OAKLAND, California — Matt Chapman got the backdoor slider he was expecting from All-Star closer Brad Hand on a 2-2 pitch that missed the strike zone.
When Hand threw it again with a full count, Chapman jumped on it, lining a homer in the 12th inning to lift the Athletics over the Cleveland Indians 4-3 Friday night. It’s Oakland’s second extra-inning win this week.
“You know he’s got that kind of power but this is their closer on the mound and (Hand) is never predictable in what he throws,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “At 3-2 you’re just trying to battle. He just saw it early enough and put a good swing it.”
Chapman drove the ball down the left field line for his first career game-ending hit. The homer was his 10th this season and the first allowed by Hand, who entered with a 1.08 ERA.
The A’s doused Chapman with water as he touched home plate.
“I got down 2-2 and I knew that slider backfoot’s his go-to pitch,” Chapman said. “I was just trying to battle and trying to hit something hard. When I do that, I give myself the better chance to drive balls. First walkoff homer ever. I didn’t even know what to do around the bases. I was pumped up.”
Hand was happy with the pitch, just not the result.
“Just a tough one to lose,” Hand said. “I threw a quality strike in the zone and he put a good swing on it.”
Ramon Laureano also homered and Robbie Grossman had three hits for Oakland. Joakim Soria (1-2) retired six batters to win.
The A’s have won two extra-inning games this week after losing their first three of the season.
“It feels good to get some of those clutch hits,” Chapman said. “We’ve been grinding a little bit and to be able to come out on top of those games is huge. Last year when we we’re going well we were finding ways to win those close ballgames.”
Neither team managed much offense after Francisco Lindor’s tying sacrifice fly in the seventh. Ryan Buchter, Blake Treinen and Soria combined to retire the final 15 Cleveland batters.
Both teams scored earlier on close plays at the plate.
Oakland’s Marcus Semien doubled off the wall in left-center leading off the first. He moved to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch, sliding into home plate before catcher Kevin Plawecki could get back.
Plawecki doubled and scored on Lindor’s flyout in the seventh. Plawecki slid headfirst into home plate, just ahead of a strong throw by Grossman.
A’s starter Frankie Montas matched his career-high with seven strikeouts over six innings. Montas allowed two runs, eight hits and one walk.
José Ramirez had an infield single and a walk for Cleveland. The Indians third baseman has reached base in 19 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the AL and second in the majors to Kris Bryant of the Cubs who has a 20-game streak.
BEATING THE MUSTACHE
Treinen retired all six batters he faced, extending his scoreless streak at the Coliseum to 32 innings. It’s the longest streak by an Oakland reliever, breaking the previous mark of 31 set by Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers in 1976.
STEP BY STEP
Indians starter Cody Anderson allowed two runs and had three strikeouts in three innings in his second start since Tommy John surgery in 2017. Anderson began the season in the minors and made three relief appearances after being called up. He retired two batters and allowed four runs against Seattle in his first start May 5.
Cleveland used seven relievers after Anderson’s abbreviated start.
“It’s tough because you have no idea you are going to go 12 innings,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “That was a lot of innings for the bullpen to cover.”
Indians: Mike Clevinger (upper back) threw long toss up to 150 feet and will do again Sunday before being re-evaluated.
Athletics: Khris Davis sat out a second consecutive game because of a left hip contusion.
RHP Trevor Bauer (4-2, 3.42 ERA) takes the mound for Cleveland on Saturday and will try to bounce back after giving up eight runs in a loss to the White Sox in his previous start. Bauer is 0-3 at the Coliseum. RHP Aaron Brooks (2-3, 5.74) starts for Oakland, his first since April 30. The A’s skipped his previous two turns in the rotation.