Homer Bailey has only been a member of the A's for a few weeks, but he's already quite comfortable in Oakland. The problem is that he's been extremely uncomfortable everywhere else.
Bailey got knocked around for the second straight road start, allowing seven earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings Wednesday, as the Cubs routed the A's 10-1.
"Actually, the first three innings were pretty good," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters. "He maybe didn't have his putaway pitch today, which may have cost him a little bit later -- no strikeouts -- but I thought the first three innings, he was sailing along pretty good, like we've seen him when he's been good, and then it comes down to basically two at-bats in the game."
Those two at-bats belonged to Javy Báez and Ian Happ. Báez delivered an RBI single to tie the game at one run apiece in the fourth inning. Two batters later, Happ crushed a grand slam to break it open.
"I thought early on we rolled through them pretty good, and then, obviously, that one inning kind of got away from us," Bailey told reporters. "There was the pitch to Báez that caught a little too much plate and then obviously the one to Happ got a little bit higher than I wanted to.
"Looking back, obviously you'd like to maybe change the pitch or make a little bit better one, but other than those two, that's kind of what beat us. ... Those are tough to swallow, especially when the majority of the pitches that were made today were pretty solid."
Bailey's first road outing with the A's actually went even worse than Wednesday's, as the right-hander gave up nine earned runs in just two innings against the Astros last month. The 33-year-old is now 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA (that's not a typo) in his two road starts with Oakland.
It's been a completely different story at the Coliseum, however, where Bailey is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts, all A's victories. Of course, having to face the Astros and Cubs lineups in hitter-friendly ballparks likely has played a role in Bailey's road struggles.
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"They're definitely a good hitting team," Bailey said of the Cubs. "There's a reason why they're in first place. You just have to try not to make mistakes. It's a team that I haven't faced all year, so I just had to go back and kind of remind myself who they were. Just a couple of pitches here and there."
Bailey's next start is scheduled to be back in the Bay Area, though not in Oakland. Instead, he will face the Giants in San Francisco.