Rangers end seven game losing streak beating the Athletics 5-3 Friday night

a's nunez hr

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Game 160 is in the books for the Oakland Athletics and it will go into the loss column as the Texas Rangers won the game 5-3. After falling behind early in the game, the A’s fought their way back into the contest but could not overcome the Rangers five-run lead.

The end of a dream

The Athletics (74-86) went into the final four-game series in Texas with the goal of catching the Rangers in the standings and finishing the season in a tie for fourth-place in the American League West. The only way that could happen was for the A’s to sweep the series in Arlington. That cannot happen now and the A’s will finish alone in last place in the West.

Perez gets his revenge

The A’s chased Martin Perez from the game last Sunday in Oakland when they scored five runs off him in the bottom of the fifth-inning. Perez went to the showers after 4.2-innings on the mound and was tagged with the loss as the Athletics completed a sweep of the Rangers.

On Friday night, Perez worked 6.0 — innings giving up three runs (all earned) off five hits. He walked two and struck out two A’s. Perez allowed one home run.

Three Texas relief pitchers worked one inning each and allowed no runs and no hits in their time on the mound. The relievers worked the principle of the “Goose Eggs” to perfection. By allowing no runs in their three innings of relief work, they preserved the win for Perez.

Nunez chased Perez from the game

In the top of the seventh inning, Perez walked the leadoff batter Khris Davis. He then gave up a single to Ryon Healy that allowed Davis to move up to second base. That brought rookie Renato Nunez to the plate who took a 1-2 Perez fastball over the wall in right-center field for a three-run home run — the first of his MLB career. Unfortunately for the A’s, that would be the end of their scoring for the night.

Alcantara takes the loss

a's alcan tex

Raul Alcantara made another start for Oakland on Friday night. He struggled in his 4.1-innings of work. Alcantara allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits. He walked two, struck out two and allowed one home run. Alcantara (1-2) was tagged with the loss.

The A’s used four relief pitchers. Moll gave up a run while Castro, Casilla and Coulombe were able to post “Goose Eggs”.

Texas was efficient at the plate

a's andrus

The Rangers scored five runs off nine hits while leaving six runners on base. They were 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

  • Shin-Soo Choo tied a career high by hitting his 22nd home run of the season with a runner on base raising his RBI total to 78.
  • Elvis Andrus hit his 43rd double of the year.
  • DH Nomar Mazara went 2-for-4 with two RBI and run scored. He raised his RBI total to 99 for 2017.
  • Rookie Willie Calhoun — who was born in Vallejo — went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI.

A’s with the bats

  • Jed Lowrie broke the all-time Oakland record for doubles in a season when he hit number 48 off Perez Friday night. Jason Giambi was the previous record holder with 47.
  • The A’s scored three runs on seven hits while leaving seven men on base.
  • Oakland went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Up next on Saturday

The A’s will send right-hander Daniel Gossett (1-4, 6.81) to the hill to face the Rangers RHP Andrew Cashner (7-4, 3.42). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Photos by USA Today Sports Andrew Dieb

Oakland A’s Report: Three important stories on King, Gray and a walk-off win

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Most Import Oakland Athletics Story of Saturday, July 29, 2017:

Bill King receives the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame


Thank you Mr. King. Holy Toledo! You made it to the Hall of Fame!

Second Most Important Athletics Story of Saturday, July 29, 2017:

Sonny Gray reportedly has been scratched as the starter for the game on Sunday

Photo: Bruce Kluckhorn USA TODAY Sports

Multiple sources from USA Today Sports to Bleacher Report and more are reporting that Oakland pitcher Sonny Gray has been scratched as the starter in final game of the series with the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. With the Major League trade deadline set for Monday, July 31 at 1 p.m. PDT, the anticipation is that a deal involving Gray is in the final stages and his potential new club would want to have him ready to start as soon as possible.

Many of those same sources are pointing to the Yankees as being the final destination for Gray which really comes as no surprise. New York needs a starter to replace Michael Pineda and have been on the hunt since he went to the disabled list. The hang-up seems to be the price the Athletics want for Gray.

As the late, great broadcaster Red Barber used say the A’s know “they are in the catbird’s seat!” They have what the Yankees need plus Sonny Gray comes with two additional years of team control. That is going to come at a price and Oakland wants young, very talented prospects.

The Yankees have one of the most talented minor league organizations in the major leagues. Naturally, they want to give up as little as they have to in order to acquire Gray. It’s like buying a car, everybody has to keep going back to the sales manager to see if they can get it for that price.

If you are an A’s fan, the sad news is by August 1 Sonny Gray will be wearing a different uniform. The good news is you will have some great young talent for team when the new stadium opens in 2021 or so.

