Bob Melvin – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Thu, 03 Oct 2019 08:52:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Diaz and Tampa Bay spoil the A’s playoff party at the Coliseum https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/02/diaz-and-tampa-bay-spoil-the-as-playoff-party-at-the-coliseum-5-1/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/02/diaz-and-tampa-bay-spoil-the-as-playoff-party-at-the-coliseum-5-1/#respond Thu, 03 Oct 2019 05:51:37 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13337 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER For the second year in a row, the A’s dreams of postseason glory died a sudden painful death, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 Wednesday night at the Coliseum in the AL Wild Card game. Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz ripped a leadoff home run against A’s starter Sean Manaea, his first …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

For the second year in a row, the A’s dreams of postseason glory died a sudden painful death, falling to the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 Wednesday night at the Coliseum in the AL Wild Card game.

Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz ripped a leadoff home run against A’s starter Sean Manaea, his first of two in the game, and Oakland was never able to recover.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz celebrates his lead-off home run after crossing the plate in Wednesday’s Wild Card game against the A’s at the Coliseum. Diaz would hit another homer in the third inning to help lead the Rays to a 5-1 win.

 

For A’s fans it was eerily similar to last years Wild Card game in Yankee Stadium, when Aaron Judge, the second batter of the game, blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first off of Liam Hendriks, launching an off-season of second guessing about using an “opener” to start a playoff game as New York raced out to a 6-0 lead before Oakland showed any signs of life on the way to a 7-2 loss.

But this year it was supposed to be different. The A’s won 97 games in the regular season for the second year in a row, and playoff inexperience was no longer a legitimate excuse. They also hit a franchise record 257 home runs during the season, tied for the eighth most in Major League history, but their offense was no where to be found against Rays starter Charlie Morton or a trio of relievers.

Manaea returned to the mound in September from Tommy John surgery and was dominant, fashioning a 4-0 record with a minuscule 1.21 ERA, leading A’s Manager Bob Melvin to give him the ball to start an elimination game ahead of Mike Fiers, who was Oakland’s unquestioned ace after going 15-4 in the regular season.

With a Wild Card record crowd of 54,005 looking on, Diaz immediately silenced the partisan Oakland crowd with a 372 foot blast to deep right center, and Avisail Garcia ripped and even longer two-run homer 426 feet to deep center an inning later. Diaz would go yard again leading off the third, sending Manaea to the showers while extending the Rays lead to 4-0.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Tampa Bay’s Charlie Morton delivers a pitch during the Rays 5-1 win over Oakland in the AL Wild Card game Wednesday night.

 

Meanwhile, Morton was pitching like the ace he was while going 16-6 in the regular season. Only two years removed from leading Houston to a World Series championship with a dominating Game 7 performance at Dodger Stadium, he also won Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS against the Yankees, making him the first pitcher to record wins in winner-take-all games in Major League history.  He never allowed the A’s bats to awaken, tossing five innings while only allowing an unearned run on five hits. Oakland scored their only run in the third without a hit, capitalizing on Marcus Semien’s hustle in going from first to third on Mike Brosseau’s throwing error before coming in to score on a Ramon Laureano sacrifice fly.

Yusmeiro Petit came on to pitch masterfully in relief of Manaea, shutting down the Rays for 2.2 innings before getting touched up for a solo shot by Tommy Pham in the fifth for Tampa’s fourth home run of the game to establish the games final margin. Jesús Luzardo, in just his seventh big league game, came on in the sixth and pitched three scoreless innings for Oakland.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
A despondent Matt Olson removes his batting gloves for the final time during the 2019 season following the A’s season-ending 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card game Wednesday night at the Coliseum.

 

“It’s frustrating,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s very sudden. Usually you have a series to kind of have a tomorrow and come back and win a game. And we’ve been really good this year about having a tough game and coming back and responding.”

“There’s no responding in a game like this. It’s a little out of the norm for baseball. Both teams battled to get to this point and knew it would be one and out. They just played better than we did.”

So, after advancing to the post-season for the fifth time in the past eight seasons and going a Major League best 60-29 (.674) since June 17, the A’s continue to look for their first series win since 2006 after another deflating loss in an elimination game.

GAME NOTES:

The loss extended the A’s futility in winner-take-all playoff games. They’ve now lost nine consecutive games when a win would have advanced them to the next round, or won a series, the longest such streak in Major League history. The last time Oakland won an elimination game was Game 7 of the 1973 World Series. It also dropped their record to 0-3 in Wild Card games.

 

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Canha’s 11th inning walk-off gives A’s 1-0 win in pitchers duel https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/18/canhas-11th-inning-walk-off-gives-as-1-0-win-in-pitching-duel/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/18/canhas-11th-inning-walk-off-gives-as-1-0-win-in-pitching-duel/#respond Thu, 19 Sep 2019 02:19:12 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13194 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Mark Canha’s 11th inning double drove home Jurickson Profar with the only run of the game, breaking up a pitchers duel and giving the A’s a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum. Canha laced a 1-2 sinker from Royals reliever Jessie Hahn into right field to …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Mark Canha’s 11th inning double drove home Jurickson Profar with the only run of the game, breaking up a pitchers duel and giving the A’s a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum.

