Yankees need 11 innings on Saturday in the Bronx to beat the A’s 7-6

NYY Neil Walker
Neil Walker gets the treatment after hitting the game-winning hit Photo: @Yankees

by Charlie O. Mallonee

It took four hours and 15 minutes, 11-innings, 13 pitchers, 34 baserunners, 17 hits, four home runs and one controversial video replay to bring game two of the three-game series between the Athletics and Yankees to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon.

In the bottom of the 11th inning with two out and runners at first and second, the Yankees Neil Walker stepped into the batter’s box to face A’s relief pitcher Chris Hatcher who entered the game in the 10th inning. Walker hit the first pitch to him from Hatcher into center field. Gary Sanchez took off from second base at the crack of the bat and never had any goal in mind but to score the winning run. Mark Canha’s throw was off-line and Sanchez scored the run for a 7-6 New York walk-off win.

Walker is now 9-for-25 (.360) including nine walks in his last nine games after hitting just .163 in his first 21-games of the season.

Oakland thought the game might be over in nine innings

Was he safe or was he out? Photo: Yankees Facebook

In the top of the ninth inning, the Yankees brought in the fire-balling Aroldis Chapman to shut down the A’s. It became apparent immediately that Chapman did not have his usual unhittable, strikeout “stuff” on Saturday. After loading the bases on three consecutive walks, Chapman was able to strikeout Mark Canha.

Jonathan Lucroy was inserted as a pinch-hitter for catcher Bruce Maxwell. Lucroy was 1-for-9 versus Chapman with the one hit being a home run. Lucroy hit the first pitch from Chapman into shallow left field. As Brett Gardner caught the ball, the Athletics Matt Olson tagged at third and headed for home. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez moved about three-feet up the baseline, caught an on-target throw from Gardner and made a sweeping tag at Olson who was sliding toward home plate. Home plate umpire James Hoye called Olson safe without hesitation. The Yankees immediately challenged the call on the field.

The replays made available to television made it look like Sanchez did indeed make the tag except for one crucial angle where it looks like the catcher misses the tag. The replay center overturned the call on the field. It became an inning-ending double play.

Personal opinion inserted here: I hate replay in all sports. You have professional officials on the field to calls. Let them do their jobs. Yes, they will make some mistakes. over the course of a 162-game season, all of the mistakes will balance themselves out. Review your history if doubt my opinion.

Oakland Postgame Notes

NYY Khris HR
Khris Davis celebrates after hitting HR No. 11 Photo: @Athletics
  • This was the A’s first extra-inning loss of the season. They were 3-0 in extra-inning games until Saturday.
  • Starting pitcher Andrew Triggs did not record a decision. He worked 4.1-innings allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits. He struck out six Yanks and walked four. Triggs real undoing was allowing three home runs.
  • Reliever Chris Hatcher (3-1) took the loss on Saturday. He pitched 1.2-innings giving up one run off two hits.
  • The A’s other five relievers – Coulombe, Dull, Casilla, Petit and Treinen pitched 4.2-innings of shutout baseball.
  • Khris Davis hit another home run on Saturday – number 11 of the season. This one came in the fourth inning with two runners on base and gave the A’s a 3-2 lead.
  • Mark Canha went 2-for-5 with two RBI in the game. He is batting .400 (6-for-15) with nine RBI and three walks with runners in scoring position.
  • The A’s are now 19-20 for the year.

Yankees Postgame Notes

  • This was the Yankees fourth “walk-off” win of the season and ended a two-game losing streak.
  • The win ended a five-game losing streak to the Athletics.
  • New York starter RHP Domingo Germain took a no-decision whiled working 5.0-innings and allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits (one HR). He walked three and struck out one.
  • Yankees reliever A.J. Cole (3-1) picked up the victory. Cole struggled with the first two hitters he faced but then settled down to keep his team in the game.
  • Three big home runs helped the Bombers on Saturday: Aaron Judge hit a two-run shot, his 11th of the year. Gary Sanchez (10) and Aaron Hicks (3) went long back-to-back in the second inning.
  • Didi Gregorius ended a 30 at-bat hitless streak when he hit a single off Triggs in the fifth inning.

Up next

The Athletics and Yankees will wrap up this three-game series on Sunday in the Bronx with a 10:05 AM PDT first-pitch. Oakland will send LHP Brett Anderson (0-1,8.68) to the mound to face the Yankees RHP Luis Severino (5-1,2.21).


