A’s enjoy Saturday at the park, down the Rays 4-2

Rays Scoreboard
Scoreboard celebrates the win Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The A’s jumped back into the win column on Saturday as they beat the  Tampa Bay/Montreal Rays 4-2. The win upped the A’s record to 41-37 on the season and makes them 6-3 for the homestand. The loss drops the Rays to 44-33 for the year.

Mike Fiers made the start for the A’s, and he fought for six tough innings on the mound. Fiers allowed just one run (earned) off four hits. He struck out two Rays and walked three. Fiers also hit three Tampa Bay batters which put him some peril that his defense helped put down several times. For all of his efforts, Fiers wound up with a no-decision for the outing.

Ryan Buchter relieved Fiers in the seventh inning but was ineffective, and Yusmeiro Petit was brought into the contest with two out and a runner at third. Petit struck out Kevin Kiermaier to end the inning.

Petit would come back out for the top of the eighth inning. Petit made short work of the Rays as he struck out the side. He faced four hitters and struck out all four. Petit would also pick up the win to make his record 2-1 for 2019.

Liam Hendricks entered the game in the ninth to close things out for the A’s. He sat the Rays down in order to earn his first save of the season.

Focus on the A’s

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It was Matt Olson Bobblehead Day Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee
  • Matt Chapman continued to give Oakland big hits as launched his 18th home run of the season off Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. He then hit a double (20) in the seventh that drove Josh Phegley home to score the go-ahead run in the game. It was his 43rd RBI of the season. Bob Melvin said in his postgame comments that he really intended to give Chapman the day off, but his third baseman would not have anything to do with sitting on the bench.
  • Ramon Laureano went 2-for-2 in the game and was hit twice by pitches. In fact, a total of five batters were hit pitches in the game on Saturday (Rays 3, A’s 2). Laureano also made two fine defensive plays in center field. In the top of the third inning, he caught a fly ball off the bat of Austin Meadows. Brandon Lowe was at third and thought about tagging up then heading home. Laureano gunned the ball to Beau Taylor. Lowe had to hold at third. Then in the fourth inning, Joey Wendle hit a ball into the gap in left-center field. Laureano fielded the ball while Wendle decided to stretch his single into a double. The A’s centerfielder threw Wendle out at second base.
  • The A’s moved two runners up in the game twice via the steal. One was a steal of second. The other was a steal of third base by Laureano.
  • The A’s were 2-for-11 with Runners in Scoring Position. They left eight runners on base.

Tampa Bay notes

  • The Rays did not use an “opener” in the game on Saturday. Yonny Chirinos made the start and worked 6.0-innings giving up two runs (both earned) on two hits. He struck out three and walked two. Chirinos did not figure into the decision.
  • Diego Castillo came on in relief of Chirinos. He gave up two runs off two hits. Castillo (1-6) was tagged with the loss. Castillo was also the loser on Thursday night.
  • Ji-Man Choi has hit six home runs in his last 25 games. His home run (9) on Saturday off Buchter was his first versus a left-handed pitcher this season.
  • Avisail Garcia was hit by a pitch in each of his first two plate appearances.

Injury news update from the A’s

Rays Melvin
Melvin after the 4-2 win over the Rays Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Manager Bob Melvin announced during his postgame press conference that closer Blake Treinen has been placed on the Injury List for a “mild shoulder issue”. More details will follow.

Up next on the schedule

The A’s will send LHP Brett Anderson (7-4, 3.68 ERA) to the mound on Sunday to close out the 10-day homestand. The Rays are going with infamous “To Be Determined”. That probably means an opener followed by a group of relievers.

Twitter: @Charlieo1320

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Photo/Graphic: @Astros

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Coming home to the Oakland Coliseum has not been a good thing for the Oakland Athletics. After winning 11 consecutive games, the A’s have now lost four games in a row at home. They have also lost a second consecutive series at home.

The first-place Houston Astros downed the A’s 5-1 on Saturday night at the Coliseum behind the “lights out” pitching of Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.27 ERA). The perennial All-Star pitcher worked 8.0-innings allowing just one run (earned) off four hits. Verlander struck out eight Oakland hitters while walking just two.

The A’s only run of the game came in the second inning when Stephen Piscotty hit the first pitch from Verlander over the wall in right field for his seventh home run of the season.

