That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: “The Martian” signs with the Yankees, 16-year-old swings like something out of this world

photo from 16-year-old prospect from the Dominican Republic Jasson Dominguez has been said that he’s better than Mike Trout at age 16.

By Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

He is Jasson Domínguez, a 16-year-old from the Dominican Republic, and the New York Yankees signed him to a $5 million bonus. Scouts have drawn comparison with Mike Trout and the great Yankee legend Mickey Mantle. Scouts reported that “El Marciano”, who swings from both sides of the plate, has power, speed, and a sensational arm. They nicknamed him “El Marciano”, which is Spanish for “The Martian”, because according to those that have seen him, “there is no way he is from this world.”

Domínguez, without a doubt, is the top international prospect in this year’s class. Other comments about El Marciano: “He is 16, but with a body of a man.” Domínguez was no secret to scouts of other teams like the LA Angels, Texas Rangers, and Tampa Bay Rays, who were also very interested in signing him. He is regarded as the top prospect to come from Latin America in at least a decade.

One general manager said, “He is like a Mike Trout, but he is better than Trout was at 16”. Jasson Domínguez will not play this year, but next year, he will join other Yankee prospects inside their very deep minor league system.

I do not have a commentary on him, because I have not seen him yet.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is the play-by-play Spanish announcer for the Oakland A’s and does News and Commentary at

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

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.

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.

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

Post Game Notes

  • 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.


  • 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.

The A’s win for the 97th time, downing the Angels 5-2

LAA Hendriks
Liam Hendriks was the “opener” on Saturday night Photo: @NBCS

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics know what they will be doing next Wednesday night. They will be in the Bronx, New York at Yankee Stadium fighting for their very “baseball lives” in the 2018 American League Wild Card Game. The problem for the A’s is they have to finish the regular season in Anaheim before heading to the East Coast.

The Athletics have two goals for those final games on Saturday and Sunday at the “Big A”:

  1. Don’t get hurt and

Oakland has been a team that has been besieged by injuries this season and they cannot afford to lose any member of this team before heading into the playoffs. Of course, these proud athletes want to win, but staying healthy is more important than winning at this point in the season.

Fortunately, the A’s were able to win and stay healthy on Saturday night. Oakland set the tone of the game in the first inning in a very familiar way. With two out and Matt Chapman on at first base, Khris Davis hit a pitch from Tyler Skaggs over the right field wall for his 48th home run of the season to give the A’s a 2-0 lead. The two RBIs upped Davis’ total to 123 for the season.

The A’s decided to go with the “bullpenning” pitching philosophy in game two of this final series of the regular season. As usual, Liam Hendriks opened the game on the mound working the first for Oakland. Trevor Cahill became the “featured pitcher” taking over in the bottom of the second inning.

Oakland added another run in the top of the third inning when Jed Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Ramon Laureano to score from third. Laureano hit a double to lead off the inning.

The Angels took advantage of an A’s fielding error, added a stolen base and well-timed RBI single to score their first run of the game in bottom of the fifth inning.

Jim Johnson–yes, that Johnson who pitched for Oakland back in 2014–took over the pitching duties for the Angels. Jed Lowrie stepped in the batter’s box and hit his 23rd homer of the season off Mr. Johnson to up the A’s lead to 4-1.

Fernando Rodney took the ball for the A’s in the bottom of the seventh and he struggled. With the bases loaded and two out, Rodney walked in the Angels second run of the contest. He then had to face Mike Trout with bases loaded. Rodney was able to get Trout to fly out to right field and the A’s were still leading 4-2 after seven full innings.

In the top of the eighth inning, the A’s loaded up the bases with one out. Stephen Piscotty hit a fly ball to right field that was caught by Kole Calhoun. Ramon Laureano tagged up at third and scored the A’s fifth run of the game.

That would be it for scoring in the game and Oakland recorded their 97th win of 2018 with the 5-2 victory.

LAA 5-2
Graphic: @Angels

The “Bullpenning” A’s
Oakland used six pitchers in their win on Saturday night. Hendriks opened while Trevor Cahill filled the role of the featured pitcher going 4.0 innings giving up one run (earned) on one hit. He walked one and struck out one batter.

Shawn Kelley worked one inning walking one and striking out two. Fernando Rodney had very shaky outing as he wound up facing seven batters and giving up an earned run in the seventh inning.

Familia came in to set things up in the eighth inning and Blake Treinen closed it out in the ninth.

Cahill (7-4) was awarded the win while Treinen picked up his 38th save of the year.

Angels’ hurlers
LA starter Tyler Skaggs (8-10) took the loss after giving up the two-run home run to Davis in the first inning. The Angels used six pitchers who did not do a bad job. The gave up five runs off eight hits. They walked four A’s and struck out nine. It was the two home runs that really did the Angels in on Saturday night.