Don’t leave town now, Stay awhile!: A’s sweep hapless Orioles with 2-1 win

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–The A’s sweep of the Orioles came with all the necessary elements: superior pitching, timely hitting and dependable defense.

But would that list accurately explain how the A’s won three games–by a combined five runs–in three days?

No way. This story starts with sorry state of affairs for the visiting Orioles and those 12 consecutive road losses.. and counting. Rarely, does one big league team catch another at its lowest point. The A’s did that when they welcomed the stumbling O’s to the Coliseum’s visiting clubhouse on Friday.

“They have an explosive offense and a great manager. You just hope they stay down while they’re here,” said manager Bob Melvin.

When the series began the A’s had their own issues, scuffling to score runs in a skid that saw four losses in five games. In response, Melvin implored his club to find its run-scoring groove earlier in ballgames. Melvin’s nudge worked Friday night when the A’s put up a four-spot in the first inning, but then his club scored twice in the next 18 innings, while going scoreless for the first 11 frames Saturday.

From Oakland’s perspective, not much change.

But it hardly mattered with the Orioles committing five errors in the series, scoring one run over the final 24 innings of the weekend, and looking defeated before they actually lost.

What’s wrong with the Orioles? Well to start, just about everything. They entered the year in a rebuilding phase, unable to go any further with a roster clearly inferior to AL East rivals Boston and New York, and things got worse from there. After Sunday, they’re a major league worst 8-26, hitting just .220 as a team, and they can’t catch or throw. Their 26 errors in 34 games ranks second-worst in the American League.

“We’ve got to man up, grow up, start playing better. Period. No ands, ifs or buts about it. We’ve just got to play better. We’re just not good enough right now,” said Orioles’ catcher Caleb Joseph.

On Sunday, veteran outfielders Adam Jones and Trey Mancini were late scratches, and platoon guys, CF Adam Gentry and 3B Pedro Alvarez, were in the Baltimore lineup but scuffling in one way or another. A’s starter Andrew Triggs, possibly still smarting from his unceremonious release from the Baltimore organization in March 2016, took it from there.

Triggs pitched seven, strong innings allowing two hits and striking out a season-high nine. The A’s pushed across a pair of runs in the fourth, and made them stand up in a 2-1 win. The Orioles threatened in the ninth, with a runner at third and one out, but closer Blake Treinen shut the door, getting Jace Peterson to ground out to second with the infield playing in. Then after intentionally walking Manny Machado, Treinen retired Chris Davis on a fly out to end it.

Standing near the game’s summary–as in foul territory adjacent to the diamond–was the story behind the story of how this game was won involving Triggs and Alvarez. In the spring of 2016, the then 29-year old Alvarez was a free agent, after he was non-tendered by the Pirates despite hitting 27 homers and appearing in 150 games for Pittsburgh in 2015.

When Alvarez drew little interest on the free agent market likely due to him averaging 177 strikeouts per season over his six full big league seasons, and being a below average defender at first and third base, the Orioles entertained the idea of signing the slugger and playing him in right field.

At the same time, Triggs had established himself as a minor league standout in the Baltimore organization, saving 17 games as a closer for Double-A Bowie while compiling a microscopic 1.03 ERA. That prompted the Orioles to add Triggs to their 40-man roster after the 2015 season, to prevent some team from poaching the right-handed prospect via the Rule 5 draft.

But when the Orioles agreed to a one-year deal with Alvarez for a price-friendly $5.75 million for one year, plus incentives, Triggs was released to make room for Alvarez on the 40-man roster. Soon thereafter, Triggs signed with the A’s.

Fast forward two years to Sunday, and what transpires? Alvarez hits a home run off Triggs in the second inning, but it’s the only run the A’s pitcher allows. Two innings later, Alvarez–playing third base despite his error-laden history–bobbles a throw from pitcher Alex Cobb, then recovers, only to make an errant throw to second base that ends up in right field. That allows two A’s baserunners to advance a base. The baserunners–Mark Canha and Matt Joyce–end up scoring the tying and eventual game-winning runs later in that inning.

The A’s moved a season-best, two games over .500 with the win.

On Monday, the A’s get a much stiffer challenge from the AL West-leading Astros at 7:05 p.m. Brett Anderson gets the start for the A’s, Dallas Keuchel for the Astros.