Canha laced a 1-2 sinker from Royals reliever Jessie Hahn into right field to score Profar, who had walked to open the inning before stealing second base. It was the A’s 10th walk-off win of the season.

The win, Oakland’s eighth in nine games and 13th in their last 16, was the A’s 92nd of the year and put them a season high 31 games over .500. It also helped them extend their lead in the battle for the top Wild Card seed in the AL to 2.5 games over the Rays and Indians pending their games tonight.

 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Oakland’s Mark Canha celebrates his 11th inning walk-off single with Matt Olson (28) Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum. Canha’s hit gave the A’s a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals.

 

A’s starting pitcher Homer Bailey set the tone, shutting down the Royals on just three hits in seven innings while striking out a season high 11 against his former team. Kansas City starter Danny Duffy was just as good, only allowing two hits over seven innings while striking out seven. Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman and J.B. Wendelken pitched an additional four scoreless frames while striking out eight, giving Oakland pitchers 19 strikeouts for the game.

 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Oakland second baseman Sheldon Neuse completes a fifth inning double play during the A’s 1-0 11 inning win over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday afternoon.

 

After an off day Thursday, the A’s return to action at the Coliseum Friday for a three game series against Texas to conclude their regular season schedule at home. Mike Fiers (14-4, 4.09) is scheduled to face the Rangers Mike Minor (13-9, 3.33) in the opener.

GAME NOTES:

Following the game, Oakland announced that Blake Treinen will be shut down for the remainder of the regular season due to a stress reaction in his back.

The A’s finished the season 25-8 against AL Central opponents. It’s the second year in a row they’ve beaten up against the division, after going 26-8 last year. They also finished with a run differential of +89 in the 33 games in 2019.

After his performance Tuesday night, Liam Hendricks now has 116 strikeouts as a reliever this season, passing Rollie Fingers (115 in 1975) for most strikeouts by an A’s reliever in a single season.

A’s starting pitchers are 13-1 over the last 28 games dating back to August 20th.

Wednesday’s win was Oakland’s 50th of the year at home, tying their 2018 total with three games remaining. It’s the third best home record in the American League.

 

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Longoria leads Giants past A’s 5-4 to take Bay Bridge series https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/longoria-leads-giants-past-as-5-4-to-take-bay-bridge-series/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/longoria-leads-giants-past-as-5-4-to-take-bay-bridge-series/#respond Mon, 26 Aug 2019 02:53:12 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13006 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The San Francisco Giants took down the Oakland A’s 5-4 to take the Bay Bridge series before a crowd of 47,321 at the Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Evan Longoria’s three RBI’s led the Giants to a sweep of the two game weekend series in Oakland, enabling them to win the annual crosstown series …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The San Francisco Giants took down the Oakland A’s 5-4 to take the Bay Bridge series before a crowd of 47,321 at the Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

Evan Longoria’s three RBI’s led the Giants to a sweep of the two game weekend series in Oakland, enabling them to win the annual crosstown series three games to one as the Athletics fell a 1/2 game off the pace behind Tampa Bay in the ultra competitive AL Wild Card race.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER San Francisco’s Evan Longoria blasts a third inning home run for his 1,000th career RBI during the Giants 5-4 win over the Oakland A’s Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum.

After San Francisco jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, the A’s quickly bounced back with three runs of their own. Mark Canha took a pitch from Giants starter Logan Webb, in just his second Major League appearance, over the right field wall to get Oakland on the board. Back-to-back doubles by Jurickson Profar and Corban Joseph followed by a Chad Pinder single made it four consecutive hits to give the A’s a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame.

Longoria wasted no time tying it, blasting a Brett Anderson pitch 414 feet to deep center for his 17th homer of the year. It was also his 1,000th career RBI. The game would remain tied until Canha hit his second home run of the game in the in the fourth to give the A’s a 4-3 lead.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Oakland’s Mark Canha watches the flight of his second inning home run Sunday afternoon against the Giants. Canha would hit another homer in the fourth, his 22nd of the season, but it wasn’t enough as San Francisco earned a 5-4 win.

The advantage held up for Oakland until the seventh when a Longoria single off Blake Treinen drove in Brandon Crawford and Donovan Solano to give him three RBI’s on the day. Solano finished with a perfect day at the plate, reaching base in all five of his appearances with three singles, a double and a walk. The two runs proved decisive as Will Smith came on to pitch a scoreless ninth for his 30th save of the season.

Following the game, Oakland boarded a flight to Kansas City where they’ll begin a three game series with the Royals tomorrow night. Homer Bailey (11-8, 5.06) takes on KC’s Brad Keller (7-13, 3.95) in the opener. Meanwhile, the Giants will return to the friendly confines of Oracle Park for a brief two game set against the Diamondbacks, with Tyler Beede (3-7, 5.82) facing off against Arizona’s Alex Young (5-3, 4.04) at 6:45pm on Monday night.

