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 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.