Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 3, Yankees 2


Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 3, Yankees 2


OAKLAND -- Another day, another walk-off hit. This time the hero was Brandon Moss. He drove in Yoenis Cespedes to give the A's a 3-2 win over the Yankees. The A's 10 walk-off wins lead Major League Baseball.Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone was in complete control against one of the best lineups in the game. He dazzled over seven innings, striking out a new career-high 10 batters. The last A's pitcher to strike out 10 Yankees hitters in a game was Bobby Witt in 1993.The rookie left-handed pitcher's changeup was working so well it looked like it came out of his hand in slow motion. It was reminiscent of Bugs Bunny's changeup in those old Looney Toons episodes. It was so good that his fastball started to paralyze Yankees hitters.Milone ended up throwing 110 pitches. He allowed just six hits and didn't walk a batter. At one point Milone retired nine batters in a row. Milone worked out of trouble in the sixth inning. After getting ahead 0-2 on Derek Jeter, he painted the outside corner of the plate perfectly. Jeter got a call befitting a future Hall of Famer as umpire Bill Miller called it a ball. Instead of an out Jeter reached on an infield single. Teixeira added a hit to put runners on first and second with two outs, but Alex Rodriguez grounded out to end the inning.At the PlateIn the third inning Coco Crisp hit a leadoff triple down the right field line that rolled to the wall. He motored into third with a headfirst dive, but would have been safe standing up. Jemile Weeks drove him home with a sacrifice fly to center giving the A's 1-0 lead. In the next frame the Brandons (Moss and Inge) hit back-to-back doubles with no outs making it 2-0. The A's hitters threatened in the first inning. They loaded the bases with two outs after Reddick hit a two out double, Cespedes followed with an infield single, and Seth Smith walked to load the bases. Brandon Moss got solid contact but lined out to center field to end the inning. They also loaded the bases in the fourth inning and the seventh.The A's offense went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners. A dangerous proposition when facing the high powered Yankees offense.Reddick ended the night 3 for 5 with two doubles. Cespedes collected four hits and scored the game winning run when he was driven in by Moss.Bullpen ReportRyan Cook has never pitched three days in a row. When pitching on no rest Cook has allowed eight runs over 7.1 innings in nine games. He promptly gave up a game-tying homer to Robinson Cano in the ninth. The rookie closer was able to get out of the inning without any more damage. Cook has allowed two homers this season. They came on back to back nights.Jerry Blevins relieved Milone to start the eighth inning. He gave up a home run to the leadoff hitter Russell Martin making it a 2-1 game. He also hit Teixeira with a pitch. Evan Scribner came in after Blevins and retired Rodriguez to end the inning.In the FieldReddick threw out Teixeira easily as he tried to advance from first to third on a single in the fourth inning. It was his American League-tying ninth outfield assist -- all of which have come while playing in right field. A's outfielders now have 21 assists, matching their 2011 total.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 24,148.Dot RaceRed wins the dot race for the second night in a row.Up NextJarrod Parker (6-4, 3.16 ERA) gets the ball for the A's. He has allowed 10 runs in his last two starts after allowing 10 runs total in his eight starts before that. Phil Hughes (9-7, 4.22 ERA) will be on the mound for the Yankees. He has a 6.08 ERA in his career against the A's.

A's spring training Day 10: Canha doubles off Gray in intrasquad game

A's spring training Day 10: Canha doubles off Gray in intrasquad game

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s had four lineups sketched out for two intrasquad games taking place simultaneously Thursday.

You couldn’t help but notice that one of the lineups in particular was packed with Oakland’s regulars, and there were plenty of highlights delivered by notable names during the two-inning game at the A’s minor league facility.

Sonny Gray gave up a run on Mark Canha’s RBI double to right-center in his inning of work but also struck out Ryon Healy with a good breaking ball. Gray’s stuff earned solid reviews from manager Bob Melvin.

Overall, Melvin was pleasantly surprised with some of the hard contact generated by his hitters, who had seen just two days of live batting practice prior to Thursday.

“Canha hits a pitch down that’s moving all over the place to right-center,” Melvin said.

In the same game, Rajai Davis hit a leadoff triple to center off Kendall Graveman and came home on Stephen Vogt’s single. Graveman got Matt Joyce looking on a fastball but gave up some hard contact in a brief 15-pitch outing. He’ll start Sunday’s game against the Angels, so Thursday’s outing acted like a between-start bullpen session.

In the other game, Sean Manaea got his three outs so quickly that they had to extend the inning a bit for him to get his work in. That game was highlighted by a long home run from infield prospect Yairo Munoz off Daniel Coulombe.

Melvin said bench coach Mark Kotsay handled duties of sketching out the rosters for the two intrasquad games, and while it will be interesting to see how Melvin writes out the lineup for Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Chicago Cubs, keep in mind that the early Cactus League games will only feature a handful of regulars in each of them.