GAME NOTES:

After 23 years of inter-league competition, Oakland now owns an 8-5 edge in Bay Bridge season series wins over the Giants with ten ties.

Sunday marked Bruce Bochy’s 4,000th game as a Major League manager, making him just the eighth to accomplish the feat. Next up is Sparky Anderson at 4,030, who Bochy should pass on the final weekend of the season.

Mike Yastrzemski’s eight home runs in August are just two shy of the franchise’s All-Time record for most HR’s in a month. Bobby Thompson hit 10 in 1947, a mark tied by Willie Mays four years later, both while the franchise was in New York. Orlando Cepeda is the only Giants rookie to hit nine homers in a month during the San Francisco era.

With 17 home runs and 47 RBI’s, Yaz is on the verge of becoming just the fourth Giants rookie to hit at least 20 homers while driving in at least 50 RBI in a single season. Only Dave Kingman (1972), Jim Ray Hart (1964) and Cepeda (1958) have accomplished the feat.

Canha’s two home runs extended his season total to a career high 22 long balls.

 

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A’s use small ball to take third straight from Houston 8-4 https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/17/as-use-small-ball-to-take-third-straight-from-houston-8-4/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 03:27:59 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12932 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Chris Bassitt and the A’s overcame a shaky start before settling down to pitch six strong innings Saturday afternoon and help Oakland to their third straight win over the Houston Astros by a score of 8-4 at the Coliseum. With the win, the A’s have now shaved four games off of Houston’s …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Chris Bassitt and the A’s overcame a shaky start before settling down to pitch six strong innings Saturday afternoon and help Oakland to their third straight win over the Houston Astros by a score of 8-4 at the Coliseum.

With the win, the A’s have now shaved four games off of Houston’s division lead in the past four days to cut their deficit to 6.5 games while reaching a season-high 19 games over .500. Oakland continues to trail Tampa Bay by 1/2 game in the battle for the AL’s second Wild Card spot.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Chris Bassitt delivers a pitch during the A’s 8-4 win over Houston Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. Bassitt allowed three runs in six innings to improve his record to 9-5.

Bassitt (9-5, 3.61) needed 30 pitches to work out of a bases-loaded first inning jam, and gave up a pair of runs in the third after allowing three consecutive hits to open the inning before settling down to complete six innings on 116 pitches.

It was also a five run third inning that broke open the game for Oakland. Four consecutive singles to start the frame followed by a bases-loaded walk to Matt Chapman tied the game. Another single by Matt Olson put the A’s up 3-2. A two run single by Mark Canha to drive in Chapman and Robbie Grossman extended the lead to 5-2 as Oakland finished the frame with six hits, all singles.

Astros rookie Yordan Alvarez continued his assault on Major League pitching with a pair of solo home runs. In just 51 games, he now has 19 homers to go along with 54 RBIs.

The two teams will be back at it Sunday afternoon at 1:05 PM with the A’s going for an unlikely four-game sweep. Houston’s Zack Greinke (12-4, 2.91) will be on the mound for the Astros trying to become just the third active pitcher to reach 200 career wins while Brett Anderson (10-8, 3.95) is scheduled to take the hill for Oakland.

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Chapman’s eighth inning blast lifts A’s past Brewers https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/01/12763/ Fri, 02 Aug 2019 03:19:18 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12763 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Matt Chapman’s two run eighth inning home run came at a perfect time to break out of a 1-27 slump, giving the A’s a 5-3 come from behind win over the Milwaukee Brewers in a battle of playoff contenders at the Oakland Coliseum Thursday afternoon. The win keeps Oakland 1/2 game back of Tampa …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Matt Chapman’s two run eighth inning home run came at a perfect time to break out of a 1-27 slump, giving the A’s a 5-3 come from behind win over the Milwaukee Brewers in a battle of playoff contenders at the Oakland Coliseum Thursday afternoon. The win keeps Oakland 1/2 game back of Tampa Bay in the battle for the second American League Wild Card spot.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Matt Chapman’s two-run eighth inning home run helped give the A’s a come from behind 5-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday afternoon at the Oakland Coliseum. It was Chapman’s 24th homer of the season.

Chad Pinder’s third inning home run got the A’s on the board, but it was Chapman’s blast off of fellow All-Star Josh Hader, his 24th of the year, that gave Oakland the three game series against last seasons NL Central champs after the Brewers had built a 3-1 lead an inning earlier.

In just his fourth start for the green and gold, recent acquisition Homer Bailey settled down after a shaky start to pitch six solid innings for the A’s, allowing two earned runs while striking out five. Jake Diekman, acquired from Kansas City on Sunday, wasn’t quite as impressive after coming on in the seventh. Diekman loaded the bases with nobody out, then nearly worked his way out of it before uncorking a two out wild pitch that put Milwaukee up by two.

Mark Canha had another productive game for Oakland, reaching base in all four plate appearances on three hits and a walk while stealing a pair of bases. After the Athletics added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Jurickson Profar, Liam Hendriks came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning for his tenth save of the year.

