That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Maddon excited to face his old team Cubs; Will Matz meet the Mets; plus more

photo Angels manager Joe Maddon

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 What’s it like for former Chicago Cub manager Joe Maddon to play against his former team the Cubs as Angels manager.

#2 What does it say for the Angels organization formerly working in Anaheim picking up a manager like Joe Maddon.

#3 The New York Mets are inquiring about Steven Matz of the New York Yankees. Matz has a 4.05 ERA over the last four seasons and could turn free agent what are the Mets chances of getting Matz?

#4 The Oakland A’s Jesus Luzardo threw for three innings on Sunday in his second start this spring. Luzardo pitched for the Las Vegas Aviators last season in seven starts and had an ERA of 3.19.

#5 A’s manager Bob Melvin says that Tony Kemp may not end up being the A’s lead off hitter but he’s been getting some good at bats, Kemp hit a double and went 8-18 and Melvin says that Kemp is seeing left handed pitching pretty good too.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for A’s baseball on KIQI 1010 San Francisco hear all A’s home games on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Amaury does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s snatch 3-2 victory from the jaws of defeat

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

Mamma Mia! What a game! The A’s snapped a two-game losing streak when Matt Chapman hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to defeat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 at Angel Stadium on Wednesday night.

The A’s knew that the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees for the second night in a row, and if they A’s were to lose, they would find themselves a 1/2 game behind the Rays in the race for the first Wild Card.

Players, coaches, managers, and fans know that teams have to cash in when they have a chance to score. Failure to take advantage of opportunities leads to frustration. When that happens, teams lose games they should win. That was the situation for Oakland. The A’s failed to score in the first, second, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. They found themselves trailing 2-1 after eight. A loss to the Angels would have been devastating. Here’s how they pulled off the win. The Angels had their closer, Hansel Robles, in the game to shut the door. A’s shortstop, Marcus Semien, who is a candidate for Most Valuable Player, led off the ninth with a single. The next hitter, Ramon Laureano, who homered in the fifth, laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Semien into scoring position. The A’s needed one run to tie the game if they hoped to salvage the win. A’s manager Bob Melvin was probably thinking to get the contest into extra innings and hope to win it in overtime. Matt Chapman, who had been in a slump, had other thoughts. He sent the first pitch from Robles and sent it over the trees in center field. The ball traveled 436 feet, and the A’s led 3-2. It was Chapman’s 35th home run of the year.

A’s closer Liam Hendriks set the Angels down to secure the win for Oakland.

Game Notes: Frankie Montas made his first start after returning from an 80-game suspension. Montas pitched well as he went six innings and allowed four hits and one run.

The A’s improved to 95-63 and have four games left in the regular schedule. They will be in Seattle to finish the season. Their magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three. They lead the Rays by a 1/2 game and have a two-game advantage over the Cleveland Indians. The Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox Wednesday night.

Ramon Laureano hit his 23rd homer in the fifth. It was his first home run since returning from the IL. He also made an excellent defensive play in the fourth. With a man on first, he caught a ball as it was slicing to the right-field line. He unloaded a laser and nailed the runner as he was trying to make it back to the base.

The A’s line score was three runs, 12 hits, and no errors. The Angels’ line was two runs, six hits, and no errors. Joakim Soria was the winning pitcher, and Hansel Robles was the loser.

The A’s were one for 14 with runners in scoring position before Chapman homered in the ninth. They had chances, but couldn’t get the hit when needed.

A’s center fielder Mark Canha suffered a left groin strain in the bottom of the seventh and had to leave the game.

Time of game was three hours and 29 minutes. 38,685 fans watched the A’s come from behind and defeat the Angels.

Up Next: Lefty Sean Manaea will go for Oakland Thursday night in Seattle. He will be making his fifth start since coming back from a shoulder injury. The King, Felix Hernandez, will go for Seattle. Game time at 7:10 p.m.

A’s fall to Angels 3-2 as race for Wild Card spots tightens up

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s fell to the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. The A’s needed the win to keep the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians from closing in on a playoff berth. With the loss and wins by the Rays and the Indians, the A’s find themselves just a 1/2 game ahead of the Rays for the first Wild Card and one game ahead of the Indians for the second Wild Card. The Angels, playing the role of spoilers, scored three runs in the fifth inning to down the A’s 3-2.

