Oakland Wins Second Straight Game Against Royals 5-4

The Oakland A’s held off the Kansas City Royals for the second straight game at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City on Sat May 6, 2023 (@Athletics photo)

Oakland Wins Second Straight Game Against Royals 5-4

By Barbara Mason

After winning game one Friday night, 12-8, the Oakland A’s (8-26) took on the Kansas City Royals (8-26), the A’s came away with 17 hits in game one and were looking to continue more great offensive play. Ken Waldichuk took the mound for Oakland on Saturday night at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City in a 5-4 win. That’s two straight wins for the A’s.

Saturday game wrap up: Kansas City flipped the script and was first up on the scoreboard in the opening inning leading 1-0. Maikel Garcia doubled Vinnie Pasquantino home.

The A’s went on a three inning run scoring in the second, third and fourth innings and leading 5-1. Esteury Ruiz singled to right driving in two runs in the second inning. In the third inning J J Bleday hit a solo home run giving Oakland a 3-1 lead. The A’s were not done.

In the fourth inning they would add to their lead when Ryan Noda tripled Kevin Smith home. Noda would score when Brent Rooker doubled and Oakland had a 5-1 lead.

The Royals would add some real drama in the bottom of the fourth starting with a solo home run from Freddy Fermin. Kansas City would follow that long ball with a Bobby Witt Jr. two- run home run. The Royals had cut the A’s lead to 5-4.

This game would be a one run affair going into the bottom of the ninth. It was all on the line for Oakland with two on base and two outs. It would be pitcher Zach Jackson against Bobby Witt Jr. who had already hit a home run in this game. Jackson won the battle and the A’s had clenched the series and will be going for the sweep Sunday.

This was a great defensive effort for the A’s. They were able to hold onto a one run game for the win.

Mason Miller (0-1 ERA 3.52) will take the mound Sunday for the A’s and Ryan Yarbrough (0-4 ERA 7.40) will go for the Royals. First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 AM at Kaufman.

A’s 17 hits Beats Royals 12-8 ends three game skid

Oakland A’s designated hitter Brent Rooker took Kansas City Royals pitching deep at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City on Fri May 5, 2023 (@Athletics photo)

A’s 17 hits Beats Royals 12-8 ends three game skid

By Barbara Mason

The Oakland A’s (7-26) traveled to Kansas City Friday night to take on the Royals (8-25) at Kauffman Stadium for a three game series. Both clubs have been struggling this season with similar records and so this series was a competitive one with the A’s battling off the Royals coming away with a 12-8 win.

The hits started early for Oakland scoring in the first inning. Esteury Ruiz drew first blood scoring on a throwing error by pitcher Brad Keller to lead 1-0.

The A’s had a great third inning scoring three times to take a 4-0 lead. Brent Rooker hit a two run home run to extend the Oakland lead to 3-0. Oakland was not finished knocking a solo home run coming from Ramon Laureano to lead 4-0.

Oakland’s Brent Rooker doubled in the fourth inning driving in Ryan Noda for a 5-0 lead. When it looked like the A’s had it all under control, the Royals fought back with a two run fourth inning. Nick Pratto hit a two- run homer to get up on the board but still trailing Oakland 5-2.

The A’s answered right back with a four run fifth inning now leading 9-2. Tony Kemp doubled, Nick Allen singled and Ryan Noda had a double, his third hit of the evening. The Royals would score one run in the fifth, a sacrifice from Vinnie Pasquantino. The score now stood at 9-3 in favor of the A’s.

Oakland got into some deep trouble in the bottom of the sixth loading the bases. A’s pitcher Kyle Muller allowed a couple of singles followed by a walk and that was it for Muller. The Royals scored two runs and Spencer Patton would come in to relieve Muller. After having a 9-2 lead the A’s began to have some pitching issues and the Royals were quick to jump all over it. By the end of the sixth inning the A’s lead had been cut to 9-5.

There was more trouble for Oakland in the seventh inning. Shintaro Fujinami had a horrible outing walking three runners and that was it for Fujinami. Austin Pruit would relieve him in a bases loaded situation, The Royals would drive in three runs and it was a one run game with Oakland clinging to the lead 9-8.

