It’s official: Coco goes to back to Cleveland for minor league pitcher

coco hair

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Coco Crisp era in Oakland has come to an end. The A’s and the Cleveland Indians have reached an agreement on a trade that sends Crisp back to his original major league team.

In return, the Athletics will receive minor league left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes.

Cleveland has been looking for outfield help since Michael Brantley went out for the rest of the season due to surgery on his right biceps. The Indians have been using a group of five players to platoon against right-handed and left-handed pitching. The switch-hitting Crisp can be used in all situations.

The Indians will lose one of the outfielders they are using in post-season play. Abraham Almonte is not eligible for the post-season because he was suspended for the first 81 games of the season due to a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. He is not allowed to participate in the post-season as a part of his punishment.

Crisp gives the Indians a player with post-season experience. He has participated in divisional and championship play with Boston and Oakland. Crisp was also a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox team.

Crisp was batting .234 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 102 games for the A’s this season. He leads the majors with a .424 batting average with runners in scoring position. Crisp can play all three outfield positions.

Crisp had recently expressed his unhappiness with the A’s over the way he was being used as a player. Crisp has an incentive based $13-million contract for 2017 that would automatically vest if he plays 130 or more games this season. He felt the A’s were deliberately platooning him in the outfield to avoid having the final year of the contract go into force.

LHP Colt Hynes has been well traveled this year. He started the season with the Toronto organization and was traded to Cleveland on August 3rd. Hynes has pitched at the Double-A and Triple-A level this year with a combined record of 3-1 with two saves and an ERA of 3.99 in 38 relief appearances. He has pitched in the Major Leagues for San Diego and Toronto.

Infielder Joey Wendle has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Crisp’s place on the roster. He was battling .279 with 12 home runs and 61 RBI for the Sounds. Wendle came to the A’s from Cleveland in 2014 as part of the Brandon Moss trade

Oakland A’s Tuesday game wrap: The Astros beat the A’s again 3-1

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Kendall Graveman Oakland A’s pitcher in the seventh inning gives up a home run to Evan Gattis of the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Field

Houston- The Astros took the second game of the three-game set 3-1 Tuesday night in Houston. The victory meant the Astros would win the series, and they go for the sweep Wednesday afternoon. The Astro’s starter Collin McHugh pitched six scoreless innings and allowed the A’s just four hits. The A’s Kendall Graveman also pitched well but not well enough to win. Graveman went seven innings and allowed three runs on four hits. Unfortunately, two of those hits were solo home runs.

Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer in the second to give the Astros the lead 1-0.  It was Rasmus’ first plate appearance since he came off the DL. Houston scored a single run in the third on a RBI single by Alex Bregman. Evan Gattis unloaded his twenty-second of the year in the seventh to extend the lead to 3-0. The A’s scored an unearned run in the top of the eighth but it wasn’t quite enough to catch the Astros and they fall to Houston 3-1.

Game Notes- With the loss, Graveman’s record fall to 10-9. He leads the A’s staff with ten wins.  “We just didn’t do enough offensively to give [Graveman] support,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ll take that stuff every night.”

“Those are the games where you save two runs there, make a couple better pitches and then you’re 1-1, so they did a good job of neutralizing our offense, and you get that feeling where you need to keep it where it’s at, but to go out and eat some innings was good,” Graveman said. “But I still feel like there’s work to be done.”

The Astros have now won nine of the last eleven games played, and they find themselves in the thick of the race for either the first or second Wild Card slot. The Red Sox are currently in the first slot. They lead the Orioles by two games. The Orioles lead the Tigers by one, and the Royals and Astros are also two back of Baltimore.

The A’s meet the Astros again Wednesday for the final game of the series. Game time will be at 11:10 am PT. Lefty Ross Detwiler(1-3) will make his fifth start as an Athletic, and Mike Fiers(9-6) will throw for Houston.

