Oakland Athletics Recap 3/31: Giants Beat A’s

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Mar 31, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21) defends San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) while trying to run home in the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 31, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt (21) defends San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) while trying to run home in the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oakland Athletics Spring Training Recap 3/31/2016: Giants Beat A’s, Hendriks Leaves with Calf Injury

The Oakland Athletics fought a close matchup at AT&T Park against their National League rivals, the San Francisco Giants, but lost tonight 3-1. Chris Bassitt started for the A’s and went four innings, striking out three and walking two while allowing a single earned run. Jeff Samardzija, the former Athletic who was traded to acquire Bassitt, won the game for the Giants, edging out Bassitt by going five innings and allowing one hit, no runs, and striking out five.

Defense is again the name of the game. That is, the A’s lack of tight defense has affected them again, as Marcus Semien and Josh Reddick had one fielding error each. Reddick’s error came on a single from Buster Posey which allowed Denard Span to score and Posey to reach second base. However, the A’s did get Brandon Belt in a rundown as Danny Valencia tagged him out in between third base and home plate in the bottom of the second inning.

Stephen Vogt did score Billy Butler on an RBI triple to deep right-center field, hitting the ball well enough that would easily be a home run in most other ballparks. Butler did provide a pinch hit single for the A’s, a grounder that barely sneaked underneath Joe Panik‘s glove into center field. Billy Burns also tripled against Samardzija, showcasing his speed and ability to make contact.

Liam Hendriks was hit by a speedy groundball from Angel Pagan, forcing him out of the game. Prior to that, he committed two wild pitches.

Next: A's vs. Giants Position-By-Position

The A’s had some question marks throughout this game, but proved that they can hold a candle to the Giants in a close, competitive matchup. Unfortunately, the A’s need to address their defense and their pitching. The A’s lead the rest of the majors in errors during Spring Training (44), and they remain in third place for earned runs allowed during Spring Training (the Giants and Padres are the only two teams ahead of them in that category). Perhaps all they need is a return to the Coliseum, where they out-hit opposing batters last year .257/.316/.397 vs. opponents’ combined .241/.301/.372 in 2015.

The A’s continue to face off against the Giants Friday, 4/1, at 7:15 PM. Kendall Graveman takes the mound against Jake Peavy in AT&T Park.

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