A’s at the plate

LAA Davis
Two guys who love the game Photo: @Athletics
  • Ramon Laureano continues to be amazing. He went 2-for-5 in this game scoring two runs. Yes, he scored each time he reached base.
  • Jed Lowrie does it again with a home run, sacrifice fly, two RBI and a run scored.
  • Khris Davis (yes, they must sign him to a long-term contract) had just another day at the office with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored.
  • Chad Pinder went 2-for-4 in the game.

LA Stars

  • Only four Angels managed to get a hit in the game–Jose Fernandez, Andrelton Simmons, Taylor Ward and Kaleb Cowart.
  • Five LA batters did reach base by way of a walk.
  • Ouch! The Angels left nine men on base.

Up next
Game 162 of the 2018 season will get underway at 12:07 pm PT on Sunday. All MLB games on Sunday will begin in the noon hour in their respective time zones. Brett Anderson (4-5, 4.42) will start for the A’s while Matt Shoemaker (2-2, 4.82) will take the mound for the Halos.

Angels knock off the A’s 9-7

Photo credit: @NBCSAthletics

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Los Angeles Angels won a wild and wooly game Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum as they sent the A’s down to their fourth loss in the last five games by a score of 9-7. It was also the third loss in a row for the Green and Gold.

With the loss, the A’s now trail the Houston Astros by five games in the race for first place in the AL West and are 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the first Wild Card spot. Time is running for the Green and Gold as there are just 11 games left in the regular season. The A’s are now 90-61 on the season.

The Angels put one on the board in the top of the fourth. With one out, their all-world center fielder, Mike Trout, blasted his 35th home run of the year off Daniel Mengden. Mengden walked the next hitter, Justin Upton. Mengden retired Shohei Otani for the second out. Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons then lined a double off the wall in left center field. It went out like a rocket, and the A’s were able to get the ball back to the infield to prevent Upton from scoring. Mengden retired third baseman Tyler Ward for the third out. The Angels led 1-0 in the middle of the fourth inning.

The A’s answered by scoring four times in the bottom of the fourth. Angels manager Mike Scioscia replaced starter Tyler Skaggs with Cam Bedrosian. Skaggs made his first start since August 11th, and Scioscia had him on a pitch count. Skaggs did not allow a hit or  run in three innings of work. The A’s took advantage of Bedrosian’s wildness to load the bases with no outs. Bedrosian walked Jed Lowrie to start the inning. A’s DH Khris Davis singled to send Lowrie to second. Bedrosian walked Stephen Piscotty to load the bases with no out. Bedrosian struck out the next two hitters and was in position to get out of the jam. A left fielder ripped a double that bounced off the base of the left field wall that cleared the bases. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy followed with a single to drive in Canha with the A’s fourth run of the frame. Scioscia changed pitchers, and reliever Noe Ramirez was able to retire Ramon Laureano for the final out of the fourth. The A’s led 4-1 after four.

Melvin went to his bullpen to start the sixth inning. The move turned out to be a disaster for the A’s as the Angels plated six runs on four hits. Shawn Kelley started the inning and faced Jose Fernandez. Kelley retired Trout for the first out. Justin Upton singled off Matt Chapman’s glove to put runners on at first and second. Melvin brought in lefty Ryan Buchter to pitch to Ohtani. That strategy failed as Ohtani singled to load the bases. Andrelto Simmons singled to drive in Fernandez and Upton. The Angels trailed 4-3. Melvin replaced Buchter with Lou Trivino. Trivino hit Taylor Ward with a pitch to load the bases. Kaleb Cowart hit his first home run of the run and his first grand slam. Trivino retired the next two hitters, but the damage was done. The Angels took a 7-4 lead.

The Angels put two more on the board in the top of the eighth. The A’s brought in their seventh pitcher of the night, Cory Gearrin, to face the Halos. Ohtani walked. Simmons followed with a single. Ward reached on a fielder’s choice. Ohtani was thrown out at third, but Chapman’s throw to first sailed past Matt Olson and went into right field. Simmons scored, and Ward ended up on third base. Cowart, who hit a grand slam in his last at-bat, tripled to drive in Ward with the Angels’ ninth run of the night.

The A’s rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning and scored three times to make it a 9-7 game. Jed Lowrie got things going when he walked for the third time in the game. Davis struck out, but singles by Piscotty and Olson allowed Lowrie to score. A’s shortstop Marcus Semien walked to load the bases. A’s outfielder Dustin Fowler was sent in to pinch hit for Josh Phegley. Fowler came through with a single to drive in Piscotty and Olson. Angels’ pitcher Ty Buttrey retired Ramon Laureano for the third out. The A’s had one more opportunity to either tie or get ahead in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Angels’ seventh pitcher of the evening retired in order in the ninth to seal the win. The A’s lost 9-7.

