Oakland A’s podcast with Charlie O: Canha homers in first game back; Khrush Davis belts two homers for A’s

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On the A’s podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Was the decision to designate Kendrys Morales for assignment the right thing to do. Morales joined the A’s after Matt Olson broke a bone in his right hand, Morales but ended up hitting .204, one homer and seven RBIs.

#2 Pitcher Edwin Jackson has been on 14 different major league teams, and this week, the Oakland A’s dealt him to that 14th team, the Toronto Blue Jays. Jackson is expected to get a start this week and he’ll join the Jays in San Francisco as Toronto is in San Francisco for a two game series. Jackson is 6-3, 3.33 ERA.

#3 Ironically, Mark Canha has come full circle after Morales replaced him on the roster. Canha now replaces Morales. Canha homered in his first game with the A’s on Monday night and Charlie talks about what it means to have Canha back in the lineup again.

#4 It’s a while, but Khris Davis slugged two home runs at Safeco Field on Monday night for his 11th and 12th homers of the season. Davis looks like he’s got that old swing back again.

#5 Taking a look at Tuesday night’s pitchers at Safeco, the Oakland A’s will be starting with Brett Anderson (4-2, 4.19 ERA) for the Seattle Mariners Mike Leake (2-4, 4.37 ERA).

Charlie O does the A’s podcasts each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Astros use five pitchers to shutout the A’s 6-0 on Saturday night in Houston

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Graphic: @athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics (6-6) lost their second consecutive game to the Houston Astros on Saturday as they were shutout by a combination of five Houston pitchers. The managed to pick up six hits off the Astros pitching, but only one of those hits was for extra bases.

Oakland went 0-for-5 with RISP and left a total of nine men on base. They struck out seven times and picked up four walks. It was a classic night where strong pitching dominated professional hitting.

Houston Hurlers

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Wade Miley on the mound Photo: @Astros

Wade Miley made the start for the Astros and worked 5.2-innings. Miley gave up no runs on four hits. He struck out four A’s batters and walked two hitters. Miley threw 95 pitches (56 strikes). He was credited with the win, which was his first for the season.

Will Harris, Josh James, Chris Devenski, and Framber Valdez combined to work 3.1-innings of scoreless relief for the Astros. The four relievers gave up just two hits and walked no Oakland hitters. The relief corps combined for three strikeouts.

Houston Offense (4-5)

Free-agent addition Michael Brantley led the Astros attack with the bat by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Brantley hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning which was his second HR of the season.

Yuli Gurriel had a 3-for-4 day with the bat. He added one RBI to his season total.

George Springer went 2-for-4 in the game versus A’s pitching. Springer hit his third home run of the young season off Aaron Brooks in the fifth inning. The round-tripper was a two-run shot.

The Astros scored six runs off 11 hits while leaving six runners on base.

A’s Pitching

Aaron Brooks really struggled in innings four, five and six. Brooks gave up five runs on nine hits. All five runs were earned. Brooks struck out two and walked out one. He also gave up two home runs.

The A’s used three relief pitchers–Yusmeiro Petit, Liam Hendricks, and Ryan Buchter, combined–to work the final three innings. They gave up no runs off just two hits. The relievers walked one and struck out two Astro hitters.

Brooks was charged with the loss – his first of the season. Brooks record is now 1-1 on the year.

Oakland hitting

Stephen Piscotty was the A’s leader with the bat. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and picked up the only Oakland extra-base hit. Piscotty also reached base via a walk.

Khris Davis, Chad Pinder, Kendrys Morales, and Mark Canha each picked up a base hit off Houston pitching.

Unfortunately for A’s fans, the Oakland hitters were unable to put those hits together to produce runs.

BoMel’s Thoughts

Manager Bob Melvin reaction after the game was that his team ran up against some great pitching and that is sometimes just too much to overcome. In other words, tomorrow is another day.

Up Next

The A’s and Astros will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a game that is scheduled to begin at 11:10 AM on Sunday morning. RHP Mike Fiers will make his fourth start of the season. His record is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.

RHP Brad Peacock will make the start for the Astros. It will be his second start of the season. Peacock is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

Strong pitching and timely hitting lead the A’s to a 4-2 win over the Angels

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Stephen Piscotty singles in the seventh inning Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND –The Oakland Athletics (2-3) recorded their second win of the 2019 season as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Saturday night. The keys to the win were the strong starting pitching of Brett Anderson and the timely hitting of the A’s batters.

Brett Anderson did not pitch perfect in his first three innings of work. He walked the Angels leadoff batter in the top of the first, but escaped without that man scoring. Anderson issued another walk and gave up a single in the second inning without it costing him a run. In the third inning, the lefty gave up a double to Mike Trout without it producing a run. Things were going Anderson’s way.

