Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: A’s Murphy ends slump with a flurry a HR and three RBIs to defeat O’s 6-4

Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy belts a single in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Anthony Bemboom in the bottom of the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Apr 21, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 The Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy who came into Thursday’s game 0-10 ended the slump with a home run, double and three RBIs to help lift the A’s to a 6-4 win Thursday over the Baltimore Orioles at the Oakland Coliseum.

#2 Baltimore’s Trey Mancini was yanked after trading barbs with first base umpire Rob Drake when Drake called Mancini out after he ran through the bag at first base. Mancini said he only turned left and was not headed for second base once being called out he and manager Brandon Hyde were later ejected.

#3 Mancini said during the post game presser that he wanted to apologize to Drake for the language he used to get booted from the game. That said Mancini didn’t agree with the call.

#4 A’s pitcher Paul Blackburn had himself an outing going five innings allowed a run, three hits, striking out four hitters and didn’t walk a batter. Blackburn picked up his second win of the season.

#5 The A’s meet the Texas Rangers for three games starting Friday night. Adam Oller (0-1 ERA 13.50) will pitch for the A’s, and Spencer Howard (0-0 ERA 18.00) for the Rangers will oppose him.

Jerry F filled in for Jeremiah Salmonson on the A’s podcasts heard each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Lyles and O’s bullpen outduel A’s Jefferies in 1-0 shutout

Baltimore Orioles starter Jordan Lyles (28) delivers against the Oakland A’s line up in the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Apr 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Oakland A’s podcast with Jerry F:

#1 The one thing that teams who underestimate the Baltimore Orioles (4-8) is they have an effective bullpen as starter Jordan Lyles could attest to who pitched five innings and gave up six hits in the Orioles 1-0 win over the Oakland Athletics (7-6) at the Oakland Coliseum.

#2 Jerry all four of the Orioles relievers Paul Frye, Dillion Tate, Bryan Baker, and closer Jorge Lopez shut the A’s out after Lyles was lifted in the sixth inning. The O’s bullpen are the most effective relief staff in baseball right now.

#3 The A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus committed an error that allowed the Orioles Ryan McKenna to score the game’s only run in the top of the fifth inning.

#4 A’s starter Daulton Jefferies had a fine performance himself going six innings giving up three hits on five strikeouts and got excellent relief help from AJ Puk, Jake Lemoine, and Adam Kolarek but fell a run short of a win on Wednesday.

#5 The A’s will try to get in the win column later today as the Orioles will start right hander Tyler Wells (0-1 ERA 1.80) against the A’s right hander Paul Blackburn (1-0 ERA 1.80) a 12:37 pm first pitch at the Coliseum.

Join Jerry for the A’s podcasts Thursdays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s just couldn’t buy a run as O’s Lyles and bullpen shutout Oakland 1-0

Oakland A’s runner Billy McKinney was originally called safe but the call was overturned on review ruling that Baltimore Orioles catcher Anthony Bemboom just got the tag on McKinney before he touched home plate in the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Apr 20, 2022 (AP News photo)

Baltimore 1 5 0

Oakland 0 7 1

Attendance: 2,703

Wednesday April 20, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The line score on last night’s game was missing one row. It should have read “Rubman” with a 2 in the error column. The Orioles roster did include Chris Ellis. I inadvertently had consulted the roster for April 17, not the one for the 19th.

I also referred to the right handed Ryan McKenna who pinched hit for Odor in the top of the ninth as a switch hitter. I apologize for these errors. Unlike Edith Piaf, I regret my mistakes.

Before the unusual 3:07 start of this afternoon’s game, the A’s found themselves in an unfamiliar situation. Their 7-5 record put them in a tie with the Los Angeles Angels for first place in the AL West.

This marked the first time since June 20 of last year that Oakland has had any share of the top spot in the division. It’s even more remarkable that the Athletics and Angels also are tied for the second best won-lost record in the entire junior circuit.

Before game time, early compared with the originally scheduled first pitch, late compared with that of most day games, Oakland announced that one time ace of the future and now major question mark A.J. Puk had been reinstated from the Covid list.

They also promoted Mckey McDonald, a left handed hitting infielder who had performed well in spring training, from Las Vegas. At the same time, Oakland put Kevin Smith on the ten day injured list because of a bone bruise on his left ankle.

His placement on the IL was effective yesterday, the day after he suffered his injury. The Athletics also returned last night’s winning pitcher, Zach Logue to their Triple A farm team in Las Vegas.

The Wednesday afternoon recap: Mark Kotsay and Scott Emerson sent righty Doulton Jefferies to the mound. He came to work with a 1-1,1.93 record, the result of his having held the Phillies to scoreless over five innings, a personal high, on April 10.

He limited the Phils to a pair of hits and walks while striking out two to pick up the win. Five days later, he had another career high. This time it was surrendering seven hits, which he did in 4-1/3 innings. He allowed two runs, both earned, and was charged with the loss.

