Addition, subtraction: A’s sweep first-place Indians, trade Doolittle and Madson

Oakland Athletics’ Marcus Semien, right, prepares his throw over Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor (12) to complete a double play in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Indians’ Michael Brantley was out at first base. Oakland won 7-3. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

AP photo on the cover: Oakland Athletics’ Jaycob Brugman swings for a two run single off Cleveland Indians’ Trevor Bauer in the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND–Billy Beane agrees. The annual A’s roster purges, both maddening and philosophically necessary, have to stop. Even the long-time Oakland front office executive says after 20 years, dealing popular players, familiar faces–practices that he himself originated as a way to field a competitive team on a limited budget–has grown joyless.

“We need to change that narrative by creating a good team and ultimately committing to keep them around so that when people buy a ticket, they know that the team is going to be around for a few years,” Beane said Sunday.

That Beane’s statement comes on the occasion of another trade deadline deal, this one sending veteran relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals for reliever Blake Treinen and two notable minor leaguers, isn’t contradictory, he says, because this will be the last wave of such trades, in advance of the building of a new, Oakland ballpark and the financial wherewithal that comes along with the new yard.

So this time, the rebuild has a target date, a definitive purpose, an end to the means. Just no ballpark site, or groundbreaking date, as of yet. After saying the location of the new park would be revealed at some point during the current season, the club know vows to have an announcement before the end of the year.

“Finding players has never been an issue for us,” Beane said. “Keeping them and ultimately keeping the faith and commitment from people who follow the team, that’s got to be done by keeping them around. Again, I’ve been assured by ownership that that’s what we’re going to do as it parallels with the stadium.”

According the latest trade rumors, Jed Lowrie will be moved prior to July 31, and so will Sonny Gray, now two years after the possibility of moving the team’s most talented, young pitcher was first realized.

So tell me again, what’s different this time?

“The important end of the sentence is rebuilding and keeping them,” Beane reiterated. “This is my 20th year on the job. There are only so many cycles that I can go through before I get as exasperated as everybody else.”

After saying goodbye to Doolittle and Madson, the A’s kept their heads and feet in the win column, beating the AL Central-leading Indians for the third, straight day, 7-3.

First inning, RBI singles by Ryon Healy and Jaycob Brugman–each delivered in two-strike counts–both frustrated and chased Indians’ starter Trevor Bauer before he could record three outs. The A’s four-run, first inning was a collaborative effort; Bauer provided the traffic on the basepaths with three walks, and Brugman and Healy contributed the big hits.

Bauer was lifted after throwing 43 pitches, saying he had little feel for how his body was moving, or where his pitches were going. For Cleveland, trying to avoid a first, four-game losing streak since 2015, Bauer’s short appearance was an ominous sign.

“You’re trying to salvage a game out of the series and you’re down four before you can even look up,” manager Terry Francona said. “That’s a hard way to play, and then you go through your whole bullpen. That wasn’t our goal for today.”

Sean Manaea was the beneficiary of the early offense, which he helped stand up courtesy of his wicked slider that baffled Cleveland hitters for seven innings.

Against a righty-heavy lineup constructed to avoid Manaea’s proficiency against lefty hitters, only Francisco Lindor enjoyed any success with a four-hit game. The A’s starter did the job on the rest of the Cleveland lineup, allowing only the two runs in the fourth inning.

The A’s continue their brief, six-game home stand on Monday against the Rays, with rookie Daniel Gossett facing Tampa’s Jake Odorizzi.

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).

Athletics end three losing streaks with 2-1 win over Astros on Saturday night

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Astros alternative logoA's primary logo

The Oakland Athletics ended a five-game losing streak on Saturday night in Houston with a 2-1 win over the Astros. The victory also ended a 10-game winning streak by the Astros over the A’s that carried over from the 2016 season. Houston was 3-0 this season versus Oakland until Saturday night.

It’s not often that a team can end three losing streaks with one win.