The A’s started slow
The Angels starter — Felix Pena — no-hit the A’s through the first 2.2-innings. It appeared that the A’s hitters were going to be in for a very long night.

In the bottom of the third inning with two out and the bases empty, A’s catcher Josh Phegley singled to left-center field. Robbie Grossman then singled through the hole between first and second moving Phegley up to second base. Pena then hit Matt Chapman with a pitch to load the bases.

Stephen Piscotty stepped into the batter’s box and hit a 3-1 pitch up the middle that brought Phegley and Grossman home to score. The A’s took a 2-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning.

There is power in the East Bay
It did not take the A’s long to pad their lead. The newest member of the team — Kendrys Morales — walked to leadoff the home half of the fourth inning. With two out and Morales still at first, Mark Canha hit a 2-1 pitch from Pena over the wall into the left field seats for a two-run home run which he punctuated with “controlled” bat flip to celebrate the big hit as he exited the batter’s box. It was his first home of the season and his RBI’s of the campaign.

The home run was the end of Felix Pena’s night as he was replaced by Noe Ramirez. It would not be the end of Pena’s pain as he would be tagged with the loss.

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Piscotty at first with Khris Davis at bat Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

The Angles mounted a rally
The A’s brought J.B. Wendelken in to relieve Anderson in the seventh inning. He continued pitching in the eighth, and things got tough quickly.

David Fletcher reached base for the Angels on a throwing error. Zack Cozart then doubled to left moving Fletcher up to third. Mike Trout then hit a fly ball to deep right field that was caught by Piscotty, but Fletcher was able to score from third while Cozart went from second to third.

Andrelton Simmons then singled through the hole on the left side of the infield that sent Cozart across the plate for the second Angels run of the inning. That would signal the end of the night for Wendelken. Blake Treinen was summoned from the bullpen.

A passed ball allowed Simmons to move up 90-feet to second base. Albert Pujols then singled to left sending Simmons to third base with just one out. A pinch runner was placed on first for Puljos. Treinen then struck out Justin Bour on a called third strike (Bour did not agree with the call) and Jonathon Lucroy ended the inning by popping out the second baseman.

As the game moved to the bottom of the eighth, the A’s still had a 4-2 lead, which would ultimately become the final score.

Key facts and figures
For Oakland, they scored four runs off seven hits and committed one error. The A’s left six men on base and went 1-for-3 with RISP.

The win goes to Brett Anderson (1-0) his first of the season. Blake Treinen gets credit for his first save of 2019.

The Angels (1-2) put up two runs off six hits and did not commit any errors. The Halos left seven runners on base and went 2-for-11 with Runners In Scoring Position (ouch).

Felix Pena (0-1) is the losing pitcher.

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Davis is thrown out at first base Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Post Game Notes
A’s

  • Brett Anderson made it three consecutive starting pitchers for Oakland to work six or more scoreless innings. That is the first time that has happened since August 24-26, 2005 when was done by Saarloos, Zito, and Blanton.
  • Brett Anderson now has a 34.1-inning scoreless streak at home in the Coliseum. That is the longest scoreless streak by an A’s pitcher since the team moved to Oakland in 1968.
  • After going 0-for-7 to start the season, Josh Phegley picked up his first hit of the season in this game.
  • Marcus Semien extended his hitting streak to five games after hitting a single in the sixth inning.

Angels

  • Felix Pena does not like pitching in Oakland. In four career games, he is now 0-2 with an 8.97 ERA.
  • Mike Trout had a 1-for-3 game on Saturday night. He hit a double and a sacrifice fly. For his career, Trout is now batting .312 (149-for-477) with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs versus the A’s.
  • Albert Puljos recorded two hits in the game and now needs just five hits to tie Ichiro Suzuki for 22nd on the all-time hits list.

Up Next
The A’s and Angels wrap up their four-game series on Sunday at 1:07 PM. Los Angeles will send LHP Tyler Skaggs to the hill to make his first start of the season. Making his first start of the year for Oakland, it will be RHP Frankie Montas.

15 runs, 18 hits, 14 pitchers–September baseball is here! M’s down A’s 8-7 on Saturday night

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By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — If you are planning to come to the ballpark between now and the end of the season, bring seat cushion with you. Every team in the Major Leagues could expand their roster on Saturday. The A’s added eight players to their active roster, bringing their total of available players to 33.

A’s manager Bob Melvin talked about how much the club was looking forward to having the extra help down the stretch in September. After 136 games, a team is tired, bruised and battered from the rigors of playing every day. Melvin was also looking forward to having extra help in the bullpen.

Oakland lost the services of two starters last week. Sean Manaea was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis and may not be available for the remainder of the season. Brett Anderson went down with a strained left forearm and is eligible to come off the disabled list on September 7. The A’s chose not to go out on the waiver trade market for a starter and instead bolstered their bullpen.

