Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Indians 4


Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Indians 4


OAKLAND -- As the A's opened up the homestand honoring the 10th anniversary of the 20-game record streak of the 2002 team, the 2012 team might be beginning a streak of their own. Oakland overcame a 4-0 deficit to win the game 6-4. The A's have won two games in a row. It's not 20, but it will do for now.At the PlateDerek Norris was drilled in the face mask by the follow through of Carlos Santana's bat in the first inning. He was rattled for a moment but staid in the game. Norris later stepped to the plate and took out his aggression on a Zach McAllister pitch. He might have hit the ball too hard, as it rocketed off his bat smashing into the very top of the wall in left field. It ended up being a long single.The A's fell behind by four runs in the top half of the fourth inning. They came to the plate and immediately chipped away at the lead. Chris Carter lead off by smoking a single to right field. After Brandon Moss reached with on a walk, Josh Donaldson clobbered a double to the left field wall scoring Carter and moving Moss to third. Norris hit a soft ground ball to third scoring Moss and cutting the lead in half. Then Cliff Pennington stroked an RBI single to right field to score Donaldson.The A's put a rally together in the eighth inning with a surprise cameo. Carter led off with a walk, and Moss singled to right. Josh Reddick then stepped to the plate to an applause. Reddick who wasn't in the lineup after having another procedure at the dentist this afternoon, smacked a bloop single. Donaldson then stroked a hard-hit single to left field scoring the go-ahead run. Pennington added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right field.Josh Donaldson was locked in at the plate. His double was smoked to left. He also collected two singles to right, and a single to left. He ended the night a career-high 4 for 4.Starting Pitching ReportThe A's skipped Tommy Milone's previous start to get the rookie pitcher some extra rest. A refreshed Milone looked good out of the gate. Joe West's strike zone however, didn't.West called several close pitches balls that looked like and showed up as strikes on the MLB pitch FX.Milone got into trouble in the fourth inning. Carlos Santana drew a leadoff walk. The next batter Michael Brantley reached on an error charged to Yoenis Cespedes. Brantley hit a high fly ball to left field that Cespedes and Pennington let fall between them. Jason Donald followed with another single to load the bases with no outs. Shelley Duncan then struck the big blow, driving a 3-2 fastball into the left field bleachers for a Grand Slam.To Milone's credit he settled down after the homer. He retired five of the next six batters he faced, striking out three of them. He ended up allowing three earned runs, on six hits, and six strikeouts.Bullpen ReportPat Neshek pitched faced four batters retiring them all in order. He struck out half of them. Jordan Norberto faced five batters, also striking out two of them.He hit Shin-soo Choo with a pitch on an 0-2 count. Choo was the only base runner he allowed. Norberto has gone more than one inning in five of his last six outings. He is extremely versatile and is having a big year out of the A's bullpen.Grant Bafour entered in the ninth inning for the save opportunity. He struck out Duncan looking to start the inning. Then retired the next two batters with ease to earn his 10th save.Balfour hasn't allowed a run in 15 of his last 16 outings. Before the game A's manager Bob Melvin said that Balfour is a good fit for the team in the ninth inning at this time.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 13,967.Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race. Red knocked White and Blue off the track in the second lap but they got back on and rallied.Up NextThe steady Bartolo Colon (9-9, 3.55 ERA) takes the hill for Oakland. Colon's three-game winning streak was snapped in Chicago after a rough five-run inning.He will be opposed by Corey Kluber (0-1, 8.56 ERA). Kluber is winless in his three starts for the Indians this season. He allowed six runs in his last start.

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.