Oakland Snaps 5-Game Winning Streak, Lose To Royals 5-2

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 26: Kendrys Morales #25 of the Kansas City Royals trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run off of Jesse Hahn #32 of the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at O.co Coliseum on June 26, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 26: Kendrys Morales #25 of the Kansas City Royals trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run off of Jesse Hahn #32 of the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at O.co Coliseum on June 26, 2015 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

Oakland –

In the first meeting in Oakland this year, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-2. The Royals were powered by a pair home runs from Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon.

Coming into the game Oaklands starting pitchers had been been credited with the win for the A’s last five games which was the first time that had happened since 2013. Unfortunately Jesse Hahn (5-6) had a mediocre night as he went six innings and gave up 5 runs although three were unearned. Offensively the A’s 1 through 4 hitters went 1 for 14 and the A’s were only able to get four hits for the whole game.

Kansas City got on the board first when in the top of the second on a 1-0 pitch Kendrys Morales hit his ninth homer of the year to put the Royals up 1-0.

Then to start the third Hahn gave up three singles to the Royals which included a single by Lorenzo Cain who was able to score Alex Rios who singled early in the inning and make it a 2-0 game.

Then the error bug came out again for Oakland.

As Hahn was pitching to Eric Hosmer, he threw a ball that snuck pass Vogt and bounced against the back stop and allowed Escobar and Cain to advance to second and third.

Then on an off-speed hit by Hosmer to first base, Ike Davis charged the ball then tried to flip the ball to Hahn who was trying to cover first but the ball ended up being thrown into the ground and allowed Escobar and Cain to score to give the Royals a 4-0 lead.

Davis’ error was the A’s 73 error of the year. A category that the A’s still lead the league.

The A’s were able to get one run in the bottom of the third when Sam Fuld hit his 10th double of the year and scored Marcus Semien who had landed at first earlier.

In the top of the sixth Alex Gordon hit a monster shot to right center field that gave the Royals a 5-1 lead.

The hated Kelvin Herrera came out in the bottom of the eighth to a shower of boo’s from A’s fans who are still sour from when Herrera threw at Brett Lawrie earlier in the year in Kansas City. If you remember, Herrera was suspended for five games when after he threw a 99 mph fastball behind Lawrie and then pointed to his head as if to warn the A’s of what would happen next.

Herrera had the last laugh as he was able to get the A’s down in order with a strike out, ground out and fly out.

In the bottom the ninth inning Stephen Vogt was hit in the elbow by closer Franklin Morales and was awarded first base. It looked like Vogt wouldn’t be able to make it so Melvin substituted Josh Phegley in to pinch run for Bogt. Zobrist then hit his 13th double of the year and brought Phegley in to bring the game to only a three run lead. Josh Reddick came up and hit a deep line shot to left field that was tracked down by Gordon to leave the A’s with one out left in the game. Billy Butler then struck out to end the game and make it a 5-2 victory for Kansas City.

The A’s are now tied for last place in the AL West with the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s head back at it tomorrow when they send Scott Kazmir (4-4, 2.70) against the Royals Chris Young (6-3, 2.83). Game time 1:05 pm.

Eight Run Seventh Dooms Oakland, Lose To Angels 12 – 7

Oakland Athletics' Ben Zobrist, right, runs past Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (2) after Zobrist hit a three run home run off Angels' Matt Shoemaker in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 19, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Athletics’ Ben Zobrist, right, runs past Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar (2) after Zobrist hit a three run home run off Angels’ Matt Shoemaker in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 19, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

 

By Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND –

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Oakland A’s bullpen blew a five run lead in the top of the seventh that lead to another loss after a spectacular start from a starting pitcher.

The A’s bullpen gave up a season worst eight runs in the top of the eighth to lose to the Angels  12-7. Starting pitcher Sonny Gray lasted six innings and gave up five earned runs and only struck out a pair.

“I went out in the seventh and I’ve gotta be a little better in attacking the zone, making them beat us instead of me just kind of giving it away to them,” said Gray. “It was just a really bad inning, and it started with me. You can say this happened and this happened. But you walk the first two guys on 10 pitches, you give them a little bit of hope.”

In addition to the bad seventh, the A’s committed four errors through out the game to give them a total of 65 errors this year. Enough to land that at number one in the league in errors and 10 more than the second place team, the Texas Rangers.