The A’s put two on the board in the top of the fourth. With two out, right fielder Ramon Laureano beat out a slow roller for an infield hit. A’s DH Khris Davis blasted his 23rd homer of the year to left center field to give the team a 2-0 lead.

The Angels plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor Ward and Matt Thais singled to put runners on at first and second with no out. A’s starter Homer Bailey struck out Caleb Cowart for the first out. Angels shortstop David Fletcher singled to drive in Ward with the Angels’ first run. Brian Goodwin, filling in for the injured Mike Trout, blooped a double just over the outstretched glove of A’s third baseman Matt Chapman for a double. Thais scored on the play. Bailey retired future Hall of Fame player Albert Pujols on a fly ball to left field. The ball was hit deep enough that allowed Fletcher to tag up and score the winning run.

The Angels’ bullpen shut down the A’s offense to secure the win for Los Angeles.

Game Notes: Homer Bailey lost for the first time in his last eight starts. Bailey’s record dropped to 13-9. He went five innings and allowed eight hits and three runs. Lefty Dillon Peters was the winning pitcher and improved to 4-3 for the year.

The A’s line was two runs, six hits, and no errors. The Angels’ line was three runs, 10 hits and no errors.

The A’s are now 94-63 for the year. Tampa improved to 94-64 with a 2-1 win in eleven innings over the New York Yankees. The Yankees needed the win as they trail the Houston Astros for the best record in the American League. The Indians beat the White Sox 11-0 and are now 93-64.

Up Next: The A’s hope to get back on the winning track Wednesday night. They will send Frankie Montas to the hill. Montas has a record of 9-2 and will be making his first start since being suspended for 80 games for using an illegal substance. Lefty Andrew Heaney will go for the Angels.

The A’s have an 11-7 record against LA and cannot afford any losses in the next five games. They do not want to fly east to face Tampa in the Wild Card game. They do not want to be tied with Cleveland for the second Wild Card. Each game is important and they have to play as if it were an elimination game. They have the talent to win. All they have to do is go out and win.

Puk gets first MLB win, A’s defeat Angels 10-6

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Lewis Rubman

Los Angeles (AL): 6 | 11 | 0
Oakland: 10 | 10 | 0

OAKLAND — Once again, it was youth versus experience when the Angels sent 21 year old rookie José Suárez (2-5, 6.71 ERA), their number one pitching prospect according to Baseball America, to follow opener Luke Bard (1-2, 5.09 ERA) at just under 20, no grey beard himself, in this afternoon’s game. The A’s lefty Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.04 ERA), whose major league tenure dates back to 2009, provided the experience. The A’s were looking for a sweep in this third and concluding episode of the last series in the Coliseum for this year between the two teams.

The Angels already had a run lead when Bard first toed the rubber. With one out in the top of the opening frame, Marcus Semien threw Mike Trout out at first. Minor league call-up umpire Alex Tosi ruled him safe. Although replay seemed to show that the throw had beaten Trout to the bag, the A’s decided not to challenge the call. Albert Pujols followed with a double play ball to Matt Chapman, which the usually sure handed third base man bobbled. It went as a hit. Brian Goodwin also hit a double play ball, but after Olson’s throw to Semien got Goodwin out at second, Anderson didn’t get his foot on the base in time for Semien’s relay to consummate the twin killing at first. Justin Upton then banged a double off the State Farm sign in right center field to score the two remaining baserunners. Finally, Anderson struck out Kole Calhoun to stop the ugliness.

In the bottom half of the inning, Tosi made another controversial call. With Semien on base after having been hit by a pitch and one out, due to Chapman having struck out, Matt Olson hit a hard drive wide of first. Pujols made a good play on it and threw to Bard, covering. Olson made the mistake of sliding head first into the bag, and the young ump called him out, with Semien moving up to third on the play. Oakland challenged, but New York confirmed, the call. Mark Canha drove him in with a single to center on the next pitch. And that’s how Los Angeles was leading when Súarez entered the game as scheduled in the bottom of the second.

The Halos combined little ball and big ball to pad their lead in the third. David Fletcher led off with a bunt single to third. On the next pitch, Trout blasted a 90 mph sinker 455 feet into the upper deck in center field for this 45th homer run and 103rd and 104th RBI of the season.