Brett Anderson (6-4, 3.95 ERA) made the start for Oakland. He worked 5.1-innings giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits. Anderson struck out two and walked two.

The A’s used two relief pitchers in the contest. Yusmeiro Petit pitched 2.2-innings of perfect baseball while striking out two Astros. Joakim Soria closed out the game pitching the ninth inning and giving up two runs off two hits (1 HR).

A’s Spotlight

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Marcus Semien ejected Photo: @Athletics
  • Anderson has allowed five home runs in his last four starts after he gave up just one homer in his previous eight starts.
  • Ramon Laureano recorded his sixth assist of the year on Saturday. The center fielder threw Robinson Chirinos out as he attempted to advance to second base in the fourth inning.
  • Speaking of Laureano, he extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games when he singled off Verlander in the fifth inning.
  • Marcus Semien was ejected in the fifth inning of the game. It was the first time Semien has been ejected from a game in his career.
  • Stephen Piscotty has possessed the hot bat for the A’s during this homestand. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday and he is batting .417 (10-for-24) with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, and four RBI in the eight games.

Houston Notes

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Graphic: @Astros
  • Justin Verlander passed Cy Young for 21st on the all-time strikeout list (that’s impressive). Verlander is now for tied for the most wins in the Major Leagues with nine victories.
  • Josh Reddick is happy to back in the Coliseum. He has hit home runs in consecutive games for the first time since September 15 and 16, 2018. Reddick is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with three home runs and five RBI in four games in the Coliseum this season.
  • Michael Brantley now leads the MLB in multi-hit games after going 2-for-3 with a walk on Saturday. He has posted 27 multi-hit games. Brantley has recorded 72 hits already this season and is tied for first in the American League.

Up Next

The Astros and A’s will wrap up their series on Sunday at 1:07 PM PDT. Houston will send RHP Gerrit Cole (5-5, 4.04 ERA) to the mound to try and make it a sweep over Oakland. The A’s will counter with RHP Chris Bassitt (3-1, 3.27 ERA) in order to try and stop their losing streak.

It’s the bullpen to the rescue! A’s beat the Mariners 7-5 on Friday night

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Photo: @NBCSCA

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics scored five runs off five hits in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-0 lead on the Seattle Mariners. Matt Chapman hit his 22nd home run of the season off of M’s starter Mike Leake. Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run home run (19) off Leake. Matt Olson and Marcus Semien each hit an RBI double. Everyone in the Coliseum knew that this game was going into the “W” column for the A’s.

Everybody in the Coliseum knew that the game belonged to the A’s except the 25 guys in blue uniforms from Seattle. The M’s put up a run in the top of the second inning and then came back for more in the top of the fourth inning. Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz hit back-to-back home runs off A’s starter Mike Fiers who did have his best stuff on Friday night. Then, Ryon Healy–the former Athletic–hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 5-5. Everything changed.

The A’s bullpen took over for Fiers and gave their team a chance to get it together.

HR vs SEA
Chapman rounds third after hitting his 22nd HR of the year Photo: @Athletics

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Oakland retook the lead when rookie outfielder Ramon Laureano delivered a sacrifice fly that allowed Matt Olson to score the go-ahead run. The A’s then added some cushion when Jed Lowrie hit a one-out double and then scored on a Khris Davis RBI single.

The bullpen held on to that 7-5 lead to get the A’s (81-55) the win.

This critical four-game AL West series is now tied at one game apiece.

The win was awarded to Yusmeiro Petit (6-3) who relieved Fiers and was the pitcher of record when Olson scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning. Blake Treinen picked up his 34th save of the season. Treinen now sports a 0.94 ERA.

Mike Leake (8-9) was hung with the loss for Seattle (75-60).

This is how the A’s pitching line is going to look the rest of the season
Mike Fiers only lasted 3.2 innings in his start on Friday night. A’s manager Bob Melvin certainly wants his starting pitchers to go at least five innings per start, but five innings are all that may be required from the starters for the A’s to be successful. The 2018 A’s are all about the bullpen.

In the win 7-5 win over Seattle on Friday night, Oakland used 5 relief pitchers. It was a parade of fresh arms stepping up on the rubber to deliver a devastating variety of pitches designed to stop opposing hitters in their tracks.