Saturday night was the beginning of a new experiment

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The Tampa Bay Rays shocked the baseball world earlier this season when they began using an “opener” instead of a starting pitcher in their games. Former Giants reliever Sergio Romo made headlines when he “opened” the game pitching one inning then turning it over to what would have been the starting pitching who was now a long relief pitcher. Confused?

There is a method behind the madness. First, the Rays really believe in the strength of their bullpen. Secondly, the Rays are adhering to the concept of limiting the number times hitters are allowed to see a “starting pitcher.” The prevailing thought is that batter should only see a pitcher twice because the hitters become too effective in the third time at bat.

The A’s decided to go with the same philosophy on Saturday night. Reliever Liam Hendricks was put into the role of “opener.”  He lasted 1.2 innings, giving up two runs off two hits. He gave up both runs in the second inning. Danny Coulombe came on to relieve Hendricks and gave up an RBI double to the only batter he faced. Emilio Pagan then took over from Coulombe and ended the second inning by getting Haniger to fly out in foul territory. That second inning set the tone for the rest of the game.

“Starter” Daniel Mengden entered the game in the top of the third inning and lasted 2.0 innings. He gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits. Mengden walked one and struck out one Mariner. You will want to listen to Melvin’s comments about Mengden’s performance.

The A’s newest pitcher–reliever Cory Gearrin–made his Oakland debut in the game in the fifth inning, and it was less than a stellar beginning. Melvin said that Gearrin is not used to pitching from behind (the A’s were down 8-1 at that point). Gearrin allowed two runs (both earned) on three hits. Melvin said Gearrin just needs to get his feet on the ground and he will be fine.

The A’s also used Hatcher, Buchter, Wendelken, and Familia as relievers in the game. For those of you scoring at home, that is a total of nine pitchers used by the A’s in nine innings.

Those nine pitchers gave up 8 runs (7 earned) off 12 hits. They struck out five M’s batters and walked two.

The M’s used six pitchers in the game even though their starting pitcher (who was a traditional starting pitcher) James Paxton lasted 5.0 innings. Seattle pitching gave up 7 runs (6 earned) on six hits. They walked six and struck out 18 Oakland batters. Paxton struck out 10.

Oh, you would like to know who won the game

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I am sorry. I am so tired from the length of the game (3 hours and 33 minutes) that I forgot to mention the Mariners won the game 8-7. Paxton was the winner and is now 11-5 on the year. “Opener” Liam Hendricks took the loss and is now 0-1 for the season.

The M’s (76-60) now lead the four-game series 2-1. The Astros (83-53) beat the Angels Saturday night, so the A’s (81-56) are now 2.5 games back of Houston for first-place in the AL West. The win moves Seattle within 4.5 games of the A’s for second-place and for the second Wild Card slot.

Just when you thought it was over–it wasn’t

The A’s were trailing 8-2 as they came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning. If it had not been a fireworks night, a good portion of the 28,760 fans in the crowd would have already been on the freeway headed home. Instead, the fans were still in their seats after three-plus hours and were ready to see their team make some fireworks of their own.

Alex Colome came out of the bullpen to take over the pitching duties for Seattle. The first batter he faced was Khris Davis who promptly dispatched a 2-1 pitch into the right field seats for his 40th home run of the season. The crowd came to life and this reporter got his focus back because the A’s are team of late-inning miracles.

Stephen Piscotty followed up the home run with a single. Matt Olson struck out pinch hitting for Pinder. Ramon Laureano singled up the middle and Piscotty moved up to second base. Mark Canha walked to load the bases with one out. Dustin Fowler entered the game as a pinch hitter and struck out.

That brought a pitching change by Seattle, who sent Edwin Diaz to the mound and Colome to the showers. Marcus Semien hit a double to left-center field that cleared the bases with the help of a fielding error charged to Denard Span and made the score 8-7. Matt Chapman struck out to end the inning.

Another wild ninth inning
In the top of the ninth, Jeurys Familia took the hill to stop the Mariners from scoring additional runs. Familia set the side down in order giving the A’s a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth.

The M’s brought in their closer Edwin Diaz to stop any thoughts the A’s had of winning the game. Jed Lowrie led off the ninth with a base-on-balls. Khris Davis went down swinging. Stephen Piscotty also struck out, so it all came down to Matt Olson with Lowrie at first. Olson also became a strikeout victim and Diaz notched his 51st save of the season.

Back to the need for a seat cushion
This game featured 15 runs, 18 hits, and 13 pitching changes. That required 3 hours and 33 minutes to complete. Trust me, you will want a seat cushion for any game that goes that long. Plus, get seats close to a restroom.

Up next
The A’s and M’s wrap up this four-game series on Sunday at 1:05 PM PDT.

