Anderson struggles in Texas again, A's lose 7-2

466728.jpg

Anderson struggles in Texas again, A's lose 7-2

May 10, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Ron Washington's new-look lineup jump-started the Texas Rangers' slumping offense.Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer and Colby Lewis pitched into the eighth inning in a rain-delayed 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.Beltre, who was given a night off Monday and had gone 4 for 31 over his previous nine games, connected in the fifth to chase starter Brett Anderson (2-3).Beltre batted sixth for the first time this season as Washington tried to change his team's luck after the Rangers hit .231 in their previous nine games. Beltre's first 35 starts this season had been at cleanup."It worked," Beltre said. "If that's going to work, I'll be happy to be hitting sixth. I don't make up the lineup. I just hope I'm going to be in there - it doesn't matter where I hit. The lineup worked, so we'll probably do it again."
GUTIERREZ: Anderson owned by Rangers...for now
Texas designated hitter Michael Young, making the first start of his 12-year career in the No. 4 slot, went 3 for 4 with a two-run triple in the sixth.Washington said he got the idea to change the lineup while watching a "Seinfeld" rerun on Monday night."We got on base 18 times," the manager said. "Michael was huge. Beltre was huge with a two-run bomb."Will he come back with the same order for Wednesday's series finale?"I'll see when I'm watching 'Seinfeld'," Washington said.The Rangers are without injured sluggers Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, and Washington decided to shake things up. He also moved regular No. 9 hitter Julio Borbon into the leadoff position, and normal leadoff man Ian Kinsler into the No. 3 hole.Washington wrote out his 29th different lineup in 37 games this season.
A'S INSIDER NOTES: Bailey getting closer to return
Lewis (3-4) allowed one run and five hits over 7 1-3 innings. He walked one and failed to register a strikeout for the Rangers, who had lost seven of nine and 11 of 15.The right-hander got 16 outs on balls hit in the air and threw a season-high 115 pitches.Oakland's Cliff Pennington homered in the sixth before a 59-minute rain delay, and Conor Jackson added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.The Rangers loaded the bases in the fourth against Anderson on two singles and a walk, and Mike Napoli walked to force in the game's first run. Craig Gentry's two-out single, his first RBI this season and the fifth of his career, made it 2-0.In the fifth, Young doubled and Beltre ripped a 1-1 pitch into the left-field seats for his eighth homer and a 4-0 lead.Anderson allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts and four walks.Anderson had problems gripping the ball, saying after the game that it was like holding "a wet cue ball in the fourth. I had no control over where it was going. It was all over the place. Then I did a pretty good job of correcting it and getting some outs with some good defensive plays behind me, but made a terrible, terrible pitch to Beltre, a fastball middle-up."David Murphy greeted reliever David Purcey with a single and scored on Napoli's double for a 5-0 lead.Pennington's one-out solo homer in the sixth was his third of the season.Lewis remained in the game after the sixth-inning delay, working out of a first-and-third jam when he retired Daric Barton on a lineout and Ryan Sweeney on a popup."He was still feeling good," Washington said. "He wanted to come back out. He came off the field and went back in the cage and kept his arm going. He wanted to save the bullpen, and he did. When he's able to command his fastball, that makes his stuff so much better. He looked good and strong."NOTES: Anderson is 0-3 with an 8.62 ERA in four career road starts against Texas. ... Lewis had his first start without a strikeout since May 22, 2007, while a member of the A's, a string of 37 straight starts. ... CF Leonys Martin, the Cuban defector who signed a five-year, 15.5 million contract with Texas, will report to Double-A Frisco on Thursday. ... Oakland RHP Andrew Bailey, on the 15-day DL all season with a strained right forearm, pitched his first simulated game of the season Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark. Manager Bob Geren said his closer allowed one walk and no hits in 30 pitches to "six or seven hitters. It was decent for his first time out there like that. He threw all his pitches and he was throwing strikes." In Bailey's absence, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Brad Ziegler have all registered saves for the A's.

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

Editor's Note: The above video was recorded following Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012.

