Cook crumbles, A's drop Game 1 to Giants


Cook crumbles, A's drop Game 1 to Giants


OAKLAND -- The Giants haven't won a game at the Oakland Coliseum since June 24, 2009. It didn't appear Friday would be their night either -- until they plated four runs in the ninth inning. The Giants snapped a six-game losing streak at the Oakland Coliseum, winning the first game of the second leg of the Battle of the Bay 5 to 4.Bullpen ReportRyan Cook was clearly too worked up in the ninth inning. He walked Buster Posey on four pitches, and then walked Pablo Sandoval. The right-hander then gave up a game-tying two-run double to Brandon Belt. On that play, Collin Cowgill just missed catching the ball in left field as he laid out for the ball, but missed, letting it roll to the wall. Cook gave up a hit to Christian, leaving the game with runners on the corners and no outs. Cowgill was replaced in left by Jonny Gomes. His final line was zero innings, two hits, four runs, all earned. Sean Doolittle came in next, but gave up the go-ahead RBI-single to Sanchez, making it 4-0. After sacrifice bunt by Joaquin Arias moved the runners to second and third, Blanco singled home Christian to make it 5-3. Both the runs were charged to Cook who has allowed a run in only two of his 31 appearances. Jerry Blevins entered the game with a runner on and no outs in the seventh inning. He hit Belt on the hand on a 2-2 count, putting the trying runner on first. The next batter was pinch-hitter Justin Christian who popped up a bunt to Kurt Suzuki. That lead to the aforementioned play Inge made detailed in the fielding section. Grant Balfour finished the inning for Blevins getting another pinch hitter Joaquin Arias to fly out to right field. He then pitched a flawless eighth. Balfour hasn't allowed a run over his last eight appearances. At the PlateOne of the heroes of the 1989 World Series, Rickey Henderson, spent the last few days at the Oakland Coliseum. He missed the ultimate homage courtesy of Coco Crisp. He leadoff the game with a single, stole second, and then got the biggest jump I have ever seen, stealing third. Crisp was halfway to third base before Lincecum even started his delivery. Let's call it a "Coco run." After Crisp reached third, Jemile Weeks drove him in with a single, making it 1-0.Lincecum didn't do himself any favors early on. He gave up a single to Josh Reddick -- which snapped an 0 for 19 skid -- then walked Yoenis Cespedes on four pitches. Brandon Belt didn't do Lincecum any favors either when Seth Smith grounded to first, he threw home without touching the bag. Both Smith, and Weeks who charged home on the play were safe -- making it 2-0. With the bases loaded and no outs, Brandon Inge drew a bases loaded walk, making it 3-0. Lincecum then struck out Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki, and Cliff Pennington swinging. After the A's scored their third run in the first inning, Lincecum got locked in. He ended up retiring 17 of the next 19 A's batters while striking out eight.The A's wouldn't score again until the bottom of the ninth. Reddick launched a solo homer to right center off Santiago Casilla. It was Reddick's 16th home run this season. Entering the game Cespedes was hot and Reddick was in a funk. Friday, Reddick went 2 for 4 with a homer, and Cespedes went 0-4 with three strikeouts. His first three strikeout performance in his career. Starting Pitching ReportJarrod Parker went six innings allowing four hits, striking out four and walking two batters. He only allowed one run. Parker lost his command in the third inning. After giving up a single to Hector Sanchez, a wild pitch moved him to second. Sanchez was then able to score on a single by Blanco that first baseman Brandon Moss couldn't get to. It made the score 3-1. Parker made heads up play in the sixth inning catching Gregor Blanco stealing third. The next batter Melky Cabrera laced what would have been a costly single to center field. In the FieldIn the third inning the A's had a few costly miscues. With Hector Sanchez on first, Gregor Blanco grounded the ball the Moss at first. He ranged far to his right and missed the ball on a slide, deflecting the ball away from Weeks who was there to at least stop the ball from going into the outfield. The play scored Sanchez, who singled his way on and advances on a Parker wild pitch. Later in the inning Blanco stole second and Weeks couldn't hang onto Suzuki's throw. He laid on the ground and watched the ball dribble away for a moment, as Blanco broke for third safely. Weeks was charged with an error on the play. With two on in the seventh inning, Sanchez hit a ball toward the third baseline, Inge made a reaching stop as he ranged to his right ran to the bag for a force out. He almost got a second out when he gunned the ball to first after touching the bag. Inge's glove work saved the A's at least one run. AttendanceThe A's announced a sellout attendance of 35,067. Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race. It fell behind but a late surge lead to victory. Up NextMadison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.92 ERA) takes on Tyson Ross (2-6, 6.11 ERA).Bumgarner, 22 is becoming one of the games toughest left-handed pitchers. The A's have never faced him before. Coincidentally Bumgarner was born in 1989, the year the A's and Giants met in the World Series. Ross, 25, was three during that World Series. He grew up on 66th Street in Oakland, and is familiar with the A's and Giants rivalry. He has been ping-ponging back and forth between the Major Leagues and Triple-A this season. He faced the Giants in SF on May 19. He lost the game but threw six innings, and allowed two runs. The A's didn't score in that game.

