Chapman rallies A’s past Brewers with two-run HR off Hader
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Matt Chapman leads the Athletics with 11 go-ahead home runs this season. His latest, a two-run shot against Josh Hader, ruined Brewers manager Craig Counsell’s plans to milk a third consecutive day out of his struggling All-Star closer.
Chapman homered off Hader in the eighth inning to break out of a long slump and Oakland beat the Milwaukee 5-3 Thursday.
“Opportune times against a tough pitcher,” said A’s third base coach Matt Williams, who filled in for manager Bob Melvin postgame. “It was a good series for us.”
The A’s trailed 3-2 when Robbie Grossman walked leading off the eighth against Hader, an All-Star reliever who pitched for a third consecutive day for the first time in his career. Chapman, who had one hit and 13 strikeouts in his previous 30 at-bats, crushed a first-pitch home run to straightaway center. Jurickson Profar added a sacrifice fly off Jay Jackson.
Chapman was hitless in 16 consecutive at-bats before his 24th home run, which traveled an estimated 432 feet. It was also his first hit off Hader between the minors and one at-bat in the majors.
“I believe that was the first time I ever put a ball in play off of him,” Chapman said. “I would probably say that was my fifth at-bat. I’m pretty sure he struck me out four times, so I think maybe I was due.”
It’s the third blown save and 11th home run allowed by Hader (1-5). He also gave up Matt Olson’s walkoff home run on Tuesday. Hader has a 5.40 ERA and five homers allowed in 11 appearances since July 1.
“He’s one of the best, and both of those guys rose to the occasion,” Williams said.
Hader was happy to take on the extended work after throwing 18 pitches over the previous two games. It was the location of his pitch to Chapman that bothered the reliever.
“I got behind and walked a batter, and then I made a mistake,” Hader said. “I was trying to go away with Chapman and he made me pay. We wanted to go down, and it was more outside. That’s his wheelhouse.”
Chad Pinder also went deep and Mark Canha added three hits to help the A’s win their fourth in five games.
Christian Yelich doubled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games for Milwaukee, matching the longest streak in the majors this season. Mike Moustakas added two hits, and Trent Grisham had a sacrifice fly in his major league debut with the Brewers.
Blake Treinen (6-3) retired three batters to win, and Liam Hendriks pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
Oakland began the day a half-game behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card.