After five innings of work, Anderson had surrendered five runs, all of them earned, although those he gave up in the first were undeserved. He allowed nine hits, including Trout’s homer in the third, and didn’t walk anyone. For a long while, it looked like he’d take the loss, but things turned out differently.

While Anderson was shaky, allowing a fifth Los Angeles tally in fifth and escaping only by a pick off-caught stealling of Upton, who had driven in the run, Súarez was in command. He set down 11 of the first 14 Athletics he faced before he allowed his first extra base hit, a rule book double to Semien with two down in the sixth.

Until then he had surrendered only two walks and a single.

After Chapman went down swinging to strand Semien at second, ending the fifth, A.J. Puk relieved Anderson, and the game that had been a youthful challenge to baseball middle age became a show case of young talent. Puk looked good. He got the side down in order in the sixth, striking out Calhoun and Rengifo and getting Simmons out on a good play by Chapman. Best of all, given his tendency towards wildness, the A’s rookie threw only two balls in that 11 pitch inning.

Súarez appeared to weaken in the A’s sixth. Olson opened it with a double to right. He moved on to third after Calhoun made an outstanding diving grab on Canha’s drlve to right and stayed there out of respect for Trout’s arm when Profar flied out to medium deep center. Trout’s throw home was off-line, but it was the right decision. Then Davis lined out to short.

Puk’s beautiful sixth was offset in the next inning by Kevan Smith’s lead off homer to left on an 0-2, 90 mph slider. It was his third round tripper of the year and his first hit after an 0 for 30 drought and allowed the Angels to go into the seventh inning break with a 6-1 lead.

The one-two punch of a Sheldon Neuse single and a 390 foot dinger to left by Josh Phegley broke the spell and ended Súarez’s day. He had thrown 5 1/3 innings of five-hit ball, giving up two runs, both earned, on five five hits, and two walks, while striking out two. He ceded his mound duties to Ty Buttrey, who loaded the bases on a single to Semien and walks to the Matts Brother, Chapman and Olson. He walked Canha, too. The score now was 6-4, and Buttrey was in the locker room, having yielded to Miguel del Pozo, who walked Profar on a full count, bringing the A’s to within a run of the Angels.

Luis García took over for del Pozo and got to a full count on Khris Davis, who sent a weak ground to short for the second out of the inning, but, more important, the sixth and tying run of the game for Oakland. This brought Adalaberto Mejía to the mound, while Robbie Grossman waited in the on deck circle to pinch-hit for Pinder. Batting from his strong side, the left, Grossman drove Mejia’s first pitch off the center field fence for a bases clearing two run triple, which gave Oakland its first lead of the afternoon, 8-6.

Ryan Buchter came on for the A’s to start the Angel’s eight. After fanning Goodwin and Upton, he allowed a single to Calhoun and gave way to Lou Trivino, who got Simmons to ground out on highway 523, Chapman to Olson.

Noé Ramírez was brought in to pitch the eighth and keep the Angels in reach of the A’s. He got his first man, Phegley, on a grounder in the shift to Rengifo. But Semien’s hard shot down the third base line got past Fletcher for a double. Ramírez retired Chapman on a pop foul to first and then elected to walk Olson. He followed that with an 88 mph fastball that hit Canha in the arm. Profar then lifted a fly to center field that Trout lost in the sun. The Texas League double plated Semien and gave Profar his third RBI of the day and gave Oakland a 10-6 lead.

Jake Diekman pitched the Angels ninth and set them down in order.

Puk got the win, his first major league decision. The loss went to Butry, which dropped his record to 6-7-2, 4.12 ERA.

The win puts Oakland 8 1/2 games behind Houston in the AL West. More realistically, it puts them ahead of Tampa Bay and Cleveland in the wild card race. The lead over the Rays is a mere percentage point, but it’s nine points and a full game over Cleveland. Tampa Bay has four games left to play against Boston and two against the Yankees. Cleveland still has to play three games on the road against both Minnesota and Washington. Oakland will have to take on the Astros four more times before the season ends. None of the three wild card contenders has it easy, but it’s my guess that the schedule slightly favors the A’s, who have won their season series against both the Rays and the Indians, meaning a tie goes in favor the A’s.