A's spring training Day 37: Triggs strengthens his bid for rotation spot

A's spring training Day 37: Triggs strengthens his bid for rotation spot

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Last year Andrew Triggs was one of an assembly line of starting pitchers the A’s ran out to the mound after injuries took their toll.

This spring, Triggs looks ready to assume a more instrumental role. On Wednesday, he stepped up with his best effort of the spring in Oakland’s 5-3 victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

He fared well against a Chicago lineup saturated with left-handed hitters. He commanded his fastball. His curve had bite to it. And with his cutter lacking, Triggs kept hitters off-balance with his changeup and threw five innings of three-hit ball. He gave up two runs, struck out four and didn’t issue a walk.

In short, it was everything manager Bob Melvin needed to see as he evaluates whether this late-blooming right-hander is ready for the starting rotation.

“This was his best outing so far,” Melvin said. “His best command, sharpest breaking ball. He had good movement on his fastball. Once you’re getting out there to 75-80 pitches, you’ve got a chance to not only evaluate performance, there’s endurance involved. Everything.”

Triggs, 28, had surrendered six runs in just 3 2/3 innings his last time out against Cleveland. He was much more efficient Wednesday.

“I felt like I had a pretty good feel for most everything in the arsenal,” he said.

Most of Triggs’ major league work last season, in his first taste of the bigs, came in relief. If he’s to pitch every fifth day in 2017, he needs to show he can retire lefties consistently, and remain effective two and three times through a batting order.

Catcher Stephen Vogt believes Triggs has the repertoire to do that.

“The nice part about a four-pitch mix is very rarely are you gonna have all four on any given night. So if two go away, you've got two more to back it up,” Vogt said. “Today his cutter, usually one of his better pitches, wasn’t that great. He needed to rely more on the changeup and he did.

“Then he gets those swings and misses with the big breaking ball. It’s fun to make the crowd kind of ‘woo.’ It’s always a good sign.”

STOCK RISING: Another pitcher who helped his cause Wednesday was Frankie Montas, who struck out four over two scoreless innings to seal the victory.

“He continues to do what he continues to do,” Melvin said. “He’s throwing more and more breaking balls too.”

In Montas’ four outings, he’s allowed just one earned run over eight innings for a 1.13 ERA. He’s struck out nine and walked one. In light of Melvin saying his bullpen could use a reliever that can handle multiple innings, Montas has positioned himself squarely in the conversation for a 25-man roster spot.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s have collected 10 doubles over their last two games, and Wednesday they jumped ahead with big offense early once again. Ryon Healy went 2-for-3 with an RBI and is hitting .359. Vogt is also swinging it well. He doubled home two runs in the first and is batting .324.

FAMILIAR FACE: : Tyler Ladendorf, who spent the previous seven-plus seasons in the A’s organization, entered mid-game at shortstop for the Sox and struck out in his only at-bat. Ladendorf signed with Chicago on a minor league deal earlier this spring.

