Saturday, May 20, 2017

Game Result: A’s play home run derby to continue roll vs. Red Sox, for 3rd win in a row

It was a battle of one-upmanship for the A’s in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 8-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Mark Canha, the hero of Oakland’s victory the night before, tied the game when he unloaded on a 453-foot home run, at the time the A’s longest of the season.

Khris Davis, the team’s cleanup and leading home run hitter, then took his turn. Following a Jed Lowrie single, Davis crushed a 429-foot blast to center field that gave the A’s their first lead.

But Chad Pinder stole the show. He welcomed reliever Noe Ramirez to the game by attacking his first pitch and sending it to the second deck of the seats in left center field. It cleared the 388 foot sign and 15-foot wall, soared over the first deck and a set of luxury boxes before landing in the plaza reserve seating of the Coliseum’s outfield structure.
The A’s believe Pinder to be just the fourth player to have reached those seats since the stadium was renovated in 1995 to accommodate the Raiders’ return to Oakland. The Giants’ Jarrett Parker is the last to do it on Sept. 25, 2015, while the Colorado Rockies’ Larry Walker also did it July 19, 1999 and Mark McGwire did it for the A’s on May 7, 1996. The ball traveled an estimated 460 feet, according to Statcast.
Lowrie added the A’s fourth home run of the game an inning later as Oakland continued its power surge. They’ve hit 29 home runs over their last 14 games and have 63 on the season, which at least temporarily moved them past the New York Yankees for the most in the American League.
Since returning home from a 1-6 road trip, the A’s (20-23) continue to enjoy the comforts of home by winning their third straight against Boston. They’re now 14-8 on home and go for the four-game sweep Sunday behind Andrew Triggs, who at 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA has been their best starter this year.
A’s manager Bob Melvin wasn’t around to much of this one. He was ejected from the game in the second inning after arguing a ruling that, for a few minutes at least, prevented the A’s from scoring a run.
With runners at second and third, Josh Phegley checked in swing and hit a little dribbler out in front of the plate. Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez fielded it but his throw to first sailed down the right field line. By the time the ball reached the Boston bullpen and was ruled out of play, Phegley was on his way to third and Pinder — the runner at first — was heading home.
But because the ball went out of play, umpires awarded each runner just two bases and forced Pinder to come back out of the dugout to third and pushed Phegley back to second. Melvin came out to argue the call and was tossed by third base umpire and crew chief Mike Winters as he began making his walk back to the dugout.
Two batters later, the A’s got the run Melvin was arguing they deserved when Rajai Davis dropped down a two-out bunt single that scored Pinder and tied it up at 2.
The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, with a two-base error on first baseman Ryon Healy putting a man in scoring position to set up Dustin Pedroia’s RBI single to put an unearned run on Sean Manaea’s ledger. The A’s lefty was done after five innings of work and allowed three runs on five hits.
But instead of being in line for a loss, the A’s powered their way back into the lead against the Boston bullpen.
Former A’s pitcher Drew Pomeranz started the game, but he was done after four innings thanks to a pitch count that reached 97. He allowed five hits and two runs, one of which was unearned.
Ben Taylor took over his relief and didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced, giving up the home runs to Canha and Davis, plus the single to Lowrie and a walk to Trevor Plouffe that preceded his moonshot.
Frankie Montas pitched three scoreless innings of relief as the A’s bullpen has now gone 25 straight scoreless innings at home.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Game Result: Andrew Triggs escapes, Chad Pinder supplies power as A’s beat Angels Second straight series win has A’s feeling good as they embark on six-game road trip

It’s a different A’s team than the one that limped home from a 2-7 road trip and then lost the series opener against Detroit on May 5. The A’s have won four of their last five, three of those coming in their last at-bat.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Game Result: Lowrie lifts A's in 11th to 3rd straight walk-off

The A's secured their third consecutive walk-off victory at the Coliseum on Monday evening, going to battle with the Angels for 11 innings before Jed Lowrie sent everyone home with a game-winning homer for a 3-2 victory.
"Minus some big postseason games," Lowrie said, "this is about as exciting of a stretch of baseball as I've been a part of."

The two-out home run off right-hander Deolis Guerra was Lowrie's second of the game, marking the veteran infielder's third career multi-homer contest. It was the first run recorded by either team since the fifth inning, giving the A's three straight walk-off wins for the first time since June 1-3, 2004.

"It certainly never gets old," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We've had a number of them over the years here. Once you get one and you come out the next day and you get in that same position, there's still that carry-over feeling. Today it was the same thing even though it took us a little bit longer."