Seattle will send RHP “King” Felix Hernandez (8-12, 5.49) to the mound to make his 401st MLB start. The A’s will return to using a traditional starting pitcher by sending RHP Edwin Jackson (4-3, 3.03) to the hill.

They may be down, but they’re never out! A’s beat the Giants 4-3

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A’s celebrate after beating the Giants Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

SAN FRANCISCO — The Oakland Athletics (54-42) really do not know when to quit. In the major leagues, teams that are trailing as they head into the late innings (the seventh inning and beyond) are pretty much doomed to failure the majority of the time. The goal for every big league team is to score early and often because later is usually too late.

The 2018 A’s are breaking all of those rules. The A’s are tied for second in runs scored in the seventh inning or later (173). They did it again on Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants (50-47).

The A’s were trailing the Giants 3-2 as they came to bat in the top of the seventh inning. Tony Watson was the new pitcher for San Francisco. Josh Phegley led off the inning with a single to right. The pitcher’s spot was due up (National League park), so manager Bob Melvin put in Mark Canha as a pinch hitter. Canha hit a 3-2 pitch halfway up into the bleachers in left field for his 12th home run of the season and his 38th and 39th RBIs of the year.

The A’s took a 4-3 lead and never looked back. Lou Trivino worked 2.0 innings of scoreless relief for his team. All-star Blake Treinen then came on in the bottom of the ninth. Treinen struggled a bit as he walked two Giants, but he worked his way out of trouble to earn his 24th save of the season.

The win went to Yusmeiro Petit (4-2) who was pitcher of record in the top of the seventh inning. The loss goes to Tony Watson who also receives a blown save for his record.

Neither starter had a great night. Brett Anderson worked just 3.1 innings for Oakland giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. Jeff Samardzija made the start for the Giants and he lasted just 4.0 innings. He allowed two runs (both earned) off three hits. He walked two and struck out one batter.

Steven Duggar had another good game for the Giants, going 2-for-4 at the plate while scoring two runs and adding an RBI. Buster Posey had a 2-for-4 night hitting as well.

Samardzija Swan Song?

To say that the Giants have been disappointed with the performance of Jeff Samardzija this season — may be one of the great understatements of 2018. His performance on Saturday did nothing to help his standing with the team. His 10th start lasted just 4.0 innings and saw “the Shark” give up two runs (both earned) on three hits. He walked two and struck out just one Oakland batter. The real concern was his velocity or lack of it. Samardzija had trouble breaking into the 90’s with his pitches. The Giants would love to open his spot for a younger pitcher, but they have to figure out what to do with the 33-year old veteran who will make $18-million per season through 2020.

A little bullpen irony 

In the seventh inning, the Giants’ lifted reliever Tony Watson and gave the ball to Ray Black with one out and two runners on base. The A’s had Lou Trivino warming up in their bullpen and would ultimately pitch the seventh inning for Oakland. The irony is that Trivino credits Black for his success as a pitcher. The A’s RHP said he was watching Black pitch at Class-A San Jose when he was with the Stockton Ports and he liked the way Black pitched. Trivino incorporated some of Black’s technique into his own style and now both are facing off in the major leagues.

So long Santiago and other transactions

Relief pitcher Santiago Casilla was designated for assignment (DFA) by the A’s. Casilla appeared in 26 games pitching 31.1 innings while posting a 3.16 ERA. He struck out 22 and walked 20 which lead to a WHIP of 1.213. Casilla had a poor outing on Friday night in San Francisco. If no team claims Casilla off waivers, he will have to decide if he will accept an assignment to the minors.

Ryan Dull received an airline ticket back to Nashville. Dull had a rough outing for the A’s on Friday night and has struggled to find any consistency on the mound this season. He had worked 18 innings for Oakland giving up 21 hits (3 HRs) while striking out 17 and walking five. Dull was carrying an ERA of 6.00, which will not keep you in the Major Leagues.

Franklin Barreto continues to rack up the frequent flier miles as he has returned from Nashville. His return is related to the leg contusion suffered by Jed Lowrie on Friday night. Lowrie did not play on Saturday and do not expect to see him on Sunday. Lowrie’s status for the All-Star game has not been addressed.

Good news for the starting pitching rotation

Daniel Mengden has been brought off the disabled list by the A’s. Mengden was put on the 10-day DL due to a foot sprain. The RHP is 6-6 this season in 16 starts with a 4.47 ERA in 90.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 55 and walked just 19 batters. Mengden could well see action in the Bay Bridge Series Part 2 in Oakland next weekend.

 

A’s crash and burn in the road opener in Cleveland Friday night, losing 10-4

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Matt Olson hit his 19th home run of 2018 in the second inning Photo: @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics have feasted on the American League Central Division. One of the reasons the A’s record improved so dramatically in late June and early July was their performance versus the AL Central teams.