Tomorrow’s night’s game against the Tigers will be proceeded by the completion of the May 19th contest at Detroit, which was suspended because of rain in the middle of the seventh inning. Detroit will take the field as the home team, trailing Oakland, 5-3. After that, it will be Spencer Turnbull (3-14, 4.45 ERA) on the mound for Detroit and Homer Bailey (7-6, 4.80 ERA with Kansas City; 5-2, 5.26 ERA with Oakland; 12-8, 4.96 ERA overall) for the A’s.

A’s fire 4-0 shutout vs. Angels

Photo credit: @NBCSAthletics

By Lewis Rubman

Los Angeles (AL): 0 | 5 | 0

Oakland: 4 | 5 | 1

OAKLAND — It was an example of generational conflict when the Los Angeles Angels sent Patrick Sandoval to the mound tonight to do battle against the Oakland Athletics and Tanner Roark. Sandoval is a left handed rookie who will turn 23 next month. He has good command and throws fastballs in the low to mid nineties with movement, a good change up, as well as a curve ball and slider. Going into tonight’s fray, he had five games, four as a starter, and a total of 22 1/3 innings of major league experience. He brought a won-lost record of 0-1 and an earned run average of 5.24 with him to the mound.

Roark is 10 years older than his young opponent. The A’s right-hander has toiled for in the show for seven years, and the A’s are his third team in the big leagues, his second of the season. He went a so-so 6-7, 4.24 ERA for Cincinnati but was 2-1, 3.30 ERA since joining the green and gold. He features a sinker, slider, curve, and change up.

It’s not as though the Angels’ lineup were made up of no one but callow youths and the A’s fielded a team of candidates for Altenheim to face the kids from Anaheim. Just one example from each team should be enough. When Albert Pujols came to bat in the top of the first inning, it was his 12,145th plate appearance in a 19 year major league career. Squatting behind him in back of the plate was the A’s Sean Murphy, in his first big league game. The result of the at bat was Pujols’ 658th career double. He was stranded on second, as Brian Goodwin, who had preceeded Pujols’ AB with a single, was on third, when Roark struck out Shohei Ohtani.

With two out in the bottom of the second, Jurickson Profar, batting from his strong (right) side, got a hold of one of Sandoval’s four seam fast balls, this one thrown at 94 mph, and launched it over the State Farm-Kaiser Permanente-DeWalt sign in right center field for his 19th round tripper of the year and a 1-0 Oakland lead.

Although Roark continually flirted with danger, the score remained 1-0 until Sandoval, with his 52nd pitch of the night, got Matt Olson, leading off the bottom of the fourth, to fly out to left center field. At that point, Brad Asmus removed his starter and called on Jake Jewell to replace him on the mound.

Sandoval’s line was 3 1/3 innings, in which he gave up one run earned, on one hit, Profar’s home run, and one walk. He struck out three and threw 52 pitches, 30 of which were strikes. He eventually was charged with the loss, a tough one.

Sandoval’s 6’3” right-handed replaceman proceeded to fan Khris Davis and Chad Pinder to close out the frame.

As if inspired by Jewell’s feat, Roark set down Trout, Goodwin, and Pujols in the top of the fifth, his first 1-2-3 inning of the game. He hit his stride after that.

In the bottom of the inning, Murphy gave his battery mate a little breathing room by sending an 0-1, 95 mph four seam fast ball over the same fence that Profar’s blast had cleared in the second. Murphy’s first major league homer was followed by a single by rookie Sheldon Neuse and Semien’s 26th round tripper of the year, a blast to left. Just like that, the A’s were up, 4-0.

After the resurgent Roark retired the Angels to a conga beat (1-2-3) in the top the sixth, the ex-Athletic Trevor Cahill came in to face his erstwhile teammates in the bottom of the sixth. With the help of a spectacular catch by Trout of pinch-hitting Robbie Grossman’s sinking fly to short center, Cahill also had a 1–2-3 inning. He went the rest of the game, pitching 2 2/3 innings in all and allowing only two baserunners, both on walks. He struck out two and threw a total of 48 pitches, 26 strikes.

Roark came out to pitch the Angels’ seventh and gave up a two-out single to Fletcher. That was enough for the night, and he left after having thrown 6 2/3 innings and allowing five hits and two walks. He struck out six and threw one wild pitch. Of his other 112, 74 were strikes.

His replacement, Yusmeiro Petit, ended the inning with two pitches to Trout, the second of which resulted in a fly to Grosssman, who now was playing right field. That ended the inning and Petit’s day’s work.