A's starter Kendall Graveman and Angels counterpart Ricky Nolasco each allowed two runs across seven innings, the home run ball dictating their performances. Graveman surrendered a two-run shot to Luis Valbuena in the first inning, while Nolasco offered up solo blasts to Lowrie and Trevor Plouffe in the fourth and fifth, respectively.
Nolasco's efforts included 10 strikeouts and no walks, as he notched double-digit strikeoutsfor the first time since Aug. 28, 2013.
"It's just one of those little things right now," Nolasco said. "But everybody in here's confident we're going to score. Just baseball. Keep grinding away and keep trying to go deep in the game and things will work out."

Pitch perfect: Graveman's night didn't begin as planned. The right-hander had at least two baserunners in each of his first two innings, leading catcher Stephen Vogt to call for more changeups than the typical sinker-heavy Graveman had thrown in any other start this season. Resultantly, the right-hander made it through seven innings on 95 pitches without any further damage done, and the bullpen followed suit, as A's pitchers pieced together 10 consecutive scoreless innings.

"For me and for this team, that was a very big win, especially the way it started in the first," Graveman said. "I was sitting up here the last half and said, I gotta go down and cheer the guys on, so I put my stuff back on and went to the dugout. What's special about this team is you don't know who it's going to be getting the big hits at the end of the game."
Rosales rebounds: The Angels threatened in the top half of the 11th inning, which began with a Valbuena single. One out later, Cameron Maybin hit a sharp grounder that shortstop Adam Rosales bungled for an error to put two runners aboard. But Rosales recovered quickly with a nice play on Ben Revere's ensuing grounder for the force at second, and right-hander Liam Hendriks induced an inning-ending flyout from Cliff Pennington to keep the game tied.
"He sleeps with his glove," Melvin said. "When you have one play that ends up being an error, whether it took a bad hop or not ... It's not like his confidence is shaken. He's been great for us when Marcus [Semien] has been down. He's really anchored the middle of the infield and made some really good plays."
Angels center fielder Mike Trout sat for the third straight game Monday night with a tight left hamstring, but a clean MRI was good news for the reigning American League MVP.

"The precautionary MRI was just to get a baseline," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Everything was clean, but we want to make sure that this is 100 percent behind him before he gets on that field and does the things he needs to do. He's plays a demanding position. It's moving in the right direction."
Angels: Alex Meyer will make his third start this season on Tuesday night as he fills in for the injured Tyler Skaggs. The 27-year-old righty gave up a career-high six earned runs in his last start, as he lasted just four innings in an 11-3 loss to Seattle. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.

Athletics: Right-hander Jharel Cotton gets the start in Tuesday's matchup with the Angels at the Coliseum. Cotton faced the Angels on April 5, allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor for based in the Bay Area, and covered the Angels on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Game Focus: Ryon "The One" Healy Blast A High 2 Run Walk Off Home Run N 9th, A's Win Series 2-1 Over Tigers

Yonder Alonso, also continued his power surge with a 2 run shot in the 4th for his 9th HR of the young season, the A's are now 14-17, LET OG OAKLAND   

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Game Result: Jharel Cotton struck out a career-high nine batters over six solid innings to help the A's snap a three-game losing streak with an 8-5 win over the Twins

Cotton surrendered three runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks to improve to 3-3 with a 4.64 ERA. He was hurt by solo homers from Eddie Rosario and Danny Santana in the second, but the run he gave up in the fourth was unearned after an error by Jaff Decker in center.
osario's solo homer in the 2nd
Cotton out-pitched Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who continued his early-season struggles and saw Minnesota's win streak snapped at four games. Gibson went four innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks. He fell to 0-4 with an 8.20 ERA, and is in danger of losing his spot in the rotation.
The A's got out to a lead in the first on an RBI double from Khris Davis, before breaking out for three runs in the second. They tacked on a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Adam Rosalesbefore Ryon Healy connected on a solo blast in the seventh. Stephen Vogt put the game away with a two-run double in the eighth.
The Twins made it interesting late in the game, as Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer in the eighth before they loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against closer Santiago Casilla. But he got Jorge Polanco to fly out to center before striking out Miguel Sano to end the game.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Game Result : Triggs and big power lifts A’s over Astros 2-1

HOUSTON – It was back to basics for the A’s Saturday night, terrific starting pitching and a couple of home runs bringing an end to a five-game losing streak.

