Athletics

A's extend C.J. Wilson's winless streak

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A's extend C.J. Wilson's winless streak

Programming note: Tune in to Angels-A's baseball from Oakland today at 12:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet California!
OAKLAND -- Infamous for his critical comments of the Oakland Coliseum mound and fans, C.J. Wilson was given plenty to be bitter about on Tuesday. As scattered "C.J. sucks" chants broke out across the Coliseum crowd, the Angels pitcher probably had a hard time hearing them over the loud sound of the bat making contact with his pitches. Wilson allowed nine hits and walked five batters. He allowed six runs -- three earned -- he hasn't won a game in his last eight starts as the A's defeated the Angels 10-4. After suffering through their MLB-worst 13th shutout of the season the A's got on board early with a first inning Jonny Gomes solo homer to left field. Gomes' 12th home run sent reverberations through the A's lineup.
RELATED: Instant Replay -- A's 10, Angels 4
"We've had a propensity to hit home runs this year and C.J. Wilson doesn't give up too many," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To get an early lead with a home run like that kind of gave us a little bit of swagger back and some momentum."Gomes said the negative comments that Wilson made in 2011 about Oakland didn't serve as a motivating factor in any way for the A's. "I don't even know what he said," Gomes admitted. "From my end I don't get hung up on that stuff. Just kind of a bozo comment by him, no one is bigger than the game. There's 30 organizations. I don't know why you've got to bag on any of them."The A's loaded the bases against Wilson in the first, third, and fourth innings. Derek Norris came to the plate all three times the bases were loaded. He didn't record a hit with the bases loaded, but two runs scored when Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo badly misplayed a ground ball that Norris hit in the third inning. The miscue gave the A's an early 3-0 lead and opened the flood gates. Later that inning Jemile Weeks' American League-leading eighth triple made it a 5-0 game. That was more than A's starting pitcher Bartolo Colon would need. He tormented the Angels hitters over seven innings of one run ball. The only run he allowed was unearned and it snapped a career-high 22 and one-third scoreless inning streak for the veteran pitcher. "With his command it is going to be tough to string hits together against him," Melvin said. "Billy Beane did a good job targeting a veteran presence like him. His attitude has rubbed off on a lot of our young pitchers." Colon got his ninth win of the season and his 10th career victory of the Halos -- the team he won the 2005 Cy Young award with. He threw 23 first pitch strikes and faced 27 hitters. He kept the Angels off balance all night, throwing predominantly two-seam and four-seam fastballs. "The guy is a dinosaur he has been doing it forever," Gomes said. "He knows what he's doing, he knows these hitters, he knows his stuff better than anyone. You think he almost throws too many strikes." The A's ended up clubbing a season-high tying four home runs. Norris and Adam Rosales connected for back-to-back blasts in the sixth inning, and Josh Reddick pulled a homer to right field in the seventh inning. Reddick's 25th home run ball wasn't the only thing he sent into the right field bleachers on Tuesday. He also sent them four large trays of bacon before the game in honor of a relatively new Oakland tradition called Bacon Tuesday. "I was just doing a little something different today," Reddick said of his greasy gesture. "I figured I'd give them a little something back. They've been really supportive of me all year."The A's were clearly in a giving mood on Tuesday, but it was a home run ball that Coco Crisp took away that had the clubhouse buzzing after the game. In the ninth inning the veteran center field tracked a deep fly ball hit by Angels slugger Kendrys Morales all the way to the deepest part of the park before perfectly timing his leap and snaring the ball in the webbing of his glove."We have the ability to play good defense," Melvin said. "All of those things go a long way in having a feeling of a good team effort all the way around."The A's also felt good about getting Yoenis Cespedes back in the lineup. He legged out two infield singles and stole third base in the third inning -- a moment that might have given some of his teammates pause since he sprained his right wrist on Friday trying to swipe third. "You do the best you can to get him out there on the field healthy and have faith in the fact that he is going to remain healthy," Melvin said. "I actually didn't think about that until after the play." Cespedes was forced to miss Monday's game against the Angels because his wrist was bothering him. He was the designated hitter on Tuesday but turned heads -- including his managers -- during batting practice when he started getting some work in at shortstop. "It made me feel good that he was feeling good enough to do that," Melvin said. "You hope nothing happens because we didn't want him to play the outfield, but he certainly felt good enough to make some off-balance throws from shortstop today."The A's will conclude their 10-game homestand on Wednesday in a day game. After snapping their three-game losing streak they will have a chance to take the series against the division rival Angels before heading on the road for six games. The A's are half a game behind the Tigers for the first American League Wild Card spot and are tied with the Orioles for the second spot. They are in second place in the American League West, just a half game ahead of the Angels.

After country music detour, Giles instrumental in A's ballpark quest

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After country music detour, Giles instrumental in A's ballpark quest

As the A’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Giles’ thoughts and energies are wired into the business world, helping the team plan for a new ballpark and brainstorming all ways possible to bring in more revenue.

From talking to him, you wouldn’t guess that Giles once walked away from the white-collar sports management world to pursue a country music career.

