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.

Olson Homers Twice, A’s Crush Halos 7-2

Photo credit: @Athletics

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland Athletics mashed their way to a 7-2 win over the hosting Los Angeles Angels Friday night in SoCal, thanks to the bat of Matt Olson. The A’s Gold Glove first baseman hit two homers and knocked in five runs while designated hitter Mark Canha went deep as well. Mike Fiers went 6 2/3 innings, giving up only one run.

Olson opened the first inning with a bang, taking opener Noe Ramirez deep on an 0-1 pitch with a runner on and two outs for a 2-0 lead. After Ramirez (L, 3-1, 3.32 ERA) was removed after an inning for long reliever Felix Pena, Olson again would strike in his next at-bat. With runners on first and second, Olson this time went to right field for a 5-0 lead.

Fiers was dominant, working around six hits to only give up the one RBI on an Albert Pujols single in the 5th inning. Friday marked his eighth straight start of six-plus innings and three runs or fewer. In fact, of his last 12 starts, all were three-run or less affairs, though a May 13th outing only lasted five innings. Friday he went 6 2/3, while throwing 104 pitches to improve his record to 8-3 with a 4.01 ERA.

After Pena went five innings, only yielding the three-run shot to Olson, Luke Bard took over the seventh. Mark Canha tagged him with a two-run blast. Canha was filling in for Khris Davis who was hit by a pitch earlier in the week.

The A’s bullpen was almost flawless, but Lou Trivino gave up a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning off the bat of one-time Athletic Jonathan Lucroy. The run was unearned due to a passed ball earlier in the inning.

The A’s hope to have Davis back in the lineup Saturday when they send Brett Anderson to the mound. He’ll be opposed by Tyler Skaggs of the Halos.

Angels down the A’s 8-3 to win the series opener

Photo credit: @Angels

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s dropped the opener of the four-game series to the LA Angels by a score of 8-3 at Angel Stadium on Thursday night. A’s starter Tanner Anderson had a rough outing Thursday night in Anaheim. The Angels rocked him for two runs in the second and five in the third.  Anderson went 2.2 innings and allowed eight hits, and seven runs (all earned).

Angels starter Griffin Canning went six innings and allowed three hits and two runs. Home runs by Ramon Laureano in the second and Matt Olson on the fourth were the only damage done by the A’s offense.

The Angels added a run in the sixth, and the A’s put their third run on the board in the eighth.

Anderson gave up two two-run homers to the Angels. Kole Calhoun hit his 17th in the bottom of the second to put the Angels ahead 2-1. In the bottom of the third, Shohei Ohtani hit his 10th with a man aboard to make it 4-1. The Angels scored three more before A’s manager removed Anderson from the game.

Game Notes: The A’s drop to 43-39 and the Angels improved to 42-40. The Angels have now won four in a row. The Angels have welcomed back two position players back to their lineup. Justin Upton was in left field Thursday. Upton missed over 70 games with a turf toe injury. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was back in the lineup after missing 39 games.

The A’s missed an opportunity to pick up a game on the Houston Astros as the Astros lost to Pittsburgh 10-0 Thursday. They trail the Astros by seven games in the race for first place in the AL West. The Texas Rangers are in second place with a 2 1/2 game lead over the A’s. The Angels are in fourth place, and they trail the A’s by one game.

Time of game was two hours and 46 minutes. 40,631 fans watched the Angels win the fourth in a row.

Up Next: Game two of the four-game series will be played Friday night. Game time will be at 7:07 pm. Mike Fiers (7-3, 4.20 ERA) will go for Oakland. Fiers’ ERA is 2.51 in his last nine starts. The Angels will use an opener to start the game. Felix Pena will come in after the first or second inning. The Angels have used an opener in 10 of Pena’s 11 appearances.

The A’s line score was three runs, five hits, and no errors. The Angels’ line was eight runs, 12 hits, and no errors.

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.

Angels rally from a 7-1 deficit to win a wild one over the A’s 10-9

Photo credit: @Angel_City_Buzz

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s and the Los Angeles Angels played another wild one at the Big A in Anaheim. The two teams played a nine-inning game that lasted four hours and 13 minutes.

Both teams used an “opener” to start the game. The Angels used reliever Cam Bedrosian for one inning and replaced him with Felix Pena. The A’s Joakim Soria pitched the first inning and was later replaced by Daniel Mengden. This strategy was not successful for either team Wednesday night.