This game was all about the pitching


astros triggs
Andrew Triggs won his fourth game of the season in Houston on Saturday night
  • RHP Andrew Triggs returned to his winning ways as he posted his fourth victory of the season by scattering five hits over seven scoreless innings. Triggs walked none while he struck out nine Houston batters. Triggs’ ERA dropped to 1.84. His record is now 4-1 for the season. He is tied with Dallas Keuchel and Ervin Santana for the most wins in the American League.
  • Ryan Dull (0.1-innings) and Sean Doolittle (0.2-innings) combined to handle the eighth inning. Doolittle allowed the Astros to score their only run of the game when Jose Altuve hit a solo home run (3) over the left center field wall with two out and no runners on base.
  • Santiago Casilla recorded his fourth save of the year by closing out the game. He gave up an infield single to Carlos Beltran who led off the ninth inning but was able keep the Astros from scoring and closed the game preserving the win for Oakland.


astros joe mosgrove
Joe Musgrove pitched well but took the loss for the Astros
  • Joe Musgrove (1-2) took the loss for Houston. Musgrove spread five hits over 6.1-innings while he struck out six batters and walked just one. His one major error came in the fourth inning with one out when Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season to right center field with no one on base.
  • Tony Sipp and Michael Feliz came in to close out the seventh inning for the Astros.
  • Will Harris came out of the bullpen for Houston in the eighth frame. Harris retired the first two Oakland hitters but then he had to pitch to Khris Davis. Davis took a Harris pitch deep to right center field for his 10th home run of year. That would turn out to be the game winning hit and run.
  • Brad Peacock worked the top of the ninth for the Astros. He had to face five A’s hitters to retire the side but he did so without allowing another run.

All the scoring came via the long ball


astros davis hr 2
Davis is tied for the lead in home runs in the American League
  • Khris Davis hit his 10th home run of the season which scored the A’s second and winning run. With 10 home runs, Davis is tied with the Yankees Aaron Judge for the lead in that category in the American League. It was his 17th RBI which ties his him for ninth in that stat. It’s also the second time this season he has gone yard in back-to-back games. The other time was against the Astros in Oakland on April 14 and 15.
  • Jed Lowrie hit his second home run of the season and upped his RBI total to five. He was the only Athletic to have a multi-hit game going 2-for-4.
  • The A’s collected a total of eight hits. Others in the hit parade were: Healy, Alonso, Vogt, Phegley and Pinder.
  • The A’s were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They left eight men on base.


astros altuve hr

  • Jose Altuve put up his third home run of the year in the game and it gave him his eighth RBI of the season. He was the only Astro with a multi-hit game going 2-for-3.
  • Others posting hits were: Reddick, Beltran, Gurriel, Gattis and Bregman for a total of seven.
  • Houston was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

Key stat for the A’s

The Athletics committed no errors in the game. This is a very important stat to a team that is dead last in fielding percentage in the American League.

Up next

The A’s and Astros will close out their three-game series on Sunday morning 11:10 am PDT from Houston. RHP Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.08) will take the hill for the Athletics. The Astros will send the undefeated Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 1.22) to the mound to the face the A’s in the “rubber game” of the series.

Medical updates, roster moves, awards


by Charlie O. Mallonee

Alvarez shutdown for the season

The comeback of right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez has come to an abrupt halt after another disappointing development in his rehabilitation.

The A’s signed Alvarez expecting that he could return to pitching as soon as May as he recovered from shoulder surgery. There have been three attempts to get Alvarez ready in the minor leagues to make his major league comeback, but all have fallen short.

The next step is for Alvarez is to see Dr. James Andrews who will examine the shoulder and recommend further action. A recent MRI showed no structural damage but a second shoulder surgery looms as a possibility.

The 26-year-old Alvarez is under the A’s control for 2017, but a shoulder surgery would mean he would be unable to pitch next year. The A’s would have to decide if they would want to invest in a contract that would not pay off until 2018.

“I really feel bad for him,” Melvin said Tuesday. “This is a guy that’s worked so hard to get back with us and been right on the cusp a couple different times and had to go back and go through the rehab process again, which is very difficult to do, so my heart goes out to him.”

There is another Alcantara in the house

 The A’s have added another player to the expanded September roster. Infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara was recalled from the Stockton Ports on Tuesday. This will be the fourth time Alcantara has been on the Major League roster this season.

Alcantara was used a pinch runner in the Tuesday night game versus the Angels. After Billy Butler singled in the eighth inning, Alcantara ran for Butler and scored the A’s second run of the game when Joey Wendle singled to right field.

