Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 4, Mariners 2


Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 4, Mariners 2


SEATTLE -- To sweep or be swept? That is the question. The A's broke out the brooms in Seattle, defeating the Mariners 4-2. Oakland has now swept three of their last four series, and the one series they didn't sweep, they got swept by the Angels. Tommy Milone became the first A's rookie pitcher to reach 12 wins since Joe Blanton in 2005. He is now tied with Blanton and Chris Codiroli (1983) for most rookie wins in Oakland history. Milone is also making history in another significant manner. He's allowed just one walk or less in his last 14 starts. That ties Gil Heredia (1999) for the longest such streak in Oakland history. Starting Pitching ReportMilone tied one of his own personal records as well with 10 strikeouts. He didn't issue a single walk. He lasted six innings and gave up two earned runs on eight hits. Overall, a very good day for the rookie pitcher.Predominantly using his off-speed stuff, Milone struck out five of the first six batters he faced in the game. He didn't really get into a jam until the fourth inning. After allowing two batters to reach with singles, he blew a two-out, full count fastball by Mike Carp to end the inning. After the A's rallied for three runs in the fifth inning, Milone couldn't get a shutdown inning. He gave up a run on a two-out triple hit by Michael Saunders. He struck out the next batter to end the inning.Kyle Seager led off the sixth inning with a solo homer to right field, making it 3-2. Reddick scaled the right field wall but couldn't reach the ball. It was a spider-man-like effort, though. Milone ended the first six innings of the game with strikeouts. At the PlateThe A's were having trouble against Mariners lefty Jason Vargas until the fifth inning. With two outs the A's rallied for three runs. Adam Rosales and Coco Crisp reached on singles and then Jonny Gomes crushed a three-run blast to left field. Gomes has been an essential piece to the A's puzzle. He has 16 home runs in 83 games this season, and eight of them have come since the All-Star Break. It's hard to imagine where the A's would be if Manny Ramirez was taking at-bats away from Gomes. Odds are the 40-year-old slugger wouldn't be sniffing Gomes' stats at this point. The A's didn't score again until the eighth inning, when Josh Donaldson smacked a solo homer to left field. Donaldson now has six home runs and 24 RBI since being recalled on August 20. Bullpen ReportPat Neshek entered in relief of Milone in the seventh inning. He retired two batters and didn't allow a base runner. Jerry Blevins finished the inning. Ryan Cook pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Has not allowed a run in 10 of his last 11 outings. He struck out two batters. Grant Balfour pitched the ninth inning with a two-run lead. He allowed a leadoff double down the left field line to Casper Wells, then pitched around it without allowing a run. He is now a perfect 9 for 9 in save opportunities since regaining the closer's role. In the FieldReddick robbed Seattle's leadoff hitter Franklin Gutierrez to start the game. Gutierrez hit a ball that looked like it might fall in until Reddick made a full extension head-first dive to take away the hit. He saved a potential run in the ninth inning with a sliding catch to rob Eric Thames.AttendanceThe Mariners announced an attendance of 14,403. Up NextThe A's travel to Anaheim to open a four-game series with the Angels. Jarrod Parker (9-8, 3.67 ERA) will be on the mound for the A's. He is 4-5 with a 5.10 ERA in his his last 11 starts. He is one win shy of becoming the 10th rookie pitcher in Oakland history to win 10 games.

A's 17-year-old prospect 'Lazarito' makes Cactus League debut

A's 17-year-old prospect 'Lazarito' makes Cactus League debut

Lazaro Armenteros, the A’s 17-year-old stud outfield prospect better known as “Lazarito,” is believed to have become the youngest player in franchise history to appear in a Cactus League game.

Armenteros entered at the DH spot in the eighth against the Dodgers and went 0-for-2, flying out to right-center and popping up to shallow center. With the A’s short on position players, Armenteros was brought over from minor league camp and got a little exposure to the big league environment.

“He’s quite athletic, and I know they love him over there” at minor league camp, A's manager Bob Melvin recently said.

Armenteros also got a chance to mingle with Dodger outfielder (and fellow Cuban) Yasiel Puig before the game.

“Over there (in Cuba) you kind of play the game because you like it and you enjoy it,” Armenteros recently said through interpreter Juan Dorado. “Here, it’s more like a job. There’s more preparation.”

Armenteros will stay in Arizona through extended spring training and then head to play in the Dominican Summer League.

A's spring training Day 40: Manaea downplays struggles after walking five

A's spring training Day 40: Manaea downplays struggles after walking five

MESA, Ariz. — Something flipped a switch inside Sean Manaea in the third inning Saturday, and the A’s left-hander pitched with the aggressiveness he’s shown most of spring training.

It was a different story before that, as Manaea issued five walks, two of them forcing in runs, against the Cincinnati Reds. His final Cactus League outing ended after just three innings, his pitch count at more than 70, and he was charged with five earned runs.

“I was trying to nibble at the corners too much,” Manaea said. “The third inning I finally just said, ‘Throw it right down the middle and let them hit it.’”

The plan was to get Manaea close to 90 pitches, so he went to the bullpen and threw 10 more after he was pulled from the game. He entered the day with a 2.81 ERA in his first five outings, walking just one in each of those games.

He downplayed his struggles Saturday in Oakland’s 11-6 split-squad defeat at Hohokam Stadium, and manager Bob Melvin wasn’t expressing major concern either.

“He was just out of sync,” Melvin said. “Typically you don’t see him walk guys like that, let alone multiple guys in a row. It was just a tough day for him. We wanted to try to get him close to 90 pitches. But when you’re throwing that many pitches in three innings, I just couldn’t risk sending him back out there.”

Manaea was stressing the positives of his camp afterward. As he preps for one final tune-up start at AT&T Park against the Giants in the Bay Bridge Series, he particularly likes the way his slider has rounded into form.

“Just being able to have that confidence to throw it for a strike and get weak ground balls and swings and misses, it’s huge,” he said.

CAMP BATTLE: The A’s lost their other split-squad matchup by an identical 11-6 score to the Dodgers in Glendale. Jesse Hahn took the hill and struggled for the second consecutive outing, allowing two homers — including a grand slam by Andrew Toles — and surrendering seven runs (five earned) over 3 1/3 innings. Competing for one of two open rotation spots, Hahn hasn’t shown his best in the Cactus League stretch run. He gave up seven runs against Colorado in his previous start.

ODDS AND ENDS: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe had two more hits against the Reds to raise his average to .425 but left the game after tweaking an abductor muscle in his lower body. “He felt like he’s OK. We just didn’t wanna risk that,” Melvin said. … Rajai Davis connected for his first spring home run and scored three runs. … Sean Doolittle gave up two runs in his inning of work but struck out three. He sported his new eyeglasses for the first time in a major league game. … Matt Chapman hit a three-run homer off former Athletic Rich Hill in the game at Glendale.