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Photo/Graphic: @Astros

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Coming home to the Oakland Coliseum has not been a good thing for the Oakland Athletics. After winning 11 consecutive games, the A’s have now lost four games in a row at home. They have also lost a second consecutive series at home.

The first-place Houston Astros downed the A’s 5-1 on Saturday night at the Coliseum behind the “lights out” pitching of Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.27 ERA). The perennial All-Star pitcher worked 8.0-innings allowing just one run (earned) off four hits. Verlander struck out eight Oakland hitters while walking just two.

The A’s only run of the game came in the second inning when Stephen Piscotty hit the first pitch from Verlander over the wall in right field for his seventh home run of the season.

Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.95 ERA) made the start for Oakland. He worked 5.1-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. Anderson struck out two and walked two.

The A’s used two relief pitchers in the contest. Yusmeiro Petit pitched 2.2-innings of perfect baseball while striking out two Astros. Joakim Soria closed out the game pitching the ninth inning and giving up two runs off two hits (1 HR).

A’s Spotlight

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Marcus Semien ejected Photo: @Athletics
  • Anderson has allowed five home runs in his last four starts after he gave up just one homer in his previous eight starts.
  • Ramon Laureano recorded his sixth assist of the year on Saturday. The center fielder threw Robinson Chirinos out as he attempted to advance to second base in the fourth inning.
  • Speaking of Laureano, he extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games when he singled off Verlander in the fifth inning.
  • Marcus Semien was ejected in the fifth inning of the game. It was the first time Semien has been ejected from a game in his career.
  • Stephen Piscotty has possessed the hot bat for the A’s during this homestand. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday and he is batting .417 (10-for-24) with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, and four RBI in the eight games.

Houston Notes

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Graphic: @Astros
  • Justin Verlander passed Cy Young for 21st on the all-time strikeout list (that’s impressive). Verlander is now for tied for the most wins in the Major Leagues with nine victories.
  • Josh Reddick is happy to back in the Coliseum. He has hit home runs in consecutive games for the first time since September 15 and 16, 2018. Reddick is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three home runs and five RBI in four games in the Coliseum this season.
  • Michael Brantley now leads the MLB in multi-hit games after going 2-for-3 with a walk on Saturday. He has posted 27 multi-hit games. Brantley has recorded 72 hits already this season and is tied for first in the American League.

Up Next

The Astros and A’s will wrap up their series on Sunday at 1:07 PM PDT. Houston will send RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 4.04 ERA) to the mound to try and make it a sweep over Oakland. The A’s will counter with RHP Chris Bassitt (3-1, 3.27 ERA) in order to try and stop their losing streak.

A’s number three ranked prospect Holmes has tough debut in San Jose

Holmes 2

by Charlie O. Mallonee

After the Josh Reddick – Rich Hill trade to the Dodgers for three minor league pitchers, there was a reordering of the top 30 prospects in the Oakland Athletics farm system. One of those pitchers is now the A’s number three ranked prospect.

20-year old Grant Holmes is 6-foot-1, 215 pound, right-handed pitcher that was selected in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2014 Free Agent Draft by the Dodgers. Holmes went right from playing high school baseball to playing professional ball for the Dodgers with their rookie teams in Arizona and Ogden, Utah.He spent the 2015 season in the Midwest League and was pitching for the Dodgers high Class A California League affiliate in Ranch Cucamonga when the trade occurred.

Holmes has an above average fastball that he throws in the 93-95 mph range on a consistent basis. He also has a plus-curveball that can be thrown with slider velocity when it is at its best. The curve still lacks the consistency that it will need at the next level.

Holmes has a workable change up that he is using more as the talent of the opposing hitters improves. His control is rated as a bit below average. Scouts feel his control “regressed” some in 2015. Not enough to no longer consider Holmes a top prospect, but he does need to learn “to trust his stuff”.

Even though Holmes is the youngest player who will require the most time and development to make it to the major leagues, he ultimately could be the crown jewel of this trade. In 2019 or 2020, we could be talking about how the Reddick-Hill trade of 2016 paid off for the A’s with the acquisition of starting pitcher Grant Holmes.