Yusmeiro Petit, Lou Trivino, Fernando Rodney, Jeurys Familia and Blake Treinen combined to pitch 5.1 innings of shutout baseball. They allowed the M’s just two hits while walking just two batters and striking out seven. They slammed the door on the Seattle offense to give their A’s the chance to win the game, which they did 7-5.

Every game will not feature five relievers, but you can expect to see games that feature three men out of the bullpen on a regular basis. The help that is coming with the expanded September rosters is going to be most welcome.

The standings are shaken up again
This A’s win really changed the standings in the AL West. The Astros lost, the A’s won and the M’s lost. Oakland is now just 1.5 games behind Houston for first place in the West. Seattle falls 5.5 games back of the A’s in the West and 7.0 games behind Houston.

By losing, the M’s also are now 5.5 games down to the A’s in the Wild Card race. These head-to-head division matchups are critical to a team’s standing when fighting for a post-season slot.

Food for your brain

  • Matt Chapman hit a home run and a double to give him a major league leading 22 extra-base hits in August. Those 22 extra-base hits also tied a franchise record.
  • Stephen Piscotty’s home run was just his fourth round-tripper hit in Oakland this season. He has hit 19.
  • Mike Fiers worked only 3.2 innings which was his shortest outing for the A’s.
  • Khris Davis ended a 0-for-19 streak with his RBI-single in the sixth inning.
  • The A’s are 57-0 when leading after seven innings.
  • The M’s Mike Leake has not won a game since June 23rd in Boston.
  • Nelson Cruz hit his 16th career home run at the Coliseum on Friday night which is the most among active players.
  • Dee Gordon now leads the American League with 30 stolen bases.
Ramon vs Sea
Laureano scores in the 1st inning vs Seattle Photo: @Athletics

 Up Next
The A’s and Mariners will play game three of this crucial four-game series on Saturday night at 6:05 PM PDT.

The M’s will send LHP James Paxton to the mound. Paxton is 10-5 on the season and will be making his 25th start of the year. He has a 3.68 ERA.

The A’s will counter with RHP Daniel Mengden, who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville last Monday. This is Mengden’s second tour of duty with the big club. Mengden has a 6-6 record on the year with a 4.28 ERA.

A’s walk it off in 11 innings beating the Giants 4-3 on Saturday night

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Jonathan Lucroy rounds the bases in triumph Photo @Athletics

By Charlie O. Mallonee

OAKLAND — Game five of the 2018 Bay Bridge Series – the second of three to be played in Oakland – was played before the largest crowd to witness a Major League Baseball this season. The A’s (56-43) decided to take the tarps off the seats in the upper deck known as “Mount Davis” for the first time since 2006. The result was 56,310 Bay Area baseball fans were treated to a “wild and woolly” affair.

The top the ninth arrived at the Oakland Coliseum, and as usual, it was Treinen time. The A’s held a slim 3-2 lead over the Giants, but the A’s have been the masters of winning one-run games (15-8) in 2018. Treinen retired the first two batters — Posey and Sandoval on groundouts. The third hitter of the inning – Alen Hanson – struck out, but the strike three pitch was wild, got by the catcher and Hanson wound up safe at first (this is now the first paragraph of a Stephen King novel).

Hunter Pence then hit a pitch into right field that rolled into foul territory and into the Giants bullpen for a double, and Alen Hanson scored on the play. As right fielder Stephen Piscotty charged the ball, a member of the Giants bullpen picked up a chair and made contact with the outfielder. The Athletics contended that it should have been a “dead ball” at that point which would have kept the run from scoring. There is no rule that umpires could invoke, so the A’s challenged the play on a boundary call. A video review of the play upheld the call on the field. When the top of the ninth inning was over, the game was tied at 3-3.

The A’s were unable to score in the bottom of the ninth, so it was on to extra innings.

There was no scoring in the 10th inning and the Giants (51-49) failed to produce any runs in the top of the 11th frame.

The A’s are late inning battlers

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Chapman at the plate Photo Charlie O. Mallonee

Teams are learning that they cannot let the A’s hang around late in games and continue to have chances to score – because they will. That is exactly what happened on Saturday night.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Giants put LHP Will Smith on the mound. Piscotty grounded out to lead off the inning for Oakland. Dustin Fowler was then robbed of a hit when he lifted a “flare” to shallow right-center and shortstop Brandon Crawford made an outstanding sliding catch beyond the bag at second.