In other news, there are reports that the A’s have traded Coco Crisp to the Cleveland Indians. Coco was not in the lineup Tuesday night, and he cleaned out his locker and left the park before the start of the game. The formal announcement will be made Wednesday after approval of the trade by Major League Baseball.

Oakland A’s trade report: The A’s traded Coco Crisp to the Indians

by Jerry Feitelberg file photo: A favorite Coco Crisp photo during happier days with the Oakland A’s

HOUSTON–Fan favorite Coco Crisp is no longer an Oakland Athletic. Crisp was not in the lineup Tuesday night in Houston and  he packed up his locker and took his gear and left the ballpark.  The trade was announced by the A’s. Coco had the right to reject the trade as he was a 10-5 man. Coco spent the last five years with the A’s and waived the right to reject the trade.

Report: The battlin’ A’s may be back – Butler and Valencia “scuffle”in clubhouse


butler  valencia

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Multiple reports have the A’s Danny Valencia and Billy Butler involved in a clubhouse scuffle on Friday night in Chicago. The reported altercation resulted in possible injuries to Butler that kept him out of the games with the White Sox over the weekend.

The first report of the altercation came from the San Francisco Chronicle. Jane Lee of reported she had received confirmation of the confrontation between the two players.

A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters on Saturday that Butler would be unavailable to play due to nausea and vomiting not related to the flu. Butler would normally been in the lineup at DH both Saturday and Sunday as the White Sox started left-handed pitchers.

Valencia started the game on Saturday night versus the White Sox and kicked off a mini-rally by hitting his 15th home run of season to lead off the ninth inning. He did not play on Sunday.

The Chronicle did ask Valencia about the incident on Sunday and he responded, “No comment. What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.”

USA Today is reporting that the incident started when Butler told a shoe representative that Valencia was not wearing the cleats that he claim to be wearing.

Butler and Valencia were teammates in Kansas City in 2014 and then were reunited last season in Oakland.

Valencia has been with six different teams in his seven years in the major leagues. The rumors that have followed him have been that he is not a good teammate or that he is difficult to get along with in the clubhouse.

Eric Hosmer of the Royals would appear to disagree with that assessment:

Coco Crisp of the A’s seems to be in agreement with Hosmer:

Hosmer is a former teammate of Butler and Crisp is a current teammate and neither had any comment about the Designated Hitter.

There will certainly be more to this story and we will bring it to you as it breaks. It will be interesting to see who is in the lineup tonight for the Athletics. Cleveland is planning on starting the right-handed Carlos Carrasco so Butler would not be the starting DH.

Hitting epidemic: The A’s hit three more homers, defeat the Rangers 6-4

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Oakland A’s Coco Crisp swings for the fences with an eighth inning homer off Texas Rangers pitching on Wednesday night in Arlington

The Oakland A’s behind a good effort by lefty Sean Manaea, Ryan Dull, and Ryan Madson beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas. The A’s backed the pitching with three home runs for a come-from-behind win. Manaea continued to pitch well. He went six and 2/3rds innings and allowed eleven hits and three runs. Manaea struck out a career- high nine batters and did not walk anyone. Manaea has now pitched twenty-seven straight innings without walking a single batter. The Rangers’ Yu Darvish also pitched very well. Darvish has not been successful against Oakland since his arrival in the big leagues in 2012. Darvish won the first game he pitched against Oakland but has lost eight straight since then. The A’s scored two in the first, but Darvish settled down and was in line for the win when he left the game after the sixth inning.

The A’s took a 2-0 lead in the first. Coco Crisp led off with a triple and scored on a Jed Lowrie sacrifice fly. Khris Davis, who loves to hit Ranger pitching, crushed his twenty-fourth of the year for the second run of the inning. The Rangers scored their first run of the night in the third and then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Ian Desmond hit a two-run blast off Manaea to put Texas ahead 3-2. Darvish had settled down and allowed the A’s just two more hits before his exit after the sixth inning. Darvish was on a strict pitch count as he had Tommy John surgery last year and shoulder soreness earlier in the season.

