June 10, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVEA'S PAGE A'S VIDEOPaul Gutierrez
It was no secret the A's were going to select right-hander "Moonlight" Graham Godfrey from Triple-A Sacramento to make the start Friday night in Chicago and that lefty Bobby Cramer was most likely going to be sent back to the River Cats.What was more of a mystery, though, was how the A's, with interim manager Bob Melvin, would clear space on their 40-man roster to make room for Godfrey. The answer - beleaguered third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was outrighted to Sacramento, the latest in a string of demotions for the sixth-year veteran who was batting just .221 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 46 games with nine errors committed when he was optioned to the minors."Thank you for all the support everyone," Kouzmanoff Tweeted Thursday morning, "looking forward to getting on track in Sacramento."
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Godfrey, meanwhile, will be attempting to accomplish something that has not been done in more than a century - win his major league debut for a team on a losing streak of at least ten games.The last pitcher to do so was Ernie Ross of the old Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 17, 1902 (those Orioles would eventually move to New York and become the Yankees). Baltimore was riding an 11-game losing streak when Ross beat Boston in the second game of a double-header. It was Ross' lone victory as a big leaguer.Jim Mains was the last A's pitcher to make his MLB debut during a 10-plus game A's losing streak, on Aug. 22, 1943. The Philadelphia Athletics lost that day at Chicago's Comiskey Park to lose their 16th straight en route to a franchise-record 20 straight defeats. It was Mains' only major league appearance.
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Of course, Godfrey hopes to stick around and avoid the one-and-done tags of Ross and Mains.Godfrey, 26, is a combined 7-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 10 starts for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento this season with all of his decisions coming for the River Cats after one start at Midland. He is leading the Pacific Coast League in ERA (2.50) and lowest batting average against (.222). In 54 13 minor league innings in 2011, he has allowed two home runs while striking out 51 and walking 15.Originally drafted by Toronto in the 34th round of the 2006 first-year player draft, Godfrey was traded to the A's with right-hander Kristian Bell for utility player Marco Scutaro on Nov. 18, 2007. In five minor league seasons, Godfrey is a combined 33-32 with a 4.20 ERA in 119 appearances, 103 starts.