A’s beat the Angels 7-3 on Saturday night to even the series at one game apiece

Graphic: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Seven was the magic number for the Athletics on Saturday night in Anaheim. The A’s scored seven runs on seven hits and recorded seven RBI en route to a 7-3 over the Los Angeles Angels in the second game of a three-game series. The series is currently tied at 1-1.

The A’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning and they never trailed in the contest. Oakland scored three runs in the second inning, one run in the fifth, two in the eighth and added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.

The Angels scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it a 3-2 game which is as close as they would come to taking the lead. The Halos scored one more run in the home half of the seventh inning but that was not enough to catch the surging Athletics.

Oakland got a strong performance from their starting pitcher

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Triggs warming up in Anaheim Photo: @Athletics

Andrew Triggs made his second start of the season for the Athletics and made the most his opportunity on the mound. Triggs worked 5.2 innings giving up just two runs (both earned) off four hits. He struck out six Los Angeles batters while walking just two. Triggs did give up one home run to Justin Upton – his third of the young season.

The A’s bullpen had Triggs back

Ryan Buchter came in to relieve Triggs and he struggled a bit. Buchter gave up one run (earned) on one hit in 0.2 innings worked. The run came off a home run hit by Luis Valbuena which was his second round-tripper of the year.

Emilio Pagan pitched 0.2 innings of relief and posted all zeroes except for one strikeout. Pagan earned his second Hold of the season.

Blake Treinen worked two innings to close out the game. He issued two hits but gave up no base-on-balls and no runs. Treinen struck four Angel hitters. He posted his second save of the year.

No Athletic batter had multiple hits

LAA starters
Graphic: @Athletics

The A’s seven hits were spread out among seven different Oakland players

Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season in the fifth inning off Akeel Morris. Matt Chapman recorded his first triple of the year in the game while Stephen Piscotty hit a double.

Piscotty, Semien, Lowrie, Chapman, Maxwell, and Olson all posted an RBI in the game.

The A’s went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.

Series wraps up on Sunday

The eyes of the baseball world will be on the game between the A’s and Angels on Sunday afternoon. Oakland will face the phenomenon of the MLB this season – Shohei Ohtani (0-1, 4.50) for the second time this season. Ohtani’s first ever win in the major league’s came over the A’s last Sunday in Oakland.

The A’s will counter with Kendall Graveman (0-1, 8.10). Graveman has been plagued by giving up the long-ball in both of his starts. He will not be able to issue home runs to the powerful Angels lineup and expect to come away with a victory.

A’s ready for season opener, but the roster remains a work in progress


By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–At least to start the 2018 season, Andrew Triggs is up and in the starting rotation, and Trevor Cahill is headed out.

Given all the upheaval on the A’s roster, things could change quickly. For wackiness sake, Harvey the Rabbitt could supplant Stomper as the team’s most valuable mascot. Given that, don’t write Triggs and Cahill’s name in ink.

Triggs came to spring training with hopes to land a starting assignment, but did so only because top-prospect A.J. Puk, Jharel Cotton and Paul Blackburn have landed on the disabled list. Puk and Cotton aren’t likey to return this season, and Blackburn is at least a couple of weeks away while his strained forearm recovers.

For manager Bob Melvin, the injuries mean other options have to be handy. Former A’s Cahill and Brett Anderson are part of that mix, a pair of familiar faces originally signed for a look-see.

Cahill pitched three scoreless innings on Tuesday in the team’s exhibition season finale, striking out four. Melvin said stretching out Cahill in an effort to prepare him to start at some point is the goal. Anderson’s path is murkier. He’s still in Arizona working out, and hasn’t thrown in any games, but along with Cahill, the pair provide intriguing options given the fragile nature of the rotation.

“At this point, he looks to be the depth,” Melvin said of Cahill. “It’s one of the reasons we signed him is the injuries we’ve had. He looked good.”

For example, Triggs, currently the fourth option in the rotation, hasn’t blown anyone’s socks off: he started Tuesday and threw three plus innings, allowing all three runs in the A’s 3-0 loss. For the spring, Triggs was 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA over 24 innings.

Melvin was tight-lipped about the club’s outfield situation with Boog Powell and Dustin Fowler bidding to start, and Mark Canha batlling for a roster spot. He said an announcement regarding the entire 25-man roster would come Tuesday.

The A’s open at home on Thursday against the Angels at 1:05 p.m.