The A’s were having a great offensive game with 16 hits but there was some shaky pitching that got them into all sorts of trouble. In the eighth inning Oakland had the bases loaded with one out and were looking at a chance to extend their lead. Shea Langeliers hit a sacrifice fly driving in one run and Oakland had a two-run lead 10-8. A wild pitch allowed another run for the A’s now leading 11-8.

Oakland got an insurance run in the ninth inning.

It was a great game for Oakland with 17 hits and nearly every guy on the roster had hits. Of note were Ryan Noda with three runs, Brent Rooker wit two runs and Esteury Ruiz with three runs. This was an exceptional offensive game for the A’s.

Game two will be Saturday with first pitch at 4:10 PM. Ken Waldichuck will be on the mound for Oakland and Brandy Singer will get the nod for Kansas City.

Giants get comforts of Comforto 8th inning blast to push win over KC 3-1

San Francisco Giants’ Michael Conforto hits a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sun Apr 9, 2023 (AP News photo)

Kansas City. 000 100 000. – 1. 5. 0

San Francisco. 000 000 03x. – 3.5. 1

Time: 2:15

Attendance: 30,207

Sunday, April 9, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–Looking over my score sheet before this afternoon’s game, when the visiting Kansas City Royals were 3-6, and their hosts, your San Francisco Giants, were still 3-5, I marveled at the difference between the batting averages of their respective line ups KC’s starting nine ranged from Franmil Reyes’s .118 to Salvador Pérez’s ,267.

The figures for the home team went from David Villar’s paltry .200 to Thairo Estrada’s hefty 414. Yet the Royals had beaten the Giants in both of the previous games of this three game series Go figure.

When the tumult and the shouting had died down, San Francisco had come from behind to earn a thrilling 3-1 victory in a splendid pitchers’ duel.

San Francisco began the game with right hander Anthony DeSclafani on the mound. He had been outstanding in his one previous start, shutting out the White Sox in Chicago last Monday. He pitched six innings, allowing only three without a walk striking out four on the way to earn the win.

DeSclafani’s mound opponent, the souithpaw Kris Bubic, had been adequate but unsuccessful in his earlier start. He was saddled with the loss in the Royals 4-1 defeat by the Blue Jays last Tuesday. He threw 88 pitches, 57 for strikes, over fivee frames, in which he gave up seven hits and a walk. TheRoyals were trailing 2-1 when he left the scene. Both Toronto runs were earned.

DeSclafani retired the first 11 Royals he faced. Then Vinnie Pasquantino smacked a double to left center and Salvador Pérez, who had sparked yesterdays’ KC comeback, drove him home with a single to left that put the visitors up, 1-0. Meanwhile, Bubic was mowing down Giants as if he were an International Harvester.

The only Giant to reach base before Villar led off the home fifth with a solid single to center was Miichael Conforto, who got hit by a pitch in the initial episode. In spite of a two out bunt single by Heliot Ramos, newly arrived from Sacramento along with Austin Wynns, San Francisco still was on the short end of a 1-0 score.

That’s how things stood when DeSclafani exited the scene in the top of the seventh. Vinnie Pasquantino had gotten Kansas City’ s second safety, a lead off single to center, and the SF starter had disposed of the always dangerous Pérez with a pop out to Crawford. Left hander Scott Alexander came on stage and surrendered a single to pinch hitter Matt Duffy before retiring the next two batters to hold KC’s margin to a single run. He gave way to Taylor Rogers for the visitors’ eighth.

DeSclafani had gone 6-1/2 innings and held his opponents to one run, earned, on three hits and no walks. He set seven Royals down on strikes. He threw 88 pitches, 61 for strikes and lowered. his ERA to 0.73.

Bubic soon followed DeSclafani to the showers. Carlos Hérnandez started the home seventh and, for openers, granted a free pass to Joc Pederson, pinch hitting for Davis.

It was the first walk for either team. Hernández set down the next two batters he faced and then yielded to Ryan Yarborough, who struck Blake Sabol, batting for Wynns, out looking Kris Bubic’s line was 6 IP, two hits, nine Ks, and a hit batter. The rest, zeroes except for his pitch count of 76, 56 of them strikes.

Taylor Rogers gave up a leadoff to Nicky López in the eighth, got the next two Royals out, and passed the baton to John Brebbia, yesterday’s goat. But not today. He struk out Witt looking.