After a rare scheduled Friday off day, the A’s first since October 1980, the St. Louis Cardinals come into town for a brief two game series. Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.54) takes the mound against Dakota Hudson (10-5, 3.88) in the opener on Saturday evening at 6:07pm.

GAME NOTES:

Chapman’s blast was his his 11th go-ahead home run of the season, tying him with the Angels Mike Trout for the second most in the American League. It was also his 24th of the year, tying his career high set in 2018.

Right-hander Tanner Roark, acquired from Cincinnati just prior to yesterday’s trade deadline, is likely to make his Oakland debut Sunday afternoon against the Cards.

Right fielder Stephen Piscotty, out since June 29th, is close to returning and might be back in time to face his former team this weekend. Piscotty played his first three seasons with St. Louis before getting traded to the A’s prior to the 2018 season.


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Twins come back to beat A’s in ninth 7-6, split four game series https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/21/twins-come-back-to-beat-as-in-ninth-6-5-split-four-game-series/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 03:37:25 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12613 BY J.A. SCHWARTZ The Twins rallied dramatically for two runs in the bottom of the ninth off A’s closer Liam Hendriks Sunday afternoon, winning the final game of the four game set 7-6 in a back and forth affair. Max Kepler drilled the winning hit to left field, following an RBI triple from Ehire Adrianza, …

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BY J.A. SCHWARTZ

The Twins rallied dramatically for two runs in the bottom of the ninth off A’s closer Liam Hendriks Sunday afternoon, winning the final game of the four game set 7-6 in a back and forth affair. Max Kepler drilled the winning hit to left field, following an RBI triple from Ehire Adrianza, who had tied the score one out earlier.

Kepler finished the contest a triple shy of the cycle, driving in four runs for the victorious Twins. For the A’s, who had battled back from a 4-0 deficit to take a 6-5 lead in the eighth, it was a bitter ending to a hard fought contest between the two playoff aspirants.

Hendriks (4-1), pitching for the third straight day, was tasked with completing the comeback victory. He had thrown 31 pitches combined over the past two evenings, but still featured his 98 MPH heat against the Twins in the ninth. “I felt fine. The ball was coming out good,” the stand-up closer said afterwards. “I just missed with location. These guys worked their tails off today, and I couldn’t bring it home.”

When asked if he considered pitching around Kepler, who had homered and doubled earlier in the contest, he was adamant. “I trust my stuff against anybody in the league, regardless of who it is.” A’s manager Bob Melvin did not believe Hendriks featured a diminished arsenal. “His stuff today was no different than any other day. Give them credit. They hit some good pitches. He’s been really good for us, and I think it is more-give them credit.”

Starter Daniel Mengden put the A’s in a difficult position early in the game, allowing six hits and five walks over 3.1 innings, including a three run HR to Kepler in the second, which staked the Twins to a 4-0 advantage. Asked about his outing, Mengden was direct. “I felt fine. It was just a lack of execution, and falling behind. I can’t put the team in a situation like that, in a hole like that.” Mengden, who hadn’t walked a batter in his previous three starts, wasn’t long for the contest, throwing 86 pitches, only 45 of which found the zone.

Jurickson Profar worked a one out walk from Twins starter Michael Pineda with one out in the fifth, and Josh Phegley hit a 2-1 pitch out to left for his 10th homer of the season, bringing the A’s to within 4-2. In 136 career starts, Pineda had only seven prior starts where he had walked four or more batters. But he ended up walking a season high five in his 5.1 innings, during which the A’s lineup worked him for 109 pitches.

The A’s defense kept them close throughout the game, with Marcus Semien making outstanding plays in the second, sixth and eighth, the last of which surely saved a critical run. Melvin was effusive in his praise for the shortstop. “It’s amazing. He’s been making great plays all year, so it’s not a surprise to us. He’s one of the premier shortstops in the game.”

Ramon Laureano made a running grab in the left center field gap that took extra bases away from Kepler in the fourth. First baseman Matt Olson turned a 3-2 double play against Kepler in the fifth with the bases loaded and nobody out, fielding a ground ball and stepping on first base as he fired home to Phegley to apply a tag on the sliding Luis Arraez. After a 67 second review following a challenge by Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, the call was upheld, and Matt Chapman completed the defensive wizardry in the inning by stabbing a wicked line drive off the bat of Jorge Polanco to keep the game at 5-2 after five.

Oakland kept the pressure on a beleaguered Twins bullpen that helped fuel yet another comeback. Every A’s starter except Mark Canha reached base by hit or walk. The collective patience of the entire lineup chewed through the Twins pen, seeing 195 pitches from the Twins hurlers over the course of the contest. The A’s drew a walk in every inning from the third through the ninth, with four of those walks scoring for Oakland during their furious rally.

Semien led off the seventh with a walk off reliever Trevor May, and Chapman just missed hitting a game tying home run by a few feet, doubling off the flower boxes in right field. A wild pitch allowed Semien to race home to make it 5-4, but Canha struck out swinging, the second A’s hitter in the inning felled by May’s 98 MPH heater.