The A’s took advantage of the weak Texas bullpen as they scored four in the top of the eighth. Coco Crisp hit a two-run homer off Matt Bush and then Khris Davis also hit a two-run dinger. It was Davis’ twenty-fifth of the year.

Ryan Dull relieved Manaea with two out in the seventh, and he finished the seventh and eighth for the A’s and picked up the win. Ryan Madson gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth but was able to get the job done and secured the win for Oakland.

The A’s are now 9-4 since the All-Star break and have won their last four series. They are 47-55 and are just eight games under the .500 mark. The Rangers fall to 58-44 and lead the second-place Houston Astros by just 2 1/2 games in the AL West. The A’s are off on Thursday and resume play on Friday against the Cleveland Indians who are in first place in the AL Central. Kendall Graveman, who is 6-0 with an ERA of 3.25 in his last ten starts, will pitch for Oakland. The Indians will counter with Trevor Bauer.


Not enough runs or hits, too many errors lead to 2-1 A’s loss

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Heading into the game on Sunday with the Astros, the Oakland Athletics had gone 15 consecutive games without committing an error – a franchise record. On Sunday, the A’s committed four errors and one of those errors literally cost them the game as they lost the series finale 2-1 in 10 innings to the Astros in Houston.

In the bottom of the 10th inning with two out and runners at the corners, Carlos Correa hit a hard grounder down the third base line that Danny Valencia fielded 10 feet behind the bag. Valencia’s throw pulled first baseman Yonder Alonso off the base allowing Carlos Correa to reach safely. The Astros Jake Marisnick took off from third with the crack of the bat and he scored easily to give Houston its second walk-off victory of the four-game series.

The win gave the Astros a 2-2 split in the final series before the All-Star Break. The A’s finish their seven-game road trip with 3-4 record. Oakland finishes “the unofficial first-half of the season” with a record of 38-51 in fourth place in the American League West 15.5 games behind division leading Texas.

Beyond the tragedy of losing an extra-inning game on an error, the A’s wasted a great outing by rookie starting pitcher Sean Manaea. Manaea who was roughed up in his last start really rebounded on Sunday. He worked 7.0 innings on Sunday giving up no runs on just five hits. Manaea walked none and struck out six Astro batters. He threw 106 pitches (72 strikes) in his seven innings of work. Manaea wound up with a no decision for his start on Sunday.

On the Bump

The A’s used a total of four pitchers on Sunday. John Axford pitched one scoreless inning and struck out two taking over for Manaea in the eighth inning. Ryan Madson was brought in to close out the game out in the ninth inning. Madson gave up a one-out infield single to Carlos Gomez who then advanced to second on a stolen base. With two out, Evan Gattis lined a double to left that drove Gomez home to tie the game at 1-1. It was Madson’s second blown save of the series and his fifth of the season.

Liam Hendricks was on the mound in the bottom of the 10th when the winning run crossed the plate so he is hung with the loss and his record falls to 0-2.

Dallas Keuchel started the game for Houston. Last year’s Cy Young Award winner has really struggled this season. He worked seven innings against the A’s giving up one run (earned) on four hits. Keuchel struck out five and walked two. Keuchel (6-9, 4.80) ended up with a no decision despite turning in one of his better performances of the seasons.

Astros reliever Will Harris gets the win as he was pitcher of record in the 10th inning.

In the Batter’s Box

There are not many highlights to talk about for the A’s at the plate. The Athletics managed to accumulate just four hits on Sunday afternoon. All of their hits were singles.

The A’s scored their lone run by putting two of those singles together in the sixth inning. Catcher Matt McBride led the inning off with a grounder to left field. McBride moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Coco Crisp. Marcus Semien then hit a sharp line drive to left that allowed McBride to score from second.

Oakland went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left four runners on base.