A’s claim RHP off waivers from Tigers

 The A’s claimed right-handed pitcher Donn Roach off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. Roach was assigned to Triple-A Nashville. The Sounds will need pitching help for the Pacific Coast League Playoffs as they have lost three starting pitchers – Mengden, Alcantara and Cotton – to the A’s expanded Major League roster.

Roach started the season in the Seattle organization. He made four relief appearances for the Mariners and 17 starts for Triple-A Tacoma before being designated for assignment on August 6.

The TigerS claimed the 26-year-old Roach off waivers and assigned him to Triple-A Toledo. He made five starts for the Mud Hens and posted a 3-1 record with a 3.03 ERA.

Roach made his Major League debut in 2014 with the San Diego Padres. He has also pitched for the Cubs in the big leagues.

A’s nominate Doolittle for Clemente Award

 The Oakland A’s have selected relief pitcher Sean Doolittle as the A’s nominee for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award for his outstanding efforts in the community.

Each Major League team nominates a player they believe deserves the award based on their service to the community.

Doolittle works to assist military families, is a leader among Major Leaguers in helping to create LBGT alliances  and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Syrian refugees at his home in Chicago.

The award is named after and is a tribute to the Hall of Fame baseball player and great humanitarian who lost his life in an airplane crash bringing aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972.

Fans can vote for their favorite nominee by posting the nominee’s hashtag to @MLB on Twitter or on Doolittle’s hashtag is #VoteDoolittle.

Scarsone named PCL Manager of the Year

 Nashville Sounds manager Steve Scarsone has been named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. The award is given based the voting of the league’s managers and media representatives.

Nashville – which won the American Southern Division title – had 22 players spend time with the Sounds before being called up to the Oakland A’s this season. Of the Athletics’ current 25-man roster, 14 were with Nashville before being promoted to Oakland.

Scarsone is in his fourth season as the A’s Triple-A manager having been the skipper in Sacramento prior to the move to Nashville. He has been a manager in the A’s minor league system in Class-A and Double-A as well.

Scarsone played seven seasons in the Major Leagues as a utility infielder.

Christenson awarded Texas League Manager of the Year

 Midland RockHounds manager Ryan Christenson has been named Manager of the Year in the Texas League. He is currently trying to lead his team to its second consecutive Texas League Championship.

Christenson is in his second year as manager at Midland. He managed for the A’s minor league teams in Beloit and Stockton before being promoted to the Double-A RockHounds.

Christenson spent parts of six seasons in the Major Leagues with most of his games being played for the Oakland Athletics. He also spent time with Arizona, Milwaukee and Texas.

A’s Update: Pinder promoted; Doolittle and Hahn pitch in Nashville; Lowrie to have surgery; Chapman to Triple-A

New Athletics infielder Chad Pinder
New Athletics infielder Chad Pinder


by Charlie O. Mallonee

Doolittle throws nine pitches to get three outs

On Monday in Nashville, the A’s left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle made a rehab appearance for the Triple-A Sounds. It was his first competitive pitching opportunity since going on the disabled list on June 30 – retroactive to June 26 – with a left shoulder strain.

Doolittle pitched the eighth inning against the Reno Aces. He struck out the lead off batter. IIdemaro Vargas – the second man up – hit a double to left field. The third hitter – Ed Lucas – grounded out to first but Vargas advanced to third with two out. Doolitte then induced Zach Borenstein to ground out to second for the final out of the inning.

Doolittle worked one inning and gave up no runs on one hit. He threw nine pitches of which eight were strikes. Doolittle had one strikeout and two groundouts to retire the side.

The plan is for Doolittle to pitch at least once more in Nashville before rejoining the A’s. The target is for him to come off the disabled list and be available for the Cleveland series that begins next Monday night in Oakland.

Jesse Hahn performs well in rehab start

A’s right-handed starting pitcher Jesse Hahn made a rehab start in Nashville on Tuesday. It was his first game experience since going on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain on August 5.

Hahn set the tone of the night by sitting the Tacoma Rainiers down in order in the top of the first inning. In the second inning, Hahn faced seven batters and gave up a run. He settled down in the third inning getting three consecutive outs after allowing a lead-off walk. In his fourth and final inning, Hahn sat the side down in order once again.