Third Most Important Athletics Story of Saturday, July 29, 2017:

Athletics break five-game losing streak and give Melvin win 1000

Athletics celebrate walk-off victory

The Oakland Athletics ended a five-game losing streak in dramatic fashion on Saturday night when Rajai Davis hit a 1-0 pitch from the Twins Taylor Rogers over the left-center field wall with Adam Rosales on at first to give the A’s a 5-4 walk-off victory. The big crowd of 27,047 on fireworks night exploded with excitement as their team celebrated the win at home plate.

The win was also significant for Athletics manager Bob Melvin as it was the 1000th of his major league career. After the game, he was quick to downplay the milestone but it is one to be celebrated and honored as only 64 other managers have accomplished that feat.

Oakland Manager Bob Melvin Photo: Sporting News

The A’s jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first-inning thanks to an RBI-double by Ryon Healy that drove Rajai Davis home from second base. The Twins came back and scored two runs on three hits and left the bases loaded in the second inning. A’s starter Chris Smith almost did not make it out of that inning.

Minnesota scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning when Miguel Sano hit his 24th home run of the season — a two-run shot — down the right field line. That gave the Twins a commanding 4-1 lead.

Ryon Healy hit his second double of the game to lead off the A’s half of the fifth inning. With two out, Yonder Alonso drove Healy home on a single to left-center field. The Twins held a 4-2 after five.

Rookie Matt Chapman breathed hope into the fans when hit a 2-0 pitch from LHP Buddy Boshers deep into the stands in left field for his sixth home run of the season. The round-tripper chased Boshers from the game and closed the gap to a one-run lead for the Twins at 4-3.

After Daniel Coulombe held the Twins scoreless in the top of the ninth, the A’s put Adam Rosales in the game to pinch-hit for Jaycob Brugman. Rosales drew a walk off Taylor Rogers. That brought Davis to bat who ended the game with his fourth home run of the year.

In the batter’s box

  • Rajai Davis went 4-for-5 on the night including the home run, two runs scored and two RBI. This was the second walk-off home run of his career.
  • Ryon Healy had a 2-for-4 game with both hits being doubles. He now has 21 two-baggers on the season. Healy also had an RBI (58) and scored a run.
  • Matt Chapman went 1-for-4 against the Twins but his one hit was his sixth home run of the year which created his 10th RBI as well.
  • Jed Lowrie broke out of an 0-for-14 hitless streak with a single in the third inning.
  • Minnesota’s Miguel Sano’ had a 1-for-5 game hitting his 24th home run of the year. It was his first home run in a road game since July 1 in Kansas City.
  • Zack Granite went 2-for-4 for the Twins and posted two RBI. That extended his hitting streak to nine games.

On the hill

  • Chad Smith had a rough start for the A’s versus the Twins and really had to work very hard to hang in there for 5.0-innings. He gave up four runs (all earned) on seven hits. He walked three and struck out four. Smith allowed one home run and did not figure into the final decision.
  • The A’s used four relievers in the game: Dull, Casilla, Josh Smith and Coulombe. Each pitched one inning. Each gave up one hit. None gave up a run which was the key to Oakland hanging in for a chance to win the game.
  • The victory went to Daniel Coulombe (2-1) who was the pitcher of record in the ninth inning.
  • Casilla was used to pitch the seventh inning which was a bit of surprise. This does not mean that he has been demoted from the closer’s role.
  • Taylor Rogers takes the loss for the Twins. His record falls to 5-3 and he also records his third blown save of the season.
  • Minnesota used four pitchers in the game.

Up next

The same two teams meet on Sunday in Oakland at 1:05 p.m. RHP — “the ageless one” — Bartolo Colon (2-9, 8.00) is scheduled to go for the Twins, and if the reports are true, TBA will be on the mound for the Oakland Athletics in place of Sonny Gray.

Two notes from disabled list

  • Chad Pinder went 1-for-3 in a rehab start for Triple-A Nashville Saturday. He has played eight games for the Sounds and has gone 5-for-27 including one home run.
  • Kendall Graveman made a rehab start for the Sounds on Saturday. He pitched 4.2-innings allowing four hits, one run (earned) while walking two and striking out five.

Athletics scratch out a 4-3 win over Mariners Saturday night in Seattle

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland puts it together in the top of the ninth inning

ms healy double
Healy hits game winning RBI-double

In the top of the ninth inning on Saturday night, the game between the A’s and Mariners was tied 3-3. Seattle replaced Nick Vincent with Edwin Diaz on the mound.