Game Notes and Stats: Time of the game was three hours and 42 minutes. For all intents and purposes, it was a bullpen game for both managers. A’s manager Bob Melvin started Liam Hendriks for the first inning, and Daniel Mengden was able to go four innings with the Halos scoring just one run. Angels manager Mike Scioscia used seven pitchers to subdue the A’s.

Things went awry in the sixth and eighth innings as the A’s bullpen imploded and allowed the Angels to put eight runs on the board. The A’s used eight pitchers in the loss, and it appeared to many that the bullpen might be a bit tired at this stage of the season. Rookie Lou Trivino, who has been so good, was burnt by Kaleb Cowart when he hit his first homer of the year, and it was a grand slam to boot. Cowart also had a triple.

The A’s line was seven runs on seven hits and one error. The Angels’ line score was nine runs on nine hits and no errors.

The winning pitcher was the Angels’ third pitcher Noe Ramirez. Ty Buttrey earned his fourth save of the year.

The losing pitcher was the A’s Lou Trivino, who absorbed the loss. His record is now 8-3.

There were 15.031 fans in attendance as they watched their A’s go down to defeat.

Up Next: Game two will be played Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Game time will be at 7:05 pm PDT.

Brett Anderson will go for the A’s. Anderson is hoping to rebound from two poor outings since coming off the DL.

Felix Pena will pitch for the Angels.

A’s power their way past the Angels 6-4 on Saturday to end the losing streak

Semien HR
Semien hits his sixth HR in the top of the sixth inning Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics can cross two things off of their to-do list after beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6-4 on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. First, they needed desperately needed end a four-game losing streak that began last Tuesday. Task completed.

Secondly, the A’s needed to get a win versus an AL West division opponent. They had lost six straight games to AL West teams and 12 of their last 13 games versus the West. The win on Saturday allows the team to check that off their list as well.

The A’s cannot let down after this victory, but it should prove to them that they are very capable of playing and winning in the Western Division.

Manaea looked unstoppable for four innings

Manaea vs LAA
Manaea looked unstoppable for the first four innings Photo: @Athletics

Sean Manaea made the start for the A’s and his slider was really working for him. The lefty set the Angels down in order for the first four innings. He looked unbeatable especially after Chad Pinder hit a home run to stake Manaea to a 1-0 lead.

Then came the top of the fifth inning. Albert Pujols led off the inning with a single. Martin Maldonado followed up with a single to right field. With runners at first and second, that brought Chris Young to bat. Young was the last minute replacement for Justin Upton who was scratched due to a stiff lower back.

Young HR
Young crushes a HR off Manaea Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Young hit a no doubt about it home run to over the left field wall to give the Angels a 3-1 lead. Manaea was able to work his way out of trouble to end the inning, but the mood of the team and fans had definitely changed.

The sixth inning was the Angels’ downfall
The Angels had to use LHP John Lamb — who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake — to make the start. Lamb gave up a home run to Pinder in the fourth inning and then, Marcus Semien hit his sixth round-tripper of the season off Lamb to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. That would be all for Lamb, who exited the game with a 3-2 lead.

Reliever Noe Ramirez entered the game and hit the first batter he faced — Chad Pinder. Jed Lowrie flied out to center for the first out of the inning. DH Khris Davis walked. Rameriez then hit Matt Olson for his second hit-batsmen of the inning. With the bases loaded, Stephen Piscotty hit a blistering single up the middle that drove Davis and Olson home to score. When the inning ended, the A’s led the game 5-3.

Oakland would add one more run in the seventh inning on a Jed Lowrie RBI single.

The top of the ninth inning got a little exciting
Blake Treinen was brought in to close out the game in the top of the ninth. It was his first time on the mound in six games and he looked a little rusty.

The A’s closer gave up a run (earned) on one hit while walking two and striking out one Angels hitter. The situation did not become desperate, but it was not as clean of a close as the team would have liked it to have been.

Bob Melvin’s postgame comments

In the Batter’s Box
Oakland (35-36)

  • Chad Pinder had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate for the A’s. He was just a double short of posting a cycle on Saturday. Pinder’s home run was his sixth of the season and he recorded his 14th RBI. Pinder hit his first triple of the year in the game.
  • Marcus Semiem hit his sixth HR to pick up his 27th RBI of the year.
  • Stephen Piscotty raised his RBI total to 29.
  • Jed Lowrie now has 43 RBI which is keeping close to the leaders in the majors
  • The A’s scored six runs off six hits and recorded six RBI. Their batters struck out eight times.
  • The A’s left six men on base while going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Los Angeles of Anaheim (38-33)

  • No batter for the Angels had a multi-hit game.
  • Chris Young picked up the big hit with his 3-run home run in the fifth inning. That upped his RBI total to 10.
  • Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each recorded a hit.
  • The Angels scored four runs on six hits while striking out six times.
  • The Angels left four men on base and went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

On the Hill
A’s (Streak: Lost 1 game; 4-6 in last 10)

  • The win went to starting pitcher Sean Manaea, who is now 6-5 on the season. It was his first win since back in May. Manaea worked 6.0-innings giving up three runs (all earned) off four hits. He walked one and struck out four. He did give up one home run.
  • Treinen earned the save (15) but struggled to get there.
  • Petit and Trivino each worked an inning of scorless relief.

