Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 4, Dodgers 1

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Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 4, Dodgers 1

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Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup after missing a total of nine games with a left hamstring strain. His return went about as well as could be. Especially when considering that the last time he was in the lineup, he had to leave the game when he aggravated the injury after his first at-bat.The Cuban slugger drove in a run and scored one, as the A's beat the Dodgers 4-1. He also played his first-ever game as a designated hitter.At the PlateCespedes went 2-for-4 with a run. That run came in the fourth inning, after he hit a screaming line drive down the left field line that ricocheted off the wall hard on one hop for a leadoff double. He followed that up with an RBI single in the fifth inning.His outs were almost as impressive. He launched a ball to left field in the eighth inning that he thought was gone. Bobby Abreu made the catch with his back against the wall. In the first inning, he was robbed of a single on a line drive to center field.Seth Smith stayed hot at the plate. He hit the RBI double to left-center field that scored Cespedes, making it a 1-1 game.In the eighth, Brandon Moss hit a very loud homer to right-center, making it 4-1. The blast came on a 1-1 offering from Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert. He now has seven homers since joining the A's 13 games ago.Josh Reddick's struggles at the plate continued on Wednesday. He went 0-for-4 with one strikeout and grounded into a bases-loaded double play in the fifth inning. The A's did score on the play. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone's impressive effort took a back seat to Cespedes' return. Let's just call them stories 1-A, and 1-B. Milone stifled the Dodgers bats over nine innings of one-run ball for his seventh win. It was his first career complete game.The only run the lefty allowed came on a double to right field that Reddick actually made a diving catch on -- but the ball got loose.After allowing the run, he retired 14 consecutive batters. He ended up with two strikeouts, one walk, and three hits allowed.In the FieldIn the fifth inning, Smith made a full speed sliding catch in left field to rob Tony Gwynn Jr.Josh Reddick almost made a diving catch in the second inning. He made a head first dive, catching the ball, but when he rolled out of the dive, he accidentally flung the ball from his glove. The play was ruled an RBI double for Juan Uribe.Weeks made a leaping snowcone snare on a line drive hit by Gwynn Jr. in the eighth inning. Weeks, who is small in stature, makes up for it with his hops. On the next play he committed an error.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 25,383 on Wednesday. Many of those that came got to enjoy Mug Root Beer float night. The A's raised over 24,000 to help fight juvenile diabetes with the event.Dot RaceWhite wins the dot race for a second straight night. It was a close call, but again a late surge lead to the victory.Up NextThe A's take on reigning National League Cy Young Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 2.86 ERA). Oakland might be catching Kershaw at the right time, he has gone 1-2 in his last five starts. He will be opposed by Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.76 ERA). The Australian left-hander allowed two runs over six innings against the Padres. His first MLB win since 2004. Blackley taught me how to play Australian Rules Football before the game. You can see the video here.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

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Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

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The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.

Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.

In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.

Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:

-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.

-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.

-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.

--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.

-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Astros-A's coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

The latest A's youth movement embarks on its first road trip when they visit the south side of Chicago and the White Sox. Manager Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for Game 1 of the series.

Chicago White Sox:
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
3. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Matt Davidson (R) DH
6. Tim Anderson (R) SS
7. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
8. Kevan Smith (R) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
RHP -- Mike Pelfrey 

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Chad Pinder (R) SS
8. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
RHP -- Jharel Cotton