Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 2, Mariners 1

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 2, Mariners 1

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OAKLAND -- It almost seems criminal that Josh Reddick will be spending the All-Star break at home. He further proved he belongs among the league's elite with a walk-off double in the 13th inning to defeat the Mariners 2-1. The A's are .500 at the All-Star break. They are now 6-2 in extra inning games, and 16-10 in games decided in the seventh inning or later. At the PlateThe A's got an early run off Mariners' ace Felix Hernandez. Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks started the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. Crisp ended up scoring on an infield single by Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes ended up leaving the game with a left thumb sprain. The injury appeared to happen after stealing second base in the first inning.The A's got back-to-back singles again to start the fifth inning. They ended up squandering the scoring opportunity though. Cliff Pennington, who hit the leadoff single, was picked off at second base when Weeks missed a bunt attempt. The mistake proved to be a costly one as the A's failed to score a run in the frame.Mistakes like that tend to be costly when opposing a former Cy Young-award winner. Hernandez ended up throwing 7.2 innings, allowing one run, six hits, and three walks. He struck out six A's batters.In the 10th inning they got another opportunity to score when Pennington hit another leadoff single. Crisp laid down a sacrifice bunt but Pennington was thrown out at second. Then Crisp was picked off at first base. With two outs Weeks reached on a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but the A's couldn't score. Weeks got a leadoff single in the 13th and Reddick drove him in with a walk-off double to left-center field. Starting Pitching ReportA's starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was incredibly efficient. He threw 93 pitches and only 14 of them were balls. He ended up throwing 8.2 innings, scattering seven hits and allowing only one earned run. Colon threw a first-pitch strike to 32 of the 34 batters he faced and didn't allow a walk.Colon carved through the Mariners lineup with ease. He gave up a single to start the game and then was perfect until the sixth inning. He retired the side in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. It wasn't until the sixth inning that the Mariners snapped a streak of 17 straight hitters retired. With two outs they recorded three hits in a row to tie the game. Bullpen ReportRyan Cook entered the game in relief of Colon with two outs in the ninth inning. He struck out Miguel Olivo to end the inning with runners on second and third. He came back out and pitched a flawless 10th inning. Sean Doolittle pitched the 11th. He struck out Saunders swinging on a 95-mph fastball. He struck out John Jaso swinging on a 94-mph fastball. And got Kyle Seager swinging on a 93-mph pitch.In the FieldDerek Norris committed his first big league error when he dropped a foul pop up. Brandon Moss also mishandled a ball at first base to start the seventh inning, he was charged with an error as well. None of the bad plays ended up costing the A's anything more than a few extra Colon pitches. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 20,075. It was turn-back-the-clock-day at the ballpark. The A's were donning the 1955 uniform of the Oakland Oaks. The Mariners were wearing the uniforms of the Tacoma Rainiers. Fake Elvis Presley sang the National Anthem after entering the building in a pink Cadillac. He also performed his hit single Blue Suede Shoes. Dot RaceIn lieu of the Dot Race, the A's did an Elvis race. He won. Up NextThe A's get four days off for the All-Star break before taking on the Twins in Minnesota. When they return to action on July 13, A.J. Griffin will be on the mound. He will be followed by Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker. Griffin (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will be taking on Francisco Liriano (3-7, 5.08 ERA).

A's spring training Day 42: Roster longshot Decker could claim outfield spot

A's spring training Day 42: Roster longshot Decker could claim outfield spot

MESA, Ariz. — As the pieces are beginning to fit for the A’s 25-man roster, Jaff Decker may be an unlikely feel-good story come Opening Night.

A non-roster invitee this spring, the journeyman has impressed with his all-around game to the point that he might make Oakland’s club as a fifth outfielder.

There’s other factors that play into it — how many relievers the A’s carry will determine whether they keep five outfielders — but things are breaking right for the 27-year-old Decker, who’s with his fourth organization and has never made an Opening Night roster.

When Jake Smolinski went down with a shoulder injury that required surgery, it thrust Decker into the competition. Then Monday, the A’s released veteran Alejandro De Aza, who had impressed this spring but had an opt-out clause in his minor league deal. The A’s think enough of Decker that they cut De Aza loose. On Monday, Decker returned from a minor oblique issue and started in left field, going 1-for-3 in a 10-3 loss to Kansas City.

