Leyland expects more from his offense, campaigns for Melvin

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Leyland expects more from his offense, campaigns for Melvin

OAKLAND Considering his Tigers have a commanding 2-0 leadin the American League Division series against the As, it was surprising tohear Jim Leyland say before Tuesdays Game 3 that his team needs to hit betterto advance.Leyland brought up the fact that his Tigers have scored only one of their eightruns in the series by way of a hit. Their first run of Game 1 came on a groundball double play and a second run scored on an error by starting pitcher JarrodParker. Alex Avilas solo home run in the seventh inning Saturday was the lonerun-scoring hit Leyland referenced.
PRATT'S INSTANT REPLAY: A's lose close Game 1 in Detroit
The Tigers scored five runs in Game 2, none by way of thelegitimate hit. A groundout scored the first Detroit run and a Coco Crisp errorled to two more in the seventh. The game-tying run in the eighth came across ona Ryan Cook wild pitch and the game-winning run scored on a sacrifice fly.
PRATT'S INSTANT REPLAY: A's on verge of elimination
Its hard to believe that a lineup that boasts Triple Crown winner MiguelCabrera and Prince Fielder has had to manufacture runs and take advantage of acrucial error and wild pitch. Were going to have to do better than that if we want toclose this thing out at some point, whether it be tonight, tomorrow or the nextday, Leyland said. If were going to close it out, were going to have to hitbetter, to be honest with you.The Tigers are tasked with hitting better against As left-hander BrettAnderson, whose last start came in Detroit on Sept. 19. Leyland said he had noidea what the Tigers would be up against in a well-rested Anderson.I really dont know, Leyland said. You just really dont know what toexpect, to be honest with you.Leyland said he did know what to expect from the Asoverall, however.This As team is ready to play tonight, Leyland said. Theyre down twogames to none, but theyre ready to play; their mindset is good.Leyland said he was paying attention to the As surprising run to steal theAmerican League West title away from the Texas Rangers long before he knew hisTigers would be matched up against Oakland in a playoff series.The job theyve done all year has been remarkable, Leyland said. They won 94games. Theyve had the best record in baseball for a long, long period of timenow. Its an unbelievable job whats happened here with what Billy Beane andBob Melvin have done.At Mondays workout in Oakland, Leyland and Melvin traded compliments, but theTigers skipper took it a step further before Game 3.Not to put the cart before the horse, but I hope that Buck Showalter and BobMelvin are Co-Managers of the Year this year, Leyland said. I think thiswould be a year there should be two guys that get the award.The Coliseum has been in hibernation since it rocked for Game 162 against theTexas Rangers. When the As clubhouse opened Monday, many players said theyexpected the crowd to be a factor in their first postseason home game since2006, which unfortunately comes in Game 3 for the team with home-fieldadvantage due to the new playoff format.I guarantee if you ask the guys from Texas, theyll tell you its loud, JoshDonaldson said Monday. This place is going to be rowdy.The crowd is probably the key ingredient, Brandon Ingesaid. Who wants to play in front of nobody?The atmosphere was really good in Detroit, Cliff Pennington said. Imexcited to see what we have here.Jonny Gomes said the Coliseum will be rocking and rollingand Leyland agreed.I know its loud here; its very loud, Leyland said Tuesday. Theyre goingto be out in force tonight supporting their team, which they should be. Andthey should be very proud of this team, by the way. We know this is not goingto be easy to do. Its going to be very loud, very difficult. Were playing agreat team, one that has done a wonderful, wonderful job. But thats what we dofor a living. Were here, were supposed to be able to handle that kind ofstuff.One final baseball-ism from Mr. Leyland:Its baseball and you never know how its going to play out.The As are banking on it.

Report: Ex-A's outfielder agrees to $13 million deal with Yankees

Report: Ex-A's outfielder agrees to $13 million deal with Yankees

XON HILL, Md. — A person familiar with the negotiations says free agent outfielder Matt Holliday and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $13 million, one-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday night because the agreement had not yet been announced.

Holliday, who turns 37 next month, fits into the Yankees strategy of signing veterans to short-term deals while pivoting toward a youth movement.

A seven-time All-Star, Holliday was drafted by Colorado in 1998, traded to Oakland after the 2008 season and then dealt to St. Louis the following July. He hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games this year, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.

Holliday became a free agent when St. Louis declined his $17 million option.

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a two-year contract.

Rzepczynski's deal is fo $11 million over two years. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported details of the contract

The Mariners also signed right-handed reliever Casey Fien on Saturday. Left-hander Dean Kiekhefer and righty Zach Lee were designated for assignment.

The 31-year-old Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for Oakland and Washington this season. He then pitched three times in the NL playoffs for the Nationals.

Rzepczynski has made at least 70 appearances in each of the last three years. He's also pitched for Toronto, St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego in an eight-season career.

The 33-year-old Fien was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 39 games for Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 27-year-old Kiekhefer made his major league debut last season and pitched 26 times in relief for the Cardinals. Seattle claimed him off waivers from St. Louis last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.