Rajai Davis led the inning off by legging out an infield single on a ball hit to third baseman Kyle Seager. That brought a visit from the Mariners’ pitching coach but Diaz remained in the game.

Matt Joyce went down on strikes but Davis moved up by stealing second base on the strike three pitch. Marcus Semien then flied out to left field for the second out of the inning.

Seattle then decided they did not want to pitch to All-Star first baseman Yonder Alonso who had hit his 20th home run of the year earlier in the game so they intentionally walked him.

That brought A’s DH Ryon Healy to the plate. With a count of 0-2, Healy hit a line drive into right-center field that bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. Davis scored but Alonso — who would have scored easily — by rule had to hold at third.

Jed Lowrie grounded out to first to end the inning and the A’s took a 4-3 into the bottom of the ninth.

The Athletics called in Santiago Casilla from the bullpen

Casilla induced Kyle Seager to fly out to left field for the first out and then struck out former Athletic Danny Valencia for second out of the inning.

Just when it looked like it would be an easy close for Casilla, Mitch Haniger hit a double to center field and the M’s had the tying run just 180-feet away from home plate.

After a coaching visit, Casilla was able to get Jarrod Dyson to fly out to left field for the final out of the game.

For Casilla, it was save number 15 of the season.

Chris Smith made his first MLB start for the A’s (BTW he is 36-years old)

ms smith

The A’s pitching staff is literally the walking wounded. Pitchers have moved on and off the disabled list on a regular basis. On Saturday night, the A’s had to turn to a 36-year old pitcher who had made 63 appearances in the major leagues but had never started a game.

Chris Smith made the start and even though he did not figure into the decision, Smith did the job he was asked to do by the Athletics. He worked 6.0-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on three hits. Smith struck out four Mariners and walked just one. He did allow one home run while throwing 97 pitches (55 strikes).

The A’s bullpen gave Smith the support he needed. Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle and Santiago Casilla worked one-inning apiece and allowed no runs on one hit combined over those three innings. Doolittle picked up the win as he was pitcher of record in the top of the ninth when the A’s took the lead.

Top performers for the Athletics

  • Ryon Healy — had a 2-for-4 game including what proved to be the game-winning RBI-double in the top of the ninth inning. It was his 19th double of the year and his 52nd RBI. Healy also scored a run in the game.
  • Yonder Alonso — the All-Star first baseman hit his 20th home run of the season in the third inning off Seattle starter Andrew Moore. Alonso also lifted his RBI total to 43.
  • Marcus Semien — continued to show he is ready to be back on the field and be productive for the A’s. Semien hit his first home run of the season in the fifth inning off Moore. He 3-for-13 in the series with three RBI.

The A’s can win the series on Sunday and move up in the Wild Card Standings

Oakland (39-49) has won two of the three games in series in Seattle with the victory on Saturday night. A win of Sunday would give a series victory to Oakland and give them their 40th win of the season. That would be a very nice way to into the All-Star Break.

The A’s are currently just 6.5 games out of a Wild Card spot in the American League. In fact, no team in the AL in more than 6.5 games out of Wild Card contention. That should serve as motivation to this young A’s team.

Mariners stars at the plate

  • OF Jarrod Dyson — did everything he could to give his team a victory on Saturday night. He went 2-for-3 at the plate including a home run (5) in the fifth inning off Smith. Dyson also hit a double and upped his RBI total to 22.
  • Jean Segura — continued to be hot in the leadoff spot. He went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and a run scored. His batting average stands at .355 after the game on Saturday.

Seattle on the hill

  • Andrew Moore — struggled over his 6.0 innings on the mound. He gave up three runs (all earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out two. Moore also issued two home runs which really was his undoing.
  • James Pazos — made his 35th appearance of the season working one inning of perfect baseball from the mound striking out one Oakland hitter.
  • Nick Vincent — worked the eighth inning for the M’s giving up one hit, one walk and striking out two.
  • Edwin Diaz — worked the disastrous ninth for Seattle and was hung with the loss.

Up next

The final game of the series and the final game before the All-Star Break will played on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PDT.

The A’s will send rookie Daniel Gossett to mound to face the Mariners. He has a record of 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA in his five starts this season. The home run has been a problem for Gossett who has given up seven round-trippers in 26 innings.

Seattle will counter by sending the willey veteran King Felix Hernandez out to make the 368th start of his career. The King is 3-3 this season with a 5.04 ERA in nine starts. He had a no-decision in his last start versus the Royals when gave up five earned runs in five innings.

