Pratt's Instant Replay: Yankees 10, A's 9 (14 inn.)


Pratt's Instant Replay: Yankees 10, A's 9 (14 inn.)


NEW YORK -- The A's and Yankees engaged in what felt like a 10-round prize fight at Yankee Stadium. Each team at one point held the lead as the two playoff-contending clubs exchanged blows. For the second game in a row the A's and Yanks played into extra innings. Both team's starting pitcher lasted less than three innings, and the game went 14 frames.In the 13th inning the A's delivered a devastating combination. Jonny Gomes crushed a two-run blast to take the lead, Yoenis Cespedes sent them reeling with a beastly cut that sent the ball deep into the second deck in Yankee stadium. Then Chris Carter delivered a mighty blow, a solo blast that landed in the second deck to give the A's a 9-5 lead. It was the first time in franchise history that the A's hit three homers in extra innings.The Yankees got treated by their cornerman and came out swinging in the bottom half of the inning. They rallied for two runs before Raul Ibanez clubbed his second home run of the game, a game-tying two-run shot to even the score at nine.The Bronx Bombers dealt the knockout blow in the 14th inning when they loaded the bases and pushed across the winning run on a fielding error by Brandon Moss. The Yankees won the game 10-9. The game lasted five hours and 43 minutes.Starting Pitching ReportBlackley ranks second in the American League with seven pickoffs. His move is so good that is sometimes fools the umpires and the base runner. Blackley had Alex Rodriguez dead-to-rights at first base, but the second base umpire Larry Vanover called a balk on Blackley and awarded Rodriguez second base. The same scenario played out on July 18 against the Rangers.According to rule 8.05 of MLB's official rule book, a balk is when: "the pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery."The rule book adds that it is also a balk if: "The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base."Blackley says the idea of a pick off move is to make it look like you are going home. That's where the deception lies. The call changed the course of the entire game. Rodriguez came around to score the tying run when Robinson Cano hit a single. Five more batters came to the plate in the inning. Blackley appeared to be rattled by the call and ended up walking Andruw Jones with the bases loaded to make it 3-2.Things didn't much better for Blackley. A's infielders committed two errors behind him and a wild pitch scored the Yankees fourth run of the game.The Australian-born pitcher only lasted two innings. Yankees' starting pitcher Ivan Nova lasted two and one-third. This game was settled by the bullpens.At the PlateThe A's started the game with back-to-back-to-back doubles to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Stephen Drew, Seth Smith, and Yoenis Cespedes did the damage. Drew smashed his sixth home run of the season to leadoff the third inning. The ball landed on the netting atop Monument Park where the Yankees keep plaques honoring their legends.The A's loaded the bases with one out in third inning after Drew's homer. Cespedes drew a walk, Brandon Moss hit a bloop single, and Chris Carter drew a walk. Josh Reddick, now batting sixth, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and grounded out to the pitcher who started an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play. Reddick's teammates picked him up in the next inning. Josh Donaldson was hit in the knee by a pitch and later came around to score on a Cliff Pennington RBI single.Moss recorded his third hit of the day in the seventh inning. His single moved Cespedes to third base. Chris Carter then tied the game at five with a sacrifice fly hit just deep enough to center field to allow Cespedes to score and Moss to move up to second. Reddick then hit a ball to shallow center to end the inning. Reddick might have gotten a hit but Curtis Granderson was playing shallow. Nothing is going Reddick's way at the plate lately. The A's rallied again in the eighth inning. Josh Donaldson hit a leadoff double and ended up on third when Pennington reached on a walk and Drew grounded out moving over the runners. With runners on second and third and one out Jonny Gomes entered the game as a pinch-hitter and got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Cespedes flew out to center field to end the inning. The A's have had trouble getting the big hits without Coco Crisp out of the lineup.The A's again loaded the bases in the 11th inning and again couldn't score. Chris Carter drew a walk to load the bases and Reddick again found himself at the plate in a high leverage situation. He pulled a liner toward right field