Holmes made his first appearance for the A’s Class A Stockton Ports on Friday night versus the San Jose Giants. It was not the type of start Holmes wanted to have for his new organization.

Holmes worked just 4.0 innings giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits. He had one strike out and walked one batter. He did not give up a home run in the game.

Holmes threw 72 pitches (52 strikes) to the 23 batters he faced. He induced eight hitters to groundout and two to flyout.

The Giants hit back-to-back singles off Holmes in the first inning.Holmes then walked a batter to load the bases. The next San Jose batter was hit by the pitch to force in a run. A sacrifice fly made it a 2-0 game after the first inning.

San Jose scored single runs in the second and third innings off Holmes. A error by the Ports left fielder in the fourth inning allowed to unearned runs to score giving the Giants a 6-1 lead and the night for Holmes was over.

Holmes was charged with the loss. His overall record for the season is now 8-5 with 4.20 ERA.

Sports Radio Service will continue to monitor Holmes play and bring you updates as warranted.

Hill and Reddick go to the Dodgers in exchange for three pitching prospects

reddick-hill

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The A’s indicated on Sunday they might go for a contract extension with pitcher Rich Hill rather than trade him. Either that was a smoke screen or the extension talks did not go well because Hill is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hill is currently on the disabled listed due to a blister on his middle finger of his pitching hand. Hill was placed on the DL retroactive to July 20 on July 30. He can be reinstated on August 4. Hill was 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 14 starts for the Athletics.

Reddick had also been the focus of contract extension talks as he will become a free agent at the end of the season. Those contract talks were not fruitful or did not look promising as Reddick is also a Dodger as of today.

Reddick was hitting .296 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 68 games for the A’s this season. Reddick spent May 20 to June 27 on the disabled list with a fractured thumb. He had been seen as a trade target by several teams as the trade deadline approached. The Dodgers remained at the top of the list of suitors for Reddick’s services.

As has been the Athletics style, they will receive prospects in return for Hill and Reddick. In this case, all three prospects are pitchers.

cotton

Jharel Cotton is a 24-year old right-hand pitcher who has been playing at the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City this season. He had appeared in 22 games (16 starts) with a record of 8-5. His 4.90 ERA is high but earned run averages tend to run high in the Pacific Coast League.

Cotton has an above average fastball.The speed of that fastball changes depending on whether he is starting or relieving. As a starter, he throws the fastball in the upper 80’s. As a reliever, he ups the speed of his number one pitch into the 90’s.

Cotton has a plus-change up that he uses frequently as an out pitch. He also throws a cutter and a curve but both are considered below average. He really needs to develop a third pitch.

At 5-foot-11, 195 pounds, Cotton’s size is more suited to being a relief pitcher rather than a starting pitcher in the major leagues. Cotton has been assigned to the A’s Triple-A team in Nashville.

Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

Frankie Montas is a hard throwing right-hander who has seen some time in the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox. He appeared in seven games (two starts) for the Sox in 2015. Montas was traded to the Dodgers in a three-team trade that sent Trayce Thompson to Los Angeles.

Montas had rib surgery in February and has been limited to 16.0 innings of work in 2016. There have been conflicting reports about when Montas will be able to pitch again. Some reports have him pitching again in September and others have him not returning to action until the Arizona Fall League gets underway.

Montas is 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds. His size may be a part of his power as a pitcher but it is also a concern about how it may impact his health in the long run.

Montas has an excellent fastball with some sink that he throws consistently in the 90’s and will ramp up to 102 mph on occasion. His number two pitch is a slider that he throws in the mid-80’s. Scouts say Montas needs to develop a third pitch.

Montas gets into trouble when he overthrows his pitches. His fastball straightens out and his slider flattens out which makes both pitches less effective.

The big question that has followed Montas is whether he is a starter or reliever. The early takes are that the A’s will work to make Montas a starter.

Holmes

The final piece of this trade is a youngster. Grant Holmes is just 20-years old and is already in his third year of professional baseball. The Dodgers drafted him in the first round of the 2014 draft with number 22 overall pick.