A’s beat the Yanks 5-2 Saturday for third consecutive win

The 2:20 Wrap 

by Charlie O. Mallonee

As Butch Cassidy asked the Sundance Kid in that now timeless movie as they were being pursued by a posse who would not give up, “Who are these guys?” Who are these guys indeed? The Oakland Athletics have come home and looked like an entirely different team against the powerful New York Yankees.

The A’s have won the series

The 5-2 win on Saturday guarantees the Athletics will win the four-game series. In a four-game series you pray for split. You fear a 3-1 loss. Your worst nightmare is being swept.

On Father’s Day Sunday, the A’s will have the opportunity to sweep the Yankees in this four-game series. Oakland leads the season series 4-2.

The Athletics are 20-12 versus the Yankees over the last five years. That is the best record against the “Bronx Bombers” by an American League team over that period of time.

Jesse Hahn picked up the win but struggled early on

MLB: New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics
Jesse Hahn worked hard for the win on Saturday Photo Neville E Guard USA Today Sports

Jesse Hahn got the start for the A’s and it looked like it was going to be a very short outing. He threw 31 pitches in the first inning while walking two New York hitters. He worked out of that jam and managed to work 5.0-innings in the game.

Hahn gave up two runs (both earned) on three hits. He struck out six and walked three. Hahn threw 105 pitches (69 strikes). His record improves to 3-4 with a 3.56 ERA.

Liam Hendriks, Josh Smith and Ryan Madson each worked an inning of scoreless relief.

Sean Doolittle came on in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Santiago Casilla was not going to pitch on Saturday but he was hit in the left shoulder by a foul ball while standing in the dugout. X-rays proved negative so he will be fine.

Ryon Healy had a monster day

Healy hit two round-trippers on Saturday — one in the first inning and one in the third inning. He now has 17 home runs for the season.

This was is third multi-home run game. All three have come in this month of June.

Healy finished the game going 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, two runs and two RBI. His batting average currently stands at .288.

Matt Joyce also had a big game

Joyce led the game off for Oakland by hitting the first pitch from Tanaka over the right field wall for his eighth home run of the year. Joyce came to the plate five times — hit a home run, a double, a single and walked twice.

He also raised his batting average 13 points from .211 to .224.

Rookie Matt Chapman continues to be hot

Chapman who joined the A’s from Triple-A on Thursday had a 2-for-4 day. He hit a double, a single and scored a run. Chapman also had the opportunity to show off his speed on the base path and it is quite impressive.

His batting average is now at .273.

They all stood but the Judge did not rule

MLB: New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics
Aaron Judge went hitless for the fourth time this month Photo Neville E Guard USA Today Sports

The Yankees young superstar — Aaron Judge — caused a stir in the big crowd every time he came to the plate. Fans were hoping to him display the power that has allowed him to record 23 home runs so far this year.

Judge walked in the first inning and was stranded at first base. He then struck out swinging twice and went down on strikes looking in his final at bat in the eighth inning. Yes fans — he is human.

Tanaka had a strange day on the mound for New York

NYY Tanaka
Tanaka had a rough start taking the loss for the Yankees Photo Neville E Guard USA Today Sports

Masahiro Tanaka (5-7, 6.34) started the game for the Yankees. The right-hander has been struggling recently and Saturday was no exception.

He worked just 4.0-innings giving up all five runs (all earned) on eight hits. Three of those hits were home runs — all solo shots. Tanaka walked one and struck out 10. He had a double-digit strike out game and took the loss. That is a rough start.

Domingo German entered the game in the fifth inning to relieve Tanaka. He pitched four scoreless innings giving up just four hits, walking three and striking out six. German earned himself some more pitching time with his performance on Saturday.

Where the teams stand after the game


The A’s are 30-38 on the season and have won three consecutive games. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games. The A’s are in last-place in the American League West 15-games behind division leading Houston. They are 2-games behind the fourth-place Mariners.


The Yankees are still in first-place in the AL East with a record of 38-28 and will probably stay there as Boston is losing as this story is being written. They started the day with just a one-half game lead over the Red Sox.

New York has now lost five games in a row and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

Up next

The final game of the four-game series will get underway at 1:05 p.m. PDT on Father’s Day Sunday on Rickey Henderson Field. The Yankees will send Triple-A call-up RHP Luis Cessa (0-0, 5.40) to mound for the series finale. The A’s will counter with RHP Jharel Cotton (3-7, 5.52).

“Let’s play two!” The A’s and Rays split a Saturday twinbill in Tampa Bay

by Charlie O. Mallonee

MLB: Game One-Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Sonny Gray worked hard but could not come up with a win for the A’s on Saturday Photo: Kim Klement USA Today Sports

The Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays honored the memory of the great Ernie Banks today by playing two the old fashion way. The teams played a true doubleheader where fans were able to watch two games for the price of one.