The Astros strung together eight hits in the game. The RBI-double by Evan Gattis in the ninth was the only extra-base hit of the game for either side. Gattis also had the only multi-hit day going 2-for-4 at the plate.

Houston left nine men on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Defense (or lack there of)

Danny Valencia not only had to deal with the anguish of giving up the winning run on error producing throw in the bottom of the 10th inning, he had to deal with the fact it was his second error of the game. He had a fielding error earlier in the contest. Valencia has now committed 13 errors on the season.

Marcus Semien committed his ninth error of the year in the bottom of the sixth inning when he had trouble fielding a ball off the bat of Marwin Gonzalez.

Coco Crisp committed his second error of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The A’s have now committed 57 errors on the season – fourth most in the American League.

Up Next

For most of the A’s the next few days mean some much needed rest and escape from the pressures of a season gone awry. Only Stephen Vogt is heading to San Diego for the All-Star festivities.

For the A’s management and coaching staff, the four days are going to have to be ones of real reflection, honest evaluation and decision making about the future.

On the field, only one goal makes any sense right now and that is getting to .500. Being 13 games under .500 at the All-Star Break creates an incredible uphill climb for the A’s. Getting to .500 will take a Herculean effort and then it may be too late to contend even for a Wild Card spot. But getting to .500 is the only goal that makes sense for A’s on the field right now.

In the front offices, the questions are all about what does the team do between now and the August 1st trade deadline. Oakland has some players that contenders have to be interested in for the stretch run to the postseason. Hitters like Valencia, Davis and Reddick will always be in demand. A veteran utility guy like Jed Lowrie who comes with a decent bat is a desired piece in the postseason. Teams cannot have enough pitching so Rich Hill, Ryan Madson, John Axford, Sean Doolittle (if healthy) and even Sonny Gray may be players being sought after by contending clubs.

What will the A’s want in return? Prospects is what it will be all about. Think Manea, Mengden and there are more players in Triple-A and Double-A from recent trades that are showing true potential to be big league material.

The one thing that is a given for A’s fans in the second half is it will not be boring. It never is.

Pirates beat the A’s 6-3 to sweep the series


MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Oakland Athletics
Photo Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND–The Pittsburgh Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics on Sunday with a 6-3 victory. The A’s finished their five-game homestand with a record of 1-4. Their record at home dropped to 17-26 for the year.

The A’s took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning of the game. Daniel Mengden was pitching well and it appeared that A’s might be on their way to breaking the losing streak. The Pirates came back and tied the game in the top of the fifth inning.

The Athletics scored a run and regained the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning raising the hopes of the fans that a win was coming on Sunday. The Pirates brought eight men to the plate in the sixth inning and scored two more runs to go back in front of the A’s 4-3.

The Pirates tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning when David Freese hit a two-run home run over the right field wall to make the final score 6-3 in favor of Pittsburgh.

Francisco Liriano (5-8) was the winning pitcher. The loss was charged to Daniel Mengden (1-4). Mark Melancon picked up his 24th save of the season.

In the Batter’s Box

Coco Crisp went 2-for-5 for A’s with a RBI. The two hits extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Both of his hits were singles. Crisp’s average is now .247.

Khris Davis had a good afternoon working as the Designated Hitter. Davis went 2-for-4 including a double and a run scored. Davis now has 11 doubles for the year.

Billy Butler got the start at first base today and had some success at the plate. Butler hit a double that was good for a RBI in second inning. In that same inning, Butler scored a run for the A’s.

The A’s scored three runs on 10 hits. They left seven men on base and were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The A’s had four extra base hits – all doubles.

DH Gregory Polanco was the man at the plate for the Pirates on Sunday. Polanco went 2-for-4 with two RBI. He leads the Pirates with 47 RBI.

David Freese who came into the game a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and remained in the game hit his eighth home run of the year in the eighth inning. It was a two-run shot into the right field stands.