With two out, Matt Chapman picked up his third hit of the game with a single up the middle. Chad Pinder followed up with a single to left-center that moved Chapman up to second. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy – who did not enter the game until the 10th inning – singled to right-center field and Chapman never had any thoughts of doing anything but crossing home plate to score the winning run which he did.

The A’s won the game 4-3 to even the series in Oakland at 1-1 and to take a 3-2 lead in the six-game series after five games.

The walk off single was Lucroy’s second of the season. The Athletics are now 7-4 in extra inning games for the season and improved to 14-6 in games decided in the last at bat.

On the Hill

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At meeting at the mound on Saturday night Photo Charlie O. Mallonee

The Giants started their one-time superstar – LHP Madison Bumgarner – who has struggled since coming back from a broken finger on his pitching hand. “MadBum” looked strong in the opening four innings, but the A’s hitters got patient and things went south for Bumgarner in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Bumgarner loaded the bases and walked two runs in to give the A’s the lead 2-1 which ended his night. Sam Dyson came in to relieve Bumgarner and induced Mark Canha to hit into a double play but Chad Pinder scored the A’s third run on the play.

Bumgarner worked 4.0-plus innings giving up three runs (earned). He walked six and struck out five.

Will Smith (0-1) took the loss.

Trevor Cahill started the game for Oakland. It was his second start since coming off the disabled list. He worked 5.2-innings and gave up one run (earned) on a home run to Brandon Belt. Cahill struck out five and walked three.

Blake Treinen was charged with his fourth blown save of the season as he gave up the tying run when Hunter Pence hit the RBI-double into the bullpen along the right field line.

Yusmeiro Petit picks up his fifth win of the year as he was the pitcher of record after working a perfect top of the 11th inning for the A’s.

At the Plate

Matt Chapman went 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead the A’s with the bat. He is now hitting at a .253 clip.

Stephen Piscotty hit his 26th double of the year off Bumgarner.

Phegley (10), Semien (34) and Lucroy (28) all recorded RBI for the A’s.

Oakland went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Hunter Pence likes being a DH. He went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI as the Giants DH Saturday night.

The Giants also went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 8 men on base.

Let the buying begin

Familia
Jeurys Familia Photo MLB.com

The question has been answered. The A’s are going to be buyers as the non-wavier trade deadline approaches. Oakland has acquired RHP relief pitcher Jeurys Familia from the New York Mets for two minor leaguers and $1-million in international slot money. Familia appeared in 40 games for NYM posting a 2.88 ERA with a 1.230 WHIP. He has struck out 43 in 40.2-innings and walked just 14. Familia has given up just one home run. He will be a free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

Get those suitcases packed

The A’s will head out on the road after the game on Sunday for a seven-game, two-city road trip. They will play four games in hot, humid Arlington, Texas versus the Rangers. All four games are night contests. There is no thought of day baseball this time of year in the Metroplex. After the four games in Texas, Oakland heads to Denver to play three games at Coors Field with the Colorado Rockies. The power hitting Athletics may find batting at a mile-high just to their liking.

Lonnnnng homestand coming

The A’s will return home from their road trip on Monday, July 30 to begin a stretch where 17 of their next 20 games will be played in Oakland. The only break in the homestand is three games in Anaheim with the Angels. Oakland will host the Blue Jays, Tigers, Dodgers, Mariners, Astros and Rangers in those 17 home games.

A belated parade for the 1989 World Champions

The 1989 World Champion Oakland Athletics were honored with long overdue parade to celebrate their 1989 World Series sweep of the San Francisco Giants. The team did not receive the parade because they did not want to show disrespect to those who lost loved ones in the tragic earthquake that disrupted the series. The celebration before the game was very nice. The one sad thing was there are several players that have passed on who could be there to be a part of the pregame honor.

Up next

The sixth and final game of the 2018 Bay Bridge Series will be played on Sunday at the Coliseum at 1:05 PM. The Giants will send RHP Johnny Cueto to the mound for his third start since coming off the disabled list on July 5th. He is 3-1 on the year with a 2.36 ERA. Cueto is 2-0 in Interleague games this season.