Holmes is a 6-foot-1, 215 pound, right-hand throwing pitcher. He has a fastball that runs up near 100 mph on a regular basis. Holmes also has a hard, sharp breaking curve ball. He also is working on what is considered a very promising change up.

Holmes is 8-4 with a 4.02 ERA for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga this season. He has appeared in 20 games (18 starts). Despite those impressive numbers as a starter, many experts see Holmes as a reliever by the time he reaches the big leagues.

The A’s have not announced what team Holmes will be assigned to in the organization.

 

 

 

It was a gray day for Sonny in Cleveland as the Indians win 8-0

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Indians
Tough day for Sonny Gray in Cleveland. Photo Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Cleveland Indians completed a three-game sweep of Oakland on Sunday by shutting out the Athletics 8-0. The Indians rode the strong starting pitching of Corey Kluber and the well timed hitting of the bottom third of the order to close out the A’s trip to Cleveland out on a down note.

The victory was the Indians 60th of season against 42 losses. The “Tribe” has now won three games in-a-row and are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The win gives them a 4.5 game lead over second-place Detroit in the AL Central.

The loss drops the A’s record to 47-58 – 11 games under the key goal of getting to the .500 mark. The A’s have lost three straight games and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. Oakland has dropped into last place in the AL West – 14.0 games back of Texas and 0.5 games back of the Angels in fourth place.

On the Bump

Sonny Gray looked strong in the first two innings of the game. He sat the side down in order in each inning and it appeared Gray was on track for a strong outing. Then came the third inning and the wheels came off for Gray.

Gray loaded the bases and then with one out, gave up single to right field to Jason Kipnis that was good for two RBI. Francisco Lindor then hit a sacrifice fly to center field that drove in Roberto Perez. Designated Hitter Mike Napoli then hit a two-run home run over the left center field wall to make it a 5-0 game in favor of the Indians.

The A’s were unable to find any runs in the top of the fourth to help Gray as he headed back to the mound to face the Cleveland batters.

Gray gave up another run on two singles and walk and his day on the hill was over. Daniel Coulombe came on in relief and gave up a sacrifice fly (run charged to Gray) before getting the final out. The Indians led 7-0 after four complete innings.

The Indians would score once more in the bottom of the fifth-inning.

Sonny Gray’s record fell to 5-10 for the year. Even more alarming his ERA rose to 5.84. On Sunday, Gray worked just 3.1 innings giving up seven runs (all earned) on eight hits. He struck out three and walked two. Gray threw 64 pitches (43 strikes).

Daniel Coulombe threw 1.2 innings in relief giving up one run (earned) on one hit while striking out two and walking two hitters. J.B. Wendelken worked three scoreless innings of long relief giving up just one hit, striking out three and issuing one walk.

It really was Corey Kluber’s day on the bump. The 2014 Cy Young winner was in great form as he threw 7.0 scorless innings distributing just five hits, walking just two A’s while striking out seven hitters. Kluber threw 103 pitches (67 strikes). It was the kind of performance that one would expect out of the number one man in the rotation of a first-place team.

The Indians used three pitchers to cover the eighth and ninth innings to close out the game.

In the Batter’s Box

Yonder Alonso had the only multi-hit game for the A’s. He had a double and a single in the game to raise his average to .250. Stephen Vogt, Jake Smolinski and Marcus Semien all hit doubles in the contest.

The A’s left eight runners on base and were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

DH Mike Napoli was the man at the plate for Cleveland on Sunday. He went 1-for-3 with a 2-run home run, scored two runs, had two RBI and added a walk.

The number seven, eight and nine hitters in the order collected five of Cleveland’s 10 hits and scored five of their eight runs. That is a pretty productive bottom third of the order.

The Indians left six runners on base and were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

On Defense

In the bottom of the fourth, Lonnie Chisenhall was at first when Tyler Naquin singled to right field. Josh Reddick fielded the ball and then threw a bullet to third base to try to cut down Chisenhall who decided to challenge Reddick’s arm. Rookie Ryon Healy took the throw, put down the tag and Chisenhall became the first out of the inning.

