OAKLAND Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, nursing a hamstringinjury, may have to wait until Tuesday to see game action, As manager BobMelvin said.Melvin met with the media just as Cespedes emerged from theclubhouse to test his balky hamstring with some running drills on the field.Ill probably wait through the off day to see where we arewith him, Melvin said. Theres always the possibility I guess that I can usehim to pinch hit. I think the way were swinging the bats right now, wereprobably better served to wait for the off day and make sure we get a littlebit farther with him physically.The As are on fire at the plate over their last four games, all wins. DuringOaklands longest win streak of the season, the team has hit .317 with 36 runsscored, 10 doubles, one triple, and 10 home runs, half of which were hit byBrandon Moss. Cespedes is tied for third on the team with six home runs this season and thirdin RBIs with 26. He has already spent time on the disabled list with a wristinjury.--As starter Brandon McCarthy, who missed his last turn in the rotation, is ontrack to start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Melvin said.McCarthy threw a light bullpen session Friday and will throw again on Saturday.This really does get him into his routine to lead up toTuesday, Melvin said. So hopefully all goes well leading into that game.Thats what we have planned for now.--Seth Smith is in left field Saturday with Josh Reddick serving as thedesignated hitter. The stats seem to suggest that Smith is much morecomfortable at the plate when he has defensive responsibilities as well.As an outfielder, Smith is hitting .337 with all six of his home runs and 15 ofhis 21 RBIs. Serving as Melvins designated hitter, Smith has struggled to thetune of a .178 average.Melvin said statistical splits were certainly a factor in penciling Smith in ashis left-fielder on Saturday, but not the only one.When hes DHing, he tends to stand in my way too much in the dugout and Icant see the game for a good portion of it, Melvin said. Whether hes doingit intentionally or not, I dont know.Melvin made it clear that Smith will still serve as his designated hitter, inaddition to seeing time in the outfield.I know he was happy about being put in the outfield today,Melvin said. But he does have to settle in and understand that there are goingto be days when he DHs. Thats what we brought him in here to do.--Tyson Ross starts his second stint in Oakland this season on Saturday, andMelvin explained the expectations of his young starter.Secondary pitches, getting ahead in the count, and working inside, especiallyagainst left-handed hitters, Melvin said. He did exactly that in the minors.He just needs to be less predictable.Ross was called up first on April 17 when the As needed a fifth starter, andturned in two outings of at least six innings pitched and two runs allowed orless. But in his third start, Ross was tagged for nine earned runs in fourinnings in Baltimore on April 28. He then posted a 6.53 ERA in May and his fivelosses led the American League for the month.
ANAHEIM — Sean Manaea is hopeful his left shoulder injury isn’t serious, but the A’s likely won’t have a full read on the starter’s condition for a couple days.
As of Wednesday night, no MRI was scheduled after Manaea left after just two innings of an eventual 8-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels with tightness in his shoulder.
“I felt it a little bit in the bullpen,” Manaea said. “I thought it was just one of those days where it took me longer to warm up, and that just wasn’t the case. It’s just really unfortunate.”
Just as the A’s are about to welcome Kendall Graveman back to the active roster Thursday, when he starts the series finale at Angel Stadium, and just as it appears Sonny Gray might be ready to come off the disabled list following one more rehab start, the A’s are hoping they don’t see Manaea subtracted from their rotation for any period of time.
Manager Bob Melvin said it was the top of Manaea’s shoulder that was bothering him.
“The velo was down, and it didn’t make sense to have him keep pitching,” Melvin said. “But we won’t know anything probably for a day or two, how he feels.”
Once he started throwing in the game, Manaea said he felt “kind of a little sharp pain. I mean, it’s nothing serious. I’ve dealt with it before and it only took me a few days to get back on the mound. To me, I’m not really worried about it.”
The pitcher added that he experienced a similar situation with his shoulder while a minor leaguer in Kansas City’s organization, toward the end of spring training, and he missed minimal time.