“We weren’t very good defensively today,” said head coach Bob Melvin. “We have been better recently, but you’re not going to win many games when you’re making four errors.”

Brett Lawrie committed a pair and Ben Zorbist and Edward Mujica committed one error each.

The A’s looked good early when Zorbist hit his fourth homer of the year in the bottom of the first with two men aboard to give the A’s an early 3-o lead. Stephen Vogt contributed three runs on the evening when he hit his 13th homer of the year on the fifth and smacked a line drive double in the bottom of the sixth to get him his second and third RBI of the night.

But that dreaded seventh inning did Oakland in.

Gray gave up a pair of walks to start the inning and then tossed a 90 MPH cutter to Matt Joyce who singled to left field and scored Aybar to give the Angels their third run of the night. Chris Iannetta then singled to load the bases and caused Bob Melvin to get the game ball from Gray and give it to new A’s pitcher Drew Pomeranz. After a tough seven pitch at bar, Pomeranz walked Daniel Robertson that allowed Giavotella to score and make it a 7-4 game in favor of Oakland. After a quick strike out to Kole Calhoun, Pomeranz was replaced by Edward Mujica. Mujica then proceded to give up five runs including a grand slam to Albert Pujols which gave the Angels a 9-7 lead with only one out. Evan Scribner came in to relieve Mujica but still gave up a RBI single to Giavotella and made it 10 – 7 going into the bottom of the seventh.

The Angels tapped in two more runs in the top of the ninth to make it a 12 – 7 final score.

“You get an extra two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and you feel pretty good about a five-run lead with nine outs to go,” said Vogt. “You’ve got to give them some credit. They smelled blood and they didn’t stop. We’ve gotta take better care of the ball on the defensive side. A team like that, when you give them more than three outs, they’re going to take advantage, especially when you give them five or six in one inning.”

The Angels and A’s head back at it tomorrow when the Angels send up Jared Weaver (4-7) against Jesse Hahn (4-5). Weaver looks to end a three-start losing streak while Hahn is winless in six starts against the AL West.

 

Bullpen Gives Up Two Homers In Eighth, A’s Lose 5-4

Oakland Athletics' Billy Butler, right, talks to home plate umpire Ted Barrett after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, June 12, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Oakland Athletics’ Billy Butler, right, talks to home plate umpire Ted Barrett after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, June 12, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

By Kahlil Najar

LOS ANGELES – The lead changed five times throughout the game and the A’s came out the loser tonight as Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun both homered in the bottom of the eighth to give the Angels a 5-4 victory.

Evan Scribner (1-1) who earned the loss today gave up both costly home runs in the bottom of the eighth.”Today it was all me. Two pitches up in the zone. That’s all it was. I can’t make mistakes to those guys.”

“We have to execute better pitches than that,” said head coach Bob Melvin, “It’s not the starters. That’s not the issue. The starters have been the best in the American League this year. Offense hasn’t been a problem for us. Offense has been good, starting pitching has been good. Some other facets haven’t, and they’ve cost us games.”

The Oakland relievers have now cost the A’s 15 losses this season which is tied for most in the majors and their 4.58 ERA is the highest in the league.

“We really just have to find a way to get better with it,” continued Melvin. “The numbers indicate where we are with it and it’s not good, and it’s the reason we’re losing games like that.”

Offensively for Oakland Brett Lawrie and Josh Phegley hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning and Josh Reddick ripped a two-run shot in the seventh.

The A’s are now 4-17 in one-run games which makes them league leaders in that gut wrenching category.

The A’s send Kendall Graveman (3-2) against C.J. Wilson (3-5) tomorrow in LA.

A’s Place SP Venditte on the 15-day DL; Recall RHP Leon from Nashville

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s placed switch-pitcher Pat Venditte on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 11 with a strained right shoulder, the club announced today.  To take his spot on the roster, the A’s recalled right-handed pitcher Arnold Leon from Triple-A Nashville.
Venditte was selected from Nashville June 5 and made his Major League debut that night at Boston with 2.0 scoreless innings.  He became the first switch-pitcher to appear in a Major League game since Greg Harris on Sept. 28, 1995.  Venditte did not allow a run in four games and 5.2 innings with the A’s.
Leon joins Oakland for the third time this year and has a 5.06 ERA in five relief appearances in his Major League debut.  He appeared in one game during his first stay from April 22 to 23 and made four appearances during his second stint from May 20 to June 3.  The 26-year-old right-hander made one relief appearance following his option on June 4 against Salt Lake, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings.  Leon is 0-3 with a 3.93 ERA in seven games, six starts, overall for the Sounds.