Who goes – who stays

The clock is ticking and the phones are ringing as teams are desperately trying to make deals before the non-wavier trade deadline hits at 1:00 PM PDT on Monday. There are several A’s players that the “experts” think could be on the move.

The two most prominent names are still pitcher Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick. The new wrinkle involving these two players is that several teams are trying to pick them up as a package. Peter Gammons of MLB Network says the Dodgers have asked about the two as a package deal. Ken Rosenthal of Fox is reporting that the Blue Jays are also pursuing the pair as a package.

With Hill on the DL due the blister on pitching hand, some teams have asked about a conditional trade that would reduce the compensation to the A’s if Hill is unable to become competitive for the rest of the season. The word is the A’s have said no to those proposals. Hill is a “as is” with “no warranty” trade. You buy it – you own it.

The name of Danny Valencia has dropped off the radar in the last 72 hours but do not be surprised to hear Valencia has packed his bags and is on his way to a contender tomorrow afternoon. His productive bat is too good to be ignored.

Up Next

The A’s traveled to Southern California after the game on Sunday and will have a day off before beginning a three-game series with the Angels on Tuesday.

Tue 8/2 @LAA LHP Sean Manaea (3-5,4.57) vs. RHP Matt Shoemaker (5-11,4.17) 7:05 PM PDT

Wed 8/3 @LAA RHP Kendall Graveman (7-7,4.15) vs. RHP Jared Weaver (8-8,5.14) 7:05 PM PDT

Thu 8/4 @LAA  To Be Announced for Oakland       vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (2-5,8.49) 4:05 PM PDT

The Indians will stay in Cleveland and will begin a four-game series with the Twins on Monday night.

 

Oakland A’s Tuesday game wrap:The A’s Sonny Gray gets some support, the A’s down the Rangers

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: The Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien (10) puts the tag on the Texas Rangers Rougned Odor (12) after attempting to stretch a hit into a double at Arlington on Tuesday night

The A’s evened the series with the Texas Rangers at one apiece when they beat them 6-3 Tuesday at the Globe Life Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The A’s ace, Sonny Gray, pitched well for the first four innings of the game. He unraveled a bit in the fifth as the Rangers had five straight hits and scored three times. Josh Reddick had the defensive play of the night when he threw out Rougned Odor at second when he tried to stretch a single into a double. Gray righted the ship and pitched a clean sixth inning, and the A’s bullpen did not allow Texas to score in either the seventh, eighth, or ninth innings to preserve the win.

The A’s scored three times in the fourth inning. The veteran center fielder, Coco Crisp, hit a solo homer with no on and no out for the A’s first run. It was the eighth of the year for Coco. Josh Reddick hit his seventh of the year with a man aboard to put the A’s ahead 3-0.

The A’s scored two more in the fifth. Marcus Semien hit his twenty-first of the year to center with nobody aboard. Reddick drove in his third run of the game later in the inning. The Rangers scored three runs in their half of the fifth. The Rangers’ Joey Gallo hit a solo homer to put Texas on the board. It was the first dinger of the yer for Gallo. Later in the inning, big Mitch Moreland hit a two-run blast to reduce the deficit to two.

There was no more scoring in the game until the ninth inning. The A’s put an insurance run on the board, nd they won by a final of 6-3.

Game Notes- With the win, the A’s improve to 8-4 since the All-Star break and 46-55 for the season. The Rangers drop to 58-43 and are still in first place in the AL West.The Astros lost to the Yankees and they trail the Rangers by 3.5 games. The A’s are in fourth place twelve games behind Texas in the division.

The rubber game will be played Wednesday night at 5:05 pm in Texas. Lefty Sean Manaea will go for Oakland. Manaea had his best game of the year against Tampa Bay last week and the A’s are hoping he can continue to pitch well. Yu Darvish, on the comeback trail, will pitch for the Rangers.