Oops!: A’s defense sloppy again as the Yankees capitalize in a 9-5 win


By Morris Phillips

For the A’s, home run pop comes with a price.

Khris Davis made A’s fans proud with his laser shot Sunday, into the left field seats at the Bronx Zoo, traveling at no point more than 40 feet above the playing surface. Davis’ two-run shot in the eighth made a game of it again, and pulled the A’s within two runs of the Yankees, trailing 7-5.

But a half inning earlier, there was Davis rolling around in left field after Gary Sanchez launched a ball toward the foul line and Davis appeared to catch it only to see it squirt out of his glove, and briefly out of his sight. Almost an out, Sanchez’ drive instead was an RBI double scoring Ronald Torreyes, and increasing the New York lead to 7-3.  And highlight worthy, unfortunately due to Davis’ turn and crawl to retrieve the ball.

In the second inning, Matt Joyce inexplicably dropped a fly ball. That allowed the Yankees to load the bases, and then cash in on the scoring opportunity with Aaron Judge’s grand slam. Before that, Davis had a chance to throw out Starlin Castro, trying to advance from first to third on a single. But Davis’ throw was slow and inaccurate, allowing trail runner Didi Gregorius to advance to second.

With all the sloppy defense, the Yankees built a six-run total after four innings with only one extra-base hit. That put the normally-reliable Andrew Triggs on the hook for the loss despite allowing only one earned run.  The other five were unearned and equipped the Yankees with plenty in a 9-5 win over the road-challenged A’s.

While the A’s have undeniable pop–their home run total of 70 in 49 games puts them in the AL’s top three as a team–their defense has been awful.  The A’s 49 errors tops all major league clubs, while a trio of clubs (Cardinals, Cubs and Padres) that rank second worst have committed 12 fewer errors than the A’s.

That’s bad.  Given the numerous errors, no degree of offensive ability can put the A’s in the win column consistently.  A frustrated manager Bob Melvin sees a psychological disadvantage for his club as well with all the miscues.

“If we make plays, it’s probably a different story, and that’s been an Achilles’ heel for us all year.  When your defense is poor, sometimes it’s mentally tough to overcome that,” Melvin explained.

Sunday’s loss prevented the A’s from capturing a critical series in the ballpark of the AL East leaders.  It also dropped them to 7-17 on the road, the worst road mark in the American League, and just a half-game ahead of Miami’s big-league worst 7-18 mark.

Thinking along with Melvin, with the Yankees announcing Michael Pineda as their starter, an A’s lineup loaded with power hitters made sense.  Pineda came in having allowed 11 home runs in 53 innings this season, so Melvin likely figured a lineup with 9 of his top 11 home threats could take advantage of Pineda. But with Matt Joyce in right, Mark Canha in center and Davis in left, Melvin’s outfield defense was compromised, minus Rajai Davis in center.

Also, Melvin took a chance batting Canha leadoff for the first time in his career, and saw the decision backfire.  Canha went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts dropping his average to .234. In the two slot, Stephen Vogt also went 0 for 4, giving the A’s no table setting ahead of their 3 through 6 hitters.

And Pineda escaped, keeping the A’s in the ballpark for six innings, allowing only a ground rule double to Yonder Alonso for Oakland’s sole extra-base hit prior to Davis’ homer in the eighth off reliever Chad White.

Meanwhile, defensively, the A’s two errors and other misplays were killers.

NOTES: Kendall Graveman has been placed on the disabled list, and Daniel Mengden will take his turn in the rotation on Monday in Cleveland.  Mengden made 14 starts in 2016, and was 2-9 with a 6.50 ERA.  Carlos Carrasco will oppose Mengden as the A’s visit Progressive Field for Memorial Day, the start of a big week of competition for the cities of Oakland and Cleveland with Game 1 of the NBA Finals on tap for Thursday.





A’s inability to defend, shut down Red Sox’s running game costs them a four-game sweep


By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–On Saturday, the A’s were Murderer’s Row. On Sunday, the same nine guys populated the starting lineup, but the collective was something far less, the difference between an easy win the first day, and a lopsided loss the next.

The change? The A’s defense took a rest.

Aided by three Oakland errors and several misplays, the Red Sox rebounded, avoiding a four-game sweep with a 12-3 whipping of the A’s at the Coliseum.