The A’s will counter with LHP Sean Manaea who 4-0 with a 3.14 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of June. His overall record this season is 9-6 with a 3.42 ERA. Manaea has an 11-game winning streak when pitching in day games that dates back to May 20, 2017. He is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts versus the Giants.

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

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

By Charlie O. Mallonee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Samardzija Swan Song?

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

A little bullpen irony 

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

So long Santiago and other transactions

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

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

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

Good news for the starting pitching rotation

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

 

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

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

By Charlie O. Mallonee

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

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

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

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

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

This game was about hitting

Cleveland

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

Oakland

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

It was a night of many pitchers

Indians

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

Athletics

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

Up next

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

Royals take game two from the Athletics 5-4 on Saturday

KC Jorge Soler Home Run
Royals Jorge Soler hits game winning home run Photo @Royals

by Charlie O. Mallonee

After a team destroys their opponents 16-0 the night before, there can be a tendency for a club to come out in the next game and be incapable of putting any runs up on the board. After the Kansas City Royals scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning on Saturday afternoon to take a 2-0 lead, it looked like game two of this three-game series might be one of those games.

The situation became grimmer in the bottom of the second inning when the Royals added to their lead. With two out in the inning, Ryan Goins laid down a bunt in front of the plate. Catcher Bruce Maxwell fielder the ball cleanly and make a quick throw to first for a “bang-bang” out. Well, wait just a minute. The Royals decided to challenge the call. Video replay in New York overturned the call on the field and Goins was called safe at first.

Now with two out and a runner at first, shortstop Alcides Escobar stepped into the batter’s box to face A’s starter Trevor Cahill. Escobar hit the first pitch to him off the fence in right field for an RBI-triple as Goins was able to come home and score easily from first base.

That brought leadoff man Jon Jay back to bat. Jay led the game off with a single and eventually scored the first run of the game. Jay – the Royals DH – hit the 1-1 pitch through the hole on the left side of the infield for a double. Escobar was able to trot home to score the fourth run of the game for Kansas City. When the second inning was over, the Royals led the Athletics 4-0.

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Marcus Semien is making making his presence know to the Royals Photo @Athletics

The Athletics bounced back in the top of the third when Marcus Semien hit a one-out double to left-center field. After Matt Joyce struck out, Jed Lowrie singled to right field driving Semien home for the A’s first run of the contest cutting the Royals lead to 4-1.

The A’s went right back to work in the fourth inning. With one out and Fowler at first, Piscottty doubled to left field. Fowler blew through third base coach Matt Williams stop sign and was thrown out at home. Maxwell singled to left-center field drivng Piscotty home for the A’s second run of the game.

Bruce Maxwell led off the top of the seventh inning by hitting a 3-1 Jason Hammel pitch over the center field wall for his first home run of the season. The Athletics had cut the Kansas City lead to 4-3.

In the top of the eighth inning, the A’s received some bad news when Matt Joyce had to exit the game due to an injured back. Matt Olson led off the inning by hitting a single to left-center field. Olson advanced to second when Chapman grounded out. Chad Pinder entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Fowler. Pinder singled up the middle sending Olson home to tie the game at 4-4.

With one out in the home-half of the eighth inning, Jorge Soler hit his ninth home run of the season over left field wall to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. It would prove to be the game winning hit.

On the Hill

Oakland (30-29)

KC Pegan
Pagan faced only one batter on Saturday Photo @Athletics
  • Trevor Cahill was charged with a season-high four runs (all earned) on a season-high seven hits in a season-low 4.2 innings. Not a combination of stats that a starting pitcher would like to post. Cahill is winless in his last 13 road starts with a 6.46 ERA. His last road win was on August 20, 2016 in Colorado. He did strike out six Royals and walked two.
  • Emilio Pagan pitched 0.1 of an inning.
  • Danny Coulombe pitched 1.0 inning of relief allowing no hits while striking out two and walking one.
  • Yusmeiro Petit closed out the game for Oakland pitching 2.0 innings giving up one run (earned) on one hit – the home run to Soler. Petit was charged with the loss and is now 2-2 on the season.