Venditte Makes MLB Debut But A’s Fall To Red Sox 4-2

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 5: Pat Venditte #29 of the Oakland Athletics throws on the left side in relief in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 5, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a switch-thrower who was called up today from Triple-A Nashville. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – JUNE 5: Pat Venditte #29 of the Oakland Athletics throws on the left side in relief in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 5, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a switch-thrower who was called up today from Triple-A Nashville. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

BOSTON – The A’s may have lost to the Red Sox 4-2 today however they were able to come away with a spectacular outing from switch pitcher phenomenon Pat Venditte. Venditte was called up from Triple-A today as the A’s sent down Dan Otero to work on his command. Pitching Coach Curt Young said, “He’ll go down, work hard, get himself right, and he’ll be back.”

Venditte lasted two innings and gave up one hit and was able to sit down one batter.

On his debut, Venditte said “You play it 1,000 times in your head how it’s going to happen. I don’t really remember a whole lot, just a lot of emotions and being able to tell my family and friends that the work was starting to pay off.”

“To show his composure like that and pitch the way he did and get two innings for us, it was terrific,” said Melvin on Venditte’s performance.

Unfortunately for Oakland wins aren’t awarded for middle relievers.

The A’s continued their nasty habit of errors and today had more errors than they did runs. Zobrist, Reddick and Lawrie committed the A’s blunders today. Additionally, Scott Kazmir didn’t have his best day as he earned his fourth loss and gave up nine hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings. Kazmir gave up three doubles with each of them contributing to a run on the day.

“I just have to be better out there,” said Kazmir. “And I will be next time.”

The A’s were able to score in the top of the fifth when they were able to smack three singles and score Brett Lawrie who got the first hit of the inning. The other Oakland run came in the seventh when Lawrie hit his fifth homer of the year.

Lawrie was also involved a horrific accident early in the game when he smacked a pitch to second that broke his bat the barrel of the bat launched into the crowd and critically hurt a woman who was there with her family. The woman was taken away in a stretch and we are still waiting on word from Boston Police to see how she is doing. Prayers go out to her and her family from the entire Sports Radio Service family.

Boston and Oakland head back at it tomorrow when the A’s send Jesse Chavez against Boston’s Joe Kelly.

Oakland’s Persistent Blunders Cost Them Another Game, Lose 5-2

Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, right, questions a call by home plate umpire David Rackley, left, during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday, May 22, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, right, questions a call by home plate umpire David Rackley, left, during the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Friday, May 22, 2015, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

By Kahlil Najar

An error in the fifth inning put runners in the corners for the Rays and third baseman Evan Longoria hit a three run homer to give the Rays a comfortable lead and the victory as the Ray beats the A’s 5-2.

“It’s like everyone is in the same boat. We just want to pull our hair out with what’s going on,”said Scott Kazmir (2-3) who went 5 2/3 innings and gave up two earned runs. The A’s are now on a four game losing streak and have only won twice in the last 16 games.

The A’s also left 12 men on base which has been an Achilles heel for them as of late as they always seem to get some great hits but aren’t able to drive some runs home.

Catcher Stephen Vogt said, “Everyone is trying to do more, do more. Everyone wants to step up and get the big hit instead of just moving the line like we were doing earlier in the season. That’s something we’ve got to get back to.”

A’s Head Coach Bob Melvin echoed Vogt’s sentiments, “That’s what we’re struggling with now. We’re getting runners on, but we’re not getting big hits, and we make one error and it blows up on us.”

The A’s got on the board first in the top of the fourth inning when Stephen Vogt hit his 10th homer of the year on a line drive to right field. The Rays answered back with the Longoria 3-Run shot in the bottom of the fifth and then went on to smack two more solo shots in the seventh and eighth.

The A’s were able to scrape up a run in the top of the ninth on a Billy Butler sacrifice fly but then ended the game with a Vogt strikeout.

Oakland hopes to get something going tomorrow when they send Kendall Graveman (1-2, 8.27) against the Rays Nate Karns (3-1, 3.77). Game time 1:10pm PST.

A’s Place 1B Ike Davis on the DL; Recall OF Craig Gentry from Nashville

Ike Davis
Ike Davis goes on the DL

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s placed first baseman Ike Davis on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 14 with a strained left quad, the club announced today.  To take his spot on the roster, the A’s have recalled outfielder Craig Gentry from Triple-A Nashville.