“Coming in here you say, ‘Give us three of four, we’ll take it.’ Granted, once you win three games, you get greedy and want to win the last game,” manager Bob Melvin said.  “And it felt like we had them on the run a little bit. And then they get the lead, and we come back and take the lead again, and you feel pretty good. But they were pretty persistent today.”

Persistence was the sum of 15 Red Sox base hits, four stolen bases and a trio of two-out RBI knocks, more than enough to overcome the A’s brief 3-2 lead after four innings.  Boston would take the lead for good with two runs in the fifth. They added on with two in the sixth, one in the eighth, and five more in the ninth.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched a season-best eight innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk, to grab the win. Rodriguez shedded the hard luck label he’s worn thus far this season as five of his previous eight starts left him with a no-decision.  For Red Sox Nation, likely inconsolable after three straight losses, Rodriguez was everything and more for a rotation that hasn’t had David Price all season, and has watched Rick Porcello struggle.

“We’ve seen it now on this road trip (in) the two starts for Eddie,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starting pitcher. “It’s been the fifth and sixth innings have been keys for him where we’ve scored, he’s gone out and had quick innings, shutdown innings. And I think that’s been huge for him in his evolution as a pitcher.”

A’s starter Andrew Triggs didn’t pitch poorly, but his inability to slow Boston on the basepaths cost him, as much as the ragged defense behind him.

In the sixth, Triggs allowed a two-run shot to Mitch Moreland, the 19th time the former Texas Ranger has homered against the A’s in his career.  Earlier, the second batter of the game, Dustin Pedroia hit a bloop single down the line, but it turned into much more when Mark Canha fielded it in right, spun towards second base and threw the ball to no one. That allowed Pedroia to take second base, and allowed baserunner Mookie Betts to score the game’s first run from first base.

Chad Pinder would misplay a grounder in the second, and catcher Josh Phegley later unleashed a poor throw, increasing the A’s errors to a major league-worst 42.

Triggs walked three as well, and didn’t do much of a job holding runners on base. Those missteps had Boston running at every opportunity, and as a result the A’s saw their AL-worst total in opponents’ stolen bases jump to 38.

“Today, I was being a little bit too fine. I let guys get on base, and then from there you’re not wanting to let things to compound like they did on the Moreland homer,” Triggs said. “I was trying to be a little bit too fine.”

The homering A’s made a cameo appearance in the fourth when Chad Pinder went deep for the second straight day.  Pinder’s two-run shot wasn’t the once-in-a-generational bomb he hit Saturday, but it came off Rodriguez, who dealt other than that moment, and gave the A’s a lead.

For Melvin, the issue is simple.  His A’s lead the AL in home runs with 64 after 44 games, but of the team’s top seven home run threats, five are below average defenders.  All five–Trevor Plouffe, Ryon Healy, Khris Davis, Pinder and Canha–were in the A’s lineup on Sunday when the errors, mental gaffes and miscues snowballed.

Jed Lowrie and Yonder Alonso, the two plus defenders on the list, will occasionally lose playing time to Pinder and Healy, due to the latter pair’s youth and promise.  In the short run, that factor also weakens the A’s defense.

A lot to ponder for Melvin and Billy Beane as they chart the direction of the team.

On Tuesday, the A’s resume their homestand against the Miami Marlins with Jessie Hahn facing the Marlins’ Jose Urena at 7:05 pm.

Athletics end three losing streaks with 2-1 win over Astros on Saturday night

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Astros alternative logoA's primary logo

The Oakland Athletics ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday night in Houston with a 2-1 win over the Astros. The victory also ended a 10-game winning streak by the Astros over the A’s that carried over from the 2016 season. Houston was 3-0 this season versus Oakland until Saturday night.

It’s not often that a team can end three losing streaks with one win.

This game was all about the pitching


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Andrew Triggs won his fourth game of the season in Houston on Saturday night
  • RHP Andrew Triggs returned to his winning ways as he posted his fourth victory of the season by scattering five hits over seven scoreless innings. Triggs walked none while he struck out nine Houston batters. Triggs’ ERA dropped to 1.84. His record is now 4-1 for the season. He is tied with Dallas Keuchel and Ervin Santana for the most wins in the American League.
  • Ryan Dull (0.1-innings) and Sean Doolittle (0.2-innings) combined to handle the eighth inning. Doolittle allowed the Astros to score their only run of the game when Jose Altuve hit a solo home run (3) over the left center field wall with two out and no runners on base.
  • Santiago Casilla recorded his fourth save of the year by closing out the game. He gave up an infield single to Carlos Beltran who led off the ninth inning but was able keep the Astros from scoring and closed the game preserving the win for Oakland.