Angels (Streak: Lost 1 game; 5-5 in last 10)

  • John Lamb who made the start did not figure into the decision.
  • Noe’ Rameriez (2-3) was charged with the loss.
  • Jake Jewell was used for one inning of relief by the Angels and it was his Major League debut.

Up Next

The Angels and A’s will close out  this three-game series with the “rubber game” of the match on Sunday at 1:05 pm PDT. The Angels will start LHP Andrew Heaney (3-5, 3.68) -who will the third lefthander to start for LA in this series. The A’s will counter with RHP Daniel Mengden (6-6, 3.90).

big foul
Foul territory is tough to cover at the Coliseum Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Angels crush A’s 8-4 in game one of weekend series

Kinsler home run
Kinsler crosses the plate after hitting a home run the fourth inning Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Where did the “Big Mo” go? You remember “Big Mo” – a.k.a momentum. Right now, it feels like the Oakland Athletics have lost all of the momentum that they had been building up earlier in the season.

The A’s are 5-8 in the month of June which is not good, but what makes that record even more devastating is the fact that six of those eight losses have come at the hands of American League West teams. The A’s cannot be losing that many games inside the division and hold on to any hopes of making the playoffs even as a Wild Card team.

What hurts, even more, is the Angels came into the game riding a five-game losing streak of their own. They are a team that had great expectations for 2018 and have now been beset by injuries.

The Angels are the team that the A’s must pass first if they are going to move up in the Western Division and make a run at the Mariners and Astros.

This game did not start well
Chris Bassitt was back on the mound making his second start in a week for Trevor Cahill, who is now on the 10-day disabled list due to a strained right achilles. Bassitt pitched well last Saturday against the Royals, despite taking the loss. Things did not go well Friday night.

After inducing Angels leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler to ground out, Bassitt gave up a single to Mike Trout. He then issued a walk to Justin Upton. Albert Pujols reached base safely when Bassitt fielded a ground ball and his throw to first base sailed into foul territory. Trout and Upton were able to scramble home to score while Pujols ended up at second. When the top of the first was over, the Angels lead 2-0 with both runs being unearned.

Bassitt no mystery
Bassitt was no mystery to the Angels batters Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

The third inning brought more bad news for Bassitt and the A’s. Trout singled to open the inning. Upton followed immediately with a single of his own. With Trout at second and Upton at first, Pujols reached first on Chad Pinder’s throwing error that allowed Trout to score and Upton to advance to third.

The Angels went on to score two more runs in the top of the third inning and held a 5-0 lead as the A’s prepared to come to bat in the bottom of the third.

Los Angeles went scored again in the fourth inning — which would be the final inning of work for starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. The Angels would go on to score two more runs off Oakland reliever Carlos Ramiez in the top of the fifth.

The A’s finally put runs up on the board in the home half of the fifth inning. Mark Canha led off the inning and reached base on a throwing error charged to the LA shortstop. Piscotty and Smolinski both struck out. Catcher Josh Phegley hit an RBI double to center field that drove Canha home to score. Marcus Semien then hit an RBI double of his own that allowed Phegley to score the second run of the game for the A’s. After five full innings, the Angels held an 8-2 lead.

The A’s added one more run in the bottom of the eighth when Chad Pinder ran home from third on a wild pitch by Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian to make it an 8-3 game.

The A’s never quit trying. In the ninth inning, Stephen Piscotty picked up a one-out single off LA reliever Justin Anderson. Pinch-hitter Dustin Fowler hit a hard grounder to second that Kinsler had trouble fielding and he legged it out for a single while Piscotty advanced to third. With Semien at-bat, Fowler moved up to second on defensive indifference. Semien walked to load the bases.

Anderson threw a wild pitch to Chad Pinder and Piscotty was able to score from third base to make it an 8-4 contest. Pinder struck out to end the game.

The Angels beat the A’s 8-4 in game one of the three-game series.

Tyler Scaggs picked up the win for the Angels and upped his record to 6-4, 2.81 ERA. The A’s Chris Bassitt is hung with the loss as his record drops to 0-2, 2.45 ERA. There was no save awarded for the game.