After Robbie Grossman drew a one out walk from May in the eighth, Chris Herrmann, pinch- hitting for Chad Pinder, rocketed a double high off the scoreboard in right center, allowing Grossman to tie the score 5-5 when Gonzalez tripped over his own cleats after playing the ball off the wall. A passed ball by Jason Castro allowed pinch runner Franklin Barreto to reach third base, which proved critical, as Phegley’s routine fly ball to right allowed Barreto to score the go ahead run. With three RBIs for the A’s batting ninth, Phegley was arguably the offensive hero for Oakland. The A’s, who once trailed 4-0, had rallied yet again to take a 6-5 lead on the first place Twins.

With Joakim Soria on to pitch, the eighth began with an anomaly. Laureano misplayed a fly ball off the bat of Polanco for a two base error. Ranging far into the right-center field gap to chase down the drive, he appeared to misjudge it at the last moment. The A’s defense would rally around the miscue, however. Cruz hit a ground ball up the middle that was ticketed for a sure single to tie the game, but Semien dove to snare it, and rifled a throw to Olson from his knees to retire the 39-year-old DH. “The Cruz play was a game saver,” Melvin would note in his post game comments. After Rosario popped the next pitch out to Chapman at third, Soria fanned Sano on a slow curve to preserve the margin at 6-5 heading to the ninth.

Marwin Gonzalez would hit the first pitch to left from Hendriks for an easy out before Arraez lined a single to left. After getting ahead of Adrianza with 98 MPH fastballs, Hendriks tried to sneak a slider past him, and Adrianza blasted it off the wall in right for a run scoring triple, tying the contest at six. “I think every pitch that they hit, I ended up shaking off Phegley, but they were the pitches that I wanted to throw. I just missed with location,” Hendriks would say after the game. He rebounded to strike out Castro for the second out, but couldn’t get Kepler, who lined a single to left to win it for the Twins.

Kohl Stewart (2-1), the fifth pitcher for the Twins, fired a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the win, allowing the Twins to split the four game series and maintain their three game lead over the surging Indians in the AL Central.

With the loss the A’s fell 6.5 games behind the Astros, who beat the Rangers 5-3. Oakland maintained their Wild Card position, holding a single game lead over Tampa after today’s action. The A’s dropped to 57-43 on the season, the identical record they had after 100 games in 2018.

The A’s next travel to Houston to begin a three game showdown against the division leading Astros Monday night, with Homer Bailey (8-6, 4.69) making his second start for Oakland against Gerritt Cole (10-5, 3.12) in the opener. The A’s haven’t lost back-to-back games since June 8th.

GAME NOTES:

Sunday was the annual Major League Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, NY, with Edgar Martinez, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Harold Baines, and Lee Smith all joining the ranks of baseball royalty this afternoon.

The A’s are 31-15 (.674) against the Twins since 2013, which is the second best record against Minnesota during that period (Yankees).

Last night was the first loss by the Twins when they led after eight innings. They had won their previous 53 games in those situations this year.

The A’s are 38-17 (.691) since May 16th, tied with the Yankees for the best record in baseball.

Yusmeiro Petit ranks first among AL relievers in games pitched with 50, and is fourth with just 1.01 walks per nine innings.

The A’s have now homered in 21 consecutive games, the second longest streak in team history. The record is 23 games in a row, set by the 1996 A’s.

Prior to going hitless Sunday, Mark Canha was hitting .306/.443/.673 since June 30, starting 13 of the A’s 15 games in RF since Stephen Piscotty went on the IL. The A’s are 38-15 (.717) with Canha in the lineup.

Ramon Laureano is hitting .469/.508/.1041 with seven doubles, seven HR and 13 RBI in 14 games in July. He’s just the fourth CF in Oakland history to hit 20 HR, joining Coco Crisp, Dave Henderson and Dwayne Murphy in that club.

Matt Olson extended his career high and current MLB high hitting streak to 16 games (19-for-64, .296). Olson also has five bunt hits, which is tied for second in the AL.

Marcus Semien has a 25 game errorless streak, and ranks second among AL shortstops with a .985 fielding percentage. He leads all AL shortstops in assists (274) and total chances (390).

A’s batters have been hit 50 times, ranking third in the AL.

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Davis clutch ninth inning single propels A’s past Twins 5-4 https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/20/davis-clutch-ninth-inning-single-propels-as-past-twins-5-4/ Sun, 21 Jul 2019 04:41:05 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12585 BY J.A. SCHWARTZ A line drive single by Khris Davis off Twins closer Taylor Rogers with two out in the ninth inning led the A’s to a dramatic, come from behind 5-4 victory in Minneapolis Saturday night as Oakland celebrated their second straight victory over the first place Twins with yet another riveting late inning …

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BY J.A. SCHWARTZ

A line drive single by Khris Davis off Twins closer Taylor Rogers with two out in the ninth inning led the A’s to a dramatic, come from behind 5-4 victory in Minneapolis Saturday night as Oakland celebrated their second straight victory over the first place Twins with yet another riveting late inning rally. It was the 21st victory for the A’s in their last 26 games.