Davis is batting .282 with two home runs and 11 RBI in 33 games.  He was injured in the fourth inning Monday night against Boston and appeared in one game after that, flying out as a pinch hitter on Wednesday.  Davis was batting .200 over his last 14 games after hitting .388 over previous 15 contests.

Gentry joins the A’s for the second time this year.  He was on the A’s Opening Day roster and hit .086 with no extra base hits and two RBI in 16 games before he was optioned to Nashville May 6.  Gentry hit .171 with no extra base hits and one RBI in nine games with the Sounds, all in center field.

Oakland Gives Up 5 In The Seventh lose 7-6

Oakland Athletics coach Bob Melvin, left, removes pitcher Fernando Abad (56) during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, May 15, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Second from left is A's catcher Josh Phegley, Brett Lawrie at right. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Oakland Athletics coach Bob Melvin, left, removes pitcher Fernando Abad (56) during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, May 15, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Second from left is A’s catcher Josh Phegley, Brett Lawrie at right. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

by Kahlil Najar

The troubles continue for the Oakland A’s and their bullpen. With a 6-2 lead going into the seventh inning, the A’s bullpen gave up 5 unearned runs and ended up losing to the Chicago White Sox 7-6.

The A’s made it exciting in the bottom of the ninth when with two out head coach Bob Melvin sent in Steven Vogt to pinch hit. He garnered a walk to first base and was able to bring up Coco Crisp.

Crisp came up and hit a deep shot to left center field that hit off the wall but right into center fielder Adam Easton’s glove who was able to relay the ball home after what looked like a questionable go-no-stay call from Oakland Third Base coach Mike Gallego.

” I was watching the ball and obviously picking up Vogt-er and when I looked back it looked like he had started to send him but then tried to hold him up. I didn’t think he could score there so he was trying to hold him,” said Melvin on the last play of the game.

The A’s actually started off this game in a horrible way. Starting pitcher Jesse Han started the game by giving up a double, a walk and then a single to load up the bases. Then on six pitches he walked Adam LaRoche to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Avisail Garciathen grounded the ball to Brett Lawrie who tossed it home to get the first out of the inning.

Conor Gillaspi then smacked a hit to center field and scored Jose Abreu to make it a 2-0 White Sox lead.

The A’s waited until the fourth inning to get on the board with a deep shot to Left Center from Josh Phegley who hit his first homer of the year to cut the lead in half. Then after three consecutive walks to Burns, Sogard and Crisp, Josh Reddick hit his second triple of the year and cleared the bases to give Oakland a 4-2 lead.

In the fifth, the A’s scored again after a flurry on walks given up by White Sox reliever Scott Carroll allowed Eric Sogard to hit a single left field and score Lawrie.  Then in the sixth after Reddick hit a double, Billy Butler was able to score Reddick and make it a 6-2 Oakland lead after six innings.

Then the seventh inning and the A’s bullpen came into play.

Hahn was still in and was able to get one out but after an error by Lawrie and a single to Sanchez, head coach Bob Melvin decided to take Hahn out and give the ball to Fernando Rodriguez with a four run lead.

Rodriguez was able to get the next batter to ground out but then the troubles came.

Rodriguez gave up a single to Melky Cabrera which scored a run for the White Sox and then he hit Jose Abreu to load the bases.

Melvin had seen enough of Rodriquez and substituted in Fernando Abad.

Abad promptly gave up a double to LaRoche which scored two more base runners for Chicago and made it a 6-5 game.

Abad was then pulled for the usually reliable Evan Scribner. However tonight Scribner decided to follow the steps of Abad and gave up another double to Garcia which scored another pair of runs for Chicago to give them a 7-6 lead.

The A’s tried to make a run in the eighth when they garnered two singles but weren’t able to score. Then the ninth inning happened and we don’t want to relive that.

With Reddick’s triple in the fourth, it snapped a 0-21 streak that the A’s had with Runners In Scoring position. The A’s were 3 for 14 tonight with RISP.

The A’s have now given up 35 runs in the Seventh inning in 37 games. When reminded of this Melvin said, “I have to some how find the right answer in that inning. We had three guys in the inning that we thought could do it.”

The A’s hope to turn it around tomorrow when they send Jesse Chavez to the mound to face John Danks, game time 6:05 pm.