ODDS AND ENDS: With their 13th victory, the A’s (13-10) eclipsed their win total from all of last spring with 11 games still to go. … Sonny Gray (strained lat muscle) felt good a day after playing catch for the first time in two weeks. He was set to do so again Wednesday. … Rajai Davis (1-for-3) scored two runs and notched his fifth stolen base. … Ryan Madson gave up a run in his one inning of work. His ERA is 7.50 through six outings. He’s allowed 10 hits over six innings. … Santiago Casilla, in his fourth appearance, threw a scoreless inning with one hit and one walk.

Mailbag: How would Raiders' move affect A's ballpark search?

Mailbag: How would Raiders' move affect A's ballpark search?

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With one week to go until the A’s break camp and head north, there are still some roster issues to be cleared up.

The big-picture question regarding this team, obviously, is where it might be building a future ballpark.

With all this in mind, we try to provide some clarity on questions submitted via Twitter:

From @Cjkittrell: If the Raiders move to Vegas, does the Coliseum site jump to the top of the list of possible ballpark sites by default?

That’s not necessarily the case. You have to remember what the A’s crave more than anything in a ballpark location: A thriving surrounding area — with restaurants, bars, shops, etc. — that will make the ballpark an attraction beyond the baseball game itself. Team president Dave Kaval has talked of wanting a “ballpark village” around a new venue. A downside of the Coliseum is that there is nothing around the area right now that would attract fans besides the baseball. Other sites, including Howard Terminal, appear to have more potential as far as surrounding attractions.

This doesn’t count out the Coliseum as an option. As Kaval has said, it’s the only site of four being considered that the A’s know is truly viable. There’s comfort in that. And the BART station, freeway access and available parking are big plusses. But something else I’ll mention in regard to the Raiders: Even if they announce a move to Las Vegas, they have lease agreements that would keep them playing football at the Coliseum at least through the 2018 season while their Vegas stadium is under construction. With the Raiders likely to be on the property for that period, it could complicate the A’s own hypothetical construction plans for the Coliseum site.

From @44BWells: With the emergence of Franklin Barrreto and the contract of Jed Lowrie, what's Joey Wendle's present and future?

They appear murky, don’t they? First and foremost, Wendle has to recover from a sore right shoulder that’s kept him out of exhibitions for a while. But the acquisition of utility man Adam Rosales meant Wendle probably wasn’t going to make the club out of spring training anyway. He’s got a fan in manager Bob Melvin, who was impressed with Wendle defensively last September. It was Wendle’s glove that was the question mark when he arrived from the Cleveland Indians. Barreto has the star-caliber upside and the hype. Once the A’s deem him ready, Lowrie becomes a trade possibility. But Wendle’s advantage is that, to a degree, he’s already proven himself in the majors. He’s a known quantity at this level. If a second baseman is needed early in the season, Wendle could get a call-up before Barreto if Barreto gets off to a slow start.

As for Wendle’s future beyond 2017, it would serve him well to be able to handle as many positions as possible. He realizes this. That’s why he volunteered to play winter ball in Mexico this past offseason, where he played lots of shortstop. His role moving forward could be as more of a utility guy, because I see Barreto growing roots at second base.

@ONChristy: Do the A's have the pieces, both in the majors and minors, to make a run in 2018-2020?

Well, it’s definitely tough to look down the road and forecast a three-year block. Here’s a short answer for you: They better! All of the trades of the past couple seasons have been made with an eye toward stockpiling young talent — especially on the pitching side. Contending this year will be a tall order. But by the end of this season, I’d expect Barreto and third baseman Matt Chapman to have gotten their feet wet in the big leagues. There’s a strong chance you’ll also see young pitchers such as Frankie Montas and Daniel Gossett up. There’s a large core of young players who are on the cusp of being major league ready.

Add to that some core veterans such as Khris Davis, Kendall Graveman Marcus Semien and (if he’s not traded) Sonny Gray— who will all be under team control through 2019 at least — and the A’s have a solid foundation for contending in that timeframe you mention. But let’s face it, there’s a lot that can and usually does happen over any three-year span that completely changes what we think we know going in.