Things didn’t get better for the A’s (10-11) after Manaea exited, as they struck out 13 times and played sloppy defensively in dropping their third in a row. Catcher Stephen Vogt couldn’t handle Ryan Dull’s glove flip to the plate on a seventh-inning squeeze play, ending a streak of six errorless games for Oakland, but Melvin can live with occasional physical misplays. More problematic were occasions when right fielder Matt Joyce and center fielder Jaff Decker both seemed caught by surprise to see Angels runners take off for an extra base. Whether it was a lack of communication from infielders or the outfielders themselves needing to be more aware, the A’s can’t afford those kinds of mistakes.
“As a group, we can’t let that happen,” Melvin said. “We talk about it in advance meetings the way these guys run the bases. It’s not something we can do and expect to beat this team.”
Added Vogt: “We were on our heels quite a bit. This was obviously not the prettiest baseball game we’ve played.”
ANAHEIM – The A’s endured one of those nights Wednesday when the scoreboard couldn’t convey the extent of their blues.
The tone of an 8-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels was set early, when starting pitcher Sean Manaea left after two innings with what was announced as tightness in his throwing shoulder.
From there, things gradually unraveled as the A’s lost their third in a row and took on what looks to be another injury to a key player. The seriousness of Manaea’s injury wasn’t immediately known, but his early exit added to the recent run of medical misfortune, as center fielder Rajai Davis, shortstop Marcus Semien and starter Kendall Graveman have all hit the disabled list over the past 12 days.
Graveman will be activated Thursday and start against the Angels, but Manaea’s condition will loom large as the 25-year-old lefty is considered a foundation piece for the A’s, now and for the future.
The A’s trailed 4-3 in the seventh when the Angels pulled away with four runs off Ryan Dull. Matt Joyce’s two-run homer in the eighth pulled them closer but they lost for the second night in a row at Angel Stadium and will have to win Thursday night to avoid a sweep. Wednesday’s loss dropped them back below .500 at 10-11.
Starting pitching report:
It was obvious early that something was bothering Manaea. His fastball, which usually sits in the low 90’s and gets into the mid-90’s, was hovering in the 88-89 range. The A’s led 2-0 before the Angels struck for three runs in the second. Danny Espinosa and Martin Maldonado each delivered RBI doubles that landed just past the diving reach of right fielder Matt Joyce and center fielder Jaff Decker, respectively. Another run scored on Cameron Maybin’s single.
Frankie Montas gave up a run over 2 1/3 innings after being called into early duty when Manaea got hurt. Dull, trying to keep it a 4-3 game, did not have his command in the seventh. He threw a wild pitch, hit Danny Espinosa with a 1-2 pitch and then allowed Maybin’s two-run single that keyed Los Angeles’ four-run seventh.
At the plate:
It was a big night for Yonder Alonso, who had a two-run single in the first and then homered in the sixth to pull Oakland within 4-3. Alonso already has four homers, putting more than halfway to his 2016 total of seven in the season’s first month. The A’s struck out 13 times, giving them 24 strikeouts over the first two games of this series.
In the field:
It took until the seventh inning for the A’s to be charged with an error that snapped their streak of six consecutive errorless games. Stephen Vogt couldn’t hold on to Dull’s glove flip on Martin Maldonado’s squeeze bunt. But even before then, this wasn’t a sharp defensive effort. Joyce got caught off guard in the fourth when Maybin tagged up and made it to second on a fly to right. Joyce’s gesturing afterward seemed to suggest nobody was letting him now the runner was tagging. An inning later, Decker seemed stunned as the lumbering Albert Pujols went first to third on Andrelton Simmons’ single.
The announced crowd was 30,248.
Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.00) is set to come off the D.L. on Thursday and make his first start since April 14, when he was lost to a strained right shoulder. He’ll be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76), who took the Opening Night loss against the A’s at the Coliseum when he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.