Pratt's Instant Replay: Blue Jays 10, A's 4


Pratt's Instant Replay: Blue Jays 10, A's 4

Well, they can't win them all. The A's had their seven-game winning streak halted by the Blue Jays in Toronto. The Jays rallied for seven runs in their last three innings to topple the hottest team in baseball, 10-4. At the PlateJosh Reddick got the scoring started with his 22nd home run of the season. Remarkably, 13 of those homers have come with two outs, and 17 of the 22 have come with no one on base. He did have a chance to do some damage with runners on base when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. He ended up grounding into a fielder's choice scoring Jemile Weeks. More remarkable is what Brandon Inge has done this season. He clubbed his 11th homer of the season -- a two-run shot -- in the fourth inning. The veteran third baseman has 47 hits and has driven in 46 runs -- he is batting .202. He doesn't hit much, but when he does, he prefers that it's for an RBI. Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone entered the game having allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his last six starts. He started out looking like he could continue that run of success. The rookie lefty didn't allow a hit in the first three innings of the game. It was in the fourth inning that he got in trouble. After the A's scored two runs, he couldn't get the shutdown inning. Two runners singled and then Edwin Encarnacion hit a change-up for a game-tying three-run homer to left-center. Milone got the upper hand on Encarnacion in their next meeting. The Jays third baseman stepped to the plate with two runners on again, but struck out looking on a fastball. The next batter gave the Blue Jays the lead on a strange play. Travis Snider laid down a safety squeeze scoring Colby Rasmus. Milone fielded the ball and made a bad throw to first that Chris Carter couldn't handle, scoring a second run. Milone received the error on the play. He would have been better off letting Inge field the ball instead, as the third baseman was charging on the play. Milone would give up a leadoff homer to Kelly Johnson in the seventh inning before finishing his day. He has now allowed 17 homers on the road, compared to one at home. His final line was seven innings pitched with seven strikeouts. He allowed five earned runs on eight hits and allowed no walks. Bullpen ReportThe rookie phenom Sean Doolittle had a rare poor performance. He allowed four runs on three hits, walking one batter. He only managed to pitch two-thirds of an inning. Doolittle had been spectacular before this outing. He hadn't allowed a run in his last 13.1 innings pitched. This looks like it is merely a hiccup in an otherwise solid season. Evan Scribner entered the game in relief of Doolittle and gave up an RBI double to Jeff Mathis. The earned run was charged to Doolittle, though. He then got Omar Vizquel to fly out to left field to end the inning. Up NextJarrod Parker (7-4, 3.00 ERA) takes the mound for the A's as they enter Baltimore. Parker lasted eight innings in his last start which came against the New York Yankees. He held the top team in baseball to just one run. Zach Britton (1-0, 3.60 ERA) will oppose the A's. The 24-year-old lefty has only made two starts this season.

Kaval: A's must 'swing for the fences' in choosing ballpark site

Kaval: A's must 'swing for the fences' in choosing ballpark site

MESA, Ariz. — After spending a few days at spring training, A’s president Dave Kaval heads back to the Bay Area on Tuesday to continue work on the team’s search for a ballpark site.

There are so many factors to consider — location, public transportation access, parking, government obligations to be fulfilled, etc. — it’s easy to understand why it’s such an all-encompassing process.

Kaval shared some detailed thoughts on all of the potential sites the A’s are considering during a visit on the A’s Insider Podcast. Here’s some highlights:

The A’s have narrowed down to four locations in Oakland to build a privately financed ballpark: Brooklyn Basin, Howard Terminal, Laney College and the current Coliseum site on which they play.

Are these four all uniquely different from each other or do they share some common traits?

“I think all of them can fulfill our long-term vision of this urban area around the ballpark,” Kaval said. “Think of Fenway, Wrigley … all of them can achieve that vision. We want to make sure with such a big decision that we swing for the fences. … I think the Coliseum is probably the hardest to create kind of an urban village, but I think it’s possible, and we’re not ruling it out.

"But all the other locations can have neighborhoods around the ballpark where people can live and you can just have a really intimate experience around the ballpark.”

There hasn’t been the same buzz about Brooklyn Basin as Howard Terminal. Located close to the water, does it offer similar attributes as Howard Terminal?

“It’s very close. There’s a couple different places the ballpark could go down there,” he said. “You’re closer to the water, which is exciting, and I think being on the water provides the ability to have water taxis, ferries, other transit options that kind of lower the requirement for parking, lower the requirement for walking or biking. And that actually can be a really great thing for the fan experience.”

Howard Terminal offers a big potential payoff with the terrific views available. But there are some substantial hurdles, not the least of which are the government regulations and approvals required to build right along the water.

“If you want to actually develop something in there, you need to have legislation from the state of California. That’s just something that has to happen,” Kaval said. “So when we think about the steps to get the individual sites (approved) and break ground, it’s just another one you have to do at that site. So you have to weigh, is it worth the time, effort, political opposition that might come up to pursue that type of effort? The site is so iconic that we’ve been keeping it in the mix because, wow, it could just be something that is a game changer.”

That’s just a sample of the many topics Kaval touched on over the course of the podcast.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.