There are many baseball people who believe that having more doubleheaders would be beneficial for the game because it would help to shorten the season. Angels manager Mike Scioscia likes the idea of shortening the season to 154 games with one doubleheader per month scheduled for every team. “I would trade anything to get this game more seasonal and finish in October,” said Scioscia back in 2015.

Even if Major League Baseball decided to implement a schedule that included six doubleheaders per each season, most the twinbills would not be tradition two-for-one ticket games. In today’s sports economy, MLB owners would almost certainly insist on “day-night” doubleheaders where the stadiums are cleared and tickets must be purchased for each game.

So much for the romantic idea of returning to the days of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and “Let’s play two!”.

Speaking of Mr. Cub – at the end of this story there will be an answer to a trivia question about playing two games on one day for you. How many doubleheaders did Ernie Banks play in both games of during his 19-year major league career?

Game One 

MLB: Game One-Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays wore throwback uniforms in game one. Those are truly forgettable outfits. Photo: Kim Klement USA Today Sports

The Rays used game one as a “throwback game” donning uniforms from their first year in Tampa Bay for the contest. The Athletics were looking to bounce back after 13-4 crushing loss that they suffered on Friday night.

Oakland entered the game with an 8-21 road record – the second worst in the major leagues. If the A’s are to ever even their record at .500 to have a chance making a run for a Wild Card spot, they have to start winning more games on the road.

That did not happen in game one on Saturday.

The A’s had their number one starter in Sonny Gray on the mound in the opening game. Gray went 6.0-innings giving up five runs but only two were earned due to two errors committed by the Athletics. Gray actually committed one of the errors himself on an errant throw to first base. The Rays collected nine hits off Gray while he struck out 10 and walked just one batter. He did not figure into the decision.

Erasmo Ramirez started for the Rays and he also struggled in his outing. He lasted 5.1-innings allowing three runs (all earned) on 10 hits. Ramirez struck out six and walked one. It was also a no-decision game for him.

MLB: Game One-Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Chad Pinder tags out Logan Morrison on a steal attempt. Photo: Kim Klement USA Today Sports

Even though they took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second, the A’s trailed the Rays 5-4 as they headed to the top of the ninth. Khris Davis led off the ninth by striking out. Yonder Alonso then hit his 11th double of the season off reliever Alex Colome. Rajai Davis came in as a Pinch-runner for Alonso. DH Ryon Healy hit a double (16) to left field that drove Davis home to tie the game at 5-5. The inning would end with the potential go ahead run in Healy stranded at third base.

Ryan Madson set the Rays down in order in the bottom of the ninth and it was on to extra innings.

Tampa Bay brought in reliever Austin Pruitt to face Oakland in the top of the 10th. He kept the A’s from scoring and the game remained tied as it went to the bottom of the 10th.

Liam Hendriks took the ball for the A’s and gave up a single to the Rays leadoff hitter – Peter Bourjos. With Evan Longoria at bat, Hendriks threw a wild pitch that moved Bourjos to second. Longoria then hit a single to left that drove Bourjos home to score the winning run. The Rays won the game 6-5.

The good news was the A’s had only 45 minutes to think about the loss because they would have been deeply distressed by some of the numbers. They committed two errors. Errors have been the bane of this team’s existence. The A’s had 16 hits to go with two walks and left 13 men of base. The loss dropped their road record to 8-22 for the year.

The good news was game two was less than hour away from first pitch.

Jaycob Brugman who was held hitless in his firs professional game on Friday night went 2-for-4 with a walk in this game. Joyce, Lowrie, Davis, Alonso and Healy also had a multi-hit games in the opener.

Game Two

MLB: Game Two-Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Yonder Alonso continues to be hot with the bat Photo: Kim Klement USA Today Sports

The bad news was the A’s lost the first game. The good news was they had the very hot Sean Manaea on the mound for game number two. The key question was would the A’s be able to provide the run support Manaea would need win the game.

Manaea was definitely up to the task. He put in a quality start working 7.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on six hits (one home run). The lefty struck out five and walked just two Rays. Manaea earned the win and his record improved to 6-3 for 2017.

Manaea also received the run support that he needed. The A’s scored their first run in the first inning and they would never trail in the game. They scored another run in the second, one in the sixth, three in seventh and one more run in the ninth inning.