Joakim Soria assumed the role of set up man, and he played it very well, thanks in part to a nifty catch by Profar on a falling liner to short left field. Soria, too, got his men, 1-2-3.

Oakland remains in second place in the AL West, nine games behind Houston. The A’s are a half a game behind Tampa Bay in the race for the number one wild card spot They are in a virtual tie with Cleveland for the second slot, but, at 58, lead the Indians by one game in the lost column and are one point ahead of the Tribe in winning percentages.

Tomorrow’s 12:37 p.m. game will be a duel of lefties, with Anaheim’s José Suarez (2-5, 6.71 ERA) going against Oakland’s Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.04 ERA).

A’s edge the Angels 7-5; Fiers wasn’t dominate but Oakland is in the win column

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Lewis Rubman

Los Angeles (AL): 5 | 8 | 2

Oakland: 7 | 6 | 0

The A’s recent 4-3 whirlwind trip to Kansas City and New York was successful, but only if you define success as the avoidance of a major disaster. The team is by no means out of the running for the postseason, but the outlook is, if not bleak, cloudy. Fangraphs estimates the A’s chances of reaching the wild card play-in game at 44.5%, and the same source gives them the same chance of winning that game.

That’s encouraging, but it doesn’t solve Oakland’s problems, the most glaring of which is their unreliable bullpen. Joakim Soria frequently can be counted on to yield a run an inning, which should disqualify him as candidate to enter close games in late innings. Yusmeiro Petit is having a pretty good season, but when he doesn’t have it, he’s subject to melt downs. Blake Treinen has done more than just revert to the norm after last year’s magnificent run of saves; he seems—I take no pleasure in saying this—a liability. Meanwhile, Lou Trivino keeps tantalizing A’s fans with the hope that he’s finally turned the corner and is escaping his dream turned nightmare.

This leads to the paradox that the role of the A’s starter is both more and less significant than it normally would be. He needs to pitch deep in the game, but, however well he does, it could all be wiped out if he doesn’t get the offensive and relief support he needs. The A’s lineup frequently provides the former, and, until this past weekend, Liam Hendriks was a regular source of the latter, as were the middle relievers and set up men when they were on their A or even B+ game.

Sean Manea’s return—and it was an unqualified success—enabled Oakland to push Mike Fiers’ next start back a game, thereby giving their ace, tonight’starter at the Coliseum, a day’s rest more than his regular turn and the day off after New York would otherwise have provided. Rhythms being as important as they are to the pitchers’ craft, added rest doesn’t always help them when they get back to business, but those respites usually pay off over time, especially when the race to make the playoffs becomes pressing.

Fiers was by no means dominating in tonight’s contest. He left after five innings of work, in which he gave up four runs, all of them earned, on seven hits, two of which were home runs, and two walks. He struck out two and threw 83 pitches, 51 of which were strikes.

The A’s have taken other steps to bolster their chances of success. Seth Brown already has contributed both offensively and defensively, and the injury-prone Sean Murphy is a fairly sure bet to do so as well, especially if he can stay healthy. Right-handed starter Paul Blackburn is up from Vegas, where he went 11-3, 4.34 ERA (.327 in his last 11 games) in what decidedly is not a pitcher friendly league or home ball park. Susan Slusser has reported that he’s expected to be used in long relief. We’re still waiting for the return of Ramón Laureano and Jesús Luzardo, not to mention the homecoming (on the road) of suspended Frankie Montás for the six last games of the regular season. He could give the team one start, several relief innings, or a combination both activities.

But enough about the A’s. The Angels sent Jaime Barría, who at 4-7, 6.10 ERA, had gotten into the sixth inning only once in his 11 starts for the Halos this season, to the mound. The right hander had a horrendous ERA of 9.68 over 48 1/3 innings in Salt Lake this season, but managed to strike out 44 batters while with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate. Tonight, he lasted four frames, in which he surrendered five runs, four of the earned, on five hits and two walks. He struck out five, and 44 of his 74  pitches were strikes.

Mike Trout greeted Fiers rudely with a one out home run to left on the fifth pitch of the game. It came off an 87 mph fast ball. The pitch’s velocity put to rest the suspicion that Fiers might be over rested. But he settled down to strike out two-way Shohei Ohtani and soon to be Cooperstown bound Albert Pujols to fly out to medium deep center.