Today, despite some early difficulties with his control, he had an excellent outing. He pitched six full innings, allowing only one run, and it was unearned on three hits. He didn’t walk anyone but hit two Oriole batters and unleashed a wild pitch. 54 of his 83 pitches were considered strikes, but you have to remember that when the bat makes contact with a pitch, it counts as a strike.

He took the loss because that one unearned run was enough to defeat the Athletics. Jefferies’ performance lowered his ERA to 1.17.

Facing him for the birds was the durable 31 year old 11 year veteran Jordan Lyles. The unimpressive 0-1, 5.23 2022 record he brought with him was in line with his lifetime figures of 54-80, 5.21. But today he was not the mediocrity that his history indicated.

He stymied the A’s, holding them scoreless over five innings on five hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Only 28 of his 89 offerings were balls. He got the win, which brought his season’s ERA down to a respectable 3.52.

Jeffries opened the game by hitting Cedric Mullins, who immediately was thrown out attempting to steal second. That kept him from scoring on batter, Anthony Santander’s, double. One inning later, Jeffries hit Robinson Chirinos with a 92.2 mph fastball, forcing the Orioles’ catcher to leave the game. Subsequent examination showed that he had suffered a facial contusion. That, I”m glad to report, was the last time this afternoon that Jefferies hit anyone with a pitch.

Oakland almost took the lead in the bottom of the second, in which Billy McKinney led off with a single to right and came home on Seth Brown’s double to right center. Home plate umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson called him safe, but the Orioles challenged his decision and cooler heads in New York correctly overruled the call.

It was the A’s turn to challenge authority in the bottom of the fourth. The inning began with a 90.6 MPH sinker from Lyles that hit Murphy led off the frame. Two outs later, he moved into scoring position on second when Christian Bethancourt singled to left center.

Elvis Andrus followed with a sharp grounder that Kelvin Gutiérrez fielded at third. Gutiérrez won the race to the bag, but the Athletics didn’t see it that way and challenged the call. This time, New York upheld the ruling, which looked like the correct decision to me.

One more inning, and Lyle was through for the day. Paul Fry and Dillon Tate set the A’s down in order in the sixth and seventh, respectively, preserving the Baltimore bullpen’s excellent record so far this season. Even the lowly Orioles have some bright spots in their roster.

Stepthen Vogt, playing first, had to leave the game in the top of the eighth when he hurt his foot or ankle coming down hard on the bag after leaping to catch a high throw from Andrus.

The A’s threatened in the eighth. Tony Kemp led off with a 3-2 single to right off Bryan Baker. He moved on to third when Baltimore’s shortstop Chris Owings deflected Nuese’s hard grounder that went into left field for a single.

Baker got Murphy to swing and miss on an 0-2, 93mph four seamer for the first out, and that ended his mound duties at a third of an inning. Jorge López came in to strike out Christian Lopes, a veteran of 10 minor league campaigns, who had made his first major league appearance pinch hitting for McKinney in the sixth.

Lopes’s third strike was a wild pitch that allowed Neuse to take second. With the potential tying and winning runs in scoring position, Oakland’s hopes rested on Seth Brown. He grounded out meekly, Mancini to López.

López got the A’s out 1-2-3 in the ninth to preserve Baltimore’s victory and gain his second safe of the season

Oakland used three relievers to keep the game close. AJ Puk threw 1 -1 /3 innings; Jake LeMoine and Adam Kolarek. an inning apiece. Puk was the only member of the trio who allowed anyone to reach base, yielding to hits and a walk.

The series winds up Thursday at 12:37, with the now second place A’s sending Paul Blackburn (1-0 ERA1.80) against Baltimore’s Tyler Wells (0-1 ERA 6.35)

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Dodgers Freeman HR no poetic justice against old team Braves; After 12 seasons Arrieta retiring; plus much more

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman, center, gets congratulated by Mookie Betts, left, and Edwin Rios after they scored on a double by Trea Turner in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Mon Apr 18, 2022 (AP News photo)

On Headlines with Jessica:

#1 Former Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman didn’t waste anytime taking his former teammates deep. Freeman now with the Los Angeles Dodgers hit a first inning second pitch was a line drive that went straight over the left centerfield Dodger Stadium fence. The Dodgers wound up winning Monday night’s thriller 7-4. Freeman said this was not poetic justice or anything like that but he was happy reuniting with his former teammates.

#2 Former pitcher Jake Arrieta who spent his best years of his 12 year career with the Chicago Cubs has announced his retirement. Arrieta started his career with the Baltimore Orioles from 2010-13 and then went to the Cubs where he won 68 games between 2014-2019 before signing on with the Philadelphia Phillies for three years. Arrieta said “it’s time to step away from the game.”

#3 The Los Angeles Angels will miss his bat in the line up but are relieved that outfielder Mike Trout had a negative test on his MRI after Trout was hit on his left hand by a pitch Sunday. Angels trainer Mike Frostad said Trout’s return is based on his pain tolerance.

#4 The Astros Jose Altuve in the same game on Monday night against the Angels experience hamstring issues in the eighth inning after running after hitting a single. Altuve while sitting on the ground was frustrated by the injury but said after the game he was feeling better. Manager Dusty Baker said the team is waiting for answers and Altuve will be seeing a doctor.