Angels leadoff hitter, Tommy La Stella, homered on the second pitch from Soria to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead. The A’s roughed up Pena for four runs in the second inning. The A’s had two doubles and two singles in the inning to put them ahead. Oakland scored three more in the top of the third to lead 7-1. The A’s put together four singles and a walk to get the runs on the board. The Angels answered with four runs in the bottom of the third. La Stella single to get the rally going for LA. Mike Trout hit his 15th dinger of the year to make it 7-3. Shohei Ohtani singled, and that was followed by a double off the bat of Albert Pujols. Kole Calhoun grounded out to first to drive in Ohtani with the third run of the inning. Pujols scored on David Fletcher’s single. The A’s lead was now 7-5.

The Angels plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 8-7 lead. With one out, second baseman Luis Rengifo singled. Mengden walked La Stella to put men on at first and second. It was at this point that A’s manager decided to remove Mengden from the game. Yusmeiro Petit was brought in to pitch. Angels DH Ohtani hit his fifth big blast of the year to put the Angels ahead.

The Angels maintained the lead until the top of the eighth. The A’s scored twice for a 9-8 lead. The A’s rally started when Marcus Semien walked with one out. Matt Chapman singled. That was followed by Matt Olson’s single to drive in Semien with the tying run. Chapman went to third, but Olson was thrown out at second. Chapman scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. The home plate umpire called Chapman out, but the call was reversed after a review. The A’s lead didn’t last long as the Angels tied the game. A’s reliever Liam Hendriks gave up two hits and an intentional walk to load the bases. Melvin brought in lefty Ryan Buchter to face the left-handed hitter Shohei Ohtani. Buchter walked him, and the Angels knotted the score at 9-9.

Lou Trivino, who got the final out of the eighth inning, retired the first two hitters he faced in the bottom of the ninth. Brian Goodwin then singled and stole second. The next hitter, Dustin Garneau, hit a ground rule double that went over Robbie Grossman’s head and bounced over the fence to drive in Goodwin with the winning run. The Angels won 10-9.

Game Notes: The A’s drop to 30-31. The Angels are now 30-32. LA’s line score was 10 runs, 14 hits, and no errors. Oakland’s line was nine runs, 15 hits, and no errors. Lou Trivino took the loss. Hansel Robles earned the win.

A’s hitting stars were Marcus Semien with three hits and three RBI. Jurickson Profar also had three hits and two ribbies. The Angels’ Tommy La Stella had three hits, one of with was a home run. Ohtani had two hits and four RBIs.

Daniel Mengden did not have a good outing. The A’s hurler lasted just 2 1/3 innings. He allowed six hits and six runs. The Angels’ Felix Pena went 1 2/3 innings and the A’s roughed him up for eight hits and seven runs.

Up Next: The A’s and Angels play the rubber game Thursday night in Anaheim. Game time will be at 7:07 pm.

A’s start a 3-game series against the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday

Photo credit: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s kick off a nine-game three-city road trip on Tuesday against the Angels in Anaheim. The Angels took two out of three from the A’s last week and started the A’s on a five-game losing streak.  The teams are currently tied for third place in the AL West with identical records of 29-30. The Angels are playing the Chicago Cubs on Monday, and if they win, they will be 1/2 game ahead of the A’s. If they lose, they will be 1/2 game behind the A’s.

The A’s had won 10 in a row before losing two to the Angels last week in Oakland. The A’s then were swept by Houston Astros over the weekend and are hoping to regain their mojo. The A’s will have to find a way to quiet the bats of several of the Angels’ players. They know what Albert Pujols and Mike Trout can do. The Angels’ third baseman Tommy La Stella is having a career year. La Stella has been solid so far and can really handle the bat. David Fletcher is also another surprise. The young man is hitter over .300 and playing well at shortstop. Second baseman Luis Rengifo had several critical hits in the series last week. Right fielder Kole Calhoun and rookie Cesar Puello also came through for the Halos. Puello, in his first game as an Angel last Wednesday, had two singles and a home run in the Angels’ 12-7 win.

The pitching matchups for Tuesday will be Frankie Montas going against Griffin Canning. Montas, who is 6-2 with a 2.81 ERA, has been the A’s ace. Montas has allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of his 11 starts this year. Canning is 2-1, and his ERA is 3.06. He pitched very well against the A’s last week. He went six innings and allowed one run and three hits. On Wednesday, Daniel Mengden will pitch for the Green and Gold. Mengden is 1-1, and has a 3.05 ERA. Mengden came into the game last Wednesday after Liam Hendriks pitched the first inning. Mengden’s line was 4 1/2 innings of work and allowed just one run. The Angels will counter with Felix Pena. The Angels may also use an “opener” to start the game and bring in Pena after the first inning. Pena has come in six times in his last seven outings after the first inning.