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Joe Musgrove pitched well but took the loss for the Astros
  • Joe Musgrove (1-2) took the loss for Houston. Musgrove spread five hits over 6.1-innings while he struck out six batters and walked just one. His one major error came in the fourth inning with one out when Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season to right center field with no one on base.
  • Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz came in to close out the seventh inning for the Astros.
  • Will Harris came out of the bullpen for Houston in the eighth frame. Harris retired the first two Oakland hitters but then he had to pitch to Khris Davis. Davis took a Harris pitch deep to right center field for his 10th home run of year. That would turn out to be the game winning hit and run.
  • Brad Peacock worked the top of the ninth for the Astros. He had to face five A’s hitters to retire the side but he did so without allowing another run.

All the scoring came via the long ball


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Davis is tied for the lead in home runs in the American League
  • Khris Davis hit his 10th home run of the season which scored the A’s second and winning run. With 10 home runs, Davis is tied with the Yankees Aaron Judge for the lead in that category in the American League. It was his 17th RBI which ties his him for ninth in that stat. It’s also the second time this season he has gone yard in back-to-back games. The other time was against the Astros in Oakland on April 14 and 15.
  • Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season and upped his RBI total to five. He was the only Athletic to have a multi-hit game going 2-for-4.
  • The A’s collected a total of eight hits. Others in the hit parade were: Healy, Alonso, Vogt, Phegley and Pinder.
  • The A’s were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They left eight men on base.


astros altuve hr

  • Jose Altuve put up his third home run of the year in the game and it gave him his eighth RBI of the season. He was the only Astro with a multi-hit game going 2-for-3.
  • Others posting hits were: Reddick, Beltran, Gurriel, Gattis and Bregman for a total of seven.
  • Houston was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Key stat for the A’s

The Athletics committed no errors in the game. This is a very important stat to a team that is dead last in fielding percentage in the American League.

Up next

The A’s and Astros will close out their three-game series on Sunday morning 11:10 am PDT from Houston. RHP Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.08) will take the hill for the Athletics. The Astros will send the undefeated Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 1.22) to the mound to the face the A’s in the “rubber game” of the series.

A’s come back to earth, five-game win streak ends in rout administered by the Mariners

AP17113762259554By Morris Phillips

Lately, the Coliseum has been the place for offense. And it was again on Sunday, it just this time the offense didn’t involve the swinging A’s.

The Mariners took their frustrations out on A’s pitching in an 11-1 rout with five extra-base hits, including two homers highlighted by Taylor Motter’s first career grand slam.

Motter’s slam capped the Mariners’ five-run third inning and represented the first taste of adversity for A’s starter Andrew Triggs, who had not allowed an earned run in any of his first three starts.

Triggs fell into trouble in the third by allowing singles to Mitch Haniger and Mike Zunino.  He then walked Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz to force in a run. Motter followed with his slam on a 1-0 slider that grabbed too much of the plate and ended up beyond the left centerfield wall.

Triggs lasted just 4 2/3 innings and took his first loss of 2017, allowing six earned runs on five hits and the two, untimely third inning walks.

The loss snapped the A’s five-game win streak that catapulted them within hailing distance of the AL West-leading Astros.  The Mariners had dropped four of five, and their starter, Yovani Gallardo had never beaten the A’s in seven previous starts.

But on Sunday, the Mariners cruised and Gallardo was the catalyst.

“It was just a matter of putting everything together,” Gallardo said.

The A’s entered Sunday’s contest with an American League-leading 59 extra base hits, and 24 home runs, a nice start to the season for an offense that seemed likely to sputter on the heels of last season’s struggles.  But the A’s have shown pop thus far in 2017, just not on Sunday.

The A’s resume play on Tuesday in Anaheim against the Angels. Jesse Hahn takes the ball for Oakland in a matchup with the Angels’ JC Ramirez.

Astros vs Athletics Sunday finale postponed due to rain – looking ahead to the Rangers

By Charlie O. Mallonee


OAKLAND–The third and final game of the series between the Houston Astros and the Oakland Athletics that was scheduled to begin at 1:05 pm on Sunday has been postponed due inclement weather. A quick check of the records appear to make this the first postponement in Oakland since April 4, 2014 when a Mariners – A’s game had to be canceled due to a wet infield. The tarp was not put on the infield the night before and a rainstorm drenched the field.