MLB: Game Two-Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays
Ryon Healy hit his 14th home run of the year in Game 2 on Saturday Photo: Kim Klement USA Today Sports

Six of the Oakland batters had a multi-hit game. Yonder Alonso went 4-for-5 with run scored and an RBI in the game. Khris Davis was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Ryon Healy went 2-for-5 hitting his 14th home run of the season to go with two runs scored. Chad Pinder had a 2-for-5 day with a home run (8). Josh Phegley also had a 2-for-5 game hitting his third home run of the season. Jaycob Brugman stayed hot as he went 2-for-3 with two RBI in game two.

The Rays scored two runs on six hits.

The A’s road record improved to 9-22. Oakland remains in last place in the American League West with a record of 27-35, 16.5 games back of Houston and two games back of fourth place Texas.

Up Next

The A’s and Rays wrap up the three day – four game series on Sunday. Jesse Hahn (2-4, 3.40) will start for Oakland while Tampa Bay will counter  with Chris Archer (4-4, 3.65). The first pitch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. PDT.

Oh yes, the answer to our Ernie Banks question

Rays Banks 2
Mr. Cub will always look like this in my memories of him

Ernie Banks played in both games of 318 doubleheaders over 19-years in the major leagues. No wonder he said, “Let’s play two!”


A’s muscle up, club four home runs in a rout of the Nationals


By Morris Phillips

Mired in a funk, stuck in last place, and headed nowhere fast, the A’s came out swinging on Saturday.

And this time, all that swinging had the desired effect on the outcome of the game, as the A’s rolled to a 10-4 win over the Nationals that ended a rough week of six losses in seven games.

With one-third of the season in the books, the A’s have firmly established themselves among the AL’s best home run hitting clubs with 82 homers in 55 games. But hitting home runs has not translated into winning games: after Saturday’s victory, the A’s are just 23-21 when they hit at least one home run.

In fact, not hitting home runs is a truer indicator for these A’s: only once in 55 games have they won without a home run. Oakland’s 1-10 when hitting no home runs.

When you don’t catch the ball, pitch consistently, or hit for average, yeah, even the game’s most powerful act can get obscured. That just wasn’t the case on Saturday: Ryon Healy and Jed Lowrie homered in the first inning off former Athletic Tyson Ross’ younger brother, Joe Ross, and the A’s cruised past the NL East leaders.

Healy would go on to homer a second time in the seventh, and smash a pair of doubles, all part of the best all-around day of his career. Afterwards, manager Bob Melvin said the performance shows why he so bullish on his young infielder: Healy’s passionate, plenty emotional, but resilient and a authentic student of the game.

“It’s been a little bit of a tough time for him, especially defensively,” Melvin said. “But then (Healy) ends up making a great tag on what ends up being a big out at third on the replay. He’s a tough-minded kid, got a lot of ability, but still kind of new at the big league level, still developing, but boy, he can really hit.”

Healy’s feat of four extra bases in one game hadn’t been accomplished by an Oakland player since July 2009 by Matt Holliday. And he was on everything: he took advantage of hitters’ counts on three of his hits, but he also rapped reliever Jacob Turner’s 0-2, 96 mph fastball for a double in the fifth.  In the seventh, with Turner laboring through a fourth inning of relief, Healy sent his batting practice fastball careening off the center field camera platform.

“You can’t miss good pitches to hit,” Healy said.

In the seventh, Daniel Murphy doubled off Daniel Coulombe, and was initially ruled safe at third, ahead of a bang-bang tag by Healy. But the review revealed the opposite, and Murphy was ruled out, short circuiting a Nats’ rally, with them trailing by three runs at that point.

The A’s registered a season-high ten runs, one day after losing by ten to red-hot Washington. Starter Daniel Mengden benefited by Bryce Harper’s final game of suspension, and a day off for hard-hitting Anthony Rendon, which weakened the lineup of baseball’s highest-scoring team. Still, Mengden ran into trouble in the fifth, when he was lifted with a pair of runners aboard, and Adam Lind–who had connected for a three-run homer earlier–coming up.

With reliever Liam Hendricks on the mound, Lind walked to load the bases, but Michael Taylor struck out to end the inning.  Hendricks pitched the sixth as well, and picked up the win.

On Sunday, the A’s have Sonny Gray on the mound in a matchup with the Nats’ Tanner Roark at 1:05pm.

A’s mess with Texas 9-1 in a laugher to win series

Photo credit: Oakland Athletics’ Twitter (@Athletics)

By: Ana Kieu

OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics concluded a three-game series against the Texas Rangers with a lopsided 9-1 victory at O.co Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

The A’s suffered a 7-0 blowout by the Rangers in the series opener on Monday. They followed with a 4-2 win over the rival Rangers on Tuesday. Ultimately, they won the series, taking two out of three games. A’s right-handed pitcher Jesse Hahn (1-1) notched the win against  Rangers left-handed pitcher Martin Perez (1-2).