but Yankees' first baseman Steve Pearce made a diving play to rob Reddick. The slumping right fielder hit several balls hard but couldn't catch a break.The A's decided they were done messing around in the 13th inning. Gomes clobbered his 17th home run of the season to give the A's a 7-5 lead, Cespedes clubbed No. 20, a tape-measure blast that landed deep in the second deck, and Carter sent his 15th of the year into the second deck in left field as well to give the A's a 9-5 lead.Bullpen ReportJim Miller entered the game in the third inning and quieted the Yankees bats. He retired six of the first eight batters he faced, and issued two walks. Miller cruised through two scoreless innings before Raul Ibanez connected on a pinch-hit homer to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. The ball Ibanez hit would have been a routine fly ball in the Oakland Coliseum. Miller pitched three plus innings and and only allowed one run and three hits.Jerry "The Magician" Blevins entered the game and walked Rodriguez intentionally. With runners on first and second he got Cano to ground into the inning-ending double play. He fell victim to some bad defense in the seventh inning. Nick Swisher hit a leadoff single that fell between three defenders and then he hit Ibanez before being lifted from the game with two on and no outs.A's manager Bob Melvin called on Ryan Cook to try and clean up the mess. He mopped up better than the Sham-Wow guy on his best day. The runners were moved to second and third on a bunt, then Cook got Granderson to pop out into foul territory and then struck out pinch-hitter Eric Chavez looking with a perfectly placed four-seam fastball. Cook pitched a three up, three down inning in the eighth. He hasn't allowed a run in 15 of his last 16 outings.Closer Grant Balfour took over in the ninth inning. He hadn't pitched in four days. He pitched two scoreless innings and allowed one hit. Evan Scribner pitched the biggest two innings of his career. Things got especially dicey in the 12th inning when the Yankees loaded the bases. A play at the plate kept the game going and the young reliever got Derek Jeter to fly out to end the inning.Pedro Figueroa entered the game with a four-run lead in the bottom of the 13th. He promptly gave up three singles and was pulled with the bases loaded no outs. Pat Neshek entered and allowed a run to score immediately on a passed ball. He allowed a sacrifice fly to make it 9-7, and gave up a game-tying two-run blast to Ibanez.Tyson Ross started the 14th inning. The Yankees loaded the bases against him when Rodriguez hit a single that everyone thought won the game but rookie pinch-runner Melky Mesa missed third base. Ross then fielded a comebacker hit by Cano that was juggled and bobbled before he corralled it in and threw home for the force out. Ross looked like he got out of the jam but Moss made an error on a ground ball hit to first which ended the game.In the FieldCespedes flashed his throwing arm again on Saturday after fielding a single and then throwing a rocket to third base to nail Ichiro. It is the second time in as many games that Cespedes has thrown out Ichiro trying to take an extra base. Cespedes has nine outfield assists this season which leads all American League rookies. Josh Donaldson and Cliff Pennington both committed errors on fairly routine plays. The ball Donaldson missed was hit pretty hard and took a tough hop. Pennington completely mishandled a softly hit ball.The A's defensive issues continued in the seventh inning. Nick Swisher hit a shallow pop up that fell between three A's defenders. Pennington appeared to call for the ball and put his hand up, Cespedes backed off when he probably should have taken charge, and Reddick came flying through the middle of them trying to make the play.One of the biggest moments in the game came in the 12th inning with Ibanez on third and one out. Russell Martin hit a sharp grounder to Pennington who threw home to Norris. Ibanez came crashing into Norris trying to pry the ball loose but the burly catcher held on for the out.Moss' fielding error sealed the deal in the 14th inning. He ranged left on a ball that he couldn't come up with cleanly and the winning run scored.AttendanceThe Yankees announced an attendance of 44,026.Subway RaceThe Yankees do a subway race. The green train won. The color of the opposing team never wins the dot race in Oakland. Especially now that the dots are green, gold, and white.Up NextA.J. Griffin (6-1, 2.45 ERA) pitches for the A's in the series finale. He became the first Oakland pitcher to start his career 6-0 but lost his last decision. Right-handed pitcher Hiroki Kuroda (14-10, 3.26 ERA) will take the mound for the Yankees.