Major postgame news
In his postgame news conference, manager Bob Melvin confirmed that Matt Chapman will be going on the disabled list beginning Saturday due to a hand injury. Franklin Barreto was lifted from the Nashville Sounds game in El Paso before its conclusion so he could travel to Oakland for Saturday.

Chad Pinder will most likely be the primary replacement at third base but do not be surprised to see Lowrie spend time at the “hot corner” while Barreto fills in at second base.

Melvin’s postgame comments

In the batter’s box
Angels (38-32, 3rd place AL West)

  • Mike Trout (the best player in baseball? If not, tell me who is better!) collected three hits in the game. That was hit his 21st multi-hit game of the season.
  • Ian Kinsler hit his ninth home run of the year in the fourth inning off of Bassitt. He is batting (21-for-66) with five doubles, seven home runs, and 12 RBI in his last 16 games.
  • Catcher Jose Briceno broke an 0-for-8 hittless streak with a 3-for-4 game at the plate on Friday night.

A’s (34-36, 4th place AL West)

  • Jed Lowrie got back on track by ending an 0-for-8 hitless streak by picking up three hits in four trips to the plate on Friday night.
  • Josh Phegley had his first multi-hit game of season. One of those hits was an RBI-double.
  • Marcus Semien is being very productive with runners in scoring position. He is batting .359 when he has runners on base with a chance to score.

On the hill
Los Angeles of Anaheim

  • This was Tyler Skaggs third consecutive win, which is the longest winning streak of his career.
  • Skaggs struck out eight A’s batters, walked only one and allowed seven hits. He gave up two runs (none earned).
  • The three Angels pitchers allowed a combinded 10 hits while they struck out 11 Oakland batters.


  • Starter Chris Bassitt is still looking for his first win since August 4, 2015. Of course, Bassitt missed almost two full seasons due to Tommy John surgery. He is actually 0-8 since his last win in 2015.
  • The A’s used five pitchers in game on Friday night.
  • A’s pitchers gave up eight runs off just nine hits in the game.

Up next

Coming on Saturday, the Angels and A’s will meet again at 1:05 pm PDT at the Coliseum. Los Angeles will start RHP Nick Tropeano (3-4, 4.83 ERA). The A’s will send LHP Sean Manaea (5-6, 3.49 ERA) to the hill.

Gray’s 12 K’s Not Enough For A’s Against LeBlanc, Halos

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

OAKLAND, Calif. – Despite a dominant rebound performance from starter Sonny Gray at the O.Co Coliseum Tuesday night, the Oakland Athletics once again found their efforts to string together three consecutive wins come up short.

After dropping game two of a three game series against the 2014 American League West Champion Los Angeles Angels 2-0, the Green and Gold (86-71) still seek their first uninterrupted trio of wins since August 7-9. Wade LeBlanc pitched 5 2/3 of shutout innings for the Halos, while former Athletic Houston Street nailed down his 40th save of the season after retiring the side in order.

The Athletics loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning with reliever Joe Smith on the mound and two men retired, but Stephen Vogt’s fly-out derailed the Oakland rally.

“I left a small village of runners in scoring position tonight,” said Vogt. “It’s really frustrating to not get them in.”

It marked only the second time all night the home team advanced a runner past second base. In total, the A’s left eight runners on base.

“That’s baseball in a nutshell,” said Vogt. “It’s frustrating, absolutely. But just because we didn’t have offense today doesn’t mean our offense isn’t good. I think we’re still playing good baseball right now, we just didn’t get any hits when we needed them tonight.”

An Oakland loss, paired with a Kansas City Royals win in Cleveland, knots the two squads up with identical records in the chase for the top Wild Card spot and home-field advantage in the one-game playoff. Despite the result Tuesday, the A’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth drops to three games by way of a Seattle Mariners lost. Just five regular season games remain.

Gray (13-10, 3.21 ERA) recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts, including three by potential AL Most Valuable Player Mike Trout, yielding only two runs in the losing effort.

“He came in the dugout with this look in his eye,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “He was going to get after it. Unfortunately we didn’t give him the support. Three hits and he struck out nine of the first 12 guys. Everything was working today.”

Gray’s ability to rack up strikeouts in a hurry wasn’t lost on his teammates.

“I looked up in the fifth and he had ten punch-outs,” said Vogt. “That was a remarkable thing. He threw the ball well. We had some opportunities to score runs and we just weren’t able to come through.”

The youthful right-hander picked up eight of his first nine outs on K’s and nine of his first 12 by way of the whiff. It was the one non-strikeout that made him the hard luck loser against Los Angeles (97-61).

With runners on first and third and one out in the second inning, Gray caught Hank Conger swinging at strike three. The runner at first, Efren Navarro, took off with the pitch, drawing a throw from catcher Geovany Soto.

“There was a miscommunication on that,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “Aybar was coming down the line. We needed to stop the run there.”