Ryon Healy put the A’s on the board 1-0 with a line-drive single that scored Rajai Davis in the bottom of the first inning. Josh Phegley followed with a double, driving home Healy and Khris Davis to make it 3-0 A’s. Yonder Alonso added an RBI double to extend the A’s lead to 4-0 to end the inning on a high note.

The A’s made a questionable call in the top of the first inning, claiming Robinson Chirinos was out at first base. The Rangers challenged the call and the officials declared that Chirinos was safe.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister was ejected from the ballgame in the bottom of the third inning after arguing that the A’s ball was foul, but it was ruled a fair ball.

Joey Gallo ruined the A’s shutout bid with a solo home run to cut the deficit to 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning. Davis expanded the A’s lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. He hit a two-run home run and brought home Trevor Plouffe for his seventh of the season.

The runs just kept pouring in during the sixth inning. Chad Pinder scored his first home run of the season, increasing the A’s lead to 7-1. Plouffe then hit a two-run single that scored Davis and Adam Rosales for a 8-1 lead.

The A’s defeated the Rangers 9-1.

Disabled list 
John Axford (strained right shoulder)
Chris Bassitt (right UCL surgery)
Kendall Graveman (strained right shoulder)
Sonny Gray (strained right shoulder)
Daniel Mengden (right foot surgery)
Marcus Semien (fractured scaphoid bone)
Jake Smolinski (right shoulder surgery)
Joey Wendle (strained right shoulder)

Wednesday’s attendance was 14,031.

Up Next
The A’s will open up a four-game homestand against the Seattle Mariners, starting on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. PST on NSCA, RTNW.

Espinosa’s three run belt in ninth gets Halos one run win over A’s Tuesday 7-6

Los Angeles Angels’ Danny Espinosa (3) celebrates with Jefry Marte (19) after hitting a three-run home run off Oakland Athletics’ Ryan Dull during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Matt Harrington

The Oakland Athletics dropped a 7-6 decision to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in game two of a four-game series Tuesday.

The A’s scored the first run of the game as Ryon Healy homered on a fly ball to center in the bottom of the first inning.

The Angels answered with three runs in the top of the second inning. Martin Maldonado hit a two-run single to Matt Joyce. Both Jefry Marte and Cameron Maybin scored on Maldonado’s single. Yunel Escobar followed with a single on a sharp ground ball, scoring Andrelton Simmons.

“It was unbelievable,” Matt Shoemaker told MLB.com when asked about Maldonado’s laser throw. “When he threw out Davis, I just crouched down and heard ‘Whoosh!’ That’s nice to have.”

Jed Lowrie made it a one-run game in the bottom of the second inning. He homered on a line drive to right center.

Fast forward to the top of the fifth inning when Mike Trout extended the Angels’ lead to 4-2 with an RBI triple to Khris Davis, scoring Kole Calhoun.

The A’s made it a one-run game once again in the bottom of the seventh inning. Yonder Alonso singled on a sharp ground ball to Calhoun, scoring Lowrie. The A’s then took a 6-4 lead when Rajai Davis tripled to outfielder Danny Espinosa, which was deflected by Marte. Davis, Alonso and Marcus Semien all scored on Espinosa’s throwing error.

However, the A’s lead was short-lived. In the top of the ninth inning, Espinosa homered on a fly ball to right center, scoring Marte and Andrelton Simmons. The A’s comeback fell short as the Angels took game two with a 7-6 win. Shoemaker settled for a no-decision in his first start since taking a liner to his head on Sept. 4. The 30-year-old held the A’s to two runs in five innings.

A’s left-hander Sean Manaea allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings.

Lowrie fell a triple short of the cycle. He’s 5-for-8 in this series. He almost got his fourth hit in the eighth inning, but Calhoun robbed him with an outstanding diving catch, covering 57 feet in 3.9 seconds.

A’s manager told MLB.com: “He (Jed Lowrie) had a great night…That last one, if it gets by him, he’s probably got himself a cycle. Calhoun made a great play, and those are the type of plays that show up in a game like that when it ends up being a one-run game.”

Up Next
Both teams face each other again in Game 3 Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. on NCSA and FSW.

Angels right-hander Garrett Richards will start. Richards missed most of 2016 after being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. However, he received an injection of his stem cells in his damaged elbow to avoid Tommy John surgery.

A’s right-hander Jharel Cotton will appear on the mound. Cotton will make his sixth career start. He went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and .185 opponents average in five starts with the A’s last September.

