OAKLAND -- Business is picking up here in Oakland. The A's have made four more roster moves on Friday. The team has acquired pitcher Pat Neshek from the Orioles in a trade, recalled Derek Norris and Michael Taylor from Sacramento and made official the worst-kept secret in baseball that Dan Straily is starting Friday.Taylor is here to fill in for Seth Smith, who hit the DL with a left hamstring strain. Norris will be the starting catcher since Kurt Suzuki has been traded to the Nationals. And Neshek will provide depth in the bullpen. Evan Scribner and Jim Miller have been optioned to Triple-A to make room for Straily and Neshek.Neshek, 31, has been in Triple-A Norfolk all season where his numbers have been solid. He is 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA and 11 saves in 35 appearances. He has 49 strikeouts in 44 innings and has walked just seven batters. He spent five seasons with the Twins and one with the Padres.Taylor is leading the River Cats with a .301 batting average and has 11 homers and 57 RBIs in 95 games in Sacramento. Taylor's 67 walks rank him second in the Pacific Coast League. He was with the A's for four games from May 4 to May 10.
At Mesa, Arizona, Matt Szczur keyed a three-run second inning for the World Series champions and Charcer Burks hit a solo homer in front of 14,929 fans.
Burks also had a diving catch in left field with two on and one out in the eighth inning.
Matt Joyce hit a solo home run in his first game with Oakland and Matt Chapman tied it 3-all with a two-run drive in the fourth. Rajai Davis, who hit a tying home run off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of last year's World Series Game 7, opened the game for the Athletics with a walk, then stole second and third but was stranded when Stephen Vogt flied out.
A's starter Jesse Hahn allowed three runs, all in the second, including a two-run single by Szczur that deflected off the pitcher's glove.
MESA, Ariz. – The Cactus League crowds are different than the ones packed into Wrigley Field. It was only a meaningless split-squad game on a Saturday afternoon in the Arizona sunshine. Finally winning the World Series must have somewhat dulled the edge.
But Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward still thought Rajai Davis would hear it from the sellout crowd of 14,929 at Sloan Park, the what-could-have-been anxiety bubbling up when seeing the Oakland A's leadoff guy who nearly changed the course of baseball history.
"I was surprised he didn't get booed more, but that's just how our fans are," Heyward said. "They're fun like that. They have fun with the game. They acknowledge it. That's pretty cool for Cubs fans to boo you. If anybody boos you from last year, that's kind of an honor, I would say. To be on that side of things, it means you did something great."
As Alfonso Soriano liked to say, they don't boo nobodies. With one big swing, Davis almost unleashed a miserable winter for the Cubs and ended the Cleveland Indians' 68-year drought.
Manager Joe Maddon kept pushing closer Aroldis Chapman, who fired 97 pitches in Games 5, 6, and 7 combined. Davis timed seven straight fastballs in the eighth inning – the last one at 97.1 mph – and drove a Game 7-tying two-run homer just inside the foul pole and onto the left-field patio. In a now-famous rain-delay speech, Heyward gathered his teammates in a Progressive Field weight room as the Cubs regained their composure.
"They booed him, but only the first at-bat," Heyward said. "The second at-bat and the third, I was like: ‘Eh, they kind of just let him off the hook.' They let him be."
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