Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 10, Angels 4

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Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 10, Angels 4

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OAKLAND -- A night after suffering their MLB-worst 13th shutout, the A's erupted for 10 runs against the Angels. Oakland hit four home runs en route to a 10-4 rout of their division rivals. C.J. Wilson hasn't won a game in his last eight starts. The A's tattooed him for six runs. At the PlateJonny Gomes got the scoring started with a solo homer to left field. It was his 12th of the year. Like the Petaluma National Little League team that defeated Nevada 10-6 to advance to the Western Regional Playoffs, Gomes had success at the plate on Tuesday. He also added an RBI single in the fifth inning. Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup and collected two infield singles. He now has 11 this season. After spraining his right wrist on Friday attempting to steal third base, he successfully swiped third on Tuesday night. He ended the night 2 for 5. Derek Norris stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the first, third and fourth innings. The first time he struck out looking to end the inning. The second time he hit a sharp grounder to third base that was completely missed by Alberto Callaspo. Two runs scored on the play making it 3-0 A's. The third time he hit a soft grounder to Wilson. Norris stepped to the plate in the sixth inning without the bases loaded. He smashed a pitch from David Carpenter onto the out of town scoreboard in left field. The umpires ended up reviewing the play and confirmed it was a two-run homer, which made the score 8-0. Adam Rosales followed with a line drive homer to left field and then did his patented home run sprint. It was his first of the year. Rosales also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Jemile Weeks cracked an RBI triple into the right field gap making it 5-0 in the third inning. Weeks leads the American League with eight triples this season. Josh Reddick sent bacon to the right field bleachers before the game to celebrate Bacon Tuesday. In the eighth inning he also sent them his 25th home run ball. He smashed a Jerome Williams sinker into the bleachers over the 362 sign. The A's smacked around Wilson and drew five walks. Wilson, who is infamous around these parts for saying the A's play "lawyer ball," and his criticisms of the Oakland fan base and their pitching mound -- was met with his typical "C.J. sucks" chants from the fans. They were sent home happy. Starting Pitching ReportBartolo Colon extended his scoreless inning streak to a career high 22 and one-third innings on Tuesday. His scoreless streak was snapped in the seventh inning on an unearned run. Colon set the tone early, striking out rookie phenom Mike Trout looking on a four-seam fastball, and Albert Pujols on a two-seam fastball. He carved up the Angels lineup for seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball. He threw 93 pitches -- 73 strikes -- and struck out five batters while walking none. He was in complete control on the mound. With the way the A's rookie pitchers have been struggling lately, the consistency of the 39-year-old veteran has been massive for this pitching rotation. Colon is now 10-6 in his career against the Angels. Bullpen ReportTravis Blackley entered the game and surrendered a homer to Trout. Trout's 20th homer of the season came on his 21st birthday. Trout is now one of five players to hit a homer run on his 21st birthday in MLB history (Ted Williams - 1939, Frank Robinson - 1956, Alex Rodriguez - 1996, Jason Heyward - 2010).Blackley also allowed a two-run homer to Erick Aybar in the ninth inning. In the FieldCoco Crisp made an unbelievable leaping catch to rob Kendrys Morales of a home run in the ninth inning. He tracked the ball all the way to the wall in center field and then leaped up and caught the ball at the height of his jump.Inge made a leaping snag on a hard liner hit by Maicer Izturis. Jemile Weeks was charged with an error in the seventh inning after bouncing a throw to Chris Carter. It looked like a play Carter should make. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 15,458. Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race. Funny how Blue lost every race during the Blue Jays series and now Red is in a slump with the Angels in town. Up NextDan Straily (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will take the mound in his second Major League start. He leads all of professional baseball this season with 180 strikeouts -- 175 in the minor leagues. Straily told me a story about taking BART to the Coliseum during a 2 Wednesday to watch the A's play the Angels when he was in college. He will now be on the mound in the exact same scenario. Zack Greinke (0-1, 5.14 ERA in the American League) will take the mound for the Angels in the rubber match. Greinke was acquired by the Angels in a big trade deadline deal.

A's spring training Day 41: Maxwell's two-HR day can't stave off bad news

A's spring training Day 41: Maxwell's two-HR day can't stave off bad news

PHOENIX — Bruce Maxwell homered twice against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, and his reward was a demotion to the minors.

