A’s score five runs as defense struggles

PEORIA, Ariz. — James Shields struck out four in two scoreless innings for a San Diego Padres split squad in a 6-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Shields, who allowed a major league-high 33 homers last season, gave up singles to Billy Burns and Andrew Lambo while throwing 24 of 33 pitches for strikes. He got Chris Coghlan to chase a low knuckle-curve and Khris Davis to go after a dipping changeup for strikeouts.

“I feel really good with everything,” Shields said.

Burns later doubled and Lambo hit a two-run homer off Luis Perdomo in the fourth. Lambo, claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in November, is 6 for 12 this spring.

Oakland rotation candidate Chris Bassitt, working on a new delivery after he said he was tipping pitches last year, allowed a single to Matt Kemp and a walk in two scoreless innings.

A’s 20-year-old prospect Franklin Barreto hit his second home run in five spring at-bats.

Bassitt said copying ace Sonny Gray’s stretch delivery makes him feel more under control.

“I tried it in the very last start (last season) in Seattle and everyone was like, ‘You’re not really tipping anymore,'” Bassitt said. “So I said we’ll run with it.”

It was a rough day in the field for Oakland. Burns sailed a throw from center field over third base, Coghlan dropped a fly ball in right and third baseman Renato Nunez made two throwing errors to first base.

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