The A’s win in a walk-off in the tenth

by Jerry Feitelberg

AP photo: Oakland A’s Josh Reddick (center) gets the treatment from his teammates after his walk off single RBI in the tenth for the gamer for the A’s fourth straight win

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s came back from a three-run deficit as they scored two in the seventh, one in the ninth and one in the tenth to defeat the Houston Astros 4-3. The A’s sent rookie Dillon Overton to the mound to start the game Tuesday night. Overton pitched into the seventh inning, but he would have been the losing pitcher had the A’s not rallied to win. Overton went six and a third innings. He allowed nine hits and three wins, and he received credit for a “quality start.” The Astros’ Dallas Keuchel also pitched very well. He went six and a third innings, and he allowed just two runs on five hits. The A’s bullpen allowed just two hits and no runs after the fifth inning while the A’s broke through against Houston’s All-Star close Will Harris to tie the game in the ninth.

The Astros struck first in the top of the third. With one out, A’s starter Dillon Overton gave up a single to Marwyn Gonzalez and a double to Jose Altuve.  The next hitter, Carlos Correa, hit a swinging bunt. Dillon made a terrific play as he fielded it and threw home to nail Gonzalez at the plate to keep the Astros off the board.   Dillon couldn’t keep the Astros at bay as Luis Valbuena singled to drive in Altuve.

The ‘Stros plated two more runs in the fifth. George Springer led off the frame with a booming fly ball to deep center that looked like it was ready to orbit the planet. With one out, the leading hitter in the AL, Jose Altuve, tripled off the center-field wall. Altuve scored on a sacrifice fly to put Houston ahead 3-0 in the middle of the fifth.

The A’s scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Billy Butler singled. Jake Smolinski doubled to deep right field but Butler, not having any speed, had to stop at third. Rookie third baseman, Astros’ manager A.J.Hinch removed Dallas Keuchel from the game and brought in Ken Giles to pitch. Ryon Healy  Greeted Giles with a double to drive in Butler and Smolinski. Giles retired the next two hitters to get out of the jam.

The A’s threatened to score in the eighth.They received two walks and had the benefit of a wild pitch to put men on at first and third with two out. Bob Melvin called on Josh Reddick to pinch-hit for Jake Smolinski. The Astros’ Luke Gregerson induced Reddick to fly out to left to end the inning.  ‘Stros sill lead 3-2 after eight.

The A’s tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Stephen Vogt won a twelve-pitch battle with Astros’ closer Will Harris when he doubled to right-center. Coco followed with a blast to right to drive in Vogt. Coco probably made the biggest baserunning blunder of his life. He thought the ball went over the wall for a walk-off win for  Oakland. However, the ball was in play, and Crisp was just jogging the bases when the throw came in from the right fielder, and he was tagged out. The game is tied at three and we head to extra innings.

The A’s won the game in a walk-off. With two out, Marcus Semien singled to get the rally going. Semien stole second . Yonder Alonso walked to put men on at first and second with two out. Josh Reddick, who came into the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, singled to deep short to drive in Semien with the winning run.

Game Notes- The A’s have won four of their last five games since the resumption of play after the All-Star game break. The A’s announced that they recalled Dillon Overton and Daniel Coulombe from Nashville to replace Andrew Triggs and Tyler Ladendorf. Triggs was placed on the DL and Ladendorf was optioned back to Nashville.

The Line score for Oakland was four runs, eleven hits, and one error. Houston’s line was three runs, ten hits, and one error.

Game three will be played Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 pm at the Oakland Coliseum. Daniel Mengden will pitch for Oakland and the veteran righty Doug Fister will go for Houston.

Time of game was three hours and forty-one minutes, and 15,143 fans watched the A’s comeback to win.

 

The Yankees snap the A’s four-game winning streak

by Jerry Feitelberg

thegreedypinstrips.com photo credit file photo: The New York Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova who pitched at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday night against the Oakland A’s

OAKLAND–The A’s not only lost the game Thursday night to the visiting New York Yankees 4-1, but they also lost their star right-fielder Josh Reddick for several weeks due to an injury.Reddick broke his thumb stealing second in the bottom of the seventh inning. Reddick appeared to have jammed his left hand sliding into the base. After the game, A’s manager Bob Melvin said  Reddick “caught his thumb on (Starlin) Castro’s foot. Reddick will see a hand specialist Friday to determine the extent of the injury.

