Oakland A’s Thursday game wrap: The White Sox beat the A’s again, win the series three games to one.

by Jerry Feitelberg

Image result for chicago white sox

photo courtesy of Google images

front page photo AP: The Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu hit a sixth inning home run off Oakland A’s starter Kendall Graveman is congratulated by teammates Todd Fraiser (21) and Melky Cabrera (53)

OAKLAND–The Chicago White Sox beat the A’s 6-1 Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. A’s starter, Kendall Graveman, and Chisox starter, Mat Latos, engaged in an old-fashioned pitching duel for the first five innings of the game.  Graveman gave up just two hits in the first five innings. Graveman faced three batters in the sixth. He walked Melky Cabrera and then gave up a home run to Jose Abreu. Graveman retired Todd Frazier, but the damage had been done. The White Sox would score four in the ninth, but all they needed was two to win the game. The A’s bullpen pitched well until the ninth. Bob Melvin brought in Liam Hendricks for the ninth, but he was no match for the Sox today. After the game, Melvin said he did not want to use Axford, Madson, or Doolittle. Chicago’s Mat Latos was superb. He pitched six innings and allowed just two hits as he picked up his first win of the year.

In the top of the sixth, the White Sox scored the first two runs of the game. Chicago DH, Melky Cabrera led off with a single. The next batter, Jose Abreu, sent a Kendall Graveman pitch over the out-of-town scoreboard in right field for his first home run of the year. A’s manager Bob Melvin let Graveman pitch to one more hitter before replacing him with Fernando Rodriguez.

The A’s bullpen kept the Chisox in check until the ninth inning. A’s reliever Liam Hendricks did not have a good outing as the Sox sent nine men to the plate. They scored four times on six singles. All the runs were earned, and they hold a commanding 6-0 lead as the A’s come to bat in the bottom of the ninth.

The A’s scored a run in the ninth as they avoided being shut out. White Sox win 6-1 and take the series three games to one.

Game Notes- The A’s used five pitchers in the loss to Chicago. Relievers Fernando Rodriguez, Marc Rzepczynski and Ryan Dull, pitched well and kept the A’s in the game until the ninth inning.

The A’s finished the opening homestand 1-3. The last time they started a season 1-3 was 2012. A’s utility man, Chris Coghlan started the game at second base and had two hits and a run batted in. The A’s defense was a bit wobbly as they made two errors. However, neither of the errors caused them any damage.

The A’s travel to Seattle to face the Mariners. Lefty Eric Surkamp will go for Oakland, and he will be opposed by right Taijuan Walker. Pitching matchups for Saturday will be Rich Hill for Oakland and Nathan Karns for Seattle. On Sunday, Chris Bassitt will make his second start of the year, and King Felix Hernandez will be hurling fo the Mariners. The A’s return home after the Seattle series to face another division rival, the Los Angeles Angels.

There were 12,577 fans watching the game Thursday afternoon, and the game lasted three hours and six minutes.

Oakland A’s Wednesday post game wrap: The A’s play another one-run game, this time they win.

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: The Oakland A’s Billy Burns trots across home plate in the first inning to put the A’s on the board past Chicago White Sox  catcher Dioner Navarro

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox played their third consecutive one-run game. This time, however, the A’s won 2-1 behind a strong effort by Sonny Gray. Gray, who was not able to pitch Monday or Tuesday, went seven innings, allowed just three hits and received credit for his first win of the year. The A’s bullpen did their job again; John Axford pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Ryan Madson closed out the game to earn his first save as a member of the A’s. Jed Lowrie drove in a run in the first and Mark Canha homered in the second to give the A’s all the runs they would need.The A’s jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Singles by Billy Burns and Khris Davis put men on at first and third with no out. The A’s leading RBI man, Jed Lowrie, hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Burns. Lowrie has knocked in five of the eight runs the A’s have scored so far this season. Carlos Rodon took the loss for the White Sox.

The A’s jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Singles by Billy Burns and Khris Davis put men on at first and third with no out. The A’s leading RBI man, Jed Lowrie, hit a sacrifice fly to right to drive in Burns. Lowrie has knocked in five of the eight runs the A’s have scored so far this season.

The A’s scored again in the second inning. Big Mark Canha, playing right field in place of Josh Reddick, hit his first home run, and the A’s first home run, of te season. With one out, Canha hit a big fly to deep right field that hit the wall just over the scoreboard. A’s lead 2-0.

The White Sox scored their first run of the game in the top of the third. Center fielder Austin Jackson led off with a double. He advanced to third on a ground out and then scored on a sacrifice fly to short left field.

There was no more scoring after the third inning. Carlos Rodon pitched well for Chicago, but Sonny Gray pitched better for Oakland as the A’s won their first game of the year 2-1.

Game notes- The line score for Oakland was two runs on seven hits and no errors. The White Sox line was one run, six hits, and no errors.

