Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 12, Tigers 4


Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 12, Tigers 4


DETROIT -- After getting mauled in the first two games of the series the A's had a chance to show the Tigers their teeth in Detroit. They salvaged the series with a 12-4 win, and snapped their three-game losing skid. Oakland rallied for four runs in the sixth and six runs in the ninth to take the game in lopsided fashion. At the PlateAnibal Sanchez held the A's hitless until the third inning when Josh Donaldson reached on a single. He stole second base and ended up scoring on an errant throw by Omar Infante on a fielder's choice. Seth Smith delivered the second run of the game with a solo homer to right field. He hit a change up that was left up in the zone for his 14th home run of the season. Smith has hit 12 of his 14 home runs against right-handed pitching, and he has thrived in the A's platoon role. He finished the game 3 for 4 with four RBI. Smith made a strong impression on the Tigers. He was intentionally walked in the sixth inning as part of an A's four-run rally. Yoenis Cespedes reached on a single and scored on a Brandon Moss double to right field. On the play, third base coach Mike Gallego was waving Cespedes home but he inexplicably stopped at third, then the incoming ball missed the cutoff man scoring Cespedes anyway. Donaldson then smacked a go-ahead RBI single. George Kottaras hit a knuckle line drive to center field that was badly misplayed by Jackson, it was ruled a two RBI triple. Kottaras and Pennington both singled to start the ninth inning. Drew grounded out to first moving the runners over, and Reddick was intentionally walked. That brought Cespedes to the plate with the bases loads and one out. He hit a sacrifice fly to center. The Tigers walked Moss to load the bases for Daric Barton who entered the game as a defensive replacement. He drew a five-pitch walk and didn't swing the bat once, giving the A's a 8-4 lead. Smith hit a base-clearing double breaking the game wide open. Donaldson followed with a double and to score Smith, and make it a 12-4 game. Between Carter and Moss the A's three and four hitters tallied six strikeouts. Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone got off to a rocky start. The Tigers were able to load the bases in the first inning on an Omar Infante double and back-to-back walks to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. The young lefty locked in and got Delmon Young to ground into an inning-ending double play to escape the jam. The Tigers reached on back-to-back singles to start the second inning. Andy Dirks bunted the runners over, then Gerald Laird drove in the first run of the game on a single. Austin Jackson hit a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Tigers their second run. After a walk to Infante, Milone got Cabrera to fly out to right field to end the inning. The A's scored a run in the third inning and Milone responded with two shutdown innings. He couldn't get a shutdown inning after they scored again in the fifth. The Tigers scored when Cabrera reached on a single and Fielder hit a double to right-center that was bobbled by Reddick after he fielded the ball. Milone was removed from the game two batters later with runners on the corners. He was at 94 pitches. Milone allowed nine hits, three walks and three earned runs. The Tigers ran up his pitch count. Bullpen ReportPat Neshek relieved Milone in the fifth inning and induced a pop out to end the inning with two runners on. He only faced one batter. Jerry Blevins started the sixth inning but gave up a solo homer to Andy Dirks. He got Laird to fly out and was then removed in favor of Ryan Cook who finished the inning in nine pitches. Cook struck out Cabrera to start the seventh inning, got Fielder to ground out, and struck out Young to end the inning. Cook is looking like he's found his All-Star form. He hasn't allowed a run in 14 of his last 15 outings. Sean Doolittle pitching the eighth inning. Evan Scribner pitched a scoreless ninth inning with an eight run lead. AttendanceThe Tigers announced an attendance of 34,635. Up NextThe A's head to New York to take on the Yankees for a three-game series. Jarrod Parker (11-8, 3.51 ERA) takes on CC Sabathia (13-6, 3.63 ERA) in the series opener on Friday. Saturday's game will feature a match up of Travis Blackley (5-3, 3.36 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (12-7, 4.85 ERA). On Sunday A.J. Griffin (6-1, 2.45 ERA) will be opposed by Hiroki Kuroda (14-10, 3.26 ERA).

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

Ryan Christenson has a reason to follow the World Series even more so than most years.

Christenson, who manages the A’s Double-A Midland squad, is also skippering the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. One of his players happened to be Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, if only for the briefest of periods.

Schwarber, as is well-documented, played in two AFL games as a quick tune-up before joining the Cubs’ active roster for the Fall Classic. It’s an unprecedented path, as Schwarber hadn’t appeared in a game for Chicago since April 7, when he tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.

When he crushed a double off the right field wall in Game 1 against the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Schwarber became the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after recording zero hits during the regular season.

His preparations for the grand stage took place in the relative anonymity of the Arizona Fall League, and it presented some unique conditions for Christenson to manage under.

“It’s such a unique situation to see someone thrust into that after missing so much season,” Christenson said in a phone interview before Game 1. “To have a chance to be activated this time of year, it’s something special if he can pull this off. If he (sparks the Cubs), literally the guy can be a legend.”

Schwarber appeared in just two games for the Solar Sox, going 1-for-6 as a designated hitter. Christenson didn’t have much hands-on interaction with Schwarber — the Cubs had their own staff members on site helping him with treatment — but Christenson saw Schwarber’s swing rounding into form even in his brief time in the batter’s box.

“The bat speed is there,” said Christenson, who hadn’t met Schwarber previously. “I love watching him work in the cage. He’s got a great swing. I don’t think it would take someone of his caliber long to get his timing and pick up where he left off. It’s a simple swing.”

The Cubs asked Christenson to work Schwarber into the top of the batting order with the Solar Sox so as to maximize his number of plate appearances. They also asked one other favor.

“The only request they had was that I took it easy with him on the bases … not trying to score him from first base on a gapper.”

Schwarber’s mere presence in the Arizona Fall League created a delicate dynamic. The league is geared toward up-and-coming prospects who have yet to break into the majors, and Christenson said AFL officials were concerned about Schwarber dropping in and taking playing time away from those players.

Each major league organization sends at least six players to the AFL. Of those six, one is designated a “priority player,” meaning they must play at least four days a week, so innings can be tricky to spread around.

Adding to the sensitivity of the situation, the Solar Sox’s roster includes not only Cubs prospects but also those of the Cleveland Indians. Christenson needed to avoid a situation where Schwarber was stealing at-bats away from prospects of the American League champs — the team that Schwarber was training to try to help the Cubs beat.

But things unfolded smoothly, and Schwarber showed appreciation for getting the chance to drop in for a couple games.

“I’ll definitely be pulling for him,” Christenson said.

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

CLEVELAND — Left-hander Giovanni Soto has been claimed by the Oakland Athletics off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Soto was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot on the 40-man roster for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list following knee surgery in April. Schwarber was put on the World Series roster Tuesday and went 1 for 3 with a double, walk and two strikeouts in the opening 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Soto was traded to the Cubs from Cleveland on April 11 and was 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Triple-A Iowa. He made his big league debut with the Indians in 2015 and appeared in six games and 3 1/3 innings.

Oakland claimed him Wednesday.