Mike Fiers (4-3, 4,78 ERA) will go on Thursday. Fiers has a 2.82 ERA in his last seven starts. The Angels will send lefty Tyler Skaggs to the hill to pitch against the A’s. Skaggs had a rocky month in May as he posted a 5.29 ERA in six starts.

The games between the two teams are always entertaining. It’s Northern California against Southern California. The A’s want to get another winning streak going, while the Angels want to continue to make life miserable for the A’s. As always, it should be fun.

A’s to conclude regular season against the Angels at Angel Stadium

Photo credit: @Athletics

By: Ana Kieu

The Oakland A’s will wrap up its regular season against the Los Angeles Angels with a three-game series at Angel Stadium. The A’s hope to finish the season on a positive note, while the Angels are just playing for pride right now.

Game 1 will feature A’s right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers (12-7, 3.31 ERA) against the Angels’ right-handed pitcher Jaime Barria (10-9, 3.54 ERA).

As of Thursday, neither team has announced their starters for Games 2 or 3.

The A’s Twitter appeared to be laid-back coming into Friday night’s road game in Anaheim, Calif.

A’s reliever Liam Hendricks, a Perth, Australia native, chooses to remember the millions of pets in need of homes everyday. Hendricks has been showing his support for pet adoption and you can show your support as well. You can get started by tweeting #RememberMeThursday and checking out RememberMeThursday.org for more information on the joy of pet adoption.

Also, there’s still time for you to put in your bid for this week’s Stomper in the Town statues at athletics.com/auctions if you haven’t already done so. There are four types of statues: Stuck on the A’s — McNally’s Irish Pub, Stompedelic — Plank, Hip Hop Stomp — 4496 Broadway and Oakland A’stec Stomper — Everett and Jones.

In my opinion, the A’s deserve to be called the CinderellA’s. But, of course, they’re an American League West team, so they’re not going to get as much love like American League East teams like, say, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

The A’s were a rebuilding team and weren’t supposed to be good even though they had a high-caliber starting rotation. Of course, the A’s suffered a plethora of injuries, but their DH–Khris Davis–has made his American League MVP case. Whether or not Davis earns the AL MVP title, Davis had himself a heck of a season with 47 home runs as of Thursday. Davis has already joined Mark McGwire and Jimmie Foxx as the only players with three total 40-home run seasons in the A’s 118-year history on September 1st.

The Cespedes Runs-and-Guns Show Snaps Angels Streak at Five

By Matthew Harrington

The Oakland Athletics emphatically avoided a sweep at the hands of their Southern California rivals by thumping the Los Angeles Angels 7-1 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes nabbed a pair of runs batted in along with an outfield assist Wednesday night and catcher Stephen Vogt continued his torrid stretch since a call-up from Triple A Sacramento earlier this month.

Vogt launched a two-run home run into the bleachers in right field with one out to chase Halos ace Jered Weaver (7-5, 3.51 ERA) with the A’s leading 4-1. Oakland (40-26) also scored three runs in the ninth inning to firmly secure the victory for starter Tommy Milone while tagging Weaver with the loss. Jed Lowrie and Coco Crisp also picked up RBIs in the contest.

Milone (4-3, 3.47) went 6 2/3 against the Halos, yielding the lone run on an RBI double off the bat of Josh Hamilton with the A’s up 1-0. Other than that he proved perfect in the stopper’s role, striking out four Angels while only walking two. Ryan Cook pitched a scoreless third of an inning and Luke Gregerson and Jim Johnson fired a shutout frame each to close out the win and snap a five-game winning streak for LA.

Third-string catcher Vogt, a Visalia, Calif. native, had the pleasure of hitting his first homer of the season in front of a crowd of friends and family. The real highlight of the night, however, came in the sixth inning after Albert Pujols ripped what appeared to be a surefire double into the corner in left field. Cespedes bobbled the ball when fielding it to allow Pujols to attempt to advance to third base. Cespedes, however, threw a bullet reminiscent of his webgem throw to home plate Tuesday night to gun down the Angels first baseman for his second assist in the three-game set.

Also adding to his defensive highlight reel was Crisp, who robbed Josh Hamilton of a second-inning homer after scaling the wall in the left-center. After a premature fireworks display exploded out of the rock pile in center, Crisp gave a discerning finger wag.

The A’s managed to wrap the series up with a 3.5 game lead over Anaheim (36-29) in the American League West standings after narrowly seeing it creep down below two games. Oakland takes an off-day Thursday before returning to O.Co Coliseum to face David Phelps and the Yankees. Sonny Gray gets the ball for the green and gold in game one.