San Francisco knotted the score in their half of the eighth. Bryce Johnson singled to left with one away. After Thairo Estrada flew to left, Wilmer Flores laced a two bagger down the third baseline that just barely got Johnson in with the tying run. Michael Conforto the put the Giants up by two with a monumental splash hit into. McCovey Cove, 429 feet deep.. It was Conforto’s three four bagger and came off a slow hanging curve.

John Brebbia stayed on to close out the win and get credit for the win, wrapping things up with a game ending double play, 4-6-3, courtesy of Matt Duffy. Ryan Yarborough was socked with the loss.

Today, Kansas City. Tomorrow, Los Angeles. The Dodgers are going with Julio Urías (2-0,1.50) who goes against the Giants Logan Webb (0-2,6.55) at 6:45 at Oracle Park in San Francisco Monday, April 10.

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: A’s Fans might need Reparations

Baltimore Orioles catcher Andy Rutschman 25 year old who was the number one pick in the 2019 MLB draft and is off to an amazing start this season is seen here Mar 30, 2023 against the Boston Red Sox on opening day at Fenway Park in Boston (AP News)

A’s Fans might need Reparations

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

In my last article, I wrote about the “new” or unfamiliar words we have not seen or used in the English language in recent memory. Well, the way the Oakland A’s (2-7) are playing this season, so far, one of those words comes into my mind; r e p a r a t i o n s, a word that is all over the news these days.

If anything the last Saturday and Sunday in Tampa where the A’s were shut out in back-to-back days with the same score 11-0 might be enough at least if not reparations for the A’s fans (all joking aside) mitigate their pain and suffering with some free promotions for games at home.

Forget they might move, they are still in Oakland and they’re still the Oakland A’s, as they have been since 1968. In the recent three games at Tropicana Field, the Tampa Bay Rays (9-0) outscored the A’s 31 to 5.

True, the Tampa Bay Rays have started the season with a red-hot 9-0 record, which is the best start in a season for a team in the wild-card era. Tampa Bay is the only unbeaten team so far in 2023, During a 162-game season there is no weak team or invincible team.

But let’s also remember the Rays’ 9-0 record to start this season has been against three of the less talented teams in all of baseball. Opening the season at home in Tropicana Fields, they faced Detroit, Washington, and Oakland, so they swept all 3-game series and open this week on top of the major league world.

The Rays also matched the best start to a major league season in 20 years and outscored the opponents 75-19, the most runs scored so far this season while allowing the fewest. The last team to win the first nine games of a season where the Kansas City Royals in 2003.

The Rays have won each and every one of those nine games by four or more runs and they trailed only a 13-game run by the 1884 St. Louis Maroons of the Union Association.

The A’s left Tampa on a 2 hours and 15 minutes flight to Baltimore, where they will open a four-game series against the much improved Orioles, before returning home and facing the New York Mets on April 14.

The Orioles in 2022 outperform in many ways (previous season ended 52-110) but last season with an 83-79 record, and a .512 winning percentage and finished the season in fourth place in that very competitive American League East division, where the Yankees, Red Sox, Tampa Bay, and Toronto play, considered the strongest division in the game.

The Baltimore Orioles leader is their young 25-year-old catcher Adley Rutschman, who was the #1 Pick in the 2019 baseball draft, he is the man among men in this Orioles team that are poised to get better with many young and talented players.

The A’s will play the Orioles in Baltimore in a 4-game series and then return to Oakland where they will open a 6-game home-stand, three games against the New York Mets, starting Friday the 14th of April, to be followed by three games against the Chicago Cubs.

Today’s quote: “Hitting is 50% above the shoulders” -Ted Williams.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play voice for the Oakland A’s radio network on 1010 KIQI San Francisco and 990 KATD Pittsburg and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Royals rally for five unanswered runs leaves Giants undone 6-5

Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., top, tags out San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford, bottom, who was trying to stretch his RBI-single into a double during the sixth inning at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Sat Apr 8, 2023 (AP News photo)

Kansas City 000 001 131 – 6 8 1

San Francisco 004 010 000 – 5 12 0

Time: 2:23

Attendance: 35,126

Sunday, April 8, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

W.C. Fields once observed, “There comes a time in a man’s life when he must grab the bull by the tail and look the situation squarely in the face.” This afternoon’s debacle at Oracle Park was one of those times.

