Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 9, White Sox 7


Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 9, White Sox 7


The A's decided to shake up their starting rotation and bullpen on Saturday. Their plan worked as they defeated the White Sox 9-7 in Chicago. Two Australian-born pitchers filled in to start and close the game. Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless inning of relief in place of Ryan Cook to earn his eighth save, and Travis Blackley started the game in place of Tommy Milone.At the PlateFrancisco Liriano struck out 15 batters in his last start versus Oakland on July 13. On Saturday he was at it again, striking out the A's first four hitters. Chris Carter came to the plate and knocked him off his rhythm with a double.In the third inning, the A's loaded the bases with two outs. Carter again stung Liriano with a two-out, two-run single to tie the game at two apiece. Derek Norris smashed a two-run ground rule double down the left field line to put the A's up 4-2. Then Adam Rosales added an RBI single to left field, giving the A's their fifth run of the inning. Oakland batted around in the frame with Jemile Weeks flying out to center field to start and end the inning.Coco Crisp led off the fourth inning with a double. He turned on the jets and came around to score from second after getting a great read on a bloop single by Josh Reddick. The A's took a 6-2 lead on Reddick's single and subsequently knocked Liriano out of the game.Liriano, who threw a no-hitter in 2011, was replaced by Philip Humber, who threw a perfect game in 2012. Humber walked Norris in the fifth inning. The A's catcher then stole second base, his fourth stolen base this season. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, but the A's couldn't drive him home.The A's got an unlucky break in the seventh inning when Cliff Pennington smacked a pinch hit double that got stuck under the padding at the top of the fence. As a result of the ground rule double, Brandon Inge, who would have easily scored from first, got held up at third. Weeks struck out to end the inning, and the A's missed a chance to take the lead.In the next inning, the baseball gods repaid the A's for their misfortunes. Jonny Gomes clubbed a solo homer to left field, tying the game at seven. Yoenis Cespedes and Carter reached on back-to-back singles, then Inge hit a ball down the right field line that landed just fair, giving the A's an 8-7 lead.The A's added an insurance run in the ninth inning after Crisp doubled and Gomes drove him home with a single. The run was huge for Oakland as they just demoted their closer before the game.Starting Pitching ReportTravis Blackley made a spot start for the A's allowing the team to skip Tommy Milone's start and get Jarrod Parker extra rest. Blackley pitched five innings and allowed five runs. He gave up six hits, struck out six batters, and walked one.Blackley got in trouble in the second inning. After back-to-back hits put runners on second and third with no outs, he allowed a run to score on an RBI ground out. Then Tyler Flowers hit a double, driving in the first of three RBIs on the evening.Flowers also smacked an RBI single in the fourth inning that preceded a very close play at the plate. In the fifth inning, Kevin Youklis muscled a low fastball over the wall in center field for a two-run homer. The pitch Youklis took deep didn't look like a mistake on Blackley's part. The White Sox slugger's homer might have been aided by the famous Chicago wind.Bullpen ReportJordan Norberto entered in relief of Blackley and surrendered the lead on a Flowers home run. It was the White Sox's sixth homer of the series. The lefty reliever pitched one and one-third innings.The A's freshly demoted closer Ryan Cook entered the game in relief of Norberto with a runner on and one out. He allowed back-to-back singles, the second hit being an A.J. Pierzynski RBI that gave the White Sox a 7-6 lead. Cook was able to induce an inning-ending double play after yielding the lead. Cook remained in the game for the eighth inning. He left with two outs and a runner on base. He pitched one and one-third innings, hit a batter and struck out one. The run he allowed was charged to Norberto. Jerry Blevins got the final out of the eighth inning.Grant Balfour entered the game as the A's closer with a two-run lead. He hadn't earned a save since May 5. The Australian-born righty started the inning by hitting Youklis in the hand. He then got Adam Dunn to fly out to left. He struck out Alex Rios, and got Pierzynski to pop out to shortstop to end the inning.It was Balfour's eighth save of the season. Ironically, Cook got the win.In the FieldReddick made a strong throw home on a single hit by Flowers, and had Dayan Viciedo nailed at home plate. But Viciedo avoided Norris' tag as he slid home safely. Norris went for a swipe tag and Viciedo executed a perfect hook slide reaching in to tap the plate with his left hand before the catcher's glove touched him on the forearm.Inge made a diving stop in the seventh inning on a ball hit by Alex Rios. Inge landed then held his arm frozen in a strange manner without trying to make a throw. After some examination from the A's athletic trainer and manager Bob Melvin, he remained in the game and ended up with a big hit. After the game, Inge told A's radio announcer Vince Cotroneo that his shoulder popped out of the socket on the play. Inge somehow managed to pop his shoulder back in and finish the game.Up NextBartolo Colon (9-8, 3.38) will face another one of his former teams on Sunday. Colon, 39, hasn't allowed an earned run since July 22. The veteran had his 22 13 scoreless innings streak snapped in his previous start on an unearned run.He will be opposed by left-handed pitcher Chris Sale (13-3, 2.59 ERA). Sale pitched eight innings of two run ball against the A's on April 25.

