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A's hurt by another forgettable fourth inning, drop series to Astros

Justice delos Santos, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

OAKLAND, Calif. — For a second time in the last three days, the A’s were sunk by a disastrous fourth inning.

Max Schuemann’s two-error sequence in the fourth paved the way for the Astros’ five-run frame and starter Aaron Brooks’ early exit, resulting in a 5-2 loss to drop the series on Sunday at the Coliseum.

“Definitely a frustrating moment, for sure,” Schuemann said. “I don’t like making bonehead mistakes like that; I don’t think anybody does. I’m human. I’m going to make bonehead mistakes here and there. Just happens. You have to move on, find a way to compete for the rest of the way.”

Houston scored the game’s first run in the fourth by way of Yainer Diaz’s sacrifice fly, and that appeared to be all the Astros would score in the frame. With two outs and a runner on first, Mauricio Dubon chopped a grounder to Schuemann, who had plenty of time to flip to second for the inning-ending force out.

Instead, Schuemann not only fumbled the exchange but hurriedly flipped the ball past second baseman Zack Gelof, giving the Astros runners at second and third with two outs.

When asked about Dubon’s grounder, Schuemann said the play felt like “a pretty easy one,” which added to the frustration.

 

“Just screwed it up,” Schuemann said. “That falls on me. I need to be better. Ultimately, I hate it for Brooks. He had to make some extra pitches there when he should’ve been out of the inning.”

Defense has been an issue for the A’s almost all season, as they entered Sunday tied for last in Major League Baseball with 38 errors. Their fielding percentage of .981 was next to last among all 30 teams.

Schuemann’s fourth-inning mistake, in essence, cost Oakland the ballgame.

Following the error, Jose Altuve drove in two runs with a single, then Kyle Tucker followed with a two-run shot, his major league-leading 18th home run of the season. Instead of being down one run, the A’s were down five.

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