Adam Frazier had a 2-for-4 game that featured a double and a triple. Frazier had two RBI and scored a run for the Bucs.

The Pirates scored six runs on 11 hits. They left nine men on base and were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.


On the Bump

Daniel Mengden – one of the A’s rookie young guns – started the game on Sunday looking for his second victory of the season. Things started off well for the man with the classic mustache. He did give up a hit in each of the first three innings but he also struck out three batters while allowing no runs. The A’s staked Mengden to a two-run lead and it looked like Oakland might be on their way to breaking their three-game losing streak.

Things fell apart for Mengden in the fifth inning as he gave up two runs on two hits. The Pirates were aided by a walk, a hit batsman and fielder’s choice that turned into a run.

Things continued to go downhill for Mengden in the sixth inning as the Pittsburgh scored two more runs on just two hits including a RBI triple by Adam Frazier. Mengden also issued two more walks in the inning and did not finish the frame. Marc Rzepczynski and Liam Hendriks came in to close out the inning.

Mengden worked 5.1 innings giving up four runs (all earned) on seven hits. He struck out five batters and walked four. Mengden threw 99 pitches (65 strikes).

As if things are not going bad enough for the A’s, relief pitcher Fernando Rodriguez took the mound in the top of the eighth inning and had to exit the game after facing one batter. Manager Bob Melvin said it appears to be a shoulder strain. Rodriguez will have a MRI done on the shoulder. Melvin indicated that a trip to the disabled list is a possibility.

Francisco Liriano had one of his better outings of his recent starts. Liriano sat the side down in order in the first inning before giving up two runs on three hits in the second inning. He then settled down and had another one, two, three-inning in the third. After giving up a run on three hits in the fifth, Liriano’s day was over for the Pirates.

Liriano gave up three runs (all earned) on six hits in 5.0 innings on the mound. He struck out two and walked one batter. Liriano threw a total of 88 pitches (53 strikes).

In the Field

The A’s did not commit an error in the game on Sunday. That extends the A’s errorless streak to nine games.

Coco Crisp had a busy day in center field as he recorded four put outs.

Tyler Ladendorf made a very nice play on ground ball off the bat of Adam Frazier in the eighth inning. Ladendorf had to slide to his right on the outfield grass to field the ball and threw the ball from a seated position to throw Frazier out at first.

Game Notes

The A’s have placed catcher Josh Phegley on the 15-day disabled list for a strained right knee. Oakland now has nine players on the disabled list. The team has used the DL 18 times this season … Catcher Matt McBride has been called up from Triple-A Nashville to take Phegley’s place on the roster. This is McBride’s third call-up to Oakland this season. He has appeared in eight games for the big club and is batting .222.

The A’s challenged a call at first in the top of the fourth inning. Starling Marte hit a ground ball on the right side of the infield that was fielded by A’s first baseman Billy Butler. Butler underhanded the ball to pitcher Daniel Mengden covering the bag. First base umpire Gerry Davis called Marte safe. The fan who had six beers and had only one eye opened sitting in the upper deck jumped out of his seat in disbelief. It took the replay officials in New York only 54-seconds to overturn the Davis call and declare Marte out.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected from the game in bottom of the sixth inning of the game by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook. It appeared the ejection was for arguing ball and strike calls.

Up Next

The A’s will close out the unofficial first-half of the season with a seven-game road trip. They will travel tonight to Minneapolis where they will play three games with the Twins. Oakland then travels to Houston where they will open a four-game series on Thursday with the Astros before heading home for the All-Star Break.