Andrew Triggs threw shutout ball for seven inning, striking out a career-high nine and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis contributed the homers as Oakland turned back the American League-West leading Astros 2-1.
Triggs, now 4-1 with a 1.84 ERA, faced men in scoring position in the first, third and fourth innings, but came up with three strikeouts with runners in scoring position and got better as he went along, setting down the final 10 men he faced in order before turning the game over to the Oakland bullpen.
Sean Doolittle allowed a solo homer to Jose Altuve in the eighth, but Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless night for the save.
The A’s, now 11-13, can climb back to within three games of the division leaders with a win in the Sunday series finale.
The Oakland offense, which has limped along at times of late, was going nowhere against Houston starter Joe Musgrove as he set down the first 10 batters he faced in order.
The 11th, however, was Lowrie, who jumped on a 3-1 pitch to carry it high and deep into the right field seats. His second home run gave the A’s both their first base runner and first hit in addition to a 1-0 lead.
Lowrie came up an inning later with the idea of adding to the lead. Chad Pinder was on second base with two out when Lowrie singled to right. Josh Reddick got to the ball quickly and the former A’s right fielder gunned a throw to the plate that just barely cut down Pinder.
Oakland bats went quiet again until the eighth inning when with Will Harris pitching in relief, Davis became the American League’s second 10-homer man with an opposite-field rocket to right. The Yankees’ Aaron Judge became the first AL player to get to 10 earlier in the day.
In his first start after being rocked for six runs in 4.2 innings against the Mariners last Sunday, Triggs was back to his form of his first three starts, although the first inning proved to be a challenge. Singles from Josh Reddick and Jose Altuve and a wild pitch had Triggs facing the heart of the Houston lineup with men on second and third.
He came back to strike out Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran, both swinging, to keep the game scoreless, and settled in nicely after that. A single and a hit batter got him in a spot in the third and in the fourth a cannonade of a throw from right fielder Jaff Decker triggered a double play that kept Houston in check.
In all, three of Triggs strikeouts came with men in scoring position and four came to end innings.
And he continued to dominate left-handed hitters. The first hit he allowed was to Reddick, a lefty, but none of the other four. In his five starts Triggs hasn’t allowed more than one hit to a lefty in any game. A year ago lefties averaged .277 against him. This year it’s .088 (4-for-45).
  • Sean Manaea probably will not land on the 10-day disabled list as the A’s once feared he might. Manaea threw on the side before Saturday’s game and came out of it feeling good enough that the A’s are backing off DL thoughts. “I’m feeling great right now,” Manaea said. “I feel like I’m ready to go out there and face hitters.” Manager Bob Melvin said the A’s are in a “wait and see” mode.
  • Jesse Hahn said he’s been able to recapture his 2015 mindset when pitching and feels more in control on the mound. “I’ve got a clean mindset going now,” Hahn said as he takes a streak of three consecutive quality starts into Sunday’s game against the Astros. “I struggled with that last year.”
  • Raul Alcantara, who’d been placed on the designated for assignment list earlier in the week, cleared waivers, which surprised the A’s a little, and was sent to Triple-A Nashville. Melvin said “we thought that there was a pretty good chance that we’d end up losing him. But it’s nice that we have him back. He’s struggled a bit at the big league level, but it’s good to have him back. We’ll need a lot of starting pitching depth over the course of the season.
  • With right fielder Matt Joyce dealing with a toe injury, Ryan LaMarre got a start in center field with Jaff Decker moving over to right. It’s a chance for LaMarre get a couple of starts back-to-back, because he would have been in the lineup Sunday against left-handed starter Dallas Keuchel anyway. And combined with Monday’s day off, the A’s are hoping Joyce will be ready to go come Tuesday in Minnesota.
  • Chad Pinder got a rare start at shortstop Saturday and Melvin said the plan would be to have him start at second base Sunday. Adam Rosales was hit in the finger by a pitch Friday and while he could play, Melvin wanted to give his current shortstop a day off. And he’s looking for a rest day for Jed Lowrie at second, which turns out to be a win-win for Pinder.
  • Early in the day, Adam Rosales and Stephen Vogt went into the Houston suburbs to one of the Sandlot Nation gatherings Rosales is organizing to encourage youth baseball.
  • Daniel Mengden threw 30 pitches in batting practice Saturday in the club’s extended spring training camp in Mesa, Ariz. as he rebounds from his right foot surgery earlier this year.
  • Felix Doubront, who had Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery 12 months ago, threw two innings in a simulated game in Arizona. The A’s are hoping the lefty will be healthy enough to join the bullpen in a month or two.
  • Chris Bassitt, another pitcher coming back from Tommy John surgery, was scheduled to pitch in a simulated game Saturday night.
  • Rajai Davis, on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, continues to run without pain and Oakland expects to have him back on the roster Tuesday in Minnesota. Melvin said the A’s offense has been a little one-dimensional without Davis’ speed in the lineup.
  • Second baseman Joey Wendle, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, came off the DL Saturday after a six-game injury rehabilitation assignment with Nashville and the A’s optioned him to the Sounds. During the rehab he hit .364 with two doubles, a triple and three RBI.