Awkward timing, for sure. But the news itself wasn’t much of a shock to the A’s catcher, who knew he was the odd man out in a three-man roster battle. The A’s like the left-right platoon behind the plate. Stephen Vogt, who like Maxwell hits left-handed, wasn’t going anywhere. Josh Phegley is back healthy after knee surgery and has the advantage of being a right-handed hitter.

“I mean, I could have come out here and hit 1.000 and I probably still would have been in the same situation,” Maxwell said. “I can’t really do much about it. I try not to worry about it. At the end of the day everybody wants to play in the big leagues, but if the opportunity is not there you can’t stress about it.”

Manager Bob Melvin gave Maxwell the news in the dugout after he exited Oakland’s 11-1 victory, and Melvin certainly couldn’t give Maxwell a justifiable reason for the demotion except that the roster math doesn’t add up.

“Great day to have to do that,” Melvin said sarcastically. “But, he’ll be here at some point. We saw his progression last year, he did a great job for us. There’s nothing he did to suggest he needed to be sent down. It’s just a numbers game for him right now.”

The A’s batted around in a five-run third, knocking Brewers starter Matt Garza from the game after he recorded just seven outs. They tacked on four more in the fourth, with Maxwell going deep to left-center for a two-run homer off Jhan Marinez. In the sixth, he hit a solo shot off Corey Knebel to right-center and also added a run-scoring single to complete his four-RBI day.

Melvin has spoken often of the improving power shown by the 26-year-old Maxwell, who hit .283 with a homer and 14 RBI in 33 games with Oakland last season in his first major league call-up.

“If you look at the power numbers over the years, he’s getting better and better,” Melvin said. “He’s got the chance to be a 20-home run guy in the big leagues.”

NOTEWORTHY: Jharel Cotton held Milwaukee to just a run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He bounced back from a wobbly start against Seattle in which he walked five. On Sunday, his toughest challenge was staying loose as the A’s offense put up two time-consuming rallies. Twice, Cotton had to play catch while his teammates paraded around the bases.

But it sure didn’t affect him, as he struck out seven and walked one in his second-to-last spring training start.

“This one, I was more on the attack, using my fastball more so I can set up my changeup and off-speed pitches,” Cotton said. “I know everybody raves about the changeup, but I need my fastball to be there so I can throw that pitch off the fastball.”

He had an entertaining ongoing battle with six-time All-Star Ryan Braun. He struck out Braun on a cutter in the first, gave up a homer to left in the fourth, then battled back from a 3-0 count to get Braun swinging through a fastball in the sixth.

“I got him twice, he got me once,” Cotton said. “I think I won that battle today.”

HEALTH UPDATE: Daniel Mengden, who has missed all of spring with a broken right foot, is scheduled to get his walking boot removed Monday. Mengden said he’ll stay in Arizona for anywhere from two to four weeks, taking part in extended spring training. The good news for the right-hander: He’s been able to play catch while wearing the boot, so that’s a bit of a head-start for him once he gets full mobility with his foot. There’s no timetable yet for his return.

ODDS AND ENDS: The A’s knocked out 16 hits and recorded double-digit runs for the fifth time this spring. They improved to 16-12. … Alejandro De Aza, fighting for an outfield roster spot, went 2-for-3 with an RBI to raise his average to .300. … With few regulars making the trip to Maryvale Baseball Park, second baseman Max Schrock came over from minor league camp and once again made an impact, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. … John Axford threw a scoreless inning of relief. Frankie Montas handled the final two innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts and a walk. The hard-throwing prospect is a candidate for the bullpen as a multi-inning guy.

A's option catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A; 37 players remain in camp

A's option catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A; 37 players remain in camp

The A's optioned catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville Sunday, the club announced

Maxwell, 26, went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI in the A's 11-1 win over the Brewers Sunday. Both home runs were his lone of the spring. 

In 2016, Maxwell played in 26 games with the A's after his promotion from Triple-A. He hit .283 with one homer. 

The 2012 second-round draft pick is a career .266/.346/.370 hitter in the minors with 25 home runs. Maxwell is the A's No. 10 prospect by Baseball America. 

The A’s now have 37 players in big league camp.