Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 6, Angels 5

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 6, Angels 5

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ANAHEIM -- The A's needed every last run they scored on Tuesday night to beat the Angels 6-5 and extend their road winning streak to 11 games. They are now 21 games over .500. At the PlateYoenis Cespedes snapped out of his 21-game homerless streak in the second inning. He drove his first home run since August 18 just to the left of the rock pile. The shot was his 17th of the season and gave the A's an early 1-0 lead. The A's display of power continued in the fourth inning when Brandon Moss absolutely obliterated a ball into the right field stands. Moss' go-ahead homer was his 18th of the year and his sixth in his last 12 starts. Moss has driven in 13 runs in his last 12 games. A's manager Bob Melvin said he wanted to play the hot hand with Moss and it is working. After Moss' homer Josh Donaldson and George Kottaras hit back-to-back singles. Stephen Drew then drove home Donaldson with a sacrifice fly to left field to give the A's a 4-2 lead. The A's were up one run in the ninth inning. In need of some insurance Cliff Pennington hit a two-out single. Coco Crisp followed with an RBI triple to right field that got misplayed by Torii Hunter, allowing Crisp to come around to score. The play gave the A's a 6-3 lead. Starting Pitching ReportDan Straily got into frequent jams. He escaped the first one in impressive fashion. With runners on the corners and no outs he got Albert Pujols to pop out and struck out both Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick. In the second inning he gave up a two-run homer to Vernon Wells on a first pitch fastball right down the middle. After the homer two more runners reached base but Straily got Pujols to foul out to end the inning. Pujols ended up going 0 for 3 against Straily. Straily allowed one base runner in each of the third and fourth innings. He retired seven batters in a row before giving up a solo home run to Torii Hunter in the seventh inning. Hunter's homer to left field made it a 4-3 game and chased Straily from the game.Straily put forth an admirable performance in his first start back in the big leagues. He went six and two-third innings, allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out eight batters. All of the runs he allowed scored via the long ball. Last time he faced the Angels he gave up four homers. This is an improvement. Trout went 3 for 4 against Straily. All three of his hits were singles. Bullpen ReportPat Neshek entered the game to face Pujols in the seventh inning. He did his part but Pujols reached on an error. Sean Doolittle entered the game next. He gloved a ball hit up the middle and threw to first to end the inning. He remained in the game and pitched a scoreless eighth inning as well. Balfour entered the game with a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. He walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up back to back RBI singles to Hunter and Pujols. He left the game with runners on the corners and no outs. Jerry Blevins entered the game in arguably the most pressure packed situation of his career. He struck out Kendrys Morales then got the game-ending double play. His heroic effort on this evening might be the be the biggest save of his life. In the FieldThe 2012 Reddick for Gold Glove campaign should be officially kicking off. With Pujols batting with runners on the corners and two outs in the second inning Reddick made a sliding catch in foul territory to take the bat out of Pujols' hands. Reddick had to range very far to make the grab. He was in a full sprint as he slid to make the snag. In the first inning Pujols also came up with runners on the corners. He hit a shallow fly ball to right field that Reddick caught cleanly. Trout, arguably the fastest runner in baseball, was on third base and he didn't even think to challenge Reddick's throwing arm. Drew made a nice play on a sharp ground ball hit by Pujols but bounced the throw to first and Moss couldn't come up with it. Drew was charged with the error on the play. Moss would probably say that was his own fault. Drew made amends in the eighth inning by making a spectacular diving stop and throw to second for the force out to end the inning. AttendanceThe Angels announced an attendance of 37,794. Rally Monkey ReenactmentsPsycho - The monkey pulled back the curtain in the famous shower scene. The monkey was also apparently discovered on Mars by the curiosity rover. A contestant on Price is Right (hosted by Bob Barker) won a monkey as well. Up NextA.J. Griffin (5-0. 2.21) takes the mound for the A's against Ervin Santana (8-11, 5.21 ERA). According to the fantastic A's game notes put together by Mike Selleck, Griffin is the only Major League pitcher since at least 1918 to allow three runs or fewer and walk two batters or fewer in each of his first 10 career starts.

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

OAKLAND — Some 10-9 records are better than others, and so it is that the A’s can hit the road for a nine-game trip feeling pretty good about themselves.

Their just-completed homestand began with Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman leaving a game early and landing on the disabled list. That was coupled with news that shortstop Marcus Semien would be lost for two months or more with a fractured wrist.

The A’s responded to those developments with a five-game winning streak that was halted by Sunday’s 11-1 rout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s went 5-4 on the homestand, holding their ground after a heavy dose of injury misfortune, and now the outlook changes just a bit. The focus shifts from the players joining the D.L. to those that could soon return to provide a boost.

Graveman, who has a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off the mound Monday. If that goes well, expect him to be activated sometime in the early portion of the upcoming trip. Sonny Gray, who has been out since injuring a side muscle early in Cactus League games, is set to throw Thursday for Triple-A Nashville after an encouraging rehab outing Saturday for Single-A Stockton.