With Erick Aybar crashing down the line from third base after the throw to second, Navarro froze between second and third base. Already dead to rights on the Soto throw, Navarro stalled long enough in a pickle for Aybar to cross the plate.

“He’s fast,” said Gray of the Angels shortstop. “He puts pressure on the defense, as you could see there. He’s a good player, he has good baseball instincts.”

The Angels added another run in the sixth inning after Gordon Beckham ripped a solo home to left field for the only earned run of the day. The long ball stood as the Angels first hit since the second inning as well as the third and final hit the visitors would collect on the evening.

Gray’s LA counterpart, starter Wade LeBlanc, managed to tame the A’s bats despite a repertoire of pitches that don’t break the 90 mph barrier. The Southpaw fired 5 2/3 innings, allowing only five hits to the Oakland hitters. The A’s didn’t manage a base runner to reach second base off LeBlanc until Josh Reddick’s doubled with one out in the fifth inning.

“He did a good job mixing his pitches,” said Vogt. “He didn’t really miss over the plate tonight. Typically, a guy like that, a junk baller, he knows how to pitch. That’s one thing about Wade LeBlanc, he knows how to pitch. He’s a really good pitcher. How you take advantage of those guys is when he makes mistakes over the plate, and he didn’t do that tonight.”

Of the five A’s hits off LeBlanc, four came counter to the lefty-vs-lefty pitcher’s advantage with Reddick (two hits), Sam Fuld and Eric Sogard all reaching base.

LeBlanc (1-1, 4.23) started the season in the minor leagues with the Angels, ultimately making his first Major League appearance at Oakland May 30th. LeBlanc pitched 6 1/3 innings of relief against the Athletics after starter Garret Richards exited with a season-ending knee injury, his longest outing to date this season.

Following his lone stint of game action, LeBlanc was claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees on June 3rd. 12 days later, after only one inning of two run work against the A’s later, the Yankees granted the 30 year old free agency. The Lake Charles, La. native returned to the Angels roster on June 17th. Since then, he has made eight appearances, including two starts before his season-best Tuesday evening outing.

Manager Mike Scioscia tabs a third-straight left-hander to pitch Wednesday afternoon’s series finale. Hector Santiago takes the mound in the rubber match. Melvin counters with a lefty of his own, sending trade deadline acquisition Jon Lester to the hill. The winner of Wednesday’s contest takes the season series with each side claiming nine wins apiece in head-to-head play.

A’s Flounder Against Richards, Angels as Trout Makes Splash

By Matthew Harrington

Starter Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles Angels stifled the Oakland Athletics offense Monday night at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, besting the A’s 4-1 while limiting the visitors to four hits. Yoenis Cespedes and Stephen Vogt combined for all the Oakland offense, collecting two hits apiece. The A’s (39-25) scored one run for just the sixth time this season a day after exploding for 11 runs at Camden Yards.

Jesse Chavez (5-4, 3.04 ERA) pitched gave six strong innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits against the Halos, but the A’s offense failed to figure out Richards in support. The 26-year-old righty (6-2, 3.09) stymied the green and gold to only four hits over his seven innings.

The A’s took the lead in the top of the second after Yoenis Cespedes scored on a softly-hit Stephen Vogt single to left with two outs. Vogt proved steady at the plate and behind the dish in place of starting catcher Derek Norris. Norris sat out Monday night after taking a Manny Machado backswing to the back of the head yesterday afternoon in Baltimore.

Angels superstar Mike Trout collected his 44th and 4t5th RBIs on a sac fly in the third and a controversial fifth-inning ground-rule double respectively. With Hank Conger on second, Trout aboutfaced a 2-2 Chavez delivery to deep right field that looked labeled for the bleachers. Originally called a home run on the field, an umpire review revealed a fan reached below the railing to catch the ball for fan interference. Crew chief Bob Davidson overturned the play, placing Trout back on second base to the chagrin of Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia. Scioscia argued the play, resulting in an ejection from Davidson with the Angels leading 3-1. Hank Conger and Raul Ibanez also plated runs for the Halos.

After Richards, Joe Smith and Closer Ernesto Frieri locked down the A’s bats, pitching a scoreless inning a piece. Smith struck out two while Frieri k’d the side to pick up his 11th save of the season. Ryan Cook and Fernando Abad pitched a third of an inning a piece and Jim Johnson wrapped up the A’s pitching performance, allowing an unearned run in his 1 1/3 innings of work.

With the win, the Angels (35-28) move 3.5 games back of the A’s for the lead in the American League West. They’ll look to put together a fifth-consecutive victory Tuesday night, sending Hector Santiago to the mound in his return. Santiago seeks his first win of the season in his return to the rotation after Los Angeles placed Tyler Skaggs on the disabled list Monday afternoon with a right hamstring strain.