Athletics Bullpen Fails Again, lose to Mariners 4-3

Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, left, and relief pitcher Evan Scribner talk on the mound after the Seattle Mariners scored in the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 8, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Oakland Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt, left, and relief pitcher Evan Scribner talk on the mound after the Seattle Mariners scored in the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, May 8, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By Kahlil Najar

This has got to be taxing season already for the Oakland fan base. With tonight’s lose to Seattle the A’s are now 12-19 with 9 of those loses charged to the bullpen. The A’s now have their worst record to start a season since 2001 when they started 11-20.

It appeared that the A’s had everything in control going into the bottom of the seventh with a 3-1 lead and Evan Scribner coming in to take over for Sonny Gray. Scribner had not allowed a run in his last 10 appearances.

However it wasn’t as it seemed.

Scribner gave up two hits in the inning including a single to Dustin Ackley and a double to Brad Miller that scored Ackley to make it a 3-2 game. Head Coach Bob Melvin had seen enough and brought Fernando Abad to try and get the last out of the inning. Unfortunately for Oakland, Robinson Cano hit his 11th double of the year to score Miller and tie the game 3.

Then in the top of the 11th, Logan Morrison tattooed a hanging slider from Dan Otero into the Seattle seats and gave the Mariners a 4-3 victory.

“We’re obviously a lot better than we’ve been playing. I really believe that,” said Sonny Gray on the A’s performance tonight. Even with the team loss, Gray solidified himself as the ace of the A’s staff. He went six full innings, struck out 9 and only gave up one run.

Dan Otero is now 2-2 and possibly has a target on his back as the Oakland management has shown that they are not afraid of sending people down to Nashville and bringing up fresh blood.

“Otero is having a tough year but he isn’t the only one,” said Melvin. The A’s still lead the league in errors with 27 and have one of the worst bullpens in the league.

“You go out there and score runs for your guy and Sonny goes out and gives an A-plus effort. We just got to have someone step up,” said Josh Reddick.

The A’s hope to try to turn this road trip around as they send RHP Jesse Hahn (1-2) to the mound against LHP J.A. Happ (2-1).

Seven-Run Eighth Propels Oakland To Victory Over Texas 7-5

Oakland Athletics' Mark Canha (20) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout following his solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 1, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. The Athletics won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha (20) is congratulated by teammates in the dugout following his solo home run against the Texas Rangers during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 1, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. The Athletics won 7-5. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)

By Kahlil Najar

The A’s played possum all night until the top of the eighth inning when they exploded for seven runs including Mark Canha’s third homer of the year to beat the Texas Rangers 7-5.

Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis had a great game as he went six innings with eight strike outs and only walked a pair of batters. The Rangers offense was even hitting on all cylinders. At the end of seven innings, the Rangers were in the lead 5-0 thanks to home runs from Blanks and a towering 440 foot shot by Prince Fielder.

It was that top of the eighth that the Rangers wish they could have back.

The Rangers replaced reliever Alex Claudio with Shawn Tolleson and he promptly gave up a homer to Canha to give Oakland their first run of the evening. After a Sogard single and a Marcus Semien walk, Stephen Vogt smacked a single to right field that scored Sogard and brought the lead down to three.

After a Billy Butler strike out and a new reliever from Texas, Max Muncy walked and red hot Josh Reddick hit a single to center field that scored both Semien and Vogt to make it a one run lead. The Rangers figured they’d need another change at pitcher so they sent in Roman Mendez who served up a nice pitch to Brett Lawrie who hit a line drive double to right field and score Muncy and Reddick to put the A’s in the lead for the first time tonight 6-5.

Canha came up for the second time this inning and hit a ground ball single to center field and scored Lawrie to make it a 7-5 game.

Scriber came in to handle the bottom of the eighth and able to handle the inning perfectly except for one walk to Carlos Peguero. Tyler Clippard came in for the save in the bottom of the ninth and retired the side in order to end the game.

On the seventh inning Oakland Head Coach Bob Melvin said, “There were just so many key at-bats in that inning. You could say Muncy’s walk. Lawrie had a fighting at-bat. He wasn’t going to be denied there.”

Melvin continued, “Any time you win a game that looked like you were going to lose, it gives you some confidence.”

 

Oakland hopes to continue that confidence tomorrow when they send Drew Pomeranz (1-2, 4.50) against Nick Martinez (2-0, 0.35), game time 5:05pm.