Sean Manea pitched seven beautiful innings against the Kansas Ciiy Royals. The Throwin’ Samoan kept the visitors off the board for five frames until Bobby Witt, Jr. led off the sixth with a 384 foot blast into left center off an 82 mph changeup.

He proceeded to set the next three batters down in order. At that point, the Giants were leading, 5-1 , thanks to a four run outburst in the third, sparked by LaMonte Wade, Jr. ‘s lead off round tripper off Bradiy Singer, KC’ s starting pitcher.

Wade’s dinger travelled 394 feet into right field and was his first home run since August 17th of last year. Michael Conforto’s single and a double by J.D. Davis put both of them in scoring position. The former came home on Joc Pederson’s sac fly to left, and the latter crossed the plate on a single by Thairo Estrada, also to left.

San Franciso tacked on another tally in sixth on an Estrada two bagger and an RBI single by Brandon Crawford, who was thrown out at second trying to stretch his safety, ending the inning.

At that point, Manea had thrown six innings of three hit ball, including Witt’s shot that accounted for KC’s only run, which was earned. The ex-Athletic righty had struck out eight, against one walk and a hit batter. That’s when the Giants’ fortunes changed. 54 of his 76 pitches were counted as strikes.

And that’s where the home team’s troubles began. The SF brain trust called on Ross Stripling, who had been announced on Friday as today’s probable starter, to pitch a little set up relief. It was no relief, and it felt as if the Giants had been set up by fate.

At the time, Franmil Reyes’s lead off homer looked like a little glitch in the radar, just one of those things. But his four bagger, his second of the year, was an omen.

With two out in the eighth, four outs away from a 5-2 Giants win, Edward Olivares and M.J. Meléndez hit back to back singles, bringing up the power hitting all-star catch, Salvador Pérez, the only member of the Kansas City team the Giants had defeated in the 2014 World Series still active with the team. He got a modicum of revenge by taking Stripling’s 88 mph splitter 375 feet deep into left center and turning what looked like a sure Giant victory into a 5-5 tie.

John Brebbia ended the onslaught, and Camilo Doval opened the ninth, trying to prevent further damage. Vinnie Pasquantino opened with a two base hit. Nate Eaton pinch ran for him. For a short while, it looked as if The Curse of the Lead Off Double would do its work.

Michael Massey popped out to Crawford, and Hunter Dozier grounded out to third, allowing Eaton to advance to that base. Then, with Kyle Isbel at bat, Brebbia decided to try a new pitch he’d been working on, a change up. It got past Blake Sabol, the catcher, who recovered it almost in time to tag the head first sliding Eaton, who just managed to score the leading and eventually tying run.

The Giants’ last ditch attempt to salvage the day was brief. Arnoldis Chapman got Wilmer Flores to swing at and miss a 100 mph fastball for the first out. A pinch hitting David Villar was retired on a pop foul to first, and Conforto fell victim to an 89 mph slider for a called third strike.

Taylor Clarke, who pitched the eighth for Kansas City, got the win, making his record 1-0, 5.40. Chapman got the save, his first of the year. He’s yet to be scored upon. And, of course, Doval was charged with the loss. His record now stands at 0-1, 6.00.

The so far one sided series will resume Sunday afternoon at 1:05. Left handed Kris Bubic (0-1, 3.60) is slated to go up against righty Anthony DeSclafani (1-0,0.00).

KC’s Pasquantino and Perez take SF’s Cobb deep in 3-1 win

The Kansas City Royals designated hitter Vinnie Pasquantino swings for a home run against San Francisco Giants starter Alex Cobb, as the Giants catcher Roberto Perez watches from behind the plate at Oracle Park on Fri Apr 7, 2023 (@Royals photo)

Kansas City. 010 000 010. – 3. 9. 0

San Francisco. 010 000 000 – 1. 5. 1

Time: 2:23

Attendance: 40,915

Fri, April 7, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO–The skies over Oracle Park had just about cleared when the pregame ceremonies for Friday’s home opener had ended. Those skies were wonderfully clear when the last out of the exciting battle between the San Francisco Giants (3-4) and the visiting Kansas City Royals (2-6) had been recorded. The result wasn’t as sunny as the sky. Kansas City beat the Giants, 3-1 in a squeaker.