PROSPECT WATCH: Shortstop Franklin Barreto, the A’s top-rated prospect, will also see some time at second base this spring but not in the outfield, Melvin said. Barreto has played some center field in winter ball, but general manager David Forst, during an offseason interview with CSN California, said the team envisions Barreto as an infielder. The A’s have Marcus Semien entrenched at shortstop right now, and there’s been some feeling among scouts that Barreto — whose bat is his biggest strength — is better suited for second base long-term anyway. Another highly touted prospect, Richie Martin, is a possible shortstop of the future as well.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s have expressed optimism that reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive in camp shortly after being delayed by the visa process in the Dominican Republic. But Casilla remains day-to-day, with Melvin not giving a timetable for his arrival.

“We were going to slow-play him this spring anyway. He’ll throw some bullpens and probably throw to some hitters before we get him in a game,” Melvin said. “At this point in time I’m still not that concerned. I’ll start to be a little bit if we get into games (and he’s not in camp), but I still think we’re on a good schedule with him.”

ODDS AND ENDS: Oscar-nominated actor Mahershala Ali, an Oakland native who threw out the first pitch at an A’s game last season, arranged for a screening of his movie “Moonlight” on Thursday night for A’s players at a Scottsdale theatre. Ali is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the movie, which is also up for Best Picture.

“It’s nice of him to think of that and want to set that up,” reliever John Axford said. “I’ve already seen it and I’ll be there again.”

Axford, a movie fanatic and Film & Television major in college, has created a social media buzz in recent years by doing incredibly well predicting the Oscar winners. He has yet to reveal all of his picks for Sunday’s show, but he gives rave reviews to “Moonlight.”

Patience is A's motto with touted 3B prospect Matt Chapman

Patience is A's motto with touted 3B prospect Matt Chapman

MESA, Ariz. — When the A’s finally sent Matt Chapman to the minors at the end of spring training last year, it seemed his return ticket to Oakland wouldn’t be far off.

So good was the young third baseman during his first big league spring camp, it was easy to assume he’d arrive in the majors shortly. But Chapman, the No. 3 prospect in the A’s system, found the road bumpy during a full campaign with Double-A Midland, even as he put together a season that landed him Texas League Player of the Year honors.

Chapman is back for his second spring with the A’s, a year wiser having discovered what it takes to navigate the peaks and valleys of a full professional season.

“I learned that no matter how high or how low you get, it’s important to maintain an even keel,” said Chapman, who only played 80 games in 2015 due to a wrist injury. “You can have a bad week or a bad couple weeks, and it doesn’t ruin your season.”

The A’s believe they have a potential star on their hands, a Gold Glove-caliber defender who can hit for power and eventually become a fixture at the hot corner. Yet their signing of veteran third baseman Trevor Plouffe in the winter shows that they also believe Chapman, 23, still has developing to do.

The power numbers were marvelous last year, as Chapman hit the third-most homers in the minors (36) to go with 96 RBI. But he also struck out 173 times in 135 games, dealing with some timing issues that had him swinging through a ton of pitches.

A’s player development officials rave about Chapman’s work ethic and desire to excel. But his manager at Midland, Ryan Christenson, also said Chapman’s electrifying spring performance last year (he led the A’s with six homers) may have worked against him early on when he arrived at Double-A. The A’s took Chapman north with them for the Bay Bridge Series just before Opening Day, giving him a chance to take the field at the Coliseum and AT&T Park.

“You talked to him, and he thought he was gonna go right to Midland and dominate the league and be in the big leagues by July,” Christenson said. “For sure, he thought that. But that didn’t happen, and he struggled and got his butt handed to him. And he understood there was still some work to be done at that level.”

But Christenson liked how Chapman dealt with the adversity, and he was all the more impressed with Chapman’s final stats given that his season wasn’t marked by numerous hot streaks.

“If you watched him it wasn’t a consistent, successful season to the eye,” Christenson said. “Now, the numbers at the end just shows you what kind of special talent he is.”

Chapman, who played 18 games with Triple-A Nashville in a late-season promotion, will be reunited with Christenson this season as Christenson takes over as Nashville’s manager. The A’s brass will be watching closely, though the comments from A’s GM David Forst all offseason stressed a theme of patience with not only Chapman but the team’s other top position-player prospect, middle infielder Franklin Barreto.

“We’re making sure guys are ready when they get here,” Forst said. “Matt has fewer than 100 at-bats at Triple-A. I don’t know what his timeframe is as far as getting to the big leagues, but it’s clear from a development standpoint he still needs some time at Triple-A.”

Christenson said any struggles Chapman had offensively in 2016 never carried over into his play at third base. And Christenson attests to the defensive talent the A’s saw when they drafted Chapman in the first round in 2014 out of Cal State Fullerton.

“One of the best I’ve ever seen,” Christenson said. “He’s lateral, he can go back on a pop-up and make a play. He’s very adept at coming in to barehand the slow roller. You put him over at shortstop in the shift and he can make the play, and the arm is about as good as you’re ever gonna see at third base.”