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox


CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of their future on a day when the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their past.

Matt Olson hit his first two major league home runs, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto also launched their first career shots and the A's routed the White Sox 10-2 on Saturday.

Barreto homered in his big league debut. He joined Olson and Brugman in becoming the second trio of teammates to hit their first homers in the same game, the Elias Sports Bureau said. It also happened in 1914 with the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League - the rival circuit lasted a couple of seasons, and included many big leaguers.

"They said something about it was the first time it has happened in a while. It's awesome to be able to share that moment with guys that I already built relationships with," said Olson, who played with Brugman and Barreto in the minors.

Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle had his No. 56 jersey retired in a pregame ceremony. After the 30-minute tribute ended, the A's roughed up James Shields (1-1).

Daniel Gossett (1-2) took advantage of an early 6-0 lead for his first win in the big league. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings.

"It was a special experience for everyone. To get out of there with my first win was just the icing on the cake. It was an awesome experience to be a part of and I'm glad I was here," Gossett said.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the second straight game. He threw his hat to the ground and was tossed, right after third baseman Todd Frazier was ejected for showing his displeasure over a replay review that wasn't reversed.

"I thought it was quick," Frazier said. "I said some things that were borderline, I guess. But at the same time, it's just frustrating, man. You can't get the call right in New York as well, and they've got every different angle. They can zoom in as close as possible, and to think that they cannot make that call is just frustrating with the technology we have today. It's just crazy. It boggles your mind. It really does."

After a leadoff walk in the first, Olson homered to right. He added a two-run homer in the seventh. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and is in fourth stint with the club.

Brugman hit a solo drive in the second. Barreto had a two-run homer in the third.

Barreto, a top prospect in the Oakland organization, was called up after shortstop Chad Pinder injured his hamstring Friday night and was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Barreto was a late addition to the lineup at second base when Jed Lowrie couldn't play after a mild knee injury he sustained Friday night. The newcomer went 2 for 5 and scored twice.

"Of anybody, you're not surprised. We've seen him hit homers in his first spring training at-bats, so not a total shock. But I think everybody kind of looked around and said, `Wow, I can't remember that ever happening before,'" A's manager Bob Melvin.

Shields gave up six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He allowed three home runs in his second start since a two-month DL stint.

Buehrle's number was stenciled onto the dirt behind second base. He went 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA in 390 appearances for Chicago from 2000-11. The lefty pitched two no-hitters for the White Sox, including a perfect game, and helped them win the 2005 World Series.

White Sox: All signs are pointing to LHP Carlos Rodon making his season debut sometime next week. Rodon, who has been out with a biceps bursitis injury, pitched Friday night for Triple-A Charlotte. Renteria was satisfied with the reports after his fourth rehab start.

"Another start last night. He went 4 1-3, 93 pitches. Actually, in talking to everybody, he threw pretty well. Had a couple miscues in the field that were probably limited his outing. He felt good, pain-free, we're very happy with that. According to the reports, the slider was working very well. He's on track to come on back," Renteria said.

Gossett said the Oakland hitters made it easy for him in his third major league start.

"To see guys I've played with a little bit last year and this year, to see Barreto get his first hit and other guys get their first home runs, it's really special for them and I'm glad I was part of it," he said.

With wins Friday and Saturday, the A's snapped a streak of losing nine consecutive road series.

Despite the rough start, Shield reached 2,000th career strikeouts.

Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (2-3) is scheduled to start Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA over his last five starts.

White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (5-7) is 1-4 with a 9.55 ERA and nine home runs allowed over his last five starts.

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Friday night was a bad night for a couple of former A's players.

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Rangers, first baseman Chris Carter was designated for assignment by the Yankees.

New York called up first base prospect Tyler Austin.

In 57 games with the Yankees, Carter his eight homers and drove in 23 runs, but he his just .204 with 70 strikeouts.

Derek Norris, an All-Star with the A's in 2014, was designated for assignment by the Rays after they activated offseason acquisition Wilson Ramos from the 60-day DL.

Norris clubbed nine homers and drove in 24 runs, but hit .201 in 53 games with the Tampa Bay.