The Angels scored again against Fiers in the top of the second. Justin Upton followed a four pitch walk to Kole Calhoun with a single to left. Andrelton Simmons also singled to left, scoring Calhoun. Upton tried to advance to third on Simmons’ single, but Seth Brown cut him down with a bullet of a throw to Matt Chapman. In spite of a steal of second by Simmons, Fiers escaped further damage by fanning Luis Rengifo and retiring ex A’s farmhand Max Stassi, who hit a soft liner to Profar at second. Oakland was down, 2-0 after one and a half innings of play.

Matt Olson doubled to center to lead off the Oakland second. He held his base when Mark Canha grounded out to short but scored on Brown’s ringing triple to right. Khris Davis hit a bouncer to Simmons at short, and it looked like he might try to throw Brown out at home. But he changed his mind at the last moment and threw to first, giving KD an RBI and the A’s a temporary tie.

In their half of the third, the A’s got two men in scoring position and Simmons two errors when, with Semien on first with a single, the Angels’ shortstop couldn’t handle Robbie Grossman’s hard grounder behind second and then made an uncontrolled backhand flip towards Fletcher, but over his head. Chapman then sent an 84 mph slider over the head of the leaping Trout in center and over the fence behind him.

The A’s three-run advantage was, however, short lived. One pitch into the fourth and Pujols launched his 21st round tripper of 2019, sending an 89 mph two-seamer into the left field bleachers, and the lead had shrunk to two.

The Angels’ half of the fifth started off well for the A’s. But after Stassi’s fly to center sent Canha to the warning track for the second out, Fletcher singled, and Trout walked, setting the stage for Ohtani’s slicing double to left, whcih drove in Fletcher and advanced Trout to to third. Pujol’s grounder to Semien stopped the bleeding and left Oakland ahead 5-4 at the half-way point.

Southpaw Adalberto Mejía took over for Barría to start the bottom of the fifth and set Grossman, Chapman, and Olson down in order.

The problematic Blake Treinen started the sixth for the A’s. He struck out Kole Calhoun and then reversed course by allowing a game-tying home run to Upton, his 11th, to left. By now, Ryan Buchter was up and throwing in the A’s bullpen for the second time in the game. After Treinen walked Simmons and Rengifo, Buchter came in to try to limit the damage. Brad Ausmus countered by calling on Brian Goodwin to hit for Stassi. Buchter got him on a called third strike, a 92 mph four-seamer, and gave way to Yusmeiro Petit. He got Fletcher to pop out to Olson near the mound. Fiers’ streak of 20 consecutive starts without a loss was preserved and extended. He now is tied with Lefty Grove for the longest in franchise history. But it was not a good performance.

Noé Ramírez, who entered the game to start the A’s sixth, painfully undid the Halos’ comeback. Canha’s line drive off what looked like Ramírez’s buttocks but might have been his hip bounded to short, where Simons couldn’t make a play on it. Then Seth Brown whacked a triple to right to score Canha. It was the rookie’s second of the game, which tied a record last tied by Chapman last year. Khris Davis drove Brown in with a sac fly to the center field wall, his second RBI of the game.

When the 14,031 fans in attendance had finished singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Keynan Middleton came into the ball game, relieving the unfortunate Ramírez. The latest Angels hurler issued two walks but escaped damage thanks to the pitchers’ best friend, which went Simmons to Rengifo to Pujols.

The nail bite inducing Joakim Soria faced three men in the Angels’ seventh. His best friend took the form of Semien to Profar to Olson.

Luis García toed the rubber for Los Angeles (or Anaheim, to be precise). He started his own DP, 1-4-6-3, and we went into the top of the ninth with Liam Hendriks on the mound, trying to redeem his recent unpleasantness in the Bronx. Three batters and seven pitches later he did, gaining his eighteenth save.

Petit got the win, raising his won-lost record to 5-3 and lowering his ERA to 2.84. The loss went to Ramírez. He’s now 4-3, 3.95 ERA.

The win leaves the A’s in second place in the AL west at 79-58, 9 1/2 games behind Houston. They are in a virtual tie with Cleveland for the second wild card spot, leading the Indians by one percentage point and trailing Tampa Bay by 1 game for the first wild card spot. Oakland has 25 1/3 games left to play. That third of a game will be played Friday night before they face Detroit for a full-scale encounter.