Gregor Blanco's bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster is over.

The former Giants outfielder was released on Monday, Arizona announced.

Blanco had been dealing with an oblique injury and had played since March 21.

In 14 Cactus League games, Blanco went 9-for-40 (.225) with one double and three triples.

More to come...

A's spring training Day 42: Roster longshot Decker could claim outfield spot

A's spring training Day 42: Roster longshot Decker could claim outfield spot

MESA, Ariz. — As the pieces are beginning to fit for the A’s 25-man roster, Jaff Decker may be an unlikely feel-good story come Opening Night.

A non-roster invitee this spring, the journeyman has impressed with his all-around game to the point that he might make Oakland’s club as a fifth outfielder.

There’s other factors that play into it — how many relievers the A’s carry will determine whether they keep five outfielders — but things are breaking right for the 27-year-old Decker, who’s with his fourth organization and has never made an Opening Night roster.

When Jake Smolinski went down with a shoulder injury that required surgery, it thrust Decker into the competition. Then Monday, the A’s released veteran Alejandro De Aza, who had impressed this spring but had an opt-out clause in his minor league deal. The A’s think enough of Decker that they cut De Aza loose. On Monday, Decker returned from a minor oblique issue and started in left field, going 1-for-3 in a 10-3 loss to Kansas City.

“I’m super excited,” Decker said. “I feel like I fit in well here, and I get along with the guys really well. It’s a good group of baseball minds, baseball guys. I hope I have done enough and shown I’m healthy enough to land that spot.”

De Aza hit .300 in 19 games and displayed the veteran savvy that seemed to make him a possible fit on the A’s bench. Manager Bob Melvin expressed hope that De Aza might re-sign with the A’s if he doesn’t find a big league opportunity elsewhere.

But Decker, who bats left-handed as does De Aza, is hitting .308 and has his own attributes, including a strong arm and the ability to play all three outfield spots. It’s a nice package of skills for a player who, at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, doesn’t appear the prototypical big league outfielder at first glance.

If the A’s keep seven relievers, they will take five outfielders into the regular season. The decision on a seventh reliever appears to be between lefty Daniel Coulombe and right-hander Frankie Montas. But the A’s could hang on to both and only keep four outfielders, with Mark Canha being the fourth.

Decker fun fact: His first name is pronounced “Jeff.” He’s named after his uncle, whose first name was misspelled on his birth certificate. Decker’s uncle kept the spelling.

MELVIN ON RAIDERS: Melvin, a Bay Area native who is quite tuned in to the history of local teams, weighed in on the Raiders announcing a move to Las Vegas. That news has a direct impact on the A’s, obviously, as a co-tenant of the Coliseum with the Raiders.

“It’s too bad,” Melvin said. “Like us, they have a rich tradition and unbelievable fan base. They’re well supported in the Bay Area. It’s tough to have to deal with it.”

NOTEWORTHY: In his first start since being named part of the rotation, Andrew Triggs struggled mightily against the Royals, getting tagged for eight runs and three homers in 3 2/3 innings. While stressing that now is no time for complacency in his position, Triggs also said he was approaching the game differently than if it were the regular season. He kept throwing his changeup, his fourth best pitch, in an effort to get more comfortable with it.

“If this were (the regular season), we probably would have said in the first or second inning, this wasn’t so great, and gone out there and started back-dooring cutters and working off the sinker,” he said. “But we made a concerted effort to work on a pitch, it wasn’t very good, and the results showed that.”

FAMILIAR FACE: One of the homers off Triggs came from former Athletic Brandon Moss, who connected for a two-run shot in the fourth. The outfielder signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Royals in the offseason.

ODDS AND ENDS: Coulombe had a great day, tossing three scoreless innings. That’s three outings in a row without allowing a run for the lefty after a rough patch before that. Melvin pointed out that the ability to throw multiple innings will be important if Coulombe makes the team. … Matt Chapman homered in the fifth, his third long ball of the spring. He’s hitting .261 and playing stellar defense. “He’s got a lot of enthusiasm and it rubs off on guys,” Melvin said.