The Kapler brain trust entrusted the start to Alex Cobb, who came to the ballpark with a 0-0, 2.45 record so far this young season. He’s been on a limited pitch count while recovering from a knee contusion he suffered in spring training. The 12 year right handed veteran features a splitter, which he throws about 42% of the time. Another 42% of his pitches are divided between his split finger fast ball and his slider

On the mound for the visitors was Brad Kelly, another righty. This was his 107th big league start and the first time he’d faced the Giants. He lost his only previous start of 2023, surrendering to runs on five hits, four walks, and a hit batter in a scant 4-2/3 frames a week ago against the Minnesota Twins. That unfortunate performance brought his lifetime figures to 35-50,4.24.

The Royals took an early lead with a one out single to left by Kyke Isbel singled to left and Hunter Dozier hit what could have turned out to be the second double play the Giants had turrned in as many innings if Thairo Estrada hadn’t broken towards second, leaving a hole big enough for Dozier to get a safety that sent Isbel scampering to third. Nicky López followed that up with an RBI single to right.

KC lost their slight advantage in the bottom of the frame. The sun broke through just as the Giants did. Brandon Crawford had just hit into a 4-6-3 twin killing that still allowed Mike Yastremski to take third base, from where he scored on Blake Sabol’s single to center.

Vinnie Pasquantino’s first hone run of the season, leading off the top. of the fourth, broke the short lived tie 366 foot drive to Levi’s Landing in right came off a 2-2 90mph spliter. It was the Royals’ designated hitter’s third RBI of ’23.

San Francisco was forced to make some defensive changes in the top half of the sixth episode. Isbel pilferred second with Dozier up and two down. Pérez, catching, suffered and right shoulder strain and had to leave the game. Sabol replaced him behind the plate, and Wade replaced Sabol in left field. Wilmer Flores replaced Wade at first, batting in Pérez’s spot.

Kansas City made a pitching change in the bottom of the sixth. Southpaw Ryan Yarbrough was brought in with two away to relieve Brad Keller. KC’s starter had thrown 94 pitches, 58 of them strikes, over 5-2/3 innings.

He allowed one run, and it was earned, on three hits and three walks. He also garnered three Ks. Yarbrough got the remaining out and stayed on to hurl the home seventh.

Cobb finished his work after seven innings of respectable labor, holding the Royals to two runs, both earned, on seven hits, one of which was a home run, and striking out six batters without issuing a walk. 73 of his 97 offerings were strikes. His replacement, Taylor Rogers, didn’t fare as well.

He was hit hard, and only a grand throw from Mike Yastrzemski to Crawford, which cut own Bobby Witt, Jr., who had singled hitting for MJ Meléndez, trying to advance kept Kansas City from scoring more than the one run that they got when Salvador Pérez parked a 91 mph fast ball 416 feet into left center field for his first round tripper of the year, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead.

Arnoldis Chapman set the Giants down with one hit in the eighth, and Camilo Doval set the Royals down in order in the top of the ninth.

Scott Barlow was Kansas City’s choice to attempt the save in the Giants’ last at bat. Pederson greeted him rudel with a triple off the right field fence off a 3-2 slider.

Yastrzemski took a controversial called third strike. Matt Duffy robbed Estrada of hit with a diving catch of his hard line drive down the third base line, bringing Brandon Crawford to the plate with two down and Joc Pederson still on third, He drew a full count walk. Sabol, one for three on the afternoon. He took a called third strike.

Keller was the winning pitcher. He now is 1-1, 2.61. Cobb was charged with the tough loss. His rcord now stans at 0-1, 2,53, The save went to Barlow, his first.

Tomorrow’s game, the second in the three game series is scheduled to start at 1:05 . Brady Singer (0-1,1.80) will toe the rubber for the Royals, and Ross Stripling (0-1,7.20) will handle the pitching chores for their hosts.

Oakland A’s off day report: A’s open 7 game road trip Friday night in Tampa Bay

Oakland Athletics’ Jesus Aguilar watches his three-run home run against the Cleveland Guardians during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Wed Apr 5, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s have won two and lost four in the first six games of the season. Oakland played a competitive and entertaining three-game series with the Cleveland Guardians. The A’s could have won all three games but lost two in extra innings. Here are some facts about the team’s performance so far this season.