A's spring training Day 14: A one-sided Cactus League rivalry

A's spring training Day 14: A one-sided Cactus League rivalry

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Debate the significance of an A’s exhibition win over the Giants if you will, but don’t question its significance to Bob Melvin.

Beating the team in black and orange means a lot to Oakland’s manager no matter what the calendar reads. On Monday, the teams played a late-February game under an overcast sky and occasional light rain at Scottsdale Stadium.

Not exactly regular-season like conditions. And with both teams’ everyday players having exited the game early, the A’s held on for a 5-4 victory that ran their Cactus League winning streak to eight over the Giants.

Counting exhibitions in the Bay Area too, the A’s are 18-6 against their Bay Area rival in their past 24 spring games.

“Look, when the Giants and A’s play, there’s a little more to it,” said Melvin, who grew up in the Bay Area and played three seasons for the Giants. “You play your spring games and you’re excited about getting to play these guys. And, especially, our youngsters should be. They know the way I feel about it. The whole Bay Area is watching when we play each other.”

Matt Joyce homered deep to right off Jeff Samardzija in the top of the first, giving the first-year Athletic two home runs in two games with his new club. Stephen Vogt blooped an RBI single in the first and Ryon Healy doubled home two runs in the second.

The Giants rallied to tie it 4-4 in the seventh with three runs off minor league reliever Trey Cochran-Gill. But Adam Rosales drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth to give the A’s the lead back as they posted their first victory in three Cactus League games this spring.

NOTEWORTHY: Starters Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea both threw for the A’s, with Manaea in particular earning strong praise for his two scoreless innings.

The lefty felt very good about his slider and changeup, and according to Healy, when he went to the plate for his third at-bat, Giants catcher Buster Posey commented on how good Manaea’s changeup looked. Manaea got both Posey and Kelby Tomlinson swinging on the pitch in the third.

It was the slider, his third-best pitch, that Manaea is trying to hone.

“I was really, really happy with how my slider was,” he said. “It was probably the best one I’ve thrown in a couple years. It just felt really good out of my hand and had some good movement.”

Added Melvin: “If he gets that one to (the) back foot of a rightie, now he’s going to have three plus-pitches.”

Graveman escaped his one and only inning of work unscored upon when he stranded runners on second and third.

NEW GUYS: Joyce, likely to platoon in right field with Mark Canha, has played in two exhibitions, and twice he’s gone deep on 1-2 fastballs that caught the inner half of the plate. On Monday, Melvin batted him second and Joyce went deep off Samardzija.

“I can’t even talk to that guy,” Healy said with a smile. “He says he’s just trying to put the bat on the ball, and he has two homers.”

As for another first-year Athletic, there’s still no concrete word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will report to camp. He remains held up in the Dominican Republic as the visa process plays out. Melvin admitted a bit of concern just because Casilla is slated to play for his national team in the World Baseball Classic, and Melvin would like to get Casilla in camp for a stretch before he departs for that.

The Dominican Republic plays its first game March 9 in Miami.

“I’d like to get him here — I’d like to meet him,” Melvin said. “It’s not his fault.”

Melvin said a typical schedule would have relievers appearing in nine or 10 exhibitions before the team heads north, but that he didn’t think that would be necessary for Casilla. It’s also worth noting that none of the A’s other front-line relievers have pitched in their first game yet.

ODDS AND ENDS: Vogt, getting his first start behind the plate, and Rajai Davis each had two hits. … Shortstop Franklin Barreto, the A’s top prospect, played the final four innings at second base. Yairo Munoz, another highly touted infield prospect who’s in his first big league camp, entered in the same inning at third base. … Melvin praised reliever Kyle Finnegan, who came over from minor league camp for the day and handled the ninth for the save.

Despite uncertain role in 2017, Healy will be 'happy camper'

Despite uncertain role in 2017, Healy will be 'happy camper'

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For a player who impressed so much in the second half last season, Ryon Healy’s role remains a bit hazy entering 2017.

The A’s insist he’ll get consistent at-bats — the question is where. As the roster shapes up, Healy will bounce between first base, designated hitter and occasional time at third base when newcomer Trevor Plouffe isn’t in the lineup.

Healy sounds game for whatever might be in store, when asked if he’d rather be guaranteed to play in the field every day.

“I think that’s any player,” Healy said. “But as long as I’m on the big league roster and I’m playing every day in the lineup and contributing to the A’s winning ballgames, I’m going to be a happy camper, that’s for sure.”

Healy earned his first big league promotion as the A’s came out of the All-Star break last summer. He hit .305 in 73 games as Oakland’s everyday third baseman, and he led American League rookies in hits (82) and extra-base hits (33) in the second half.

But when the A’s signed Plouffe in the offseason to man third base, it complicated Healy’s situation because Yonder Alonso remains as the presumed first baseman against right-handed pitchers. Healy, 25, was primarily a first baseman until last season, and he’ll spend this spring getting ready at both corner spots, though A’s Bob Melvin said first base will be more of a priority.

Melvin has talked with Healy already to make sure they’re on the same page about how he’s likely to be used.

“We’ve had conversations with that,” Melvin said. “Shoot, everybody wants to get into a routine and have one spot to play and hit one place in the lineup. That’s just not how we do things here. You try to communicate that to him ahead of time and prepare him for the role he will have. And he’ll prepare very well for it.” Healy, bothered by some quadriceps soreness early in camp, started at first in his exhibition debut Monday and lined a two-run double to left-center off Giants reliever Kraig Sitton.

There are similarities between first and third in that they’re both corner infield spots. But there are also differences that he’s gone over with infield coach Chip Hale.

“They’re both very reactionary positions, but we’ve discussed how to attack ground balls because third base you need to be a little more aggressive because of the throw across the diamond,” Healy said. “First base, you can drop-step a little bit, let the hops get to you. … I just gotta make sure I get quality reps at both and I’ll be OK.”