A’s All-Star Chris Bassitt looks to rebound vs. Rangers

MLB Baseball

Facing the Texas Rangers might help Oakland’s Chris Bassitt bounce back from his worst start of the season — and possibly make some personal history.

Looking to match a career high with his 10th win, the recently named All-Star will try to continue his success against the Rangers and help the visiting Athletics take this final series Sunday before the All-Star break.

Bassitt (9-2, 3.41 ERA) has not lost since he dropped his first two starts of the season. However, he allowed a season-high six runs, with eight hits over 4 1/3 innings, in a 9-6 loss at Houston on Tuesday, a game Oakland led 6-2 after three.

“Missed locations and having no life to any pitch,” Bassitt, who won 10 games in 2019, told the Athletics’ official website. “If you’re going to miss locations, you better have life to the pitches.”

Bassitt added to the San Francisco Chronicle: “I’ve obviously created some expectations for myself of being one of the better pitchers in the league. And I just want to live up to those expectations.”

The right-hander, scheduled to pitch Sunday after being named an All-Star Game replacement, showed plenty of life while yielding just one run and eight hits over 14 innings to win his two prior starts, both against the Rangers last month. He allowed three hits and a walk and struck out seven over seven innings of a 3-1 home victory on June 30.

Dating to last season, Bassitt has given up two runs and struck out 19 over 20 innings to win his last three vs. Texas. On Sunday, he’ll aim to help the A’s take back-to-back games for the first time since they won seven straight from June 11-18.

Jed Lowrie had three hits, including an early solo homer and tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning of Oakland’s 8-4 win over Texas on Saturday. Lowrie is batting .385 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his past 14 games.

Lowrie homered off scheduled Texas starter Kolby Allard (2-5, 3.45 ERA) this season, and he, Elvis Andrus and Matt Olson are a combined 6-for-17 against the left-hander in 2021. Allard will try to avoid losing a fourth straight start. Two of those defeats came against the A’s last month, both opposite Bassitt, when he allowed seven runs and 12 hits over 12 innings.

Allard was charged with five runs during Monday’s 7-3 home loss to Detroit, but only two were earned. He also struck out a season-high nine over 5 1/3 innings.

“I think we were doing a pretty good job of getting ahead (in the count). We came out attacking,” Allard, referring to himself and battery mate Jonah Heim, told the Rangers’ official website.

“You’re a lot more successful when you’re ahead than when you’re behind. So I think just take that and continue to work with it moving forward.”

Rangers star Joey Gallo is 4-for-11 with two homers vs. Bassitt, but fellow Texas All-Star Adolis Garcia is hitless in six career at-bats against him.

Garcia and Gallo each homered Saturday. Gallo has 24 homers for the season and Garcia 22.

–Field Level Media

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