OAKLAND — Jesse Chavez struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings to win for only the second time in his last eight starts, Billy Butler had four hits including a three-run home run and the Oakland Athletics beat the San Diego Padres 16-2 on Wednesday night.
Chavez (3-6) went into the game with the eighth-lowest ERA in the AL and was dominant while allowing three hits over seven innings. He fanned seven of the first 11 batters, walked one and didn’t allow a runner past first base until Alexi Amarista homered on the first pitch leading off the sixth.
Ben Zobrist drove in three runs and fell a home run shy of hitting for the cycle for the A’s. Stephen Vogt added two RBIs.
Will Middlebrooks homered for the Padres, who lost their third straight since firing manager Bud Black on Monday.
Oakland, which went into the game with the worst record in the AL, set season highs for runs and hits (20) while extending its winning streak to four.
It got so bad for San Diego that interim manager Pat Murphy used Amarista — the Padres’ starting shortstop — to pitch and get the final out of the ninth. Amarista needed two pitches to retire Billy Burns on a fly out.
Chavez hadn’t gotten much run support this season but the A’s staked him to a 4-0 lead in the first inning capped by Butler’s fifth home run of the season.
The former Kansas City slugger, who signed with Oakland in the offseason, had been mired in an 8-for-42 funk before homering off San Diego starter Odrisamer Despaigne (3-5). Butler also singled three times.
Zobrist had an RBI single in the first, tripled in the third and added a two-run double in the seventh.
Sam Fuld and Brett Lawrie drove in two runs apiece during Oakland’s six-run eighth.
Despaigne struggled in his first career start against the A’s. He gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings with two strikeouts and one walk.
Former Oakland All-Star catcher Derek Norris went 0-for-4 in his first game back at the Coliseum since being traded to San Diego in December.