Hahn threw 79 pitches in his four innings of work. Hahn was most likely on target to throw approximately 80 pitches. Of his 79 pitches, 40 were strikes. He faced 17 batters in his four innings of work. Hahn was able to get five of those batters to groundout and one to flyout.

The plan for Hahn -assuming he feels well after resting up from the start – is to travel to Chicago and meet up with the A’s. He can come off the disabled list on August 21, so Hahn could start the final game of the series with the White Sox in Chicago.

The season is over for Jed Lowrie

Infielder Jed Lowrie and the Athletics have decided that he should go ahead with surgery to remove a bunion from his big toe on the left foot. Lowrie had tried to play through the injury but finally had to be shutdown in early August.

According to reports, Lowrie received several different medical opinions before deciding on season-ending surgery. The recovery – rehabilitation time is approximately three months.

Lowrie played 87 games this season and hit .263  with 12 doubles, one triple, 2 home runs and 27 rbi. He is signed through 2017 so Lowrie will return to the team next season.

Lowrie is currently on the 15-day disabled list. He will probably be transferred to the 60-day disabled list which will allow the A’s to make some moves with the 40-man roster.

Chad Pinder moves up to the show

The Oakland Athletics have promoted Chad Pinder from Triple-A Nashville to the big club as they have placed infielder Tyler Ladendorf on the 15-day disabled list. Ladendorf has a sprained left wrist. Ladendorf was batting .083 with .102 on base percentage.

In order to make this move, the A’s transferred Jed Lowrie to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Pinder. Lowrie is out for the rest of the season and will soon have surgery on his left big toe.

Pinder also gives the A’s some flexibility in the infield that they are going to need very soon. Starting shortstop Marcus Semien is about to go on maternity leave and the A’s will need someone to fill in at the number six spot. Pinder is a shortstop who was moved to that position last year from second base.

Pinder is a 6-foot-2, 195 pound, 24 year-old who was drafted 79th overall in 2013 by Oakland out of Virginia Tech. He has progressed each year to the next higher level of the farm system for the last four years.

Pinder has played in 107 games for Nashville this season and has a .258 batting average, a .310 on base percentage and .425 slugging percentage. He has hit 23 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and has driven in 51 runs.

The Athletics have now used the disabled list a record-breaking 26 times this season eclipsing the old mark of 25 times set in 2008.

Matt Chapman gets promoted

Last week, third baseman Matt Chapman batted .318 with .424 on base percentage and an .864 slugging percentage going 7-for-22 in six games for the Midland RockHounds. Chapman hit three doubles, three home runs, drove in eight runs and scored five runs. He was named the Texas League Offensive Player of the Week.

As a reward for his great week, the A’s told Chapman to pack his bags and get out of town. The 2014 first-round draft pick has been promoted to Triple-A Nashville. That means Chapman has gone from the Rookie League to Triple-A in less than three years. That is very impressive indeed.

Many prognosticators are projecting that by next season Matt Chapman and Ryon Healy will be the corner infielders for the Oakland A’s. Who will be at third and who will be at first? That is still to be determined, but the A’s may have found a power hitting duo that will lead their youth movement for years to come.






The losing streak is over, A’s beat Reds 6-1

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Cincinnati Reds
Marcus Semien hits a two-run home run Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Oakland Athletics went into the game on Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds needing a win in the worst way. Losers of seven consecutive games, the A’s were in danger of going 0-8 on an eight game road trip. The psychological damage to the team by going winless on the road trip could have devastating effects for the rest of the season.

Not only did the A’s have to battle a losing streak, they had to battle the weather. The Midwestern summer has come early and it was 89-degrees with 55-percent humidity at game time. That made it feel like the temperature was 96-degrees. The Athletics are not used to playing in those conditions.

The A’s found their power and used the long ball with men on base to take an early lead that they never relinquished but only added to as the game progressed. Oakland had to pitch by committee due to the weather and because they were playing an Inter-league game in a National League park where the pitchers had to bat. They played the game like a team that knew they had to win the game.

