Pratt's Instant Replay: Royals 2, A's 0

781662.jpg

Pratt's Instant Replay: Royals 2, A's 0

BOX SCORE

The A's haven't scored a run since Tuesday. The reintroduction of their clean-up hitter Yoenis Cespedes wasn't enough to save them. The Royals won the game 2-0, handing the A's their ninth straight loss. The A's offense has now been shutout 10 times this season, which is the most in Major League Baseball. How bad has the offense gotten? They have been shutout six times in their last sixteen games. The A's have the lowest team batting average (.208) in the majors by a wide margin. They also have the lowest slugging percentage (.332) and second lowest on-base percentage (.288) in all of baseball.Starting Pitching ReportBartolo Colon throws 88 percent fastballs. Every hitter in the league knows it. With the guess work out of the equation, hitters are gripping it and ripping it against him.Colon ran into trouble in the first inning, allowing two runs. After walking leadoff hitter Alex Gordon, Colon gave up an RBI double to Yuniesky Betancourt. Mike Moustakas followed with an RBI single.
In the third inning, Colon pitched out of a one-out bases-loaded jam. From there, Colon settled down and retired ten straight hitters. He ended up with seven innings pitched, scattering eight hits, walking two and striking out three.
At the PlateWith Cespedes the A's are 15-14. Without him they are 7-15. During his absence A's cleanup hitters batted .185. On Friday Cespedes was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Not the impact the team had hoped for.A's hitters were retired in order in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings on Friday.Things looked promising when Weeks started the game with a lead-off double, which extended his hitting streak to eight games. The A's weren't able to capitalize. Seth Smith struck out looking, Josh Reddick flew out the center field, and Yoenis Cespedes struck out swinging.In the third inning, Weeks started a two-out rally with an infield single. After Smith walked, Weeks made a curious decision to attempt to steal third. He was caught stealing with Reddick at the plate.Bullpen ReportAndrew Carignan entered the game in the eighth inning and pitched two-thirds of an inning, walking one and striking out one. He was relieved by Jerry Blevins who came in to retire the left-handed hitting Eric Hosmer.In the FieldIn the bottom of the first, Coco Crisp tracked a hard-hit ball by Jeff Francouer into the gap in left-center field, crashing into the electronic scoreboard and making the catch. He looked a little banged up after the play but he stayed in the game. Crisp looks motivated to keep his center field job now that the A's have moved Cespedes to left field.In the bottom of the third, the Royals had the bases loaded with no outs before Hosmer hit a week ball to Colon, who went home for the force out. Next Alcides Escobar hit a grounder up the middle, Cliff Pennington scooped it up, flipped it to Weeks, who caught the ball barehanded and fired to first -- just beating Escobar to the bag.Up NextBrandon McCarthy (3-3, 2.95 ERA) returns from the disabled list. McCarthy was shut down with irregular soreness in his right shoulder on May 19. At the time, he told me he was taking extra rest for precautionary measures, and that he doesn't have the same scapula pain in his shoulder that forced him to miss six weeks last season. This season he has averaged 90.8 MPH on his fastball, which is nearly identical to last season. McCarthy will be opposed by Luke Hochevar (3-5, 6.19 ERA), who hasn't won a game since May 12.

Vogt has that 'rejuvenation feeling' going from A's to first-place Brewers

Vogt has that 'rejuvenation feeling' going from A's to first-place Brewers

After five seasons in Oakland, Stephen Vogt begins a new chapter of his career in Milwaukee.

The 32-year-old was designated for assignment by the last-place A's on Thursday and claimed by the first-place Brewers on Sunday.

On Monday, the two-time All-Star catcher discussed his new opportunity with a contender on MLB Network Radio.

"Obviously I was ecstatic to hear I was headed to Milwaukee. We all watch baseball and they are such a fun team to watch right now. And your buddy Eric Sogard is there, so I've got some familiarity. It's an opportunity to win and I think anybody, when you get to the stage I'm in in my career, where I'm 32, I want to win. I'm at the point where that's kind of the goal in the big leagues where all you care about is winning and that's where I'm at. So, to get the news that I'm headed to a first-place team, I couldn't be more excited," Vogt said.

After making the AL All-Star team the last two seasons, Vogt struggled to the tune of a .217 batting average with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games.

But with a new team in a new league comes a fresh slate.

"You get that rejuvenation feeling, you get that feeling that this is the change you needed especially going to a winning team where when you're winning, everyone plays better, when you're winning, everyones happier. No matter where you are in life, you want to have that feeling that somebody wants you. So to have Milwaukee come in and say 'We wanted you,' Yeah, it recharged the batteries. I'm ready to go," Vogt said.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

BOX SCORE

The A’s sprung to life offensively in the late innings Sunday and polished off their first road sweep of 2017.

They scored all five of their runs over the final three innings to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3, continuing an odd stretch of streakiness. The A’s swept the New York Yankees in four at the Coliseum, then turned around and dropped four in a row to the Houston Astros before arriving in Chicago and taking all three from the Sox. It’s their first sweep on the road since they won four in Kansas City from Sept. 12-15 of last season.

The weekend’s events provided a morale boost for a team that began the series an American League-worst 9-25 away from home. The sweep also featured numerous contributions from a pack of recently promoted young players fresh from the minors.

The A’s had no answer for left-hander Derek Holland through six-plus innings, mustering just four hits off the veteran. But trailing 2-0, they got on the board with Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh. The next inning, Khris Davis singled home the tying run and Yonder Alonso followed with a go-ahead single down the left-field line to put the A’s up 3-2.

They tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers from Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce.

Sonny rebounds: Sonny Gray (3-3) avoided the early trouble that plagued his last start, working seven innings and being rewarded with a victory thanks to the A’s eighth-inning rally. He struck out seven and walked just one. That was a key as Gray had issued seven free passes combined in his previous two starts. Adam Engel hit a 2-1 fastball for a homer in the third, then Jose Abreu scored on a passed ball in the fourth to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. But Gray held the Sox to just four hits over his seven innings.

Sign of things to come? Franklin Barreto got a look as the No. 2 hitter in the order Sunday, a spot that some scouts feel he’ll be well suited for as his career unfolds. He singled to the opposite field in his first at-bat, then struck out looking in his next two trips to the plate. In the eighth, his broken-bat single to left jumpstarted Oakland’s two-run go-ahead rally. Barreto is 4-for-10 in his first two games with the big club.

Joyce provides a lift off the bench: Joyce entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and connected for his 10th homer, right after Rosales had gone deep himself. Joyce became the fourth Athletic to crack double figures in homers, and the A’s improved to 31-26 when they hit at least one home run (they’re 3-16 when they don’t).

Doo does it again: Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle continued to deal since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and has allowed just one hit over five innings in six appearances since his return.

An unwanted milestone: The Sox scored their second run on a passed ball by Josh Phegley, which accounted for Oakland’s 50th unearned run, most in the majors. They had just 43 unearned runs all of last season.