Kansas City (21-37)

  • Jason Hammel – the Royals starter – remains winless in his last six starts. He exited the game with a 4-3 lead but Oakland tied the game and Hammel no longer could figure into the decision. Hammel gave up three runs (all earned) on seven hits (one HR) in 6.0 innings of work. He struck out three and walked two.
  • Kevin McCarthy – worked the seventh inning giving up no hits and walking one.
  • Tim Hill – had a very intersting game. He was charged with a blown save (BS, 1) he gave up the tying run in the top the eighth inning. However, Hill was the pitcher of record when Soler hit the game winning home run, so he received the win to up his record to 1-1 for the year.
  • Kelvin Herrera – entered the came in the top of the ninth to go for the save. Herrera – who has an 0.79 ERA – worked a perfect inning striking out one and earning 13th save of the season in 14 opportunities.

In the Batter’s Box

Athletics (4th-place AL West 6.5 GB)

  • Bruce Maxwell – the A’s catcher was really the man with the bat today in Kansas City. Maxwell went 2-for-3 in the game scoring a run and posting two RBI. One of Maxwell’s hits was his first home run of the season.
  • Jed Lowrie – appears to be benefiting from having Khris Davis back in the lineup for protection. Lowrie went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
  • Chad Pinder – recorded his 13th RBI of the season.
  • The A’s went 3-for-6 with Runners In Scoring Position
  • Oakland had nine hits (four strike outs) and left six runners on base

Royals (5th-place AL Central 9.5 GB)

  • Jon Jay – the Royals leadoff/DH went 2-for-4 on Saturday. His leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning was his 14th of the season. He is now hitting .305 for the year. Jay also collected his 16th RBI of season in the game.
  • Jorge Soler – hit his ninth home run of the season and it was the fifth time one of his home runs has given the Royals the lead. It was also his fourth home run in eight games.
  • The Royals went 2-for-7 with Runners In Scoring Position
  • Kansas City collected eight hits and struck out 10 times. They left nine men on base.

Up next

On Sunday, it will be the “rubber game” of the three-game series. The Athletics will send RHP Daniel Gossett (0-3, 6.05 ERA). He is 0-2 since rejoining the A’s from Triple-A on May 23rd. The Royals are going to start RHP Jakob Junis (5-4, 3.61 ERA).

A’s beat O’s 2-0 in 12 innings on Khris Davis two-run walk-off home run

Davis winning HR
Khris Davis hits the game-winning walk-off HR in the 12th inning Photo: @Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Oakland – Both teams deserved to win this game. That line is overused by sports reporters around the world, but on Saturday night at the Coliseum, it was the truth. The Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics put on game-winning performances in their 12-inning affair but in baseball, there are no ties. The A’s won the game 2-0.

The Athletics left the field with their 17th victory of the season after designated hitter Khris Davis hit a Pedro Araujo 3-1 pitch halfway up into the seats in left field with Jed Lowrie on at first with no outs in the bottom of the 12th inning. Unbelievably, the A’s never had a runner in scoring position during the entire contest. It is not often a team is going to escape with a win and never had advanced a runner to second base, but there was nothing usual about this game.

Old Fashion Pitchers Dual

Cahill working
Trevor Cahill recorded 12 strikeouts in a no-decision Saturday Photo: @Athletics

Trevor Cahill started the game for Oakland. Cahill set the tone for the game in the top of the first inning when he struck out the first three Orioles he faced. He struck five of the first six hitters to come bat against him. Cahill looked unbeatable on the mound.

Cahill would go on to work 6.0-innings and record 12 strikeouts while walking just one Baltimore batter. That tied Cahill for the second most strikeouts in six or fewer innings in Oakland history.

Cahill did not give up a run and allowed just four hits. He threw 98 pitches (58 strikes). Manager Bob Melvin indicated the plan was for Cahill to work seven innings but he did not want the righty to exceed 100 pitches.

Gausman
Kevin Gausman threw nine innings of two-hit baseball Photo: @Orioles

The other phenomenal story was Baltimore starting pitcher Kevin Gausman who entered the game with a record of 2-2. Gausman pitched a career-high nine innings and threw 113 pitches (66 strikes). He began the game throwing 89 mph and his last pitch of the contest registered at 98 mph on the radar gun.