Mitch Garver hit the second pitch from Brett Anderson in the first inning out of the ballpark 410 feet to right center to give the Twins an early lead. One out later, 39-year-old Nelson Cruz hit another first pitch changeup from Anderson 436 feet over the center field wall, a titanic blast with 107 MPH exit velocity to give Minnesota a quick 2-0 lead. Miguel Sano then drilled a double to left on a slider, but Anderson got groundouts to second base from Marwin Gonzalez and C.J. Cron to limit further damage before settling down to keep the Twins off the scoreboard into the seventh.

The A’s finally broke through in the seventh. Marcus Semien walked to start the inning, his second free pass of the night. After a Matt Chapman pop out to first, Zack Littell came in to strike out Matt Olson on a 95 MPH heater. Mark Canha then crushed a slider 424 feet for an upper deck home run to left to tie the score.

It wouldn’t stay tied for long, however, as Ramon Laureano followed with his 20th home run of the season, an opposite field blast on an 0-2 fastball that got too much of the plate, giving the A’s a 3-2 lead. It was the eighth time this season the A’s have hit back-to-back home runs.

On the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to walk on the moon, Sano led off the bottom of the seventh with a 434 foot moon shot of his own into the third deck in left on a full count slider from Anderson, tying the score at 3-3. That ended the evening for Anderson, who pitched six strong innings, but was denied a chance at a victory by allowing three solo home runs to right handed hitters Garver, Cruz and Sano.

Yusmeiro Petit came in to get one out, but allowed Cron to reach on a single to left, setting the stage for southpaw Ryan Buchter to face the left-handed Max Kepler with the go-ahead run at first. On the ninth pitch of the at bat Kepler foiled the matchup strategy, lining a single to right. Jonathan Schoop then blooped a short fly ball to left, requiring Robbie Grossman to sprint towards the line to make a running catch. But he was unable to set his feet to throw, and his attempt to nab Ehire Adrianza (who had pinch run for the slower Cron earlier in the inning) tagging on the play was high and well wide of the plate, allowing the Twins to take a 4-3 lead. Buchter then picked off Kepler to end the inning, but the damage had been done.

Minnesota reliever Taylor Rogers, who had thrown two innings Thursday night to close out the Twins victory, got Chapman to ground to Schoop, who ranged far to his left to retire the A’s leadoff man in the ninth. Olson then struck out on a 96 MPH fastball, and the A’s were down to their last out. But Canha was then drilled for the second time, allowing the red-hot Laureano a chance to bat, and he lined a double down the left field line, with Canha wisely held at third. Khris Davis then lined the next pitch off Adrianza’s glove at first, and as the ball rolled onto the outfield grass, both Canha and Laureano scored to give the A’s a 5-4 lead. Adrianza had stayed in the game defensively, but couldn’t come up with the 106 MPH liner off the bat of Davis, and the A’s had rallied to take the lead off the Twins closer after being down tom their final out with nobody on.

Liam Hendriks came on to close it out for the second time in two nights, but unlike Friday, the Twins would not go quietly. Hendriks had pitched 1 2/3 innings last night, throwing 20 pitches while striking out three without allowing a batter to reach base. He fanned Adrianza on a slider to start the frame before Kepler singled to right. Schoop followed with a bullet just inches over Chapman’s leaping effort into the left field corner for a double, but Kepler was held at third base. Eddie Rosario (who hit a pinch-hit three-run home run to fuel the Twins win on Thursday), pinch-hitting for Luis Arraez, was intentionally walked, setting the stage for a bases loaded showdown with Garver, who had already homered leading off the bottom of the first. Hendriks got Garver to ground his first pitch to Semien, who turned an easy double play to end the game. Blake Treinen (3-3) picked up the victory, with Hendriks recording his eighth save of the season.

The victory allowed the A’s to remain 5 1/2 games behind the first place Astros in the AL West, and extended their lead in the Wild Card race to two games over Tampa Bay. The four game series concludes Sunday afternoon as Daniel Mengden (5-1, 4.21) faces off against Michael Pineda (6-5, 4.38) at 11:05AM.

GAME NOTES:

With the win, the A’s clinched the regular season series against Minnesota which could serve as a tiebreaker for home-field advantage should they meet in the postseason. If both teams are division winners or wild cards tied with the same record, Oakland would have the home-field advantage. If one team were a division winner and the other a wildcard, the division winner would have the home-field advantage even if it had an inferior record.

Oakland has now homered in 20 consecutive games, the second most in A’s history. The longest streak was 23 games in July 1996.

Anderson left the game with a blister on his left middle finger after 81 pitches, and is listed as day-to-day. He now ranks second in the AL in night ERA at 2.75. This was his 20th start of the year, his most since 2015 when he made 31 with the Dodgers.

Hendriks leads all MLB relievers in ERA at 0.84, and has a 20.2 scoreless inning streak.