The probables for the series with the Twins are:

Mon 7/4 RHP Kendall Graveman (3-6, 4.84) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (3-6, 5.31) 11:10 PDT

Tue 7/5 LHP Sean Manaea (3-4, 5.40) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (0-2, 6.23) 5:10 PDT

Wed 7/6 RHP Sonny Gray (3-7, 5.42) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (2-7, 4.50) 10:10 PDT

The losing streak is over, A’s beat Reds 6-1

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cincinnati Reds
Marcus Semien hits a two-run home run Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics went into the game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds needing a win in the worst way. Losers of seven consecutive games, the A’s were in danger of going 0-8 on an eight game road trip. The psychological damage to the team by going winless on the road trip could have devastating effects for the rest of the season.

Not only did the A’s have to battle a losing streak, they had to battle the weather. The Midwestern summer has come early and it was 89-degrees with 55-percent humidity at game time. That made it feel like the temperature was 96-degrees. The Athletics are not used to playing in those conditions.

The A’s found their power and used the long ball with men on base to take an early lead that they never relinquished but only added to as the game progressed. Oakland had to pitch by committee due to the weather and because they were playing an Inter-league game in a National League park where the pitchers had to bat. They played the game like a team that knew they had to win the game.

In the batter’s box

Marcus Semien started off the scoring for the A’s in the top of the second inning when he hit a 3-1 pitch from John Lamb over the left field wall with Billy Butler on base to give Oakland a 2-0 lead. It was Semien’s 12th home run of the season. He finished the day going 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.

The A’s scored two more runs in the second inning when Jake Smolinski hit his second home run of the year off Lamb with Josh Phegley on base. Smolinski’s home run gave the A’s a 4-0 lead at the time.

Danny Valencia joined the home run derby when he hit a solo shot into the left field seats in the top of the eighth inning off reliever A.J. Morris to give the A’s a 5-1 lead.

The A’s manufactured a run in the top of the ninth when Khris Davis hit a line drive single to center that allowed Coco Crisp to score the sixth run from second base.

Khris Davis had a 2-for-5 game with the insurance RBI.

Billy Butler continued to be productive at the plate going 3-for-3 with a run scored. The A’s have been waiting all season for Butler to catch fire.

Jed Lowrie stayed hot with the bat going 3-for-5 in the game. Lowrie’s average now stands at .303.

The A’s scored six runs on 15 hits with eight runners left on base.

The Reds only run came in the bottom of the second inning when outfielder Steve Selsky scored off catcher Ramon Cabrera’s double to left field. Kendall Graveman was on the mound for the A’s.

The Reds scored one run on seven hits and left six men on base despite the A’s having to use five different pitchers in the game.

On the Mound

Kendall Graveman started the game for Oakland on Sunday. Graveman entered the game with a 2-6 record and had really been struggling in last several starts. Graveman pitched well but succumbed to the weather very quickly. Graveman pitched to one batter in the fifth inning but had to come out of the game. He worked 4.0 innings giving up one run (earned) on seven hits while striking out five and walking two batters. Because Graveman did not work five innings it was up to the official scorer to assign the win and Graveman was given a no decision for his 4-plus innings of work.

Fernando Rodriguez came on in the top of the fifth for Graveman and pitched two perfect innings of baseball in relief. For his efforts, Rodriguez was credited with his second win of the season.

John Axford, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson each worked a perfect inning of relief for Oakland on Sunday. Axford and Doolittle were impressive as they were throwing pitches in the high 90’s. For Madson, it was his first work on the mound since his appearance in Houston seven days ago.

John Lamb (1-4, 5.14) took the loss for the Reds even though he only pitched four innings. Cincinnati used four pitchers in their losing effort.


The key on defense for the Oakland Athletics was the fact they did not commit an error in the game. Not only did they play errorless baseball, the A’s turned three double plays that all killed potential scoring opportunities for the Reds.

The Reds did not commit an error in the game.

Up next

The A’s will have no time to rest and celebrate their victory. Oakland heads back into action on Monday night as they open a four-game home series with the Western Division leading Texas Rangers. The Rangers are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won two games in a row.

LHP Sean Manaea (2-4, 6.20) will take the mound for Oakland. The Rangers have yet to officially name their starter although speculation centers on LHP Cesar Ramos who is a long reliever and spot starter.