Tomorrow evening, Oakland will send RHP Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.30 ERA with them, 6-7, 4.24 ERA for Cincinnati) against Anaheim’s left handed Patrick Sandoval (0-1, 5.24 ERA).

A’s Report: A’s look to rebound against LA Angels

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Monday, September 2, 2019

The recent road trip didn’t end well for the Oakland Athletics, who head home for yet another crucial series.

The A’s dropped a heartbreaker in New York on Sunday. After leading 4-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees rallied in the ninth to walk off a 5-4 win. Oakland lost 4-3 the day before.

After taking Labor Day off, the A’s will host a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels with a chance to make progress in the American League Wild Card race. Going in to Tuesday, Oakland trails Cleveland by one game and Tampa Bay by 1 ½.

On Tuesday, a pitching matchup of right-handers features Mike Fiers (13-3, 3.40 ERA) for the A’s against the Angels’ Jaime Barria (4-7, 6.10 ERA).

A challenge for the A’s pitching staff will be shutting down Angels DH Shohei Ohtani, who is a full-time designated hitter this season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Ohtani has been in a power slump with four home runs over the last two months.

With rosters expanding on Sept. 1, the A’s added five players to the 40-man roster. The A’s recalled right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn and infielder Franklin Barreto from Triple-A Las Vegas, selected catcher Sean Murphy from Las Vegas, reinstated left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea from the 60-day injured list, and reinstated designated hitter Khris Davis from the paternity list.

To clear space on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated infielder Corban Joseph and right-handed pitcher Tanner Anderson for assignment.

This series against the Angels, along with all other homestands in September, can be viewed by children age 12 and under for free in a special promotion by the A’s.

As the A’s continue their push to the postseason, kids 12 and younger can attend every September regular season home game for free. For every regularly priced individual ticket purchased, adults can receive two additional kids’ tickets.

The A’s have two homestands and a number of family-friendly promotions during the 12 home games in September: Star Wars Fireworks presented by Chevron (Sept. 7); Bert “Campy” Campaneris Bobblehead presented by Chevrolet (Sept. 8); Mike Fiers No-Hitter Bobblehead presented by Chevron (Sept. 20); Evolution of Pop Fireworks presented by Lagunitas (Sept. 21); and on Kid Appreciation Day, a Ramón “Laser” Laureano Bobblehead presented by Call 811 (Sept. 22).

Plus, kids can run the bases following every Sunday game (Sept. 8 and Sept. 22).

To receive two complimentary kids’ tickets with the purchase of one adult ticket, visit athletics.com/family or the Oakland A’s Box Office.

A’s outlast Angels 7-4, win series

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s downed the LA Angels Thursday night to bounce back from a very tough loss on Wednesday. The A’s got off to another good start. The A’s led 6-1 midway through the fifth inning. The Angels made it 6-3 in their half of the fifth when Mike Trout homered with a man aboard. A’s manager Bob Melvin must have thought it was deja vu all over again. The Angels rallied from a 7-1 deficit on Wednesday to beat the A’s. The Green and Gold did not want to suffer another defeat like that on Thursday.

The A’s put three on the board in the top of the fourth. Stephen Piscotty started the rally with a single. He went to second when the Angels’ catcher Dustin Garneau committed an error by mishandling a pitch from Tyler Skaggs.  Three more singles and two sacrifice fly balls put the runs on the board. The Angels got one back in the bottom of the inning. Singles by Shohei Ohtani, Kole Calhoun, and David Fletcher loaded the bases for the Angels. Brian Goodwin drove in Ohtani with a sac fly to Ramon Laureano in center field. The A’s led 3-1.

The A’s plated three more in the fifth. Chad Pinder and Matt Chapman walked to get things going for Oakland. Khris Davis singled to drive in Pinder. Chapman and Davis advanced to second and third on Calhoun’s throwing error to the plate. Angels’ manager Brad Ausmus removed Skaggs from the game and brought in Jaime Barria to pitch. Piscotty’s fly ball to shallow left field was caught by Brian Goodwin. Goodwin’s throw slipped off his hand and Chapman scored. Davis went to third on the error. Laureano drove in Davis with a sac fly to left field. The Angels responded with two in their half of the fifth. Mike Trout hit his 16th bomb of the season with a man aboard to make it 6-3.