The A’s pitching staff has the fourth-highest ERA in Major League baseball. They have thrown six wild pitches, which is the second-worst. The A’s defense has committed one or more errors in the first six games. It is the longest season-opening streak by an A’s team in the last 47 years.

The offense could have done more in the series against the Angels. The A’s did score eleven runs last Monday against Cleveland. They beat Cleveland Tuesday night 4-3 but lost on Wednesday 6-4. In that game, Oakland managed four hits. Fortunately for the A’s, two of the hits left the yard.

The A’s are on the road for the first time in 2023. Oakland will face the Tampa Bay Rays for three and then play four with the resurgent Baltimore Orioles.

The Rays have won all six games to start the season. The Rays finished third in the tough American League East Division with a record of 86-76. It will be challenging for Oakland this weekend. On Friday, the A’s will send lefty Ken Waldichuk to the hill to face the Rays.

Waldichuk lost his first start against the LA Angels last week. He is 0-1 with an ERA of 9.53. His opponent will be Zach Elfin. Elfin was with the Philadelphia Phillies last year. Elfin won his first start, and his ERA is 1.80. He went five innings and allowed three hits and one run.

On Saturday, Shintaro Fukinami pitches for the Green and Gold. Fujinami had a nightmarish outing against the Angels last Saturday. Fujinami made it through the first two innings unscathed. In the third inning, the roof caved in as the Angels scored 11 runs in the frame.

Fujinami was charged with nine runs. His ERA is an astounding 30.86. Lefty Jeffrey Springs pitches for Tampa Bay. Springs had a great first start. The 30-year-old lefty went six innings and allowed no runs and no hits.

Sunday’s game will feature James Kaprielian against the Rays’ Drew Rasmussen. Kaprielian lost his first game, and his ERA is 9.00. Rasmussen pitched well last week as he went six innings and allowed two hits and no runs.

The Rays have some young players that are doing well right now. The Infield features Yandy Diaz at first base, Brandow Lowe at second, Wander Franco at shortstop, and Isaac Paredes at third base. Diaz has two homers and six RBIs so far this year. Wander Franco is 22 years old. Franco is hitting .417 and has two dingers and seven ribbies. Left Fielder Randy Arozarena is also hot. Arozarena is hitting .364 with one homer and six RBIs. Center fielder Jose Siri is hitting.333 with two homers and eight RBIs.

The A’s would like to take two out of three from the Rays. The A’s must improve in all three areas to accomplish their goal. The starting pitchers must go deeper into the game. The bullpen must not be overworked so early in the season. The A’s offense must get going, and the defense must stop making errors. It will be a very long season if the A’s cannot improve.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants home opener against Royals Friday; No starter announced for SF against KC

San Francisco Giants’ Blake Sabol reacts after striking out swinging during the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago on Wed Apr 5, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the Giant podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, On Wednesday the San Francisco Giants returned from their Tuesday off to face the Chicago White Sox. White Sox starter Dylan Cease started the game with a cold and had problems finding the plate.

#2 Cease must have found himself pitching five innings surrendering one run, one hit, five walks and eight strikeouts not bad for Cease who had some control problems to start out the game.

#3 The White Sox Tim Anderson got thrown out for arguing that he got quick pitched and was not ready to get back into the batter’s box, the pitched called a strike tell us what happened with Anderson in that ejection.

#4 The Giants lost by four runs 7-3 and starter Logan Webb was touched up in five innings for four runs and nine hits, and four strikeouts. Was Webb’s performance troubles based on loss of command or the Sox just seeing his pitches well and putting on a good offensive game.

#5 Starting pitchers for the Giants home opener on Friday at Oracle Park for the Kansas City Royals Brad Keller for San Francisco starter is Alex Cobb. First pitch slated at 1:35pm.

Join Michael Duca for the Giants podcasts Thursday mornings at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s blanked by Royals 2-0; KC uses 7 pitchers in shutout

The Oakland A’s starter Ken Waldichuk pitched 4.1 against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium in Surprise AZ on Thu Mar 16, 2023 (file photo by si.com)

Oakland. 000 000 000. 0

Kansas City. 000 020 00x. 2

Time: 2:30

Attendance: 6,098

WP: Ryan Weiss

SV: Jacob Wallace

LP: Ken Waldichuk

Thu, March 16, 2023

By Lewis Rubman

SURPRISE, AZ–Don’t let the line score that appears above this report fool you. You’re not reading an account of this afternoon’s action at Surprise Stadium. These lines are the jottings of a tired 82 year old fan who’s just watched and reported on nine games in five days, with half a day (i.e., one game) off to thaw out a frozen computer.