On Friday night, it looked like that feast would continue as the A’s jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on home runs by Dustin Fowler in the first inning and Matt Olson in the second inning. Oakland (48-40) appeared ready to make it a short game for Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.

Cleveland (49-37) had a completely different idea about the game. They put a run up on the board in the bottom of the second which started them on a march to victory. The Indians added three more runs to their total in the home half of the third inning to take a 4-2 lead, and they would never relinquish that lead.

The Indians would score six additional runs while the A’s would add two runs to their total. Cleveland won game one 10-4.

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It was a sellout crowd at Progressive Field in Cleveland Photo: @Indians

This game was about hitting

Cleveland

  • The Indians scored their 10 runs on just 10 hits — that’s efficiency.
  • Cleveland recorded 10 hits and struck out just four times. That is not the norm in the days of teams recording more strikeouts than hits.
  • They scored those 10 runs and had only three batters walk.
  • Cleveland went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left just two runners on base.
  • The Indians scored their 10 runs without hitting a home run. Their key weapon was the two-base hit. They hit three doubles in the game
  • Lindor, Brantley, Ramirez, and Encarnacion all had two-hit games. Ramirez and Encarnacion recorded three RBI each.

Oakland

  • The A’s scored their four runs off 11 hits. Only one Oakland batter walked.
  • The A’s hitters also struck out 11 times for a one hit to one strikeout ratio — not unusual this season but not what any manager wants to see from his team.
  • Mark Canha led the Oakland hitting attack going 3-for-4 with an RBI (33). One of his hits was his 14th double of the season.
  • Fowler, Olson, and Semien all had two-hit nights. Fowler also picked up two RBIs.
  • Oakland went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

It was a night of many pitchers

Indians

  • Carlos Carrasco (9-5) made the start for Cleveland and picked up the win. He worked 5.1-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on seven hits. Carrasco struck out seven A’s and walked none. He did allow two home runs.
  • Cleveland used five relief pitchers. Four of them pitched less than an inning.
  • Dan Otero — who pitched for the A’s for three seasons — pitched the final two innings of the game for the Indians.
  • No save was awarded.

Athletics

  • Paul Blackburn started the game for the A’s and worked 4.0 innings. He gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits. Blackburn struck three and walked one. He was charged with the loss and his record falls to 2-3.
  • Yusmeiro Petit worked 2.0 innings of no-hit baseball. He walked one and struck out one.
  • Emilio Pagan really struggled as he pitched 0.2 innings allowing four runs (all earned) on just three hits.
  • Santiago Casilla came in to close out the seventh inning for Pagan.
  • Chris Hatcher worked a perfect eighth inning for Oakland against the Indians.

Up next

The A’s and Indians will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 1:10 pm PDT. The “ageless one” Edwin Jackson (1-0, 2.13) will start for Oakland and the very tough Corey Kluber (12-4, 2.64) will take the hill for the Indians.

The winning streak continues as the A’s crush the Indians 7-2 on Saturday

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Canha bangs an RBI-double off the left field wall Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND, Calif. — The well-traveled veteran pitcher Edwin Jackson made his second start for the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, and he worked 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, while walking none to come away with his first victory in a Green and Gold uniform. Jackson’s teammates rewarded his efforts by coming from back from a 2-0 deficit to score seven runs off just eight hit to win their sixth consecutive game.

Neither starting pitcher allowed a hit or baserunner in the first three innings of the game. The Indians were the first to strike when they hit two home runs off Jackson in the top of the fourth inning. Francisco Lindor hit his 20th homer of the season into the right-field seats on a 1-1 count to lead off the inning. With one out, Jose Ramirez stepped up to the plate to face Jackson and jacked a 2-2 pitch over the center-field wall for his 24th round-tripper of 2018. Things were not looking good for Jackson at that moment.

Jackson settled down in the top of the fifth and he did not allow another baserunner in the remaining 1.2 innings he would pitch.

The A’s struck back in the home half of the sixth inning. Franklin Barreto led off with a double. Josh Phegley then hit his second home run of the year into the left field seats to tie the game at 2-2. Dustin Fowler followed up with a single through the hole at second. Mark Canha hit a line drive to left that hit at the top of the wall for a double that allowed the speedy Fowler to race home from first to score the A’s third run and give them the lead. Canha was thrown out trying to advance to third. Oakland took a lead 3-2 and would never trail in the game again.

Oakland would score four more times in the eighth inning to make the final score 7-2.

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Bob Melvin came out to congratulate and take starter Edwin Jackson out of the game Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Edwin Jackson (1-0) gets credit for the win. The Indians’ starter Adam Plutko (4-2) is tagged with the loss. A’s reliever Lou Trivino picked up his third save of the season.

Oakland’s record improves to 46-38, and they are now 8.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. The Indians fall to 44-37, but maintain an 8.0 game lead over the second-place Twins.