In some ways, this may be a relief for the Athletics. The Astros mastery of the A’s continued on Saturday as they overcame a strong pitching performance by Sean Manaea that included 5-plus no-hit innings to comeback and win the game 10-6.

Houston is now 2-0 versus the Athletics in 2017 and have won nine consecutive games  from the A’s dating back to last season.

The make up date has not been announced. The Astros next visit to Oakland is June 19-22 for a four-game series. It is highly unlikely that it would be turned into a five-game series due to pitching rotations. That would make the three-game series scheduled for September 8-10 the best candidate for a day-night doubleheader. Oakland has an off day on September 7 and a travel day on the 11th.

The A’s and Astros in the standings

A's elephant logoAstros primary logo





The Athletics started the day in third place in the American League West with a record of 5-7. They are three games back of the Astros. Oakland is 4-6 in their last 10 games and have lost three games in a row.

The Astros currently lead the AL West with eight wins and four losses. That is the best record in the American League. Houston is 6-4 in their last 10 games and have won four consecutive games.

Up next

The Athletics are scheduled to begin a three-game series with the Texas Rangers on Monday night in Oakland. The A’s are 1-2 versus the Rangers so far this season.

A’s manager Bob Melvin has announced that the plan is to push the pitching rotation back a game so the probables will be as follows:

Mon 4/17 vs TEX   RHP Jharel Cotton (1-1, 3.97) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (1-0, 6.75) 7:05

Tue 4/18 vs TEX    RHP Andrew Triggs (2-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.33) 7:05

Wed 4/19 vs TEX RHP Jesse Hahn (0-1, 3.75) vs. LHP Martin Perez (1-1, 2.20) 12:35

Roster moves for the Athletics

Chad Pinder

Shortstop Marcus Semien has been placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Saturday due to a right wrist contusion. Semien is scheduled to have more testing on the wrist performed on Monday.

Infielder Chad Pinder has been recalled by the A’s from Triple-A Nashville to take Semien’s place on the roster.

Pinder was batting .324 for the Sounds with one RBI in nine games. He had played six games at second base and three games at shortstop for Nashville. Pinder made his Major League debut with the A’s last season batting .235 with four RBI in 22 games.

It really is Springtime in Oakland for the Athletics in 2017

by Charlie O. Mallonee

A's logo

OAKLAND–This is not just your usual end of spring training lets get ready for the regular season story. This year is really a new beginning for the Oakland Athletics and their fans for multiple, positive reasons.

Change of ownership and new upper management

John Fisher was always the majority owner of the Oakland Athletics for the past 11 years but no one really knew that fact. Mr. Fisher – who resides in San Francisco – preferred to stay in the background. Lew Wolff – a minority owner – was the managing partner.

During the Wolff era, the main emphasis was building a new stadium for the A’s that would allow them to better compete for the Bay Sports dollars with the Giants and their AT&T complex. There were several attempts and failures:

  • First came the plan to build a baseball park, shopping complex and residential area in Fremont on the west-side of I-880. That plan died a quiet death.
  • Then came the plan to move to San Jose. City officials were behind  the plan and had the land ready across from the SAP Arena. The Giants jumped in and said “over out dead bodies – San Jose is our territory!” In its typical avoid confrontation at any cost fashion, MLB asked the A’s to back off. The City of San Jose filed a law suit but lost in court.
  • The City of Oakland then tried to get Wolff excited about building a waterfront ballpark in the Howard Terminal area near Jack London Square. Wolff never seemed too excited about that location.
  • Finally, Wolff put together a plan to build a new ballpark, business center, shopping and residential complex on the current Coliseum site. That idea never caught traction as Oakland was still trying court the Raiders and Warriors to stay in the East Bay.

It became evident that Mr. Wolff was not going to get the job done. That combined with his age which he said was causing him to slow down made it apparent a change was coming. Many feared it meant a sale and move of the team to another market.

Mr. Fisher bought out Wolff’s stake in the team and them began to remake the front office. Michael Crowley – who had been president of the team for 20 years – moved into a consultants role. Dave Kaval – president of Fisher’s San Jose Earthquakes – assumed the team’s top spot in addition to his job with the soccer team.