The action on the field at Surprise was a spring training exhibition game between teams representing Kansas City and Oakland, two cities well acquainted with the heartbreak of franchise loss.

The Athletics’ imminent departure lent an added tinge of unreality to the experience inherent in any spring training game, and the tinge was heightened by my having just covered the World Baseball Classic, where callow young minor leaguers, over the hill 4-A players, big league journeymen, and superstars compete, representing countries and regions to which they often have the most tenuous of connections.

But any brand of baseball has a charm of its own , especially in a small ballpark on a warm desert afternoon after five days spent in the cavernous confines of Chase Field in the heart of downtown Phoenix, a city where you can see convenient store clerks with pistols strapped in their holsters selling cheap beers to scruffy down and outers. It’s also a pity where you can experience kindliness and friendliness from people of all walks of life.

That’s enough about the context of our afternoon in Surprise.

Reviewing my emails last night, I learned that the A’s have trimmed their roster to 41, cutting a couple of players we saw perform quite well in the WBC, Adrián Martínez and Jordán Díaz.

The first thing I learned about spring training in Arizona is that you can stop and chat with Dave Stewart in the parking lot. Then I learned that a small stadium can be difficult to navigate

After the first pitch was thrown, I learned that

  • The Curse of the Ground Rule Double still is in effect. Slick fielding Nick Allen led off the game with a two bagger, stole second, and, in spite of walks to Ramón Laureano and Brent Rooker, was stranded there.
  • Catcher Kyle McCann has a pretty good arm. He cut down an attempted steal by Edward Oliver’s in the second.
  • However prepared you might think you are for the torrent of in game substitutions that is the bane of every baseball sportscaster, you’re not going to be able to get all those changes right on your score sheet.
  • They give the media a pretty decent free lunch at Surprise Stadium.
  • The attendance at this Cactus League exercise was higher than that at many MLB games in Oakland. 6,098 fans enjoyed themselves in the clean, sunny, and warm surroundings.
  • As my wife noted, it’s remarkable how green the grass can be on a baseball field in the desert.
  • It’s not often that you see someone pinch run for Ramón Laureano, but it happened in Surprise in the top of the seventh. Greg Deichmann was the replacement, and he beat out an infield single two innings later.

That’s all, folks. ’til April.

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Giants Jones gets four year deal $106 million; Knicks-Kings toe to toe Thursday night; plus more

The New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) hands off to running back Saquon Barkley (26) as both players have re-upped their contracts with the Giants this week (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong:

#1 The New York Giants were quite happy with signing quarterback Daniel Jones in a four year $160 million deal. The Giants likewise used their non exclusive franchise tag in signing running back Saquon Barkley for $10.09 million in the 2023 season.

#2 The red hot Sacramento Kings (38-26) will be hosting the red hot New York Knicks (39-27) Thursday night at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. Both the Knicks and Kings have won nine of their last ten games. Both teams came into Sacramento having won their last games. The Knicks won in overtime over Charlotte on Tuesday and the Kings defeating New Orleans on Monday night.

#3 The Brooklyn Nets (37-28) picked up their fifth win in 11 games after defeating the Houston Rockets (15-50) on Tuesday night in Houston. The Nets had lost four straight games before winning these last three games including against the Rockets. Have they found their way after dealing Kevin Durant to Phoenix and Kyrie Irving to Boston.

#4 Two time Kansas City Royals All Star Lorenzo Cain has hung it up he will make it official by retiring as a Kansas City Royal this May when the team gives him a day at Kaufman Stadium. Cain is going to make the Hall of Fame came home and asked his two sons if he should hang it up and they both said they wanted him home.

#5 Jessica, were getting a little of everything this spring first the Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani so far in two games hit two three run home runs and hit a home run while on one knee for the Japanese baseball team. Also the New York Yankees Aaron Judge belted his first spring training home run a 347 foot blast and he did it swinging on one knee on Monday night.

Join Jessica for Headline Sports every other Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com