin, and was held out of the starting lineup. Reddick is expected to play Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (4-2) has won his past two starts and will be making his first career appearance against Oakland in the series finale Wednesday.

Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (5-6) has a 2.54 ERA over his last seven starts.

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