Kendall Graveman started for Oakland, and he pitched relatively well. H went five and 2/3rds innings and allowed eight hits and two runs.The Yankees scored the first run in the third. With two out, Graveman walked Brett Gardner. Gardner scored on a double to left by the veteran Carlos Beltran. Beltran committed a base-running blunder when Brian McCann’ flyball to right was dropped by Reddick. Beltran did not run as he probably thought there was just one out in the inning. He stopped at third instead of coming home. Graveman retired the next hitter to end the inning. Reddick tied the game with a solo homer to right in the bottom of the fourth. The Yanks regained the lead in the sixth. Aaron Hicks doubled to drive in Dustin Ackley with the go-ahead score. The Yanks may have scored more, but they committed two more blunders on the basepaths. New York added two more runs in the ninth. With two out, Brett Gardner walked and scored on a blast into the right-field seats by Carlos Beltran. For Beltran, is was his 401st career home run.

Ivan Nova started for New York and won his third game of the year. Graveman took the loss, and his record is now 1-6. Bob Melvin said that Graveman “was a lot better today and we did not give him enough run support.” The A’s had to face the Yankees’ big three relievers in the game. Dellin Betances pitched the seventh, Andrew Miller the eighth and Aroldis Chapman closed out the ninth. The Yankees are now 18-22 while the A’s drop to 19-23.

Game two of the four-game series will be played Friday night at the Coliseum. Game time will be at 6:05 PM PT. The game will be followed by the first fireworks display of the season

Time of game was 2 hours and 39 minutes, and 17,456 were in the ballpark to watch the A’s go down to defeat.

 

O’s power their way past the A’s 11-3

693Athletics Orioles Baseball
Patrick Semansky AP Photo

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Sunday afternoon in Baltimore started off with promise for the Oakland Athletics. The A’s put up three runs in the top of the first inning, and they appeared ready to do battle to win the rubber game of the three game series with the Orioles.

Instead, the A’s allowed the O’s to put on a power display that included six home runs, score 11 unanswered runs and never scored again after the first inning en route to losing the game 11-3. The loss meant the A’s also lost the series two games to one.

Oakland has now lost six of their last seven games. Even more importantly, the A’s have dropped four games under .500 for the first time this season. They are now 4.5-games behind division leading Seattle.

In the batter’s box

Manny Machado was the star of the game for the Orioles on Sunday. Machado went 2-for-4 in the game with six RBI. Both of his hits were home runs. His home run in the bottom of the eighth inning was a grand slam that put the game out of reach for the A’s. Machado now has nine home runs for the season.

Mark Trumbo went 3-for-5, had two RBI, scored a run and hit his ninth home run of the year in the game off Graveman.

Joey Rickard had a strong day at the leadoff spot for the O’s. Rickard went 2-for-4, scored three runs, had an RBI and hit his third home run of the season off Ryan Dull.

Jonathan Schoop could do no wrong on Sunday. Schoop went 3-for-4, scored two runs, recorded a RBI and hit his fifth home run of the year.

Designated Hitter Matt Wieters got in on the power act hitting his fifth round tripper of the season off Graveman in the second inning.

The Orioles scored 11 runs off 12 hits. The picked up five base-on-balls and struck out just eight times. Baltimore left 13 men on base.

The key man at the plate the A’s was Josh Reddick. Reddick went 3-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI. He has eight hits in his last eight consecutive at-bats which ties a franchise record. Reddick’s success at the plate has also caused the opposing team’s defense to abandon the shift which opens up the field for him.

Danny Valencia continues to look strong since returning to the lineup. Valencia went 2-for-4 on Sunday with a RBI.

On the hill

RHP Chris Tillman started the game for Baltimore. After giving up three to the A’s in the top of the first, no one thought Tillman would be around long enough to figure into the decision let alone pick up the win. Tillman went 6.1 innings giving up three runs (all earned) off six hits. He struck out seven and walked four. With the victory, Tillman’s record improves to 4-1 on the year.