Giles left a vice president position with the 49ers in November 2015, picking up an acoustic guitar, writing and recording a three-song EP, “Party Me”, that he performed at club shows all around Northern California.

He still performs once or twice a month on the weekend. It’s quite a contrast from his Monday-thru-Friday gig, but that’s exactly the point. In the lyrics to the song “Party Me”, Giles addresses the ambition and drive required in the 9-to-5 world and the reward of blowing off steam with buddies afterward.

“It’s a hobby, I’ll always do it,” Giles shares in the latest edition of The A’s Insider Podcast. “I still play once or twice a month locally, small acoustic stuff.”

Giles grew up in Clovis and sang in talent shows as a kid before becoming a high school wrestler.

“Randy Travis was my favorite as a kid,” he said. “I can remember writing his lyrics on construction paper and giving it to girls on the playground.”

Giles’ career in sales and marketing eventually led him to the 49ers, where he became VP of sales and strategy and played an instrumental role in the opening of Levi’s Stadium. He oversaw premium sales, seat license sales, concessions and retail among other responsibilities.

But he never lost his desire to pursue a music career.

“It was one of those things where I felt like if I didn’t give it a try, then I would always just regret it,” said Giles, who is married with three kids. “I enjoy writing songs, I love playing live. I was running around with a couple other artists, we were collaborating on a couple things. It just seemed like a logical point to give it a go.”

He eventually returned to the sports world with the NFL, running sales and marketing efforts for Super Bowl LI. But it’s his experience with the launch of Levi’s Stadium that appears to make him an especially good fit with the A’s, who plan to announce by the end of the calendar year a location in Oakland to build a new ballpark.

Opening a new stadium is one thing. Finding ways to maximize revenue from that venue is another, and that’s where Giles’ expertise factors in. He’s got an instrumental voice in how the ballpark will be designed and what features it will include.

He came aboard in an advisory role for A’s president Dave Kaval in March and was named the team’s COO in early July. Joining the franchise at this point, with so many ambitious plans for the future, is energizing to him.

“I think we’re approaching a rocket ship that’s sitting on the ground,” Giles said. “We’re not quite sure which rocket boosters work, but we know we’ve got a rocket ship. Our job is to make sure we tune that thing up and get it ready to go.”

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

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USATSI

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Alex Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth after Oakland tied it in the bottom of the eighth, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Athletics 7-6 on Wednesday.

Alcides Escobar doubled to start the ninth against Blake Treinen (1-1), matching his season high with three hits. Then Gordon delivered his second run-scoring single of the series finale.

Oakland's Matt Chapman hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth against Brandon Maurer (1-1), who wound up the winner.

Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Danny Duffy struck out eight over five innings but the Royals couldn't hold a late lead again before holding on - a day after squandering a four-run advantage in a 10-8 defeat.

Cain added a key RBI single in the eighth for the Royals, who began the day tied with Minnesota six games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland.

Kelvin Herrera finished for his 26th save in 29 chances after allowing Ryon Healy's two-out infield single.

Duffy's winless stretch reached four outings since a victory at Detroit on July 25. The left-hander earned his first major league win at Oakland on June 14, 2011, and has never lost to the A's - 3-0 in seven career appearances and six starts - but hasn't beaten them since April 10, 2012.

Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer in the third and Oakland got back in it on Jed Lowrie's two-run single in the fifth.

Kansas City's Melky Cabrera fouled a ball off his leg in the third and went down writhing in pain before recovering to hit a single on the very next pitch to load the bases with no outs. But Blackburn struck out Mike Moustakas and induced an inning-ending double play from Brandon Moss to escape unscathed.

A's starter Paul Blackburn was tagged for eight hits and four runs in four innings of his first career start against Kansas City, striking out two and walking three.

MINOR LEAGUE TRADE

The A's acquired lefty Sam Moll from Colorado for a player to be named later or cash then optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Oakland added right-hander Chris Hatcher to the 25-man roster and he made his A's debut in the sixth inning, a day after coming to Oakland in a trade from the Dodgers. The A's optioned righty Josh Smith to Nashville and designated righty Zach Neal for assignment to clear 40-man roster space to add Moll.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Joakim Soria - who allowed four straight hits in the eighth inning Tuesday night - is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday after stiffness in his lat and ribcage area to determine when he can pitch again. The reliever showed up to the Coliseum with discomfort. "He's been battling with it for two weeks, he's been pitching through it, he's been pitching very effectively through it," manager Ned Yost said. "But after last night he showed up more so than usual."

Athletics: Josh Phegley (strained left oblique) was slated to catch five or six innings in a rehab game for Triple-A Nashville at Tacoma. ... OF Jake Smolinski, on the disabled list since March 30 recovering from right shoulder surgery, isn't expected to be able to play in the outfield until "well into September," manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA) starts Friday at home against the first-place Indians trying to snap a 14-start winless stretch at Kaufmann Stadium since a victory vs. Minnesota on Aug. 20 last year.

Athletics: Following Thursday's day off, LHP Sean Manaea (8-7, 4.59) starts at Houston on Friday looking to end a five-start winless stretch in which he's 0-2 since beating Cleveland on July 16.