A’s Bassitt to make season debut against Royals

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics plan to promote right-hander Chris Bassitt from Triple-A for his 2018 major league debut on Saturday afternoon in their quest for a third consecutive win over the reeling Kansas City Royals.

The A’s can only hope the promotion does for Bassitt what it did for Frankie Montas, who pitched into the eighth inning of Friday’s 7-2 win over the Royals.

Bassitt, who has not started a major league game since 2016, will be recalled to replace Trevor Cahill, who has been bothered by soreness in his right Achilles.

The 29-year-old Bassitt has not been impressive at Triple-A, going just 2-3 with a 6.10 ERA this year. But the won-loss record is far better than what Montas compiled this year before getting the call from the A’s in a similar injury-related emergency in May.

Montas had been 1-5 with a 4.39 ERA as Bassitt’s teammate at Nashville before Brett Anderson suffered a strained shoulder that sent him to the disabled list in May.

Montas has responded brilliantly to the step up in class, winning all three of his starts while allowing just three runs in 21 2/3 innings.

His 7 2/3-inning effort in Friday’s win helps the A’s be in a favorable bullpen situation if things don’t go well for Bassitt on Saturday.

“We’ve used the bullpen quite a bit,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after Friday’s game. “We not only needed (the long outing by Montas), but it was impressive.”

Bassitt has gone 2-11 with a 4.13 ERA in his major-league career. He has faced the Royals three times, going 0-0 with a 4.60 ERA.

Bassitt will be facing a Royals team that has totaled only six runs and 20 hits in their last four games, all losses.

Kansas City traded away outfielder Jon Jay earlier in the week and lost another top hitter, Jorge Soler, to a bruised left big toe in Friday’s loss. Soler suffered the injury when fouling a ball off his foot in his first at-bat of the game.

In an effort to snap their six-game losing streak, the Royals will send left-hander Danny Duffy (2-6, 5.81) out to oppose Bassitt on Saturday.

Duffy has never lost to the A’s, going 3-0 with a 3.44 ERA in seven career games. All three wins came in five outings in Oakland.

The veteran will find himself dueling two hot hitters, Khris Davis and Marcus Semien, both of whom have homered against him in their careers.

Davis belted two home runs, his 16th and 17th of the season, in Friday’s win.

Semien, demoted to sixth in the batting order at the start of the series, contributed a triple and two singles to the win, giving him five hits in the two games.

The A’s have won two in a row to start a 10-game homestand in which they’ll be seeing Houston and the Los Angeles Angels, teams ahead of them in the American League West standings, before the 11-day sequence has run its course.