In the batter’s box

Marcus Semien started off the scoring for the A’s in the top of the second inning when he hit a 3-1 pitch from John Lamb over the left field wall with Billy Butler on base to give Oakland a 2-0 lead. It was Semien’s 12th home run of the season. He finished the day going 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.

The A’s scored two more runs in the second inning when Jake Smolinski hit his second home run of the year off Lamb with Josh Phegley on base. Smolinski’s home run gave the A’s a 4-0 lead at the time.

Danny Valencia joined the home run derby when he hit a solo shot into the left field seats in the top of the eighth inning off reliever A.J. Morris to give the A’s a 5-1 lead.

The A’s manufactured a run in the top of the ninth when Khris Davis hit a line drive single to center that allowed Coco Crisp to score the sixth run from second base.

Khris Davis had a 2-for-5 game with the insurance RBI.

Billy Butler continued to be productive at the plate going 3-for-3 with a run scored. The A’s have been waiting all season for Butler to catch fire.

Jed Lowrie stayed hot with the bat going 3-for-5 in the game. Lowrie’s average now stands at .303.

The A’s scored six runs on 15 hits with eight runners left on base.

The Reds only run came in the bottom of the second inning when outfielder Steve Selsky scored off catcher Ramon Cabrera’s double to left field. Kendall Graveman was on the mound for the A’s.

The Reds scored one run on seven hits and left six men on base despite the A’s having to use five different pitchers in the game.

On the Mound

Kendall Graveman started the game for Oakland on Sunday. Graveman entered the game with a 2-6 record and had really been struggling in last several starts. Graveman pitched well but succumbed to the weather very quickly. Graveman pitched to one batter in the fifth inning but had to come out of the game. He worked 4.0 innings giving up one run (earned) on seven hits while striking out five and walking two batters. Because Graveman did not work five innings it was up to the official scorer to assign the win and Graveman was given a no decision for his 4-plus innings of work.

Fernando Rodriguez came on in the top of the fifth for Graveman and pitched two perfect innings of baseball in relief. For his efforts, Rodriguez was credited with his second win of the season.

John Axford, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson each worked a perfect inning of relief for Oakland on Sunday. Axford and Doolittle were impressive as they were throwing pitches in the high 90’s. For Madson, it was his first work on the mound since his appearance in Houston seven days ago.

John Lamb (1-4, 5.14) took the loss for the Reds even though he only pitched four innings. Cincinnati used four pitchers in their losing effort.


The key on defense for the Oakland Athletics was the fact they did not commit an error in the game. Not only did they play errorless baseball, the A’s turned three double plays that all killed potential scoring opportunities for the Reds.

The Reds did not commit an error in the game.

Up next

The A’s will have no time to rest and celebrate their victory. Oakland heads back into action on Monday night as they open a four-game home series with the Western Division leading Texas Rangers. The Rangers are 8-2 in their last 10 games and have won two games in a row.

LHP Sean Manaea (2-4, 6.20) will take the mound for Oakland. The Rangers have yet to officially name their starter although speculation centers on LHP Cesar Ramos who is a long reliever and spot starter.


A’s beat M’s 2-1 in 10 innings and sweep the series

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
Photo Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The majority of the preseason prognosticators had the Oakland Athletics finishing dead last in the American League West. Evidently, the A’s forgot to read the predictions for their 2016 season.

On Sunday, the Athletics survived seven innings of shutout baseball pitched by “King Felix” Hernandez (0-1, o.69 ERA), had strong pitching performances by their own stater and bullpen, used the long ball to defeat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in 10 innings and won the series on the road three games to none.

The Athletics won the game via  a solo home run hit by Coco Crisp in the top of the 10th inning off Seattle reliever Nick Vincent. With two outs, Crisp hit a 3-1 pitch 376 feet over the right field wall to give Oakland a 2-1 lead.

Sean Doolittle took the mound for the Athletics in the bottom of the 10th inning and closed out the game for his first save of the season.

The A’s record improves to 4-3 with the win and puts them in sole possession of first-place in the American League West.

The Mariners are struggling to figure out how they squandered such an outstanding pitching performance like the one turned in by “King Felix” on Sunday.