Laureano is hitting .330/.372/.640 with 14 HRs and 37 RBI since May 16th. His arm has been responsible for saving 7.2 runs through July 15, the best among all MLB outfielders .

Saturday night was Semien’s 180th consecutive game.

Chapman already has 22 HRs in 2019.  He had a career high 24 last year.

Coming into tonight’s game, the Twins led all of baseball with 178 HRs, and are on pace to hit 300 long balls, eclipsing the record of 267, set last year by the New York Yankees. The Twins added to that total Saturday night, launching three more home runs into the atmosphere.

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A’s bash Seattle 10-2 in Bailey’s debut to extend hot streaks https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/17/as-bash-seattle-10-2-in-baileys-debut-to-extend-hot-streaks/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 02:34:23 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12553 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The red hot A’s bashed their way to a sweep of their five game home stand, slamming six home runs, including two each by Mark Canha and Jurickson Profar, to romp to a 10-2 win over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday afternoon in Homer Bailey’s debut in an Oakland uniform. ©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Homer …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The red hot A’s bashed their way to a sweep of their five game home stand, slamming six home runs, including two each by Mark Canha and Jurickson Profar, to romp to a 10-2 win over the Seattle Mariners Wednesday afternoon in Homer Bailey’s debut in an Oakland uniform.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Homer Bailey delivers a pitch in his A’s debut Wednesday afternoon against Seattle. He got off to a shaky start, but settled down to pitch six strong nnings while striking out six in Oakland’s 10-2 win at the Coliseum.

Bailey (8-6) got off to a shaky start, allowing a double to the first batter he faced, Seattle’s Mallex Smith, and two runs on four hits in the second inning before settling down nicely to pitch six innings while striking out six and not walking a batter.

Oakland’s offense certainly contributed to that, as Profar blasted a two run home run to deep right-center to tie the game in the bottom of the second, and Canha’s 412 foot bomb to left-center off of former A’s pitcher Tommy Milone leading off the fourth put the A’s ahead to stay.

It was Bailey’s first outing since July 4th due to the All-Star break and getting scratched from his scheduled start for Kansas City on Sunday while he was warming up in the bullpen when his trade was announced.

Canha would go yard again in the sixth off Milone (1-4) to give the A’s a 4-2 lead. It was his first career multi-home run game, and gave him 13 homers and 28 RBI’s in his career against the Mariners, his most against any team. Four batters later, Chad Pinder’s three run blast broke the game open and added to Milone’s misery before the inning was over. 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Oakland’s Ramon Laureano greets Mark Canha after his sixth inning home run Wednesday afternoon, his second of the game. Two innings later, Laureano would also go yard, as the A’s hit a season-high tying six homers for the day on the way to a 10-2 win over Seattle and a sweep of their three game series.

After closing the top of the eighth with yet another Gold Glove inducing catch to rob a home run from Seattle’s Tim Beckham, Ramon Laureano led off the bottom of the inning with his 19th homer of the year to deep left centerfield. After Khris Davis walked, Profar blasted his second homer of the game to finish with four RBI’s and enable Oakland to tie their season high with six long balls on the day .

With their sixth straight win and 19th in their last 24 games, the A’s moved within four games of the first place Astros in the AL West pending Houston’s game in Anaheim tonight against the Angels. It was also their sixth straight series win as they moved to a season-high 14 games (55-41) over .500 and within a game of Tampa Bay for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.

The A’s streaks, and mettle,, will now be tested as they hit the road for a seven game road trip against a pair of division leaders. Immediately after the game they flew to Minneapolis where they’ll open a four game series tomorrow night against the Minnesota Twins. Mike Fiers (9-3, 3.61) is scheduled to face off against Kyle Gibson (8-4, 4.03) in the opener. After that, it’s on to Houston for three games against the Astros.

GAME NOTES:

The A’s are 36-16 since May 16 after starting the season 19-25. The last time the A’s lost a series was against the Astros during the first weekend of June.

Oakland has now homered in 17 straight games and has 37 homers during that stretch. Their record for most consecutive games with a home run is 23 in 1996.

Liam Hendriks hasn’t allowed a run in his last 17 appearances dating back to June 6 and has struck out 30 batters in his last 18 innings pitched.

Over the last calendar year (July 14, 2018 to date), Matt Chapman leads the American League with 93 extra base hits, well ahead of Xander Bogaerts who is second with 81. Only Christian Yelich of Milwaukee (104) has more among all Major Leaguers.

There has been at least one home run in all 99 of the Mariners games this season, the longest single-season streak in MLB history.

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Semien’s slam seals series win against Twins 7-2 https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/04/semiens-slam-seals-series-win-against-twins-7-2/ Fri, 05 Jul 2019 03:49:38 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12346 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Marcus Semien’s eighth inning grand slam broke open a close game Thursday afternoon, leading the A’s to a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in an Independence Day matinee at the Coliseum. Semien, who also hit a solo home run leading off the fifth, blasted the first pitch from the Twins Mike Minor …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Marcus Semien’s eighth inning grand slam broke open a close game Thursday afternoon, leading the A’s to a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Twins in an Independence Day matinee at the Coliseum.