Brad Brach and Vance Worley combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless relief for Baltimore to close out the game.

Kendall Graveman struggled again as a starter for the Athletics. Today his sinker just was not sinking. The opposing hitters were able to tee up on his pitches and drive them where they wanted the ball to go. Graveman gave up six runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work. He walked three, struck out two and issued four home runs. Graveman took the loss and his record now stands at 1-4.

Ryan Dull and Marc Rzepczynski came on in relief of Graveman.

J.B. Wendelken – who was called up from Triple-A Nashville – saw action in his first major league game ever. He may want to forget the experience. Wendelken worked 1.1 innings and his time on the mound ended with Manny Machado hitting a grand slam home run off the rookie. It was not a storybook beginning to a career.

A’s backup catcher Josh Phegley took the mound to close out the game out for Oakland.

Up next

The A’s stay on the East Coast and open a three-game series in Boston on Monday night. Sonny Gray is scheduled to face Clay Buchholz in the series opener.

The Orioles travel to Minnesota for a three-game series with the Twins.

Jays beat the A’s 6-3 to take the series

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Eric Surkamp Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

There is nothing harder to do in Major League Baseball than to try to establish a winning streak on the road. After winning six games in a row, the A’s lost on Saturday to the Toronto Blue Jays.

On Sunday, the A’s wanted to get back into the win column and take the series from the Jays. The A’s were unable to accomplish either of those goals.

The A’s starting pitching left much to be desired on Sunday allowing Toronto to score six runs in 4.2 innings.

The A’s hitters showed some power hitting three home runs. The only problem with those round-trippers were that all three were solo shots.

The Jays starting pitching was not overwhelming but was just good enough to get the win.

Toronto used a combination of power and productive two-out hitting to score six runs which was more than enough to win the game.

On the hill

LHP Eric Surkamp (0-2, 5.59) started the game for the Athletics. Surkamp came into the game looking for his first win of the season. Instead, he was charged with his second loss of the year.

Surkamp gave up all six Toronto runs in his 4.2 innings of work. He gave up two home runs and two doubles. Surkamp threw 97 pitches (54 strikes), walked three and struck out just two Blue Jays. He face 26 batters in his time on the hill.

The Oakland relief corps did its job. Marc Rzepczynski, Ryan Dull and Fernando Rodriguez held the Jays scoreless in their 3.1 innings of work. The relievers allowed only three base runners in closing out the game for Oakland.

Drew Hutchison (1-0, 3.18) started the game for Toronto and picked up his first victory of the season. Hutchison was not over powering on the mound as he gave up two runs (both earned) on four hits in his 5.2 innings of work. Two of those hits were home runs. Hutchison struck out five and walked three A’s hitters.

Former Oakland Athletic Jesse Chavez relieved Hutchison in the top of the sixth inning inning. Chavez returned to the mound in the seventh and issued a home run to the A’s lead off hitter Chris Coghlan.

Brett Cecil, Drew Storen and Roberto Osuna finished off the game for the Jays holding the A’s without a hit. Osuna picked up his sixth save of the season.

In the batter’s box

The A’s were had only five hits in the game. Josh Reddick had the only multi-hit game going 2-for-4 including a home run. Khris Davis and Chris Coghland hit the other home runs for Oakland. Yonder Alonso recorded a base hit for the A’s.

Oakland was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and left just three men on base.

Three Blue Jays had multi-hit games. Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-4 including hitting his first home run of the season. Kevin Pillar hit a double and scored a run in going 2-for-4. Darwin Barney also had a two-hit game for the Jays.

The Jays went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Up next

The Athletics head to Detroit for a four-game series that begins at 4:10 PM on Monday in Northern California. It could be an opportunity for the A’s to get back on the winning track.

The Tigers have lost four games in a row and have record of just 2-5 at home this season. They were just swept by the Cleveland Indians.

The A’s must achieve at least a 2-2 split in the four-game series. To come home 1-3 or heaven forbid 0-4 in the final series of this road trip would be devastating for the psyche of this team.