Melvin talks about his team after the game

In the Batter’s Box

A’s

  • Dustin Fowler snapped an 0-for-9 hitless streak with his single in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hitting his fifth home run of the year in the bottom of the eighth was just icing of the cake. Fowler was the only A’s player to have multiple hits in the game.
  • Matt Olson hit his 18th home run in the home half of the eighth inning as the A’s kept adding insurance runs to their lead. He has now hit 15 of his 18 home runs off right-handed pitching.
  • Mark Canha extended his hitting streak to nine games, which is the longest streak of his career. He has also reached base safely in his last 10 games.
  • Khris Davis hit a sacrifice fly to up his RBI total to 55 for the season.
  • The A’s went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left just three runners on base.

Indians

  • Francisco Lindor is on fire. In his last 19 games, he is batting .306 (23-for-75) with six home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and 20 runs scored.
  • Since the start of the 2017 season, Jose Ramirez leads the major leagues with 136 extra base hits. He entered the game on Saturday tied for fourth in the MLB with his teammate Francisco Lindor with 44 extra base hits so far this season.
  • Jason Kipnis has now reached base safely in each of his last 13 games. In those 13 games, he is batting .312 with three homers and eight runs scored.

On the Hill

A’s

  • Edwin Jackson still has not walked a batter since joining the A’s. He worked 6.2 innings giving up two runs (earned) off two hits (both HRs). He struck out six Cleveland hitters. Jackson threw 86 pitches (52 strikes).
  • The A’s used four relief pitchers to close out the game. Ryan Butcher, Emilio Pagan, Yusmeiro Petit and Lou Trivino worked the final 2.1 innings.
  • The plan was to have Petit close it out, but he looked a bit rusty when got up on the mound. Manager Bob Melvin said that was on him for not getting him into some games earlier in the week.

Indians

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Terry Francona has a little chat with umpire Tony Randazzo Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee
  • Indians starter Adam Plutko looked brilliant in the opening three innings but the wheels came off in the sixth inning. He pitched 5.2 innings allowing three runs (earned) on five hits. He walked one and struck out three.
  • The Indians used five pitchers in the contest.
  • Dan Otero and Josh Tomlin really struggled in the eighth inning when the A’s sealed the game by scoring four runs on just three hits. Two walks and two home runs were the fatal flaws for the relievers.
  • A familiar face to Bay Area baseball fans came into the game to shut down the A’s in the eighth inning, former Giant George Kontos was brought in to do the job.

Up Next

The A’s will try to complete their second consecutive series sweep on Sunday when they will close out this three-game series with the Indians. The Indians will start RHP Mike Clevinger (6-3, 3.03). The A’s will counter with RHP Frankie Montas (4-1, 3.68). First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM PDT.

Yankees need 11 innings on Saturday in the Bronx to beat the A’s 7-6

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Neil Walker gets the treatment after hitting the game-winning hit Photo: @Yankees

by Charlie O. Mallonee

It took four hours and 15 minutes, 11-innings, 13 pitchers, 34 baserunners, 17 hits, four home runs and one controversial video replay to bring game two of the three-game series between the Athletics and Yankees to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon.

In the bottom of the 11th inning with two out and runners at first and second, the Yankees Neil Walker stepped into the batter’s box to face A’s relief pitcher Chris Hatcher who entered the game in the 10th inning. Walker hit the first pitch to him from Hatcher into center field. Gary Sanchez took off from second base at the crack of the bat and never had any goal in mind but to score the winning run. Mark Canha’s throw was off-line and Sanchez scored the run for a 7-6 New York walk-off win.

Walker is now 9-for-25 (.360) including nine walks in his last nine games after hitting just .163 in his first 21-games of the season.

Oakland thought the game might be over in nine innings

NYY TAG
Was he safe or was he out? Photo: Yankees Facebook

In the top of the ninth inning, the Yankees brought in the fire-balling Aroldis Chapman to shut down the A’s. It became apparent immediately that Chapman did not have his usual unhittable, strikeout “stuff” on Saturday. After loading the bases on three consecutive walks, Chapman was able to strikeout Mark Canha.

Jonathan Lucroy was inserted as a pinch-hitter for catcher Bruce Maxwell. Lucroy was 1-for-9 versus Chapman with the one hit being a home run. Lucroy hit the first pitch from Chapman into shallow left field. As Brett Gardner caught the ball, the Athletics Matt Olson tagged at third and headed for home. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez moved about three-feet up the baseline, caught an on-target throw from Gardner and made a sweeping tag at Olson who was sliding toward home plate. Home plate umpire James Hoye called Olson safe without hesitation. The Yankees immediately challenged the call on the field.

The replays made available to television made it look like Sanchez did indeed make the tag except for one crucial angle where it looks like the catcher misses the tag. The replay center overturned the call on the field. It became an inning-ending double play.