Semien, who also hit a solo home run leading off the fifth, blasted the first pitch from the Twins Mike Minor over the wall in left-center for his 13th homer of the year and fourth career grand slam to finish with a career-high tying five RBI’s for the day.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Oakland’s Marcus Semien is greeted by Matt Olson at home plate after smashing an eighth inning grand slam against the Twins Thursday afternoon. It was Semien’s second home run of the day, giving him five RBI’s in the A’s 7-2 win over Minnesota.

The win was the A’s 12th in their last 16 games, and gave Oakland the three game series against the AL Central leading Twins, their third straight series victory, while moving them within a game of a wildcard spot. The A’s are now a season-high eight games over .500. The loss reduced Minnesota’s lead over Cleveland to six games, it’s smallest margin since May 20th. The Twins finished their first losing road trip of the year with a 2-4 record.

A’s starter Tanner Anderson settled down after a rocky first in which he allowed a run before leaving the bases loaded to pitch into the fifth before leaving with a high pitch count. Wei-Chung Wang came on to throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his first Major League win. Wang has now turned in scoreless efforts in 10 of his first 12 appearances for the A’s, lowering his ERA to 1.56 over 17 1/3 innings. Oakland catcher Chris Herrmann, who hit a grand slam in his debut Tuesday, went 4-4 in just his third game with the A’s.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Oakland’s Wei-Chung Wang delivers a pitch during the A’s 7-2 win against the Twins Thursday afternoon. Wang earned his first Major League win by tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Minnesota ace, and newly named All-Star Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.00) was in command early, but the A’s finally got to him for a pair of runs in the fifth to take a 3-2 lead that they’d never relinquish. Berrios allowed three runs and six hits in route to losing his third consecutive decision. Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz added three hits in five at bats in a losing cause.

After the game, the A’s headed north where they’ll begin a weekend series against the Mariners in Seattle tomorrow night. Brett Anderson (8-5, 3.92) is scheduled to take the mound against the M’s Yusei Kikuchi (4-5, 5.12) in the opener.

GAME NOTES:

A’s OF Chad Pinder, who turned an ankle in a pre-game injury Wednesday, is expected to return to action this weekend in Seattle.

Pitcher Liam Hendricks has not allowed a run in his last 13 appearances and in 25 of his last 26 relief appearances.

Matt Olson has homered 17 times in 48 games dating back to May 12th. That ties him for the Major League lead with the Pirates Josh Bell over that span.

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Laureano’s blooper leads A’s to another walk-off against Indians https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/11/11651/ Sun, 12 May 2019 01:41:09 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11651 BY RICK PORCARO Ramón Laureano’s bloop single against the Indians A.J. Cole in the bottom of the ninth inning led the A’s to their second consecutive walk-off victory against Cleveland Saturday on a sun-splashed afternoon at the Coliseum by a score of 3-2. ©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Ramón Laureano of the A’s gets mobbed by Matt Chapman …

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BY RICK PORCARO

Ramón Laureano’s bloop single against the Indians A.J. Cole in the bottom of the ninth inning led the A’s to their second consecutive walk-off victory against Cleveland Saturday on a sun-splashed afternoon at the Coliseum by a score of 3-2.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Ramón Laureano of the A’s gets mobbed by Matt Chapman (L) and Matt Olson (R) following his ninth inning walk-off single against Cleveland at the Coliseum Saturday Afternoon. The hit gave Oakland a 3-2 victory over the Indians.

Laureano’s heroics came after the Indians broke thru against A’s closer Blake Treinen to tie the game in the top of the ninth on a single by Leonys Martin. The run snapped a streak of 32 consecutive scoreless innings at the Coliseum by Treinen going back to last July, the longest in Oakland history by a relief pitcher.

Aaron Brooks pitched four solid innings for the A’s after entering the game in relief of opener Liam Hendricks in the second inning, allowing only a solo home run to Martin in the fifth. Brooks left with a 2-1 lead thanks to a Nick Hundley triple in the bottom of the fifth that saw an erroneous throw from the Tribe’s Jake Bauers allow him to come around and score.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Nick Hundley is greeted at the A’s dugout after coming around to score in the fifth inning Saturday afternoon on a throwing error following his triple to deep left center field. Oakland beat the Cleveland Indians 3-2.

Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer showed why he’s evolved into one of the best pitchers in the American League, holding the A’s to just two hits thru seven innings while striking out ten.

The teams return to action Sunday afternoon with Oakland going for a sweep of the three game series. The Mother’s Day match-up features the season debut of Daniel Mengden going up against the Indians Jefry Rodriguez (0-2, 2.41) with the first pitch scheduled for 1:07pm.

GAME NOTES:

Liam Hendricks scoreless first inning was his fifth consecutive outing without allowing a run.

Saturday’s win was Oakland’s first of the season in a game they didn’t hit a home run. They’re now 1-14 when going without a homer.

The walk-off win was the A’s third in four days, giving them a 4-1 record on their current home stand that began with a no-hitter by Mike Fiers.

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