Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Twins 3

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Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Twins 3

BOX SCORE

The A's got a little extra time off after rain delayed the start of the game by 20 minutes. The weather cost the A's an opportunity to take batting practice on the field before the game. As a result it took the A's bats a little extra time to get back into the swing of things. Better late than never for the A's, who rallied for four runs in the fourth and two more in the ninth, beating the Twins 6-3. They are now 44-43, one game over .500.At the PlateThe first time through the order Francisco Liriano carved up A's batters. Eight of the first nine batters he faced were retired via strikeout.The second time though the lineup the A's made amends. Jemile Weeks reached base on a leadoff single. Later in the inning the A's were gifted a baserunner, when Denard Span snowconed and dropped a routine flyball hit to center field by Yoenis Cespedes. Chris Carter worked the count full against Liriano and drew a one out walk to load the bases. Then Jonny Gomes drove the first pitch from Liriano to left-center field for his third-career grand slam.That is all the A's would score against Liriano. He ended the night with a career-high 15 strikeouts. After Liriano left the game, the A's rallied for two more runs. Gomes drove in his fifth run with an RBI-single. The last time he drove in five runs was August 14, 2009 as a member of the Reds. Brandon Inge also drove in a run in the eighth.Yoenis Cespedes started the game as the DH after spraining his left thumb on Sunday. He went 2 for 3, reaching on an error and scoring a run.Starting Pitching ReportA.J. Griffin allowed more than two runs for the first time in his MLB career. On Friday, all three of his earned runs were came as a result of former A's outfielder Josh Willingham.He homered against Griffin to start the second inning. Then hit a two-run blast off him in the fourth. That means Willingham has hit four homers against the A's this season, driving in 10 runs.This offseason Willingham left the A's for Minnesota when he was signed to a three-year, 21M contract. For sake of comparison, Coco Crisp was signed to a two-year, 14M contract. Imagine an outfield of Reddick, Cespedes and Willingham in Oakland.Bullpen ReportGriffin turned the game over to the the bullpen in the seventh inning with a one run lead. Sean Doolittle entered the game in relief. He retired the side in order striking out two hitters in the seventh. He came back out for the eighth inning and retired the first two hitters before allowing a walk to Willingham and a double to Morneau.With runners on second and third base and two outs Balfour entered the game to face Trevor Plouffe in what was undoubtedly the most important at-bat in the game. Balfour engaged in an eight-pitch at-bat that felt like a 12-round prize fight. Plouffe landed a solid blow, but Balfour was the last man standing, as Weeks snared the liner off the outfielders bat to end the inning.Last time the A's were in Minnesota they were swept. In the second game of the series Brian Fuentes blew a save on a walk-off three-run homer hit by Willingham. This time they have a new closer in Ryan Cook. The rookie All-Star pitcher retired the Twins in order for his ninth save.In the FieldBrandon Hicks made a solid play to end the third inning. He leaped up snaring a liner hit by Ben Revere at the height of his jump, then fired to first to double off Denard Span. Derek Norris gunned down Trevor Plouffe stealing second in the fourth inning. Plouffe reached on an error by Hicks. Griffin also caught Span stealing in the first inning.Up NextTommy Milone (8-6, 3.57 ERA) takes the mound for the A's on Saturday. Milone struck out a career-high nine hitters in his last start. That start came at home against the Mariners, where he gave up one run over seven innings of work. Cole De Vries (2-1, 3.00 ERA) will get the start for the Twins. De Vries' last start was in Texas against the Rangers. He pitched seven shutout innings but didn't factor in the decision.

Instant Replay: A's use Davis homer vs Astros to snap five-game skid

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AP

Instant Replay: A's use Davis homer vs Astros to snap five-game skid

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON – The clean game that manager Bob Melvin had been seeking from his team finally came Saturday night.

Andrew Triggs was excellent in rebounding from his rough previous start, and home runs from Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis powered the A’s 2-1 victory over the Astros. That snapped Oakland’s five-game losing streak, along with a 10-game losing streak against Houston.

A night after committing three errors, the A’s played mistake-free defense and got a couple of highlight-reel plays in support of Triggs (4-1), who blanked the Astros over a career-high seven innings and set a new career high with nine strikeouts.

Lowrie, facing the team with which he’s spent two separate stints, launched a homer off the facing of the second deck in right field in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Davis padded the lead in the eighth with his signature opposite-field prowess, clearing the wall in right for his third homer of the series and 10th of the season, tying the Yankees’ Aaron Judge for the American League lead.

But it all started with Triggs, who won his first three starts but gave up six runs against Seattle last weekend. He ate up seven innings and turned it over to his bullpen.

Jose Altuve homered off Sean Doolittle in the eighth to cut the A’s lead to 2-1, but Santiago Casilla closed it out in the ninth for his fourth save.

Starting pitching report

Triggs retired 10 in a row to finish his outing, but the key to the early part of his night was stranding runners. He wiggled out of a one-out jam with men on second and third in the first inning, striking out Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran. He stranded runners on first and second in the third, then got another big strikeout to end the fourth with a man on third. Before Saturday, Triggs hadn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning of a game he’d started in the majors.

Bullpen report

Casilla gave up Beltran’s infield single to lead off the ninth. But after a replay reversal negated an A’s double play, Casilla ended it by getting Brian McCann to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

At the plate

Two big swings of the bat were all it took for the A’s to notch their first win in five games of this three-city road trip. Lowrie, who came in hitting .375 over his previous eight games, hit a towering shot to right off Joe Musgrove (1-2) for his second homer of the season. Then Davis did his thing, blasting a shot to the opposite field for his 10th homer of April. He had just nine homers in 83 career April games entering this season.

In the field

There was no shortage of highlight plays turned in defensively. Jaff Decker, starting in right field, made a perfect throw from near the warning track to nail Carlos Beltran trying to tag up on a fly ball in the fourth. The next inning, former Athletic Josh Reddick fired a strike to home to nail Chad Pinder trying to score from second on Lowrie’s single. But the A’s got Reddick right back when first baseman Yonder Alonso made a leaping grab on Reddick’s liner headed for right field.

Attendance

The announced crowd was 32,147.

Up next

The A’s face a tough task in Sunday’s series finale, going against lefty Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 1.22). He’s the first pitcher in Astros history to go seven-plus innings and allow two or fewer runs in each of his first five starts. Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.08) takes the ball for Oakland. First pitch is 11:10 a.m.

A's lineup: Healy moves into three spot, LaMarre gets first start

A's lineup: Healy moves into three spot, LaMarre gets first start

Bob Melvin has issued his lineup as the A's try to snap a five-game losing streak in Game 2 of a series against the Astros.

Oakland A's (10-13)

1. Jaff Decker (L) RF
2. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
3. Ryon Healy (R) DH
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Chad Pinder (R) SS
9. Ryan LaMarre (R) CF
Andrew Triggs -- RHP 


Houston Astros (15-8)

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. Josh Reddick (L) RF
3. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
4. Carlos Correa (R) SS
5. Carlos Beltran (S) LF
6. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
7. Brian McCann (L) C
8. Evan Gattis (R) DH
9. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
Joe Musgrove -- RHP