Angels snap A's 12-game road win streak

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Angels snap A's 12-game road win streak

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ANAHEIM -- Sometimes being greedy isn't a bad thing. The A's would have loved to cap their seven-game road trip with a sweep of the Angels, they'll have to settle for a still solid 6-1 excursion through the lower parts of the American League West. They couldn't break out the brooms for a second time in a row, but they still cleaned up nicely. The biggest loss for the A's might not be in the standings. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes sprained his right wrist sliding into second base in the fourth inning. He is being listed as day-to-day and after the game A's manager Bob Melvin said his injury isn't serious. Having won an Oakland-era-trying 12 games in a row on the road, their streak was snapped by Angels ace and Cy Young contender Jered Weaver. The Angels' 6-0 defeat of Oakland made Weaver 3-0 in four starts against the A's this season. He only allowed one earned run in 30 13 innings against Oakland. "When he's got everything working it's tough to think along with him," Melvin said. "It's tough to eliminate pitches and sit on a certain pitch because he mixes it up so well."Weaver tossed seven innings of two-hit shutout baseball and struck out nine A's batters. He traded zeros with Brett Anderson, who matched him through the first six innings but faltered in the seventh frame, allowing five runs. "Overall the line score doesn't look very good but I was happy with the way I battled and kept us in the ball game," Anderson said. "But Jered Weaver is Jered Weaver, especially at home here in day games."Anderson allowed a leadoff homer to Torii Hunter in the seventh inning. He retired the next batter but then gave up three consecutive hits making it 3-0 Angels. Melvin visited the mound and Anderson insisted he wanted to stay in the game. He responded by striking out Chris Iannetta but walked Mike Trout to load the bases and was removed from the game. "It's pretty hot out there and it starts to get to you," Melvin said. "A lot of times when you hit that wall it comes pretty quickly, but I thought his stuff was as good as it was any time out and he is continuing to pitch at a very high level."After Anderson left the game reliever Jesse Chavez made his A's debut and allowed all three of his inherited runners to score on two singles, a walk, and a passed ball. "You never want to have one rough inning," Anderson said. "I like the way I've pitched. One bad inning today but you never want to have a reliever come in the game in the situation Chavez did, but he battled and things didn't fall our way today."The Angels sent 11 runners to the plate in their six-run seventh inning. Anderson was saddled with his first loss since returning from Tommy John surgery. He is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his five starts since being forced to take 14 months off to rehab.
The A's won the season series with the Angels 10-9 and don't have to face the Halos or Weaver again unless they meet in the postseason."Outside of the lineup they have here it's a pretty hostile environment," Jonny Gomes said. "They've got that damn rally monkey jumping around in the seventh inning on. Three out of four here, six out of seven on the road trip seems to be a good thing." The A's were shut out for a Major League-leading 16th time on Thursday. They didn't seem all that concerned about it after the game. "We set ourselves up nice," Anderson said. "We have a big home series against Baltimore and a tough road trip and I like the way we are playing."The traveling A's show continues with a quick stop for three days in Oakland before heading out to Detroit, New York, and Texas.

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.

 

A's statement on Raiders: 'We would be sorry to see them leave'

A's statement on Raiders: 'We would be sorry to see them leave'

MESA, Ariz. — The Raiders’ approval to leave Oakland and relocate to Las Vegas comes as the A’s are contemplating where to build their own ballpark in Oakland, with the Coliseum site one of the options.

The A’s issued this statement Monday after the Raiders got the green light from NFL owners to bolt for Vegas:

“We understand the Raiders’ need for a new stadium. Oakland is an incredible sports town and we would be sorry to see them leave. We commend the city’s and county’s efforts to keep the Raiders in Oakland. The Mayor and her team have worked incredibly hard to save the franchise. We are focused on, and excited about, our efforts to build a new ballpark in Oakland and look forward to announcing a location this year.”

The Raiders have one-year options to continue playing at the Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and they plan to do so.

The A’s, meanwhile, are choosing between four different locations in Oakland to build a new venue — the Coliseum, Howard Terminal, a site near Laney College and one near Brooklyn Basin.

The Raiders’ decision to leave doesn’t necessarily mean the Coliseum moves into the lead for possible options for the A’s to build. The site is viable, and there’s great BART and freeway access. The Coliseum could be considered the safest option, perhaps, because it’s a tried-and-true site that has hosted three professional sports teams for decades. The A’s know what they’re dealing with there.

But the A’s also want a thriving entertainment area around their new ballpark, wherever that might be. That sort of “neighborhood” would have to be built from scratch at the current Coliseum site, which is isolated from the multitude of restaurants and bars that exist around AT&T Park, for example.