A’s beat Rays 7-6 in comeback victory

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Oakland Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics (16-22) closed out their nine-game road trip on a high note with a 7-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays (16-19) on Sunday. The victory also gave the A’s the series win two games to one.

Trailing the Rays 6-5 with two out in the top of the ninth inning the Athletics played like a team that refused to lose. With two out, Billy Burns hit a 1-2 pitch into center field for a double. That brought Danny Valencia to the plate. Valencia had already hit two home runs in the game. Valencia hit the first pitch to him from reliever Steve Geltz over the left center field wall for a two-run home and gave the A’s a 7-6 lead.

Oakland closer Ryan Madson came on in the bottom of the ninth and needed just four ptiches to retire the side and preserve the win for the A’s. It was save number 10 of the season for Madson.

This is a significant win for the A’s for three reasons. First, they won a game on day when their pitching ace Sonny Gray did not have a great outing. Second, the A’s had to come from behind to win on Sunday proving to themselves they can fight their way back into games. Third, Oakland won a one-run game. For whatever reason, this is a team that finds itself in one-run games frequently. The Sunday win works as a reminder they can win those close game.

In the batter’s box

Danny Valencia was the man with the bat today for the Athletics. He hit three home runs on Sunday to bring his total to five for the series in Tampa Bay and for the season to date. Valencia drove in five runs and scored three. He hit in the number three spot Sunday as Josh Reddick was given the day off versus a left-handed starter.

Coco Crisp played center field and hit lead off Sunday. Crisp went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored.

With Reddick given the day off, Billy Burns played right field. Burns went 1-for-5 with one run scored. That one hit was the double in the top of the ninth that kept the inning alive for Valencia to hit what became the game-winning home run.

Chris Coghlan was brought in to pinch hit for Tyler Ladendorf in the top the seventh inning. Coghlan took a 0-1 pitch over the left center field wall for his fifth home run of the year.

The A’s scored seven runs on 12 hits while leaving six men on base. They struck out eight times and walked twice.

Brandon Guyer was the leader at the plate for the Rays on Sunday. He had a lead off home run in the bottom of first inning off Sonny Gray to tie the game at 1-1. Guyer came to bat in the bottom of the second with two runners on when the inning was extended by a two-out error. Guyer hit the ball into the left field stands for a three-run home run. Guyer finished with five RBI on the day.

Evan Longoria went 2-for-4 for the game. Longoria hit his seventh home run and a double on Sunday.

The Rays scored six runs on six hits and left four runners on base. Rays batters struck out nine times and walked two times.

On the mound

A’s starter Sonny Gray had another tough outing on Sunday. Gray has not recorded a win in his last four starts. He had a no decision on Sunday. Gray worked 5.2-innings giving up six runs (three earned) on six hits. He struck out four and walked two. Gray gave up three home runs (Guyer 2, Longoria). He threw 99 pitches (67 strikes). Gray’s ERA now stands at 5.84.

The A’s bullpen came in and did the job for their team on Sunday. Ryan Dull relieved Gray in the sixth and worked 1.1-innings. Dull allowed no runs or hits. He struck out four and walked none.

John Axford pitched the eighth inning for Oakland. Axford gave up no runs, no hits, no walks and struck out one. Axford (3-1) is credited with the win as he was pitcher of record when the A’s scored in the top of the ninth.

Ryan Madson threw a perfect ninth inning needing just four pitches to retire the side. Madson now has 10 saves for the A’s.


The A’s were able to overcome a defensive miscue that took place in the bottom of the second inning. With two out and catcher Hank Conger at bat, the A’s defense went into a shift overloading the infield to the right. Second baseman Tyler Ladendorf was playing in shallow right field. Conger hit the ball to where the second baseman would normally be stationed. Ladendorf charged the ball and was unable to field it. Conger was safe. The next hitter Guyer hit a three-run home run. The error resulted in three unearned runs.