Yonder Alonso will be back at first base for the A’s in 2017

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Yonder Alonso at the plate for Oakland photo: Lincoln Journal Star.com

The Oakland Athletics and first baseman Yonder Alonso  have avoided arbitration by agreeing on a one-year contract. The A’s did not reveal the terms of the contract but there have been multiple reports that deal is worth $4-million. Alonso will become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Alonso was a an iron-man for the A’s in 2016 appearing in 156 games. He had a slash line of .253/.316/.367. Alonso recorded 122 hits, 34 doubles, seven home runs and 56 RBI. He struck out 74 times and reached base via base on balls 45 times.

Alonso was particularly productive at the plate with men on base. He batted .302 with men on base and six of his seven home runs came with runners on base. He went 7-for-11 with the bases loaded in 2016. The left-handed hitting  Alonso batted .257 against right-handed pitching and .227 versus lefties.

Alonso’s defense was an unanticipated bonus last season

Alonso’s fielding was a pleasant surprise in 2016

Alonso was also very productive on defense for Oakland last season. He ranked second among first baseman in the American League with a .9967 fielding percentage. That was the second best fielding percentage posted by an A’s first baseman since Mark McGwire’s .9969 in 1991.

Will Alonso’s role change in 2017?


Fangraphs is projecting that Alonso will play 100 games in 2017 for the A’s. If third baseman Matt Chapman progresses at Triple-A Nashville and his promoted to the majors, current third baseman Ryon Healy would most likely be moved to first base sending Alonso to the bench and a pinch hitting role. However, there are many “ifs” in that scenario and for now Alonso is going to be a key everyday starter for Oakland.



November is coming and things will be heating up for the A’s



by Charlie O. Mallonee

With the World Series almost over, that means the “Hot Stove League” is warming up. Let’s see what might be cooking for the Oakland Athletics.

Arbitration-Eligible Players

Khris Davis swings away
  • Danny Valencia IF/OF is ARB 3 and will get a projected $5.3-million in arbitration if the A’s go there. The question is do they need Valencia at this point? The answer is probably not. They have Healy at third base and Valencia is not a great outfielder. Look for Valencia to be a free agent.
  • Yonder Alonso IF/DH is also at the ARB 3 level and is projected get a contract worth $4.1-million. With Billy Butler gone, the A’s will be using a platoon system at the DH spot. Alonso can supply some power at the plate and plays a decent first base. Look for the A’s to pony up the bucks to keep him around.
  • Khris Davis OF/DH is eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career. Coming off a 42 home run – 102 RBI season Davis is looking forward to the process which will probably get him a $5-million contract.
  • Sonny Gray RHP is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. Unfortunately for Gray, he is coming off an injury-riddled season that will keep his numbers down. The projection is that he will receive a $3.7-million deal.
  • Stephen Vogt C will also experience the arbitration process for the first time in his career. Coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons cannot hurt his negotiations. Look for him to get around $3.7 million.
  • Liam Hendriks RHP – the Aussie reliever – made 53 appearances for the A’s the in 2016. The Athletics have to decide if that production is worth a $1-million contract which is what he’s projected to get in arbitration.

Players file for arbitration in January and the teams then respond with contract offers or inform the player an offer will not be tendered. If a contract cannot be negotiated, an arbitration hearing will take place in early February.

Arbitration salary projections are from RosterResource.com that has a track record of being very accurate with their projections

Players for whom Arbitration is only a dream


  • Marcus Semien SS arbitration eligible in 2018
  • Kendall Graveman RHP first arb year in 2018
  • Ryan Dull RHP the young reliever will not see arbitration until 2019
  • Sean Manaea LHP  will join Dull at the arbitration table in ’19
  • Ryon Healy IF/DH the young phenom will not see arbitration until 2020

Given the cost of MLB players in today’s market, you can see why the cost conscious Athletics like find talented young players that they can control through the pre-arbitration process and then trade during the arbitration years for … younger players.

Free Agent Moves

Lambo had his 2016 season cut short when it was discovered that he had testicular cancer. He had to undergo surgery but has recovered and is ready to get back to playing the game. Lambo batted .255 in 56 games a Triple-A Nashville.

Cubs in the World Series nets the A’s a pitcher

The A’s claimed LHP Giovanni Soto off waivers from the Chicago Cubs. He was designated for assignment to make room on the Cubs 40-man roster for Kyle Schwarber who went to the Arizona Fall League and is now on the Chicago World Series roster.

Soto made his Major League debut in September 2015 with the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland traded Soto to the Cubs in April 2016 for cash. He spent the season at Triple-A Iowa where he went 1-3 with 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances.