Pratt's Instant Replay: Yankees 6, A's 3

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Yankees 6, A's 3

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OAKLAND -- May 25 A's vs. Yankees 209,792,900 vs. 52,873,000 Ok, that's my re-creation of the open to the Moneyball Movie. It still applies, though. And the big spenders paid the bills again on Friday, in a 6-3 win. The Yankees have now won 11 of their last 12 games in Oakland. Starting Pitching ReportIt is easy to say Tyson Ross' night might have turned out differently if it wasn't for a two-out error in center field. The error preceded a three-run Mark Teixeira homer. Without the defensive miscue, Ross would have gotten out of the third inning unscathed. Ross would allow two more homers before the night was over though. Both in the fifth inning -- the first a solo shot off the bat of Robinson Cano, and the next a two-run blast hit by Nick Swisher, making the score 6-1. Ross wasn't charged with any of the runs in the third inning, so his line is a little misleading. He ended up with four and a third innings pitched, six runs, three of which were earned, and three strikeouts. At The PlateThe A's offense managed to scored three runs on seven