On the mound

Hernandez was a master on the mound. He pitched seven innings giving up just three hits and no runs. The “King” recorded 10 strike outs and issued just two walks. He threw 99 pitches (62 strikes). The Seattle radio broadcasters said the outing was Hernandez at his best especially with the command he showed on his change-up and breaking ball. It is hard to imagine that such a quality outing simply ended in a no decision.

Chris Bassitt made his second start of the season for Oakland. Bassitt worked seven innings giving up three hits and one unearned run. He had four strikeouts but issued base-on-balls to five Seattle batters. Bassitt threw 97 pitches (58 stikes). Bassitt has yet to figure into a decision in his two starts this year.

The A’s used three pitchers out of the bullpen on Sunday. Ryan Madson, John Axford and Sean Doolittle worked one inning each. The three relievers gave up no runs, no hits, no walks and struck out two hitters. Axford was credited with his first win of the year while Doolittle recorded his first save of the season.

Seattle also used three pitchers out of their bullpen. Joel Peralta was charged with a blown save when gave up a home run to Marcus Semien. Steve Cishek worked a scoreless inning. Nick Vincent was tagged with the loss when he gave up the game winning home run off the bat of Coco Crisp.

In the batter’s box

The A’s scattered five hits over the 10 innings versus Seattle. No Oakland player had a multi-hit day. Crisp, Lowrie, Alonso, Phegley and Semien all had one hit each.

Marcus Semien tied the game at 1-1 when he hit his first home run of year in the top of the eighth inning off Peralta. Semien hit a high fly ball over the left field wall on a 3-2 pitch.

The Mariners managed to get just six hits off the four Oakland pitchers. Nelson Cruz had a two-hit game than included his second double of the year. Seattle catcher Leonys Martin also had a two-hit game.

The Athletics went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.

The M’s were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and they left 10 men on base.


The MVP of the game has to be Felix Hernandez. The “King” was brilliant on the mound and showed why he is one of top pitchers in the major leagues. Plus, he deserves to get something for pitching that well and having his team lose the game.

Honorable Mention

Coco Crisp deserves this honor for hitting his first home run since August 27, 2014. After battling through injuries last season, it was nice to see Crisp carry his team to a big win using his bat.

Up next

The Athletics will be back in action on Monday in Oakland when they open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


A’s Pull Out Victory On Record Setting Night, Beat Twins 6-5

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 08: Coco Crisp #4 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by third base coach Mike Gallego #2 after Crisp his a three-run triple with the bases loaded against the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the fifth inning at Coliseum on August 8, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 08: Coco Crisp #4 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by third base coach Mike Gallego #2 after Crisp his a three-run triple with the bases loaded against the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the fifth inning at Coliseum on August 8, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND – It’s fitting that the A’s would win by one run tonight. It was Bob Melvin’s 801st win, the A’s have beaten the Twins 11 straight times and the A’s now have 71 wins on the season.

Scott Kazmir threw a beauty of a game tonight except for a gut wrenching 5-run seventh inning that had the Coliseum in a collective gasp. Also a Sean Doolittle misstep in the bottom of the ninth that Josh Willingham took to deep left field that could have put the Twins in the lead missed just left of the foul pole.

With the win tonight the A’s (71-44) are now a season high 27 games over .500 and have won 15 of their last 20 games at home.

When Kazmir left in the fifth, the A’s bullpen of Cook, Gregerson and Doolittle came in to close the game and set an Oakland record of 28 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

“That’s good right?” said Bob Melvin. “They’ve been on a roll, no doubt about it. Since we figured out where the roles were, they can prepare a little bit better. We have a lot of quality and depth down there. It’s quite a feat.”

On Kazmir tonight, Melvin praised the starting pitcher.

“He was on a roll. It looked like he may finish the game. He made some decent pitches but maybe just got some balls up in that inning. It was a little bit of a surprise to see him give up those hits.”

The A’s got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when after a Vogt walk, Sam Fuld dragged a bunt that landed him safely at first. However on a catching error by the Minnesota first baseman, it moved Fuld to second and Vogt to third. Sogard was up next and walked after five pitches to load the bases.

On the seventh pitch of his at bat Coco Crisp hit a deep triple to right center field that brought everyone home for the first runs of the night and give the A’s a 3-0 lead. While pitching to Moss later in the inning, The Twins Gibson threw the ball in the dirt that squirted pass the catcher and brought Crisp in from third and moved Donaldson to second and make it a 4-0 Oakland lead.