Piscotty hit a solo homer in the seventh, and the Angels scored one in the bottom of the ninth. The A’s won 7-4.

Game Notes: With the win, the A’s are now 31-31 for the year. The Angels drop to 30-33. Mike Fiers went six innings and allowed seven hits and three runs. He is now 5-3. Tyler Skaggs absorbed the loss and is now 4-6.

The A’s bullpen did their job Thursday night. Melvin used Ryan Buchter, Liam Hendriks, Lou Trivino, and Joakim Soria. Soria was nicked for a run in the ninth.

The A’s line score was seven runs, nine hits, and no errors. The Angels’ line was four runs, nine hits, and three costly errors.

Up Next: The A’s are on their way to Texas to play three with the Rangers starting Friday night. Lefty Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.95 ERA) goes for Oakland and Texas will send righty Lance Lynn (7-4, 4.50 ERA) to the hill.

Game time will be at 5:07 pm.

Montas, Laureano help A’s snap 5-game losing streak

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s snapped their five-game losing streak Tuesday night as the beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2. It was also the start of a nine-game road trip. Frankie Montas, who has pitched very well for Oakland this season, had another outstanding outing as he went six innings and allowed four hits and two runs while improving his record to 7-2. He was cruising along until the bottom of the sixth. With one out, he had a 13-pitch battle with the Angels’ superstar, Mike Trout. Trout refused to strike out. He fouled off seven or eight pitches. With the count at 3-2, Montas drilled Trout on his left elbow. It seemed that Montas was a bit rattled by the battle that he had with Trout. He had to face Angels’ DH Shohei Ohtani, and Montas lost that battle as Ohtani blasted his fourth homer of the year to cut the deficit to two 4-2

The Angels’ starter Griffin Channing, who pitched well against Oakland last week at the Coliseum, did well except for two innings. The A’s were able to put two on the board in the second inning. With one out, Matt Chapman singled. Matt Olson walked to put men on at first and second. Khris Davis, the A’s DH, smoked a double over the head of Mike Trout that went for a double. Chapman scored. Stephen Piscotty hit a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Olson with the A’s second run.

The A’s made in 4-0 in the top of the sixth. Robbie Grossman singled with one out. Ramon Laureano homered into the left-field seats. The blast was measured at 403 feet. The Angels, as mentioned above, scored twice in their half of the inning.

The A’s manager Bob Melvin had Yusmeiro Petit pitch the seventh, Liam Hendriks, the eighth, and Blake Treinen the ninth. The A’s relievers did the job. They did not allow a hit in the last three innings of the game. Treinen set the Angels down in order in the ninth, and he earned his 12th save of the year.

Game Notes – With the win, the A’s improved to 30-30 while the Angels fell to 29-32. The A’s are in third place in the AL West. The A’s trail the Texas Rangers by one game in the race for second place in the division.

Ramon Laureano was the hitting star for Oakland, He had a double and home run in the game, and that extended his hitting streak to sixteen games.

The line score for Oakland was four runs, eight hits, and no errors. The Angels’ line was two runs, four hits, and no errors.

Time of game was three hours and four minutes and over 36,000 fans were on hand to see the A’s take the first game of the three-game series.

Game Two will be played Wednesday night in Anaheim. The A’s will send Daniel Mengden to the mound, and Felix Pena will go for the Angels. The Angels may use an “opener’ and then have Pena come in to pitch in the second inning.

The game will start at 7:07 pm.

Oakland A’s podcast with Joey Friedman: A’s finish up with Angels this weekend and get set for New York for the Wild Card

Photo credit: @Athletics

On the A’s podcast with Joey:

The Oakland A’s are wrapping up the regular season soon enough. This weekend, the A’s are in Anaheim for three games. Joey talks about his top A’s highlight for this season. Also, a look at the starters for the rest of the regular season and postseason: Mike Fiers, Trevor Cahill, Daniel Mengden, Edwin Jackson, Chris Bassitt.

For relief, the A’s have Jeurys Famila, Yusmerio Petit, Fernando Rodney, Lou Trivino, Ryan Butcher, and Shawn Kelly. The A’s have introduced the “bullpenning” concept–will they use it in the postseason? Also, Khris Davis has had a smashing year with .249, 47 home runs, and 121 RBIs.

Joey does the A’s podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com