Personal opinion inserted here: I hate replay in all sports. You have professional officials on the field to calls. Let them do their jobs. Yes, they will make some mistakes. over the course of a 162-game season, all of the mistakes will balance themselves out. Review your history if doubt my opinion.

Oakland Postgame Notes

NYY Khris HR
Khris Davis celebrates after hitting HR No. 11 Photo: @Athletics
  • This was the A’s first extra-inning loss of the season. They were 3-0 in extra-inning games until Saturday.
  • Starting pitcher Andrew Triggs did not record a decision. He worked 4.1-innings allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits. He struck out six Yanks and walked four. Triggs real undoing was allowing three home runs.
  • Reliever Chris Hatcher (3-1) took the loss on Saturday. He pitched 1.2-innings giving up one run off two hits.
  • The A’s other five relievers – Coulombe, Dull, Casilla, Petit and Treinen pitched 4.2-innings of shutout baseball.
  • Khris Davis hit another home run on Saturday – number 11 of the season. This one came in the fourth inning with two runners on base and gave the A’s a 3-2 lead.
  • Mark Canha went 2-for-5 with two RBI in the game. He is batting .400 (6-for-15) with nine RBI and three walks with runners in scoring position.
  • The A’s are now 19-20 for the year.

Yankees Postgame Notes

  • This was the Yankees fourth “walk-off” win of the season and ended a two-game losing streak.
  • The win ended a five-game losing streak to the Athletics.
  • New York starter RHP Domingo Germain took a no-decision whiled working 5.0-innings and allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits (one HR). He walked three and struck out one.
  • Yankees reliever A.J. Cole (3-1) picked up the victory. Cole struggled with the first two hitters he faced but then settled down to keep his team in the game.
  • Three big home runs helped the Bombers on Saturday: Aaron Judge hit a two-run shot, his 11th of the year. Gary Sanchez (10) and Aaron Hicks (3) went long back-to-back in the second inning.
  • Didi Gregorius ended a 30 at-bat hitless streak when he hit a single off Triggs in the fifth inning.

Up next

The Athletics and Yankees will wrap up this three-game series on Sunday in the Bronx with a 10:05 AM PDT first-pitch. Oakland will send LHP Brett Anderson (0-1,8.68) to the mound to face the Yankees RHP Luis Severino (5-1,2.21).

 

What just happened? Astros blowout the A’s on Saturday night 11-0

Altuve
Astros celebrate Photo: @astros

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics ran headlong into reality at 100 mph as the World Champion Houston Astros reminded the “Green and Gold” who they were playing as they were humbled on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park. The Astros shutout the Athletics 11-0 before a delighted sellout crowd who came to see their champs crush the young upstarts.

Lance McCullers Jr. dominated the A’s. In fact, he held them hitless through the first five innings. Mark Canha broke up the potential no-hitter in the top of the sixth inning when he hit a single to center. Stephen Piscotty then singled to right moving Canha up to second and A’s fans began to have hope that their team had solved McCullers’ pitches and were about to break open the game. Bruce Maxwell promptly hit into a double play and Matt Joyce flied out to left field to end the inning. That would prove to be the only two hits that McCullers would allow in his 7.0-innings of work.

The A’s would have only two additional baserunners in the contest as they managed to get a base hit and a base-on-balls off Astros reliever Hector Rondon in the eighth inning. Tony Sipp came in to mop it up for Houston in the top of the ninth to preserve the win.

Oakland used six pitchers who gave up 11 runs (10 earned) off 13 hits which included four home runs. A’s pitchers walked six Astros and struck out six.

On the Hill

This game was really all about pitching. For Houston, it was about pitching to perfection. For Oakland, it was about pitching breakdowns.

Houston

McCullers
Lance McCullers Jr. was in command on the mound Photo: @astros
  • Lance McCullers Jr.: he picks up his third win of the season to raise his record to 3-1 in five starts. He pitched 7.0-innings giving up no runs off just two hits. He walked none and struck out seven A’s batters. He threw 100 pitches (65 strikes).
  • Hector Rondon: he had the rockiest inning of the night for the Astros giving up a hit and a base-on-balls in his 1.0-inning on the bump. He threw 21 pitches (11 strikes).
  • Tony Sipp was brought in to work the top of the ninth and he did his job very well. Sipp gave up no runs, no hits, allowed no baserunners and struck out one.

Oakland

  • Daniel Mengden: Mengden would not want to use this as an excuse but he did bury his grandfather in Austin on Friday. He worked just 2.1-innings giving up five runs (4 earned) off six hits. He walked one and struck out one. Mengden was not sharp on Saturday and took the loss as his record drops to 2-3 on the young season.
  • The A’s used five relief pitchers in the contest.
  • Oakland has to be concerned about the performance of Wilmer Font who they just picked up from the Dodgers. Oakland hoped that Font would be able to work long relief and possibly spot start. On Saturday night, he gave up three runs (all earned) off three hits which were all home runs. That is not the way any pitcher wants to start out with a new team. It may be time to go back to the drawing board on that decision.

At the Plate

Astros

  • Jose Altuve: “The little big man” showed why is worth the “big bucks” by going 4-for-5 in the game scoring two runs and picking up two RBI. He hit his second home run of the year off Font and picked up his fifth double the season off Mengden. The man is a monster.
  • Alex Bregman had a big game for the ‘Stros. He went 2-for-3 at bat picking up two RBI. He also walked twice. Bregman now has 12 RBI for the young season.
  • George Springer hit his fifth HR of the season. He upped his RBI total to 17.

Athletics

  • They had three hits: Chapman, Canha, and Piscotty. All singles.

Up Next

Because the A’s had the big win on Friday night, Sunday becomes “the rubber game” of the match. Yes, the Athletics have the opportunity to win the series on the road in Houston if they can beat the Astros on Sunday afternoon.

Houston is going to send RHP Gerrit Cole to the hill on Sunday. Cole is 2-1 on the year in five starts. He has struck out 49 batters and walked just eight. Cole has allowed just three home runs. He has a WHIP of 0.77.

The A’s will counter with Trevor Cahill who is 1-0 on the season in two starts. He has an ERA of 2.25 in 12 innings pitched. Cahill has struck out 14 hitters and walked just four. He has a WHIP of 1.08.

This game has the potential of being a real pitchers duel. Game time 11:10 PDT.

A’s lose slugfest in Seattle on Saturday night 10-8

10-8 Ms
Graphic: @athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland A’s can score runs. On Saturday night in Seattle, they put eight runs up on the board which frankly should be enough to win any major league game. The problem is the A’s pitchers gave up 10 runs to the Mariners and Oakland lost their second game in a row 10-8.

The Athletics four pitchers gave 10 runs off 17 hits. They gave up four home runs in the game. The A’s pitchers gave up three 2-out RBI which breaks the back of team trying to get healthy on the road. Ironically, the Oakland pitchers issued only two walks.

The performance of A’s starting pitcher Kendall Graveman (0-3) has to be of real concern to the coaching staff and the front office. Graveman made his fourth start on Saturday night and lasted only four innings. He gave up five runs (all earned) on eight hits. Graveman – who was the losing pitcher – recorded five strikeouts and walked two hitters. He gave up one home run – a three-shot with two out in the bottom of the second to Jean Segura (1).

A’s television color analyst Ray Fosse believes Graveman needs to change his pitching style back to what he was doing last season. Graveman was pitching like a classic “sinker-baller” who was working to get a ground ball out and not a strikeout. This season, Graveman appears to have upped his velocity and is going after strikeouts which does not seem to be working out very well for the pitcher.

Oakland used three relievers on Saturday. Danny Coulombe came on in relief of Graveman and was hit hard by the M’s. He issued three runs (two earned) off four hits including one home run. Emilio Pagan worked 1.1 innings of relief and posted all deuces in the book. He allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits – both home runs.

The one positive out of the bullpen in the for the Athletics was the performance of Yusmeiro Petit. Petit came on in the seventh inning and stopped the Mariners in their tracks. He worked two innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out two batters.

Seattle used seven pitchers in the contest. The M’s starter Marco Gonzales lasted just 3.1 innings giving up four runs (all earned) off five hits. Chasen Bradford relieved Gonzales and ultimately was awarded his first win of the season. Edwin Diaz came in for the top of the ninth inning to record his sixth save of the season. It is not very often you will see a team score 10 runs and need their closer to come into the game to record a save.

The seven Mariners pitchers gave up eight runs (all earned) on 10 hits. They walked three and combined for 11 strikeouts.

A’s with the bat

a-m's
Photo: @athletics
  • Mark Canha had a big game. He went 2-for-5 at the plate and hit his first home run of the season.
  • Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 on the night with one RBI and a run scored.
  • Khris Davis hit his fifth home run of the season – a two-run shot in the seventh inning with two outs.
  • Stephen Piscotty also had a nice game with the bat. He hit his first home run of the season while going 2-for-4 in the game picking up two RBI.

Seattle was in power mode with their bats

vogelbach hr
Voglebach home run Photo: @mariners
  • Segura, Haniger, Seager, and Vogelbach all hit round-trippers off A’s pitchers in the Mariners win.
  • Seager and Vogelbach each recorded a double.
  • The M’s went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Up next

The final game of the series and the road trip will take place on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 PM. The A’s will send lefty Sean Manaea (1-2, 1.74) to the hill to face the Mariners “King” Felix Hernandez (2-1, 6.00).