After the game, A’s manager Bob Melvin was pleased with his team’s efforts Wednesday night. He took Gray out after seven innings of work. He remarked that “after Sonny had got the first out, he was dragging, and that was going to be the last inning” of work. When talking about the bullpen, Melvin said that his guys ” aren’t afraid to pitch with guys on base. He also said that John Axford was ” really good about being quicker to the plate and was very effective.” Sean Doolittle was not available to pitch, and Melvin elected to bring in Ryan Madsen to close out the game. Melvin, when asked about the stellar defensive effort and particularly the play of Marcus Semien had this to say. Semien’s play “was about as good as we have seen him play.”

The A’s conclude the four-game series with the White Sox Thursday afternoon. Game time will be 12:35 PM PT. Kendall Graveman will start for Oakland, and they will face the well-travelled Mat Latos. Latos will be making his first start as a member of the White Sox.

The Golden State Warriors’ Festus Ezeli was in the crowd, and he received a nice ovation from the fans. Former A’s pitcher, Dallas Braden, was here to broadcast the game on ESPN and visited with the fans in right field beating on a drum to get a little excitement going.

Attendance was 16,468 and time of game was two hours and fifty-four minutes.









The Oakland A’s lose the season opener to the Chicago White Sox

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: The White Sox Chris Sale takes aim at the Oakland A’s pitching seven innings and getting the win Monday night

There is nothing better than opening night to start the baseball season. It would be better if the home team would win. That, however, did not happen as the Chicago White Sox beat the A’s 4-3. As usual, the game was sold out, and the 35,067 were hoping the A’s would rally to win the game.

All the scoring came in the third inning. The White Sox sent nine men to the plate and scored four times in their half, and the A’s came back in the bottom of the inning, sent eight men to the plate and scored three times.  The game summary follows below.

The White Sox sent nine men to the plate in the top of the third. They scored four runs on four hits and the A’s committed two errors to help the Sox score the runs. Left Rich Hill pitched well for the first two innings, but the roof caved in on him in the third. After he struck out Dioner Navarro, He walked Austin Jackson. Hill, attempting to keep Jackson close, at first, threw the ball into foul territory down the right field line. Jackson advanced to third on the play. Adam Eaton tripled to drive in Jackson with the first run of the game. Jimmy Rollins singled to drive in Eaton. Jose Abreu doubled to put men on at second and third with one out. Hill struck out the pride of Toms River, New Jersey, Todd Frazier for the second out. Melky Cabrera then hit a grounder up the middle that was fielded by Marcus Semien. Semien threw to first but A’s first baseman, Mark Canha, dropped the ball for  an error. Rollins and Abreu scored on the play. White Sox lead 4-0 in the middle of the third. The A’s scored three times in their half of the third. Catcher Stephen Vogt got the rally rolling as he beat out a hit to second. Chris Sale walked Marcus Semien to put men on at first and second with one out. Billy Burns grounded to advance the runners. Jed Lowrie singled to right to drive in Vogt and Semien. Josh Reddick singled up the middle to drive in Lowrie with the third run.  A’s trail 4-3 after three.

There was no more scoring after the third inning. Chris Sale went seven innings and picked up his first win of the year. The White Sox used four pitchers to shut down the A’s in the eighth and ninth innings. The A’s used five relievers. They included Fernando Rodriguez, Ryan Dull, John Axford Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. The bullpen did their job going six innings and held the White Sox from scoring.  The A’s had a couple of men in scoring position after the third but couldn’t get the key hit needed to get the run in to tie the game. Chicago wins 4-3.

Game Notes- Joe Stiglich of CSNBA report this about A’s pitcher Felix Doubront. Doubront left the exhibition game Saturday after the first inning with pain in his pitching arm.

‘The news doesn’t appear good for the fifth starter Felix Doubront. After leaving Saturday’s exhibition with what was described as forearm tightness, Paparesta said an MRI showed Doubront has some“fibrous tearing” in his ulnar collateral ligament along with a muscle strain. Doubront is headed to Cincinnati next Monday for a second opinion, but any damage to the ligament indicates that Tommy John surgery is a possibility.”

A’s ace Sonny Gray was supposed to start Monday night but was ill due to food poisoning. Gray may pitch Tuesday if he is feeling better.

Before the start of the game, it should be noted that the Opening game ceremonies honored the memories of  Dave Henderson and Tony Phillips. Both men played on the 1989 World Championship team, and both were in their 50s at the time of their passing. The ceremonies included the introduction of the players, coaches, manager, trainers and other members of the staff of both teams. Following the singing of the National Anthem, the fans enjoyed the flyover by a military plane.

The A’s have lost 11 of their last 12 Opening Day games. Rich Hill made his first Opening Day start.

The A’s meet the White Sox Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Lefty Jose Quintana will pitch for the Sox and he will be opposed by a pitcher to be named later.


The A’s Rout the White Sox

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s had their hitting shoes on Tuesday night as they rapped out seventeen hits and beat the Chicago White Sox 11-2. The A’s ace,Jon Lester, went eight innings allowing just two runs on seven hits, He walked two and had eight strikeouts and won his fourteenth game of the year and the first since August 12th. His record for the year is now 14-10. Lefty John Danks started for the White Sox and was tagged with the loss. He gave up four runs,two unearned, as the White Sox were just awful in the field committing five errors in the game.