If Gray comes out of Thursday’s start well, look for the 2015 All-Star to join the active roster and pitch sometime against Minnesota in the final series of this road trip. Nothing can be taken for granted until both pitchers actually return healthy, but it’s a promising scenario to possibly add two starters of their caliber as April turns to May.

“I think any time you look up and you’re over .500 and you’ve had a great homestand and you’re missing your best two pitchers, that’s something to be pleased about,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Getting Kendall back is huge. And Sonny obviously did great last night, and felt great, which is more important than the results.

“We’re excited to get those two guys back but in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to keep playing the way we are because we’re playing really good baseball and we’ll just keep things rolling.”

It was clear early on Sunday that a five-game winning streak wouldn’t reach six. The Mariners led 2-0 in the third when Andrew Triggs missed location on a 1-0 sinker and Taylor Motter launched a grand slam over the wall in left-center.

Triggs, who excelled at missing the fat part of bats over his first three starts, didn’t have the feel for his cutter Sunday. When he fell behind to Motter, the cutter is normally a pitch he would have gone to had it been working for him.

“I wasn’t commanding well,” he said. “I didn’t wanna go 1-0 to 2-0. I felt better going with the sinker. I got it down, but missed location in and out. In a perfect world, the cutter would have been great to get a groundout.”

But to this point, the A’s rotation has held firm without Gray and with the short-term absence of Graveman. Perhaps the biggest test moving forward is whether an offense that is tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits can continue to produce consistently with Semien’s absence, particularly without anyone having established themselves as the regular leadoff man.

A’s manager Bob Melvin likes what he’s seen from his team in light of the injuries.

“Every game we go out there there’s an expectation to win,” Melvin said, “and when you win multiple games in a row, you get that feeling and it’s a little more significant. So hopefully we can carry that on to the road trip. As a group, we’ve been able to manage these injuries here recently, and once we start getting guys back it’s gonna be a good thing for us.”

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

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OAKLAND – That pristine ERA wasn’t going to last forever for Andrew Triggs, and it was no secret why things took a wayward turn for the A’s right-hander Sunday.

His command deserted him in the top of the third against Seattle, and that led to a disastrous inning that told the story in an 11-1 loss that halted the A’s five-game winning streak.

Triggs, who hadn’t allowed a single earned run in winning his first three starts of 2017, walked Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third, then issued another free pass to Nelson Cruz that forced in a run and put the Mariners up 2-0. After striking out Daniel Vogelbach, Triggs caught too much plate with a 1-0 pitch and Taylor Motter drilled it for a grand slam that made it 6-0 and put this one out of reach with the way Yovani Gallardo was pitching.

Gallardo (1-2) gave up just four hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Mariners prevented the A’s from completing their first home sweep of a four-game series since July 3-6, 2014, when they took four from Toronto.

Seattle turned it into a rout as Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer in the seventh off Raul Alcantara, who was left in to eat up innings and surrendered two***more runs in the ninth.

Triggs (3-1), in a season-opening rotation for the first time in his major league career, opened the year by throwing 17 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. That was the longest such season-opening streak by a starting pitcher in Oakland history. His ERA went from 0.00 to 2.42 with Sunday’s outing.

The A’s (10-9) finished 5-4 on their nine-game homestand that was shortened by one game due to a rainout Easter Sunday.

Starting pitching report

The first batter of the game was a bad omen for Triggs as he hit Jarrod Dyson to put the speedster on base. Dyson stole second and Cano knocked a run-scoring single to right field that quickly brought Triggs’ earned-run streak to an end. The right-hander was charged with six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits with four strikeouts and the two walks.

Bullpen report

Daniel Coulombe entered in relief of Triggs in the fifth and provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Then Alcantara, who was replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn on the last road trip, was left in to soak up three innings to save the bullpen any more wear and tear in a lopsided game. He gave up five runs in three innings and walked two.

At the plate

The A’s, after falling behind early, couldn’t muster anything against Gallardo, who the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade from the Orioles. Their only run came in the seventh, when Ryon Healy led off with a double, moved to third on Trevor Plouffe’s single and scored on Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly off reliever Tony Zych.

In the field

Neither team committed an error, making it five games in a row that the A’s have gone errorless. Gallardo was aided by an outstanding diving snag by third baseman Mike Freeman in the sixth. Matt Olson, drawing a start in right field for the A’s, made a sliding catch that turned into a double play when Daniel Vogelbach wandered too far off first base.

Attendance

The homestand finale drew 24,165 fans.

Up next

The A’s take Monday off and then begin a nine-game road trip against the Angels on Tuesday. The opener pits Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00) against J.C. Ramirez (2-2, 6.46). On Wednesday, it’s Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98). Then Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) matches up against Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76) in Thursday’s finale. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. and air on NBC Sports California.