Gausman threw nine shutout innings allowing just two hits while striking out six Oakland batters and walking two. It was a pitching performance that would normally have resulted in a victory.

The real irony for both of these starting pitchers who performed so well was they both recorded a no-decision for the game.

Relievers were key in this game

Oakland

  • Yusmeiro Petit came on in relief of Cahill in the top of seventh. Petit really struggled on Friday night but Melvin said had no hesitancy about sending Petit back to the hill. Petit threw 2.0-innings giving up no runs and allowing just one hit. He struck out four and walked three.
  • Santiago Casilla worked innings nine and 10. He pitched two shutout innings allowing just one hit and one hit batter.
  • Danny Coulombe pitched 1.1-innings striking out four Orioles and allowing one hit.
  • Chris Hatcher replaced Coulombe in the top of the 12th with one out. He walked the first man he faced – Trey Mancini. Craig Gentry was brought in as a pinch-runner for Mancini. With Adam Jones at bat, Gentry attempted to steal second base but was thrown out on a strong throw from catcher Bruce Maxwell to second baseman Jed Lowrie. It was the second caught stealing executed by Maxwell in the game. Hatcher induced Jones to ground out third to first for the final out of the game. Hatcher (3-0) picked up the win as he was the pitcher of record when Davis hit the game-winning home run.

Baltimore

  • Mychal Givens worked two great innings of relief of the O’s. He struck out five of the six Oakland hitters he faced and allowed no baserunners. It was simply a perfect relief effort.
  • Pedro Araujo worked the fateful 12th inning giving up the game-winning two-run home run to Davis. He is hung with the loss and is now 1-3 for the season.
Cahill K
Counting them up for Cahill Photo: @Athletics

Vital Stats

Oakland (17-16) 2 runs, 4 hits, no errors

Baltimore (8-25) 0 runs, 7 hits, no errors

Time of the game: 3:32

Attendance: 24612

Up Next

The Orioles will send RHP Alex Cobb (0-3, 9.68) to the hill to faceoff against the Athletics RHP Andrew Triggs (2-1, 5.20). This will be Cobb’s fifth start of the season. His last start versus the Angels was his longest outing of the year when he pitched 6.0-innings. Cobb has allowed 10 hits in three of his starts and allows just over five runs per appearance.

Triggs will make his seventh start of the season for Oakland. He made the start last Tuesday on the road in Seattle. Triggs pitched 4.2-innings in that game giving up four runs (all earned) off six hits. He struck out four hitters and walked three while throwing 89 pitches (49 strikes). The A’s went on to lose that game 6-3.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM.

 

 

 

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

10-8 Ms
Graphic: @athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A’s with the bat

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

Seattle was in power mode with their bats

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

Up next

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

 

Stults does in Giants

Screen shot 2013-09-28 at 6.11.34 PM

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-In his final start of the 2013 season, Eric Stults pitched like he was trying to get the San Diego Padres into the playoffs, depsite the fact they are tied for third place with the San Francisco Giants.

Stults pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking no one and striking out three on his way to his 11th win of the season and the Padres defeated the Giants 9-3 before a sellout crowd of 41,201 at AT&T Park.

Hunter Pence, who earlier in the day signed a five-year $90 million contract, slammed a two-run home run off of Stults in the bottom of the third inning that gave the Giants 3-1 lead over the visitors from “America’s Finest City.”

Chris DeNorfia gave the Padres a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as he took the second pitch he saw from Yusmeiro Petit over the centerfield wall for his 10th home run of the season.

The Padres took the lead for good in the top of the fourth inning, as they scored four runs off of Petit and batted around against Petit and George Kontos.

Former Giants outfielder Jesus Guzman gave the Padres the elad for good, as he hit a three-run home run off of Petit.

After getting the first two outs in the fourth inning, Petit gave up six consecutive hits, with the last one coming against Stults, who drove in Alexi Amarista.

Mike Kickham came on to finish the game, but DeNorfia added a run-scoring single in the top of the ninth inning, and then Reymond Fuentes added a run-scoring single of his own and then Jedd Gyorko added a two-run home run.

Kickham pitched one inning, allowing four runs on six hits and striking out one.

Petit lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking no one and striking out two.

With the victory, the Padres move one game ahead of the Giants for third place in the National League West.