In the bottom of the sixth Josh Reddick started off with a four pitch walk and Vogt followed with a single to give the A’s men on first and second. The reliable Sam Fuld hit a slow grounder to first that moved Reddick and Vogt over. Eric Sogard then hit a 94-mph 2 seam fastball into right field that ended up at the wall and scored Reddick and Vogt to give the A’s a 6-0 lead.

Minnesota got on the board in the top of the seventh when Plouffe hit a hard single past Donaldson into left field that scored Danny Santana who was on third after leading off the inning with a single. After a Vargas strike out, Oswaldo Arcia smacked a single to center field that scored Dozier who was on second to give the Twins a pair of runs in the inning.

These runs snapped a 19 inning scoreless streak for the Twins. The Twins weren’t done.

Chris Parmlee hit a double into deep left field that escaped Moss and drove in two runs to make it a 6-4 Oakland lead.

Even with Ryan Cook coming in to relieve Kazmir, he gave up a double to Nunez who scored Parmlee to make it a 6-5 game.

Gregerson came in to relive Cook and then after a perfect inning, Sean Doolittle same in to close the came.

He gave up a single to the first Twin batter which made the entire O.Co Coliseum nervous. Doolittle calmed down and struck out the next batter then coerced the next Twin to fly to center field. Josh Willingham came in to pitch hit as the Twins last batter and after a monster shot that if foul would have been a home run was struck out by Doolittle who now holds the Oakland record for saves in a season by a left handed pitcher with 18.

The A’s and Twins face-off again tomorrow when the Twins send Trevor May vs. The Shark Jeff Samardzija, game time 6:05 pm.

One Dollar Buys A’s a Split in New York

By Matthew Harrington

In a reversal of fortunes from Tuesday’s 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the New York Mets, the Oakland Athletics shelled promising youngster Zack Wheeler early on Wednesday to split the a two-game series at Citi Field. Coco Crisp and Brandon Moss homered for Oakland in the 8-5 contest while Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-4 with a three-run double to give starter pitcher Brad Mills his first win with the green and gold despite a late comeback bid by the Metropolitans (36-42).

The A’s (48-30) scored twice in the first inning off Wheeler on Moss’ team-leading (along with Josh Donaldson) 18th long ball of the season that came with two outs and a runner on base. A four-run second, highlighted by Cespedes’ bases-loaded double, wrapped up the night for Wheeler (3-8, 4.45 ERA). The former San Francisco Giants draft pick, acquired by New York in the 2011 Carlos Beltran trade, went only two innings. He allowed a season-high six earned runs in his first start since going the distance in a 1-0 shutout over Miami on June 19th.

A Coco Crisp solo shot, his sixth round tripper of the campaign, off Dana Eveland put Oakland up 7-0 in the fourth while a Mills double play ball plated Josh Reddick from third base for the A’s eighth run and final run in the sixth frame.

While Wheeler scuffled, Mills thrived in his second start since replacing the injured Drew Pomeranz in the rotation. While he was tagged with a no decision in Oakland’s 4-2 win over the Red Sox last Thursday, Mills (1-0, 4.35) picked up his first win in the Big Leagues since 2012.

The man supposedly purchased for one dollar from the Milwaukee Brewers on June 17th went 6 1/3, allowing only three runs. All three tallies came on the first pitch of a pinch-hit at-bat for Lucas Duda which resulted in a three-run shot that chased him from the game.

Dan Otero finished off the seventh, but set-up man Luke Gregerson scuffled with his inning of work, allowing a two-run homer to former Athletic Chris Young, the chief culprit in Tuesday’s thrashing after mashing two dingers. Sean Doolittle struck out the side in the ninth to seal the 8-5 win for his 11th save of the season.

On Thursday, the A’s receive a second dose of respite this week after having a day off Monday to make the trek from Oakland to the East Coast. They’ll have a day off in Miami before opening a three-game weekend set against the Marlins Friday in Oakland’s first visit to Miami’s new ballpark which opened in 2012. Right-hander Jesse Chavez takes the hill for the Athletics while the Marlins counter with righty Anthony DeSclafani and his 7.59 ERA.