#5 The state of Florida has removed mask mandates under cutting federal mandates. The Florida mandate removal might be a big mistake as in Philadelphia they are going back to mask mandates after having a huge Covid outbreak as the Oakland A’s who played a three game series in Philadelphia earlier this month had seven players out with Covid protocols on Monday night’s home opener in Oakland.

Join Jessica will be back with more headlines on Wed May 4th at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: As the A’s Turns-A Baseball Soap Opera

A look at the Oakland A’s minor league affiliate’s ballpark the home of the Las Vegas Aviators in Summerlin NV. The A’s could possibly move to the Las Vegas suburb if they lose the advisory board vote on Jun 2, 2022. They need two thirds vote to approve Howard Terminal from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission in hopes to remain in Oakland (file photo from the Las Vegas Review Journal)

As the A’s Turns – A Baseball Soap Opera

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

OAKLAND–General Hospital, Guiding Light, Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, The Young and the Restless are some of the longest-running soap operas, they have been running for decades, some since the 1960’s and even before. It is a staple of American entertainment.

As a matter of fact, few things have survived longer on television than Soap Operas, it is a guaranteed loyal audience. I am sure your wife, your sister or mother or grandmother were big fans. I do not want to discriminate, some men also were hooked to soaps. Some ballplayers have told me, when they went on the road they watched these in the morning.

The Oakland A’s stadium situation could be dated to 1989 (coincidentally the year the A’s beat the Giants in the World Series) when former A’s owner Wally Haas, of Levi Strauss Company agreed to cede the Giants and owner Bob Lurie the territorial rights to San José (which was under A’s control) as the Giants were looking to relocate the team out of California.

The Giants owner was frustrated that his club could not get a new stadium built in the Bay Area. Finally the Giants resolved their situation, many years later, but it was not easy, they suffered various setbacks as well as losing a few elections. In 2000 the Giants inaugurated Pac Bell Park, today Oracle Park.

The State Capital. Sacramento was a possibility for the A’s as their new home years ago, but plans did not materialized. Their Mayor was Kevin Johnson, an ex-NBA star, who successfully fought to keep the Sacramento Kings on his city and was very receptive to the idea of the Oakland A’s moving there.

Johnson believed in the power of pro-sport franchises. Today Sacramento, according to the Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA) ranks 20, while Las Vegas is 40 media market. These are the top media markets in the US. 1-New York, 2-Los Angeles, 3-Chicago, 4-Philadelphia, 5-Dallas/Ft Worth, 6-San Francisco/Oakland/San José. “Sacramento is a very nice city, but not for Major League Baseball, as far as our ownership is concerned,” A’s owner, Lew Wolff, told a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Sacramento is known since 2017 as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital”. At the end of this episode Sacramento also struck out.

2011 The Oakland A’s were planning going south to Fremont, where they will play at Cisco Field, excellent location adjacent to highway 680 about 20-25 miles south from the Oakland Coliseum and just 15 miles north of San José largest city in the Bay Area.

That plan had the A’s building a 32,000 to 35,000 seat which they would share with the Oakland Raiders. Since then, the Raiders stop watching this soap opera and left for Las Vegas. At the time I attended a Pro A’s rally at Fremont at the old ‘Saddle Rack’ country-style bar and nightclub who used to have some famous country talent like actor-singer Dwight Yoakam and others of notoriety.

People showed up in opposition citing it would bring more traffic and crime. The A’s got cold feet, and Fremont struck out. The “suburb” of Fremont today is the #4 most populous city in the Bay Area with over 235,000, only San José, San Francisco and Oakland have a larger population.

Fremont? End to that chapter of this long running soap opera. Fremont might not have the A’s but they have Tesla one of the great automobile manufacturers in the world, as we speak.

2017 Lake Merritt, Oakland. The A’s also planed to build a 35,000 seat ballpark in downtown Oakland near Lake Merritt, but that was derailed when the Peralta Community College board district that owns the land rejected the offer.

We all remember that location and some of us visit that area frequently. It was considered downtown, just as the current proposed Howard Terminal, obviously much more closer to downtown than Peralta College.

Currently a couple of lawsuits in opposition hang over the A’s as far as their new Howard Terminal downtown park, while the team management continues to work on parallel plans with Oakland and Las Vegas.

All estimates are that this long-running soap opera would have some kind on conclusion during the 2022 season, some even predict this summer. And, of course, we will all witness the final episode of “As the A’s Turn”.

Adiós muchachos!

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez on the Oakland A’s Spanish flagship station for all the play by play 1010 KIQI San Francisco LeGrande and for News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s Irvin goes six innings in 2-1 win over O’s; Smallest crowd since 1980 for A’s home game

Oakland Athletics’ Cristian Pache falls after catching a ball hit by Baltimore Orioles’ Kelvin Gutierrez during the second inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Apr 19, 2022 (AP News photo)

Baltimore. 1. 8. 1

Oakland. 2. 7. 1

Tuesday April 19, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s (7-5) and the Baltimore Orioles (3-8) started playing games with each other well before 6:41 this evening, when Cole Irvin threw his first pitch against Baltimore’s Cedric Mullins fouled off Cole Irvin’s first offering to open the game with a strike..

The morning was over before the birds’ skipper Brandon Hyde announced who would take the mound for his team. For days the A’s had announced Cole Irvin as their probable, but early this afternoon TBD took the place of the A’s lefty on the cyber scoreboards. Then, at around 3:00 o’clock, Irvin miraculously appeared in Oakland’s lineup as reported by MLB.

Baltimore’s eventual starter, 29 year old right hander Chris Ellis, wasn’t even on the roster distributed in the press box before the game.

The Orioles obtained him on waivers from Tampa Bay in August of 2021. He went 1-0,2,16 in the 21-1/3 innings over seven games he pitched for Baltimore that year and was a non-roster invitee to this year’s spring training. He was called up from Norfolk today and held Oakland scoreless for 4-1/3 innings on four hits, striking out two while walking three. He threw 62 pitches, 37 for strikes.

When the last of the 3,748 fans in attendance had left, Oakland had struggle through to a 2-1 victory, bringing the team’s record up to 7-5. It was Oakland’s smallest attendance since Sep 20, 1980 when they drew 3,180.

By the time Baltimore’s rookie hurler took the mound, his teammates had staked him to a one run lead on Anthony Santander’s, Ryan Montcastle’s double to left center, and Trey Mancini’s RBI ground out to second.

The veteran Irvin lasted only a bit longer than Ellis and didn’t pitch as well. He lasted five frames and was lucky to have surrendered only that first inning run.

He never showed command and was saved from disaster by two outstanding outfield plays, a leaping catch at the wall by center fielderCristián Paché and a nice grab in right by Billy McKinney.

The A’s starter was touched up for six hits while walking two and fanning three. It took him 95 pitches to get through those five innings, but 62 of those pitches counted as strikes (of course, if the bat makes contact with the ball, it’s considered a strike)

Ellis was replaced by Mike Baumann; Irvin, by Zach Logue.

Bauman couldn’t hold the lead he inherited. After first base umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson’s safe call at first on a ground ball hit to the mound by McKinney was, correctly, reversed on appeal, Christian Bethancourt singled to left center, moved up a notch when Andrus drew a walk, and scored, as did Andrus, on Seth Brown’s double to right center.

After that inning and two-thirds, Bauman was through, having given up two runs, both earned on two hits and a walk on 29 hits, 16 of which were considered strikes. Félix Baustista took over in the bottom of the seventh, and Cionel Pérez followed him an inning later, allowing a couple of base runners but preserving the margin between the rivals at a run..

Logue, for his part, threw a spotless sixth but gave way to Ryan Castellani with one out in the top of the seventh after surrendering a single to Mulllins and a walk to Santander at the top of the order.

In the top of the eighth, with Castellani still on the mound, Paché made another fine catch, robbing Austin Hays of at least extra bases in left center for the first out. Castellani closed out the frame by inducing ground outs by Ramón Urías and Robinson Chirinos.

When Rougned Odor was announced to pinch hit for Gutiérrez, manager Kotsay countered by sending in Sam Moll, which caused Hyde to have RyanMcKenna pinch hit for Odor. McKenna struck out, but Mateo singled to center, leaving Moll to face the top of the batting order.

Moll got Mullins to wiff for the second out, at which point, Kotsay called on Zach Jackson to face the switch hitting Anthony Santander. Jackson came through, earning the save, his first, by striking out Santander.

The win went to Logue, giving him a record of 1-0, 0.00, and Baumann, now 1-1, 6.23 was charged with the loss.

The starting time for tomorrow’s game, originally scheduled for 6:45, has been changed to 3:15 due to impending weather conditions. There has been no announced change to the probable starting pitchers, righty Jordan Lyles (0-1 ERA 5.23) for the Orioles and lefty Daulton Jeffries (1-1 ERA1.93) for the A’s. But, as the stride piano philosopher Thomas Waller observed, “One never knows, do one?”

A’s get four run gift in sixth beat O’s 5-1

Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini (16) is tagged out at home by Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, right, on a ball hit by Austin Hays at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon Apr 18, 2022 (AP News photo)

Baltimore. 1. 7. 2

Oakland. 5. 5. 0

Monday April 18, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–The A’s finally made it to their home opener tonight after completing a ten game trip that saw them win as many as they lost (5-5) against some pretty tough competition in some pretty difficult venues, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (AKA Tampa Bay) and the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The A’s came away with a 5-1 home opener win over the Orioles on Monday night.

Obviously, it’s too early to proclaim this respectable showing as a renaissance, but there are some resemblances to the Giants unexpected success last year that could make this season an interesting one for A’s fans. The Giants won 107 games not by going after big name trade bait and free agents but by mixing and matching veterans, prospects, and journeymen.

They didn’t just look for right handers or lefties or specific position players, short relievers, starters, and closers. Rather they chose players based on advanced metrics that measured things like bat speed, plane angles, and performance in given situations, and used their motley roster accordingly.

The ties between Oakland and San Francisco’s front offices (remember that Giants general manager Farhan Zaidi cut his MLB teeth under the aegis of A’s team vice president Billy Beane) make it unlikely that Oakland’s brain trust didn’t have a clear idea of what their transbay rivals were doing.

So now we have a versatile band of youngsters, veterans,and returnees, being used as character actors in a repertory theater whose overall level of performance exceeds that of the sum of its individual parts. Take for example, Jed Lowrie, a competent hitter who started last year like a house on fire and petered out as the season progressed.

He was a decent, but not outstanding second and third baseman, but lacked arm strength and range. He played a reasonable amount of first base in the A’s season opening trip to the south and north east, where he acquitted himself admirably.

But nothing is certain, especially in baseball, and the A’s announced before game time that Lowrie, along with A.J Puk and his fellow left handed pitcher Kirby their right right-handed counterpart Lou Trivino, catcher Austin Allen, and Chad Pinder, whose presence on the team made Mark Canha’s absence less unbearable on the COVID-19 injured list. Southpaw hurler Sam Selman and infielders Nick Allen and Christian Lopes joined the team as substitutes pro temp.

Nick Allen, .319 with a home run and two RBIs, in 12 games for Las Vegas, looks like a good replacement for his fellow Allen, even allowing for PCL’s offensive statistic inflation. He had an impressive spring training with the big club, going six for 12 with two triples, a home run and three walks in seven games against major league competition.

Lopes also had a good spring training run with a BA of .333 that included one home run and an RBI total of six over 15 games.

Selman, the only player in this group of substitutes with major league experience, has pitched for the Angels and Giants. His MLB record is 1-2 , 4.77, which is nothing to write home about, but his opponents’ batting average of .200 opponents batting in 59 games over three seasons is. He’s looked good this spring, in both his four relief stints with the A’s in the cactus league and 5-1/3 scoreless innings in the hitter friendly PCL.

Monday night’s game recap: The A’s opponent this evening, the unprepossessing Baltimore Orioles, entered the fray with a dismal record of 3-6, which is not bad if you’re a batting average; if not, not.

Their starting pitcher, Spenser Watkins, took the mound with a dismal lifetime mark of 2-7, 7.80 but pitched well in his only appearance so far this season, pitching three innings against the Brewers and allowing only one earned run while throwing 57 pitches.

The A’s sent Frankie Montás (1-1, 4.76) against him. How long Montás, whose services are much sought after, will remain on the Oakland payroll is a question that may not be answered until the trade deadline. It promises to be an interesting, although not necessarily successful, season.

The game, played before a scantily gathering of 17,503 doggedly enthusiastic fans, started under cloudy skies and a prediction of night time showers. They witnessed an exciting game that started out as a classic pitchers’ duel but after 5 1/2 innings bore a strong resemblance to what until last year was called rookie league play.

Oakland drew a trickle of first blood on a lead off walk to Tony Kemp, followed by Sean Murphy’s one out double to left center that sent the A’s left fielder to third, and Billy McKinney’s RBI ground out to shortstop Jorge Mateo, playing to the right of second base.

Montás held the Orioles hitless through 4-2/3 inning until, with Rougned Odor on first as a result of Montás´s second walk of the night, Austin Hays lifted a fly to right field. Seth Brown charged in on it, dove, and couldn´t come up with the ball.

The play occured on a full count with two out, so Odor was running with the pitch and scored the tying run easily. Hays wound up on second, where he was stranded as Montás recovered to get the birds´catcher, Anthony Bemboom, to ground out to Sheldon Neuse at second.

Meanwhile, Watkins had been mowing the Athletics down with masterful regularity, surrendering only a walk between Murphy´s first inning double and Hays´ game tying two bagger.

The tide seemed to be turning against the A’s in the top of the sixth. Number nine hitter Mateo blasted a double to deep center field and advanced to third when Cedric Mullin bounced out to the mound. Ryan Mountcastle hit another bouncer, this one to Billy McKinney at first.

He fired a strike to Murphy atl home, where Oakland’s catcher tagged the sliding Mateo for the second out. Montás got Anthony Sandander to foul out to Murphy to end the threat.

When the A’s came to bat in the bottom of the sixth, they no longer had to face the dominating Watkins, who was removed after five innings in which he had thrown 67 pitches, 44 for strikes, and allowed one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out two. He would be charged with the hard luck loss.

Watkins was replaced by another righty, Joey Krehbiel, who struck out Andrus and Murphy before yielding a single to right McKinney, who scored a two base throwing error by Ramón Urías on a grounder to third off the bat of DH Christian Bethancourt.

After granting a free pass to Seth Brown, Krehbiel was removed in favor of Marcos Diplán, Baltimore’s third right handed moundsman of the game. Neuse greeted him with a single to right that plated Bethancourt with the second unearned run charged to Watkins. The wheels came off the Baltimore defense with Odor´s error.

On Kevin Smith´s grounder to second, which brought Brown home, and Pache single to right center that drove in Neuse and sent Smith around to third. Since Urías´s error had occurred with two outs, none of the runs was earned. Kemp grounded out to first to put an end to the comedy (the home team) of errors. The A’s now led, 5-1.

Domingo Acevedo replaced Montás to open the seventh. The Oakland starter´s line was six innings pitched, one run, earned, allowed on three hits and two walks against five strikeouts. 54 of his 83 offerings were counted as strikes. He wound up getting the win and lowering his ERA to 3.63.

The O’s almost mounted a comeback against Acevedo. Trey Mancini opened the frame with a single to left and advanced to third on Urías´s one outsafety to the same field. Hays flew out to Brown in right, and Acevedo decided not to cut off the throw home. He made the right decision; Brown’s throw was on the money for a 9-2 inning ending double play.

Baltimore’s called on southpaw Keegan Akin to hold the A’s in check for the seventh and eighth frames, a mission he accomplished without allowing a base runner.

For Oakland, it was Justin Grimm in the eighth. He retired the first two batters he faced, but Mullins bounced a stand up triple off the sign in left center between the 386 and 362 foot signs, which caused a few minutes of anxiety before Grimm fanned Mountcastle on an 83 mph slider.

It fell to Danny Jiménez, the winning pitcher in Saturday´s game against Toronto, to close out the contest for the green and gold. To do that, he had to get through the heart of the Baltimore order, Sandander, Mancini, and Odor. He walked Sandander on four pitches and then struck out Mancini looking at an 0-2 curveball.

Odor flew out to shallow center, but Urías singled up the middle to put runners on first and second with two down. This brought Hays to the plate. He punched an opposite field single to right to load the bases and bring the potential tying run to bat in the person of Ryan McKenna, pinch hitting for Bemboom. Jiménez fanned him on a 94 mph four seamer.

Cole Irvin (1-1 ERA 5.40) will get the start Tuesday night for the Athletics against an Oriole pitcher to be decided later. First pitch 6:40 pm PDT at the Oakland Coliseum.

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: From big 13 game ride to 5 game out of 8 loss slide

The Oakland A’s (17-11) Matt Chapman takes a run in this Feb 22, 2021 photo in Spring Training at Mesa AZ photo has improved his hitting from .152 and now has improved his hitting to .194 (AP News file photo)

#1 Barbara since the A’s snapped their amazing 13 game winning streak on Sun Apr 25 the team has lost five of their last seven games.

#2 The A’s just aren’t getting the hitting and they really need Matt Chapman’s bat right now his average has improved from hitting .152 now hitting .194.

#3 The A’s certainly are glad their series with the Baltimore is over the Orioles who ended the A’s 13 game winning streak have lost three of their last six games with the Orioles.

#4 On Saturday the A’s pitching struggled Jesus Luzardo is trying get on track he got shelled for five runs in three innings of work and they really need Luzardo to get some wins.

#5 The Toronto Blue Jays (14-12) second place in the American League East and have won six of their last ten games. The A’s and Jays will meet for a four game series starting Monday night. Starting pitcher for the Jays and A’s have not been announced.

Join Barbara for the A’s podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s drop four out of last five games; Lose to O’s 8-4

The Baltimore Orioles line up for the hive five post game congratulations following their win over the Oakland A’s Sat May 1, 2021 game at the Oakland Coliseum (photo from USA Today)

Baltimore 8 -10 – 0

Oakland 4 – 8. – 2

By Lewis Rubman

May 1, 2021

OAKLAND–The A’s started the season by losing seven straight games. They followed their first win by losing one more game and then going another 13 without a single defeat, giving them a record of 14-8. They ended the month at 16-11, a winning percentage of .593.

This represents an almost exact regression to the norm, since their totals for the last three seasons, including the truncated 2020 campaign, were 230-157, which comes to .594. So it would be reasonable to anticipate that we’ll see a season of ups and downs like those of the month we’ve just endured, although the swings might not be as dramatic as what we’ve seen so far. In other words, fasten your seat belts, folks, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

In this afternoon’s contest, Oakland didn’t have to contend with an opponent on the mound as intimidating as John Means, who almost completely mastered them last night. Instead they faced the veteran right hander Matt Harvey, making the 150th start of a big league career that has had its ups and downs. Recently, it’s taken a modest upturn.

His penultimate start resulted in his first win since July 13, 2019, when he still toiled for the LA Angels. His most recent start, one earned run in six innings against the Yankees, was, as the Orioles’ game notes point out, his first quality start since April 28, 2019 and marked the first time since July 13, 2018 that he’d notched consecutive wins.

Oakland countered with Jesús Luzardo, who, at 1-2, 5.40, has been tantalizing A’s fans with occasional displays of his undoubted, but inconsistently displayed, talent.

Both pitchers got through their first two frames with little difficulty. Then disaster struck the home town crew.

The top of the third was a travesty. The Orioles did a little bit to help their cause, but most of their runs were gifts from the A’s. Here’s a brief summary of the action:

D.J. Steward hit a bouncing ball wide of first that bounced off Seth Brown’s glove for an error.

Ramón Urías’s single sent Stewart to third.

Luzardo walked Cedric Mullins to load the bases with nobody out.

Austin Hayes singled to left, plating Steward and Urías. Hays advanced to second on the hit and to third on Matt Chapman’s (of all people!) errant relay throw to third.

Trey Mancini got a Texas League single that Elvis Andrus couldn’t catch up with in short left field, driving in Hays.

Maikel Franco singled to left, moving Mancini up a base.

Mancini and Franco moved up another notch on a wild pitch.

Pedro Severino fouled out to the catcher, Aramis García.

Mancini scored on Ryan Mountcastle’s sac fly to right. Franco moved on to third.

Franco scoredon another wild pitch.

Finally, Freddy Galvis flew out to center.

That was all Luzardo would pitch. The line for his three inning stint was six runs, evenly divided between earned and unearned, on five hits, two walks, and two wild pitches. He struck out two, and, of the 64 pitches he threw, 34 were strikes. He eventually was charged with the loss, his third against a lone win,. His ERA now stands at 5.79.

Luzardo was replaced by Deolis Guerra, who pitched two innings, allowing nothing but one walk before J.B. Windelken took his place to pitch the sixth.

Windelken wasn’t as effective as his predecesor. J.B. allowed a single to Freddy Galvis, after which D.J. Stewart deposited an 84 mph change up over the right field fence, 341 feet from home plate.

Down 8-0 with two out in the sixth, Oakland made a comeback of sorts, led by the two players who had committed costly errors in the fatidic third. Chapman singled to right and scored on Brown’s double to the same field, After Cole Sulser relived Harvey, Tony Kemp brought Brown home with the A’s second tally.

Harvey’s line ended up at two runs, both earned, on four hits and a walk in 5-2/3 innings of work. He delivered 90 pitches, 54 for strikes. He ended up getting the win, making him 3-1, 4.06 for the season.

Mark Canha continued the comeback, leading off the home seventh with his fourth home run of the season, this one off a 92 mph four seamer that he drove into the left field seats, just to the right of the foul pole. After Sulser walked Jeff Lowrie and struck out Laureano for the first out, the southpaw Tanner Scott was brought in to face Oakland’s DH, fellow lefty Mitch Moreland. Scott got both Moreland and Chapman out to preserve Baltimore’s 8-3 lead. Sulser’s 2/3 of an inning, in which he gave up a walk, a hit, and a run on 21 pitches, still left him with an enviable ERA of 1.08.

Oakland used two other relievers. Reymin Guduan and Sergio Romo threw a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, with Romo retiring the side in order. Guduan required a pitcher’s best friend after giving up a lead off single.

Laureano gave the A’s a last hurrah by blasting a 420 foot two out homer to left center in the bottom of the ninth, Too little, too late, but nice any way, and it made the final score look almost respectable.

The A’s will try to salvage a win out of this series when they send Sean Manaea (3-1, 2.83) against the Orioles and Bruce Zimmermann (1-3, 5.33) in a 1:07 battle of left handers.

Not enough offense in late innings does in A’s edged by O’s 3-2

The Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers lasted six innings giving up all three Baltimore Orioles runs at the Oakland Coliseum on Fri Apr 30, 2021 (@athleticsnation photo)

Baltimore 3 – 8 – 0

Oakland 2 – 5 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

Apr 30, 2021 Friday

OAKLAND–The 16-10 A’s escaped from the House of Horrors-a half an hour’s stroll from that celebration of surrealism, the Salvador Dalí Museum, in St. Petersburg-with a split in their hard fought four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, né Devil Rays.

To achieve this, they had to overcome Tampa Bay’s outstanding starting rotation and none too shabby bulllpen, their own mistakes, and the inexplicable calls of umpires Chad Fairchild and Brian Gorman, not to mention the abrasive imitatation grass that complements the overhead maze of rings and catwalks that make trying to catch fly balls at Tropicana field not just difficult but hazzardous, the incarnation of Dalí’s worst nightmares.

For al ofl that, Oakland went 4-3 on their working tour of the Chesapeake and Tampa Bays, returning to the shores of San Francisco Bay with a lead of two and a half games over the surprising Seattle Mariners for first place in the AL West.

It wasn’t any of the obvious menaces of the Trop’s architecture that inflicted the worst physical damage suffered by the Athletics in St. Pete. Hidden in the bowels of that excreciable edifice are batting cages. Before the final game of the series, Matt Olson, practicing the swing that had improved his offense to a team-leading BA of .296 and home run total of six, slammed a ball off the side of one of those cages.

The spheroid bounced back and hit him in the left eye. No bones were broken, but the A’s slick fielding slugger, who also is tied with Jed Lowrie for the team lead in RBI at 17, will be out of action for a while. Mitch Moreland started at first base in Olson’s stead tonight. Lowrie filled the DH spot for Moreland, and Tony Kemp took Lowrie’s usual place at second.

While the team was in Florida, the A’s announced Mike Fiers’ return to the active roster and, at least for the time being, the rotation. The mainstay of the Athletics’ starting mound core since he joined the team in 2018 toed the rubber to open tonight’s contest against the Orioles, the only team besides the Rays to have defeated the green and gold since April 8.

Starting for Baltimore was their ace, John Means, making his first appearance since he held the A’s to one run over 6-1/3 innings last Sunday in the game that snapped Oakland’s 13 game winning streak. That gave him a record of 2-0, 1.50 for the young season.

It wasn’t long before the A’s got another run off him. Sean Murphy, whose heroics behind and at the plate were instrumenetal in gaining the split in St. Petersburg, led off the home second with a wallop that landed in the right field seats, a few feet to the left of the foul line. That was home run number four and RBI number nine for the Oakland catcher.

Cedric Mullins got that back in the top of the third with a two out fly that also fell into the rilght field stands a few feet to the left of the foul pole for his fourth round tripper of the season. Austin Hays followed them with his third, a no doubter that landed between the left field foul line and the stairway over the Ring Central sign. The Birds tacked on another run.

In the fifth after number eight batter Chance Sisco’s lead off single to right was followed by Ramón Urías’s double to left. The top of the Baltimore batting order was able to push only Sisco home, on a grounder to second by Mullins, giving him his second RBI of the night.

Baltimore threatened to take command of the game with a lead off walk to D.J. Stewart, followed by a single to Ryan Montcastle. But the pitcher’s best friend came to Fiers’ aid when Río Ruíz hit a grounder up the middle that was fielded by Andrus in the shift and converted into a U6-3 DP. Pat Valaika ended the frame by flying out to Piscotty in short right field.

Means, all the while, was mowing down Oakland’s batters. Following Murphy’s homer, none of them reached base until Laureano dropped a single into center with two down in the sixth. He was stranded at first when Lowrie grounded out to second.

Six innings were enough work for Fiers. He threw 83 pitches (54 strikes), surrended six hits, two of which left the park, and two walks. He struck out three, and all three of his runs were earned. Deolis Guerra, who had pitched poorly in Baltimore but well in Tampa Bay, took over in the seventh and retired the side in order, striking out two in the process.

It was in the seventh that MItch Moreland broke the spell. With two outs and the bases empty (natch!), he blasted a 92 mph four seamer 406 feet over the fence, slighty to the right of dead center field.

Sergio Romo, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth, kept it a 3-2 game, although Laureano had to race to the warning track to capture Stewart’s drive that followed strike outs to Hays and Mancini.

Means didn’t come out for the eighth, having thrown 93 pitches, of which 63 were strikes. He gave up only two runs, both earned, three hits, two of which were round trippers, and a walk. He struck out nine. HIs replacement, Paul Fry, started off well, getting Andrus out with a bounder back to the mound, but then he walked Kemp, who stole second and then, one pitch later, advanced to third on a passed ball.

Fry struck Canha out, perhaps because the A’s left fielder had taken a strike to allow Kemp to swipe second. In any case, Fry was yanked, replaced by Travis Lakins, Sr., who walked Laureano but got Lowrie out on a fly to medium deep center. The score remained 3-2.

The top of the ninth provided a combination that brought a smile to the faces of the face-masked name freaks in the press box (or at least to one of us). Yusmeiro Petit was brought in to pitch, and calling the balls and strikes behind the plate was umpire Will Little.

It also provided an exciting example of Ramón Laureano’s extraordinary arm. Ryan Mounetcastle reached first on a broken bat Texas League single to right center. After Ruíz flew out to left, Pat Valaika laced a single to right. Mountcasttle tried to advance to third, and Laureano cut him down with a perfect strike to Chapman.

Murphy greeted César Valdéz, who came in to close the game in the bottom of the ninth, with a single to left. Vimael Machín came in to run for him and advanced to second on Chapman’s single to right. This brought Moreland, whose homer in his previous at bat had pulled the A’s to within a run, to the plate with the tying run in scoring position and the potential winning run on first with none out.

Moreland smacked a vicious line drive that was speared at third by Ruíz, who rifled a throw to shortstop Urías, covering second in the shift. Umpire Junior Valentine called Machín out for a rallly-killing double play. But a replay showed that the A’s pinch runner had gotten back in time, and so Oakland’s hopes remained alive. Seth Brown pinch hit for PIscotty and flew out to Mullins in right center, allowing Machín to move up to third. Valdéz and Andrus went to 3-2 before the A’s hopes died in Mullins glove in center field.

The win went to Means, who now is 3-0, 1.70. The loss was charged to Fiers, who stands and 0-1, 4.50. Valdéz got the save, his sixth out of seven opportunities.

The two teams will face off tomorrow afternoon at 1:07. The Birds will send right hander Matt Harvey (1-2,4.26) to the mound while the White Elephants will entrust their fate to lefty Jesús Luzardo (1-2, 5.40).