“I’m super excited,” Decker said. “I feel like I fit in well here, and I get along with the guys really well. It’s a good group of baseball minds, baseball guys. I hope I have done enough and shown I’m healthy enough to land that spot.”

De Aza hit .300 in 19 games and displayed the veteran savvy that seemed to make him a possible fit on the A’s bench. Manager Bob Melvin expressed hope that De Aza might re-sign with the A’s if he doesn’t find a big league opportunity elsewhere.

But Decker, who bats left-handed as does De Aza, is hitting .308 and has his own attributes, including a strong arm and the ability to play all three outfield spots. It’s a nice package of skills for a player who, at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, doesn’t appear the prototypical big league outfielder at first glance.

If the A’s keep seven relievers, they will take five outfielders into the regular season. The decision on a seventh reliever appears to be between lefty Daniel Coulombe and right-hander Frankie Montas. But the A’s could hang on to both and only keep four outfielders, with Mark Canha being the fourth.

Decker fun fact: His first name is pronounced “Jeff.” He’s named after his uncle, whose first name was misspelled on his birth certificate. Decker’s uncle kept the spelling.

MELVIN ON RAIDERS: Melvin, a Bay Area native who is quite tuned in to the history of local teams, weighed in on the Raiders announcing a move to Las Vegas. That news has a direct impact on the A’s, obviously, as a co-tenant of the Coliseum with the Raiders.

“It’s too bad,” Melvin said. “Like us, they have a rich tradition and unbelievable fan base. They’re well supported in the Bay Area. It’s tough to have to deal with it.”

NOTEWORTHY: In his first start since being named part of the rotation, Andrew Triggs struggled mightily against the Royals, getting tagged for eight runs and three homers in 3 2/3 innings. While stressing that now is no time for complacency in his position, Triggs also said he was approaching the game differently than if it were the regular season. He kept throwing his changeup, his fourth best pitch, in an effort to get more comfortable with it.

“If this were (the regular season), we probably would have said in the first or second inning, this wasn’t so great, and gone out there and started back-dooring cutters and working off the sinker,” he said. “But we made a concerted effort to work on a pitch, it wasn’t very good, and the results showed that.”

FAMILIAR FACE: One of the homers off Triggs came from former Athletic Brandon Moss, who connected for a two-run shot in the fourth. The outfielder signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Royals in the offseason.

ODDS AND ENDS: Coulombe had a great day, tossing three scoreless innings. That’s three outings in a row without allowing a run for the lefty after a rough patch before that. Melvin pointed out that the ability to throw multiple innings will be important if Coulombe makes the team. … Matt Chapman homered in the fifth, his third long ball of the spring. He’s hitting .261 and playing stellar defense. “He’s got a lot of enthusiasm and it rubs off on guys,” Melvin said.

 

A's statement on Raiders: 'We would be sorry to see them leave'

A's statement on Raiders: 'We would be sorry to see them leave'

MESA, Ariz. — The Raiders’ approval to leave Oakland and relocate to Las Vegas comes as the A’s are contemplating where to build their own ballpark in Oakland, with the Coliseum site one of the options.

The A’s issued this statement Monday after the Raiders got the green light from NFL owners to bolt for Vegas:

“We understand the Raiders’ need for a new stadium. Oakland is an incredible sports town and we would be sorry to see them leave. We commend the city’s and county’s efforts to keep the Raiders in Oakland. The Mayor and her team have worked incredibly hard to save the franchise. We are focused on, and excited about, our efforts to build a new ballpark in Oakland and look forward to announcing a location this year.”

The Raiders have one-year options to continue playing at the Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and they plan to do so.

The A’s, meanwhile, are choosing between four different locations in Oakland to build a new venue — the Coliseum, Howard Terminal, a site near Laney College and one near Brooklyn Basin.

The Raiders’ decision to leave doesn’t necessarily mean the Coliseum moves into the lead for possible options for the A’s to build. The site is viable, and there’s great BART and freeway access. The Coliseum could be considered the safest option, perhaps, because it’s a tried-and-true site that has hosted three professional sports teams for decades. The A’s know what they’re dealing with there.

But the A’s also want a thriving entertainment area around their new ballpark, wherever that might be. That sort of “neighborhood” would have to be built from scratch at the current Coliseum site, which is isolated from the multitude of restaurants and bars that exist around AT&T Park, for example.