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.

New-look A's continue the youth movement with Maxwell's arrival

New-look A's continue the youth movement with Maxwell's arrival

OAKLAND — The A’s set off for Chicago on Thursday evening to begin their next road trip, and how their dynamic has changed over the course of one week.

They began their most recent homestand by cutting ties with veteran third baseman Trevor Plouffe to make room for hotshot prospect Matt Chapman. On Thursday, catcher Stephen Vogt suffered the same fate as Plouffe, getting designated for assignment to make room for another young player in Bruce Maxwell.

The calendar may still read June, with more than half of the season remaining, but the A’s are cleaning house, undergoing a reboot and playing the rest of 2017 with an emphasis on what lies ahead.

Five of the nine position players in their starting lineup for Thursday’s 12-9 loss to the Houston Astros are what you would consider “future” guys — center fielder Jaycob Brugman, third baseman Ryon Healy, second baseman Chad Pinder, Maxwell and right fielder Matt Olson.

They will shuffle around the diamond a bit, and Olson may only stay with the big club until Chapman comes off the disabled list (though Olson’s full-time status in the bigs doesn’t seem far off). Regardless, the plan is crystal clear — the A’s are hitching their wagon to their young core and are prepared to let them develop at the major league level, with whatever successes and failures may come with the growth process.

“We do get excited about giving these guys playing time,” A’s general manager David Forst said before Thursday’s game.

The Astros finished off a four-game sweep of Oakland with their 12-9 victory, jumping out to a 10-0 lead and then holding on after the A’s mounted a late charge. Glance up and down the box score, and those key young players were instrumental in so much that went right for the A’s.

Maxwell went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Olson drove in two runs. Pinder had two hits and an RBI. Brugman chipped in an RBI single and walked twice. That was the silver lining on a day that starting pitcher Jesse Hahn struggled mightily, allowing nine earned runs in just two innings.

“These guys are gonna be important,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “The last thing you want to see when you’re down 10-0 is guys just cash it in, and that wasn’t the case. These guys all have something to play for. They’re playing for jobs. And in the future, starting jobs.”

Sometime in the not-too-distant future, middle infielder Franklin Barreto will join the mix from Triple-A Nashville. For now, an immediate storyline is the health of Chapman, who joined the 10-day disabled list with a case of cellulitis (bacterial infection) in his left knee. The A’s checked him into a hospital Wednesday night to get an intravenous antibiotic, after his condition “plateaued” with oral antibiotics, according to Forst.

He said Chapman is likely to leave the hospital Friday, and the A’s are hopeful the rookie third baseman will be able to return when he’s eligible to come off the D.L. His stint can be backdated to Monday, meaning Chapman is eligible to return next Thursday at Houston.

He’s part of the youth movement that resulted in Vogt getting shown the exit. Maxwell sent Vogt a text message wishing him the best Thursday morning, and Vogt quickly responded, wishing him the best. That meant a lot to Maxwell, who didn’t learn until Thursday morning that his roster spot was coming at Vogt’s expense.

But Maxwell said he’s excited to be surrounded by so many players that he’s advanced through the minors with.

“Once we get everybody acclimated to each other and the game up here,” he said, “I feel like we could potentially set up a turning point for this organization for years to come.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Astros' sweep of once-hot A's

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Astros' sweep of once-hot A's


OAKLAND — Under some circumstances, a 4-4 homestand against the Yankees and Astros wouldn’t seem so bad for the A’s.

This wasn’t the way they would have preferred it however.

After sweeping New York in four at the Coliseum, the A’s proceeded to drop four in a row to Houston, including Thursday's 12-9 loss, making this an historic stay at home whether they wanted it that way or not. Only one other time in the past 106 years had the A’s played back-to-back four-game series and swept the first while being swept in the second.

The first time it happened was in September 1977, when they were swept by Texas before taking the broom to Kansas City.

Thursday’s contest got out of hand early, with the Astros jumping out to a 10-0 lead by the second inning before Oakland came roaring back late.

Jesse Hahn (3-5) was out of whack from his first batter and lasted just two innings, getting hammered for a career-high 10 runs (nine earned) and allowing two home runs.

On the same day Oakland designated Stephen Vogt for assignment, another noteworthy former Athletic enjoyed a huge day against his old team as Josh Reddick finished just a single short of the cycle and scored four runs.

But the A’s came alive for a six-run rally in the eighth to close to within 12-9 and make the Astros sweat it.

But Oakland wound up falling a season high-tying 11 games under .500 at 31-42. A six-game road trip is up next to play the White Sox and, once again, the Astros, who ran their winning streak at the Coliseum to 10 and have won 15 of their past 16 against the A’s.

Short day for Hahn: It was clear early that Hahn didn’t have his ‘A’ game. He hit George Springer with a 3-1 pitch to begin the game — Springer exited with a left hand contusion — then walked the next two batters to load the bases with no outs. He limited the damage to two runs in the first, but the Astros poured it on for eight runs in the second, including three-run homers from Jake Marisnick and Marwin Gonzalez.

Maxwell returns with strong game: With Vogt designated for assignment, Bruce Maxwell was promoted to assume catching duties alongside Josh Phegley, and Maxwell enjoyed a 3-for-4 day, including an RBI double as the A’s rallied in the eighth.

The other new arrival also shines: Matt Olson, also called up Thursday as Matt Chapman went on the 10-day disabled list, went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Reddick has big day: Reddick doubled in the second, homered in the sixth and tripled in the eighth, but didn’t get a chance to complete the cycle against his former club.

Smith steadies things on mound: : Josh Smith took over after Hahn left the game and threw three scoreless innings, striking out four and keeping manager Bob Melvin from having to empty his bullpen.