The A’s got the scoring in the fourth inning. Josh Donaldson singled to get things going. Jonny Gomes followed with a double to put men on at 2nd and third. Donaldson scored on a ground out. Nate Freiman reached on a throwing error that allowed Gomes to score. A’s lead 2-0.

In the fifth, Coco Crisp reached on an error. On the next play, Craig Gentry bunted and but he collided with the first baseman as the throw from Danks caused the first baseman to run into Gentry. The play was ruled a single and an error on the pitcher but Gentry was knocked to the ground in obvious pain as he hit his head in the collision. Gentry left the game and he was diagnosed with a concussion. The A’s scored two more runs in the inning to take a 4-0 lead.

The A’s picked up another run in the seventh to make it a 5-0 lead but the White Sox scored two in their half of the inning . Dayan Viciedo led off with a solo home run. With two out, Lester walked Michael Taylor who scored a double by Carlos Sanchez. Sanchez was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.

The A’s made the game a rout in the ninth when they scored five times. The A’s were aided by another Chicago error and a wild pitch as the pounded the White Sox by a final score of 11-2

Notes- Josh Donaldson had five hits in the game and had four RBIs. Jeff Samardzija will pitch for Oakland on Wednesday. The A’s looked like the team that was on top until the slide started after the big trade on July 31st.. One game doesn’t make a season but, hopefully, they can get their mojo back.

White Sox, Abreu Snap A’s Six-Game Winning Streak


OAKLAND — Jose Abreu smacked an eighth inning three-run home run off the facing of the second deck in left field at O.co Coliseum, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Oakland A’s on Wednesday.

With his 15th home run of the season, which leads all of baseball, Abreu helped the White Sox snap the A’s season-high six-game winning streak.

“He’s something special,” A’s starting pitcher Tommy Milone said, referring to Abreu. “Any kind of mistake that you throw to him, it seems like he’s going to hit a home run.”

With the homer, Abreu joined Wally Berger, Kevin Maas and Wally Joyner as the only players in the history of Major League Baseball to hit 15 home runs in their first 42 career games.

The A’s carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth after another stellar outing from Milone, the fifth starter in the A’s rotation. Milone surrendered only one run — a home run to second baseman Gordon Beckham on the first pitch of the game — over six innings of work, following up his eight innings of shutout baseball against the Washington Nationals on May 9.

Eight days ago, the fourth and fifth starters in the A’s rotation — Milone and Dan Straily — had a combined record of 1-5 with a 5.40 ERA. In the last week, the back-end of the rotation — with Drew Pomeranz pitching in place of Straily — is 3-0 with a 0.38 ERA.

“Drew’s really given us a spark and Tommy, the last few times out, has been as good as we’ve seen him over the last couple of years,” Manager Bob Melvin said.

John Jaso responded to Beckham’s long ball with a leadoff home run of his own in the bottom of the first inning, tying the score at 1-1. The A’s added to the lead in the fourth when Josh Donaldson hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season, the third solo shot of the day.

But the bullpen coughed up the lead in the eighth after Beckham and Conor Gillaspie picked up singles off lefty reliever Fernando Abad (0-1) and Abreu took Luke Gregerson deep with a rocket shot to left.

Gregerson leads baseball with five blown saves this season.

“He made a pitch to the middle of the plate to a real-good hitter who’s been hot,” Melvin said, adding: “His stuff’s still good.”

Four White Sox pitchers — Andre Rienzo, Scott Downs, Ronald Belisario and Matt Lindstrom — combined to hold the A’s to just three hits in the contest.

Melvin said he expects outfielder Coco Crisp, who’s missed the last seven games with a strained neck, to return to the lineup at some point during the A’s series with the Cleveland Indians, which kicks off on Friday.

Chicago’s Cuban connection

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

Now José Abreu (a powerful first baseman) signs with the Chicago White Sox, for six years and $68 million, largest first time contract for an international player in Major League history. But wait, there is more Cuban flavor with the Chicago White Sox. Their regular left fielder Dayan Viciedo, is from Cuba, as well as their regular shortstop Alexei Ramírez.

Of course one of the greatest Major League baseball players, still alive at age 88, works for the Chicago White Sox in their front office,  Orestes(Minnie) Miñoso. Minoso is the only player to have played professionally in seven different decades. He was the last major leaguer to have played in the 1940s, to play a major league game. He played in the Major Leagues from 1949 until 1980.

For years the Cuban Marxist government has tried to jail and prevent high profile players from escaping the island, but recently from Céspedes, to Iglesias to Puig and now Abreu, their decrepit system of government has much bigger problems than to prevent these players from leaving the island.

All sports in Cuba are under the aegis of the Cuban government, since 1962, Fidel Castro and his cohorts banned professional sports, in the largest of the Caribbean islands. Cuban athletes like regular Cuban citizens do not enjoy the freedom of traveling in and out of the island.


Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Museum and does News and Commentary each week