The A’s counter with Drew Pomeranz fresh off a bounce-back outing in which he narrowly outdueled Yankees sensation Masahiro Tanaka in a 2-1 loss in the Bronx. Pomeranz pitched seven innings, his longest start of the season, just one appearance after allowing five runs to the same Angels in a fortunate 9-5 home field triumph May 30th.

A’s On Wrong Side in Extra Innings for First Time in 2014

By Matthew Harrington

For the first time in 2014, the Oakland Athletics ended up on the wrong side of an extra innings affair. The A’s suffered a walk-off loss 5-4 against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium Wednesday night in their fourth game requiring more than nine innings this season. Despite a 4-1 lead on a three-run home run from right fielder Brandon Moss and a two earned run performance over six-plus innings from starter Tommy Milone, the A’s bullpen failed to hang on to the lead. The Angels comeback, capped by Chris Iannetta’s game-winning blast off Drew Pomeranz in the bottom of the 12th inning, rallied the Halos (7-8)to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Athletics.

Oakland (10-5) appeared to have the game wrapped up after taking a 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning on Moss’ second long ball of the season. The left-hander’s no-doubter to right  off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs plated Alberto Callaspo and Derek Norris with two outs in the inning. For Moss, who hit out of the eighth spot against the lefty Skaggs instead of his usual spot in the heart of the order, the dinger marked RBI’s number 13, 14 and 15 of the season, tops on the Athletics and the best mark in the American League. Moss matches fellow AL-er Chris Colabello of the Twins for third place in the major leagues.

Earlier in the top of the fourth inning, Callaspo doubled home Josh Donaldson for a one-out, game-tying double. Callaspo finished the night 1-for-4 after entering play flirting with a .400 batting average, good for the second best mark in the American League behind Chicago’s Alexei Ramirez.

In the previous half inning, the Angels opened the scoring after Erick Aybar lead off the inning with a single to center then scored on Mike Trout’s double with one out.

Milone opened the seventh inning by hitting Iannetta with a pitch that bounced in the dirt before skimming the LA backstop’s toe. After A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged the play, replay evidence proved inconclusive with crew chief Chris Segal rewarding Iannetta first base. The next batter, Collin Cowgill, singled on the first delivery from Millone, prompting Melvin to lift the left-hander in favor of reliever Dan Otero. Milone finished the night with only one strikeout and two free passes in six-plus innings of work.

Otero coaxed Aybar to ground into a fielder’s choice with second baseman Eric Sogard electing to force Cowgill out at second. J.B. Shuck reached base on an error by Callaspo, making just his second career appearance at first base, allowing Iannetta to cross the plate for a 4-2 A’s lead. Otero downed Trout on a full-count swing-and-miss but Albert Pujols wrapped a single up the middle to cut the A’s advantage to one run at 4-3 after Aybar came around to score. Pujols’ base knock was the only Angels base hit in 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position Wednesday evening.

After the A’s went down in order in the top half of the eighth, Otero, Fernando Abad and Ryan Cook combined to pitch a scoreless bottom half. Angels reliever Fernando Salas pitched his first of two scoreless innings to keep the home team down by one entering the ninth.

Luke Gregerson, Melvin’s top candidate in the closer-by-committee approach adopted by the A’s amidst deposed closer Jim Johnson’s struggles, entered the ninth seeking his third save in four opportunities. Instead, the righty blew his second save of the season, allowing back-to-back singles to Trout and Pujols. Gregerson then yielded a run-scoring force out on a failed game-ending double play chance after Howie Kendrick beat out Eric Sogard’s pivot to first to knot the game at four runs apiece.

Angels relief arms Michael Kohn and Yoslan Herrera held Oakland scoreless in an inning each to set up Joe Smith as the winning pitcher in the 12th. Smith (1-0, 5.14 Era) struck out Gentry to open the inning, then plunked shortstop Jed Lowrie with a wild pitch to put the go-ahead run on first. Donaldson, the hero in Tuesday night’s 11 inning A’s win, advanced Lowrie into scoring position but clean-up hitter Yoenis Cespedes struck out to end the inning and the scoring threat. The left fielder went 0-for-6 on the night to join Nick Punto and Sogard as the only members of the A’s starting line-up to be held hitless.

With the A’s bullpen pitching 7 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s barn burner, Melvin used Gregerson to pitch the tenth as well before handing the ball over to lefty Drew Pomeranz in the 11th. Pomeranz (1-1, 2.16 ERA), a starter-turned-reliever, pitched 2 and 2/3 innings Tuesday night before taking the hill in Wednesday’s game. Pomeranz allowed a Pujols single in an otherwise uneventful 11th inning then stayed in the game looking to hold the Halos off the board in the 12th.

