468x60 General & Logo

Matt Chapman’s great play stands out in A’s loss to Mariners

The A’s fell to the Mariners and Felix Hernandez, as they so often do, this time 4-0, but rookie Matt Chapman turned in a spectacular play at third base, signaling the potential for something Oakland really needs in the second half: better defense. Nelson Cruz led off the second with a sharp grounder down the third-base line that Chapman snagged with a lunge to his right, taking him into foul ground, with his momentum going the wrong way for a throw to first. “I’d like to say it’s unreal, but I’ve seen him make those plays for a couple of years now,” rookie starter Daniel Gossett said. Chapman long has been rated a superior defensive player with the ability to make highlight-reel plays, so the best play of his 11-game big-league career came as no surprise — except that the A’s have seen so little great defensive work this year. Melvin said that defense clearly is the area the A’s must improve in the second half, but he pointed out that, with Chapman now on the roster, the defense is already better. Shortstop Marcus Semien’s return from the disabled list helps, too. Gossett again showed some good flashes, but he couldn’t make it through five innings and he gave up another homer, this one a two-run shot by Cruz in the fourth. Gossett has allowed eight homers in six starts and 301/3 innings. “I know the pitches I can’t throw and had one job with that curveball: not leave it up,” Gossett said. Ruiz finished with three hits, including an RBI single off John Axford in the seventh.

Article by By Susan Slusser (c) Top Sports Stories RSS Feed - Read full story here.