Kaval has been through the stadium building process as he oversaw the construction of Avaya Stadium for the Earthquakes. The $100-million complex was completely privately funded.


Kaval has brought a new sense of enthusiasm to the organization. He is accessible to the fans, press and government officials. He has an openness to new ideas and what seems to be “can do” attitude. For the first in a long time, people are believing the Oakland Athletics are going to get a new place to play.

The A’s are now the only game in town (or soon will be)

Now that the NFL has told Oakland Raiders “to go pound sand” for the second time in 25 years by giving their OK to the team to move to Las Vegas, the A’s are or will soon be the lone occupants of the Coliseum.


As I sit in the press box and look out at “Mt. Davis” – the ugly monster third deck that was built to entice the Raiders back from Los Angeles – I want to vomit. That view out to center field used to be of the beautiful East Bay hills and BART trains zipping by every few minutes. The stadium felt open and spacious. Now, it feels closed in and crowded by too much concrete.

coliseum before

By the way, the Raiders do not use “Mt. Davis” because they cannot sell enough tickets to fill the seats. It is covered with large tarps baring Raiders logos. When the Raiders move to “Sin City”, the people of the City of Oakland will still be paying off the bonds for that ill-fated stadium alteration. Las Vegas – you might want to keep that in the back of your mind.

The Warriors are headed to San Francisco and a new home just south of the Giants’ AT&T Park.

Guess who that leaves in Oakland? “Holy Toledo!” (that’s for you Mr. King) its the A’s.

Now the A’s have two potential stadium sites. The Howard Terminal/Jack London Square site with the waterfront appeal is still available. The current Coliseum site with its great transportation infrastructure and unlimited development possibilities is now back in play.

Wow! The Oakland Athletics have choices for stadium sites. Who would have predicted that last Fall?

Finally – there is the beginning of a new season and the hope it brings

The MLB season gets underway on Sunday with three games including the Giants at Arizona. (That just chaps my hide. Baseball is supposed to begin of Monday with one day game in Cincinnati – the first professional baseball team – then the rest of baseball begins play on Tuesday).

The Athletics open the regular season on Monday at home with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It will be a four-game series that concludes with a day game on Thursday.

RHP Kendall Graveman (10-11, 4.11 in 2016) gets the call for the A’s and RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-14, 4.42 in 2016) taking the hill for LAA.

The A’s still have some personnel decisions to make. They still have 36 players on the roster as of Saturday. Five of those players (Bassitt, Gray, Mengden, Smolinski and Wendle) are expected to start the season on the Disabled List. So, that means six players remain who have to be sent to the minors or released. These are never easy hours for front office personnel and coaches as they have to decide the fates of players.

Eight relievers in the “pen” to start the season

A’s manager Bob Melvin announced on Saturday the team will start the season with eight pitchers in the bullpen. Melvin said that will be the case until of the starting pitchers have made at least two starts. The “skipper” is anticipating shorter outings until his starters have a little more game experience under their belt.

Another reason for the expanded relief corps is the performance of RHP Frankie Montas. Montas came to the A’s from the Dodgers last season in the Reddick/Hill trade. He was on DL recovering from rib surgery last year. The 100-mph throwing pitcher is on a limited pitch count so the “pen” is a great spot for him right now.

When Sonny Gray returns, Montas is expected to go Nashville and return to working as a starting pitcher. A starting pitcher that throws 100-mph – whew.

Giants win the final Spring Training game 6-3 over the A’s in Oakland

The Giants used the long ball to beat the A’s on Saturday. Nick Hundley crushed a grand slam home run in the 4th inning off A’s starter Andrew Triggs. Hundley ended up with four RBIs in the game to improve his total to 12 for the spring.

Justin Ruggiano hit a two-run homer in the top of seventh inning with Raul Alcantara on the hill for the A’s. All of the San Francisco runs came via the long ball.

Giants RHP Tyler Beede (2-0, 2.03) started the game and picked up the win. He pitched 4.0-innings giving up two runs on five hits. Both runs were earned. He struck out five and walked none. Ironically, Beede did not make the Giants major league roster.

RHP Andrew Triggs (1-3, 8.10) took the loss for the Athletics. Triggs allowed four runs (all earned) on six hits including the Hundley grand slam. He struck four and walked one. Triggs will be on the A’s roster on Monday night when they open the season with the Angels.