Pomeranz started the 12th on strong footing, inducing a David Freese ground out and a Raul Ibanez pop out to retire the first two men to the plate on only eight pitches in the inning. Iannetta ended Pomeranz’s run on the first pitch he saw, rocketing a 91 mph fastball at the belt to center field just right of the 396-foot marker. Center fielder Craig Gentry leapt at the wall to try to pull the game-winning shot back in from the brink, but the ball grazed off the glove’s tip and into the grass at the base of the rock pile in beyond the fence.

For the Angels, Wednesday’s win helped to skew the numbers in their favor at their home turf. In the last 22 meetings at Angel Stadium, the A’s have been victorious a lop-sided 15 times. Oakland wrapped up a nine-game road trip, going 7-2 after sweeping Minnesota and taking two-of-three from Seattle and Los Angeles.

Oakland gets an off-day Thursday to travel home before opening a weekend series at the O.Co Coliseum against the Houston Astros who, after a hot start, once again find themselves in the American League’s basement in the standings. They’ll counter A’s Ace Sonny Gray with Zach Cosart in Friday’s series-opener.

Jaso’s Pinch-Hit Heroics Continue A’s Dominance in Anaheim

By Matthew Harrington

Jesse Chavez once again produced a quality start, his third of the season, Monday night in Anaheim, but yet again the converted reliever-turned-starter headed off to the showers without a chance at being named the winning pitcher. Just like his previous two starts, Chavez’ offense rallied in its last at-bat to give the Athletics (9-4) a win. The A’s, owners of the best record in the American League, triumphed in their starter’s previous two efforts in extra innings.

Backed by a pinch-hit, two-run home run by John Jaso in the top of the ninth inning, Oakland stole a 3-2 come-from-behind victory to open up a three-game series against the Angels (6-7)at Angel Stadium. Yoenis Cespedes also homered, deposed closer Jim Johnson (1-2, 9.95 ERA) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for his first win in green and gold and Luke Gregerson’s one-two-three ninth-inning save closed the door.

Chavez struggled in the bottom of the first, surrendering a two-strike single to leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun. The lefty caught phenom Mike Trout watching a nasty curveball for strike three, but Calhoun had already advanced to second when miscommunication between catcher Derek Norris and Chavez resulting in a passed ball earlier in the at-bat. Albert Pujols laced a single through the left side to plate Calhoun for a 1-0 lead.

Chavez cruised through the rest of his appearance, pitching seven innings, surrendering four hits and only one earned run on nine strikeouts. The lone earned run came off the bat of Pujols who crushed a homer to center field in the third inning, his 496th long ball of his career. Pujols now moves into lone possession of 26th place on the all-time long fly list.

Angels starter Hector Santiago countered Chavez, pitching seven innings of one-run ball with five hits and three punch-outs. Cespedes’ third homer, a solo shot to right center to make it 2-1 Angels in the fourth inning proved the lone blemish to Santiago’s ERA. The A’s outfielder now has home runs in consecutive games after going yard off Charlie Furbush in the A’s 3-0 win in Seattle Sunday.

The Halos Joe Smith and Oakland’s Johnson pitched scoreless eighths for their respective clubs, opening the door for Jaso’s fireworks in the ninth. Josh Donaldson, owner of a now eight game hitting streak, welcomed Angels closer Ernesto Frieri to the top of the ninth with a single. Cespedes then hit a deep fly out to center for the first out on a 2-2 count. Cespedes had asked for time from home plate Tim Welke, but was denied his request on the pitch. A’s manager Bob Melvin then called on Jaso to pinch hit for Norris after the backstop went 0-for-3 against Santiago.

Last season, Oakland finished dead last in batting average for pinch hitters with 20 hits in 139 substitute at-bats. Jaso entered Monday hitting .200 as a pinch hitter with a lone home run. He turned on a 1-2 offering from Frieri and deposited deep in the right field bleachers to put the A’s ahead 3-2. With Frieri (0-1, 6.75 ERA) lifted after his first blown save of the season, Jose Alvarez finished off the final two-thirds of the ninth.

Melvin tabbed Gregerson to be the closer-by-committee candidate Monday evening, and the right-hander reward his manager with a perfect inning. Gregerson produced ground outs by Ibanez and Howie Kendrick, the latter of which came on a bang-bang play challenged by Angels Manager Mike Scoscia but upheld after replay proved inconclusive to overturn the out call on the field. Gregerson coaxed a fly out from former World Series MVP (then with the St. Louis Cardinals)David Freese to notch his second save of the campaign and pick up the A’s 14th win in their last 20 games at Angel Stadium.

Oakland and Los Angeles faceoff in game two of the three-game set Tuesday night, with Dan Straily (1-1, 2.77 ERA) tabbed by Melvin to take the slab. He’ll be countered by Garret Richards (2-0, 0.75 ERA) who enters play Tuesday with only one earned run allowed over 12 innings.