The A’s lead the American League in errors with 28.

Up next

The A’s return home to begin a three-game home series with the Texas Rangers on Monday night. LHP Derek Holland (3-2, 6.09) will start for Texas while the A’s will go with LHP Sean Manaea (0-1, 11.37).

On Tuesday, Texas will send LHP Cole Hamels to the mound to face the A’s LHP Eric Surkamp.

In the finale on Wednesday afternoon, LHP Martin Perez will start for the Rangers while LHP Rich Hill will take the hill for Oakland.



A’s beat M’s 2-1 in 10 innings and sweep the series

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
Photo Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The majority of the preseason prognosticators had the Oakland Athletics finishing dead last in the American League West. Evidently, the A’s forgot to read the predictions for their 2016 season.

On Sunday, the Athletics survived seven innings of shutout baseball pitched by “King Felix” Hernandez (0-1, o.69 ERA), had strong pitching performances by their own stater and bullpen, used the long ball to defeat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in 10 innings and won the series on the road three games to none.

The Athletics won the game via  a solo home run hit by Coco Crisp in the top of the 10th inning off Seattle reliever Nick Vincent. With two outs, Crisp hit a 3-1 pitch 376 feet over the right field wall to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.

Sean Doolittle took the mound for the Athletics in the bottom of the 10th inning and closed out the game for his first save of the season.

The A’s record improves to 4-3 with the win and puts them in sole possession of first-place in the American League West.

The Mariners are struggling to figure out how they squandered such an outstanding pitching performance like the one turned in by “King Felix” on Sunday.

On the mound

Hernandez was a master on the mound. He pitched seven innings giving up just three hits and no runs. The “King” recorded 10 strike outs and issued just two walks. He threw 99 pitches (62 strikes). The Seattle radio broadcasters said the outing was Hernandez at his best especially with the command he showed on his change-up and breaking ball. It is hard to imagine that such a quality outing simply ended in a no decision.

Chris Bassitt made his second start of the season for Oakland. Bassitt worked seven innings giving up three hits and one unearned run. He had four strikeouts but issued base-on-balls to five Seattle batters. Bassitt threw 97 pitches (58 stikes). Bassitt has yet to figure into a decision in his two starts this year.

The A’s used three pitchers out of the bullpen on Sunday. Ryan Madson, John Axford and Sean Doolittle worked one inning each. The three relievers gave up no runs, no hits, no walks and struck out two hitters. Axford was credited with his first win of the year while Doolittle recorded his first save of the season.

Seattle also used three pitchers out of their bullpen. Joel Peralta was charged with a blown save when gave up a home run to Marcus Semien. Steve Cishek worked a scoreless inning. Nick Vincent was tagged with the loss when he gave up the game winning home run off the bat of Coco Crisp.

In the batter’s box

The A’s scattered five hits over the 10 innings versus Seattle. No Oakland player had a multi-hit day. Crisp, Lowrie, Alonso, Phegley and Semien all had one hit each.

Marcus Semien tied the game at 1-1 when he hit his first home run of year in the top of the eighth inning off Peralta. Semien hit a high fly ball over the left field wall on a 3-2 pitch.

The Mariners managed to get just six hits off the four Oakland pitchers. Nelson Cruz had a two-hit game than included his second double of the year. Seattle catcher Leonys Martin also had a two-hit game.

The Athletics went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

The M’s were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and they left 10 men on base.


The MVP of the game has to be Felix Hernandez. The “King” was brilliant on the mound and showed why he is one of top pitchers in the major leagues. Plus, he deserves to get something for pitching that well and having his team lose the game.

Honorable Mention

Coco Crisp deserves this honor for hitting his first home run since August 27, 2014. After battling through injuries last season, it was nice to see Crisp carry his team to a big win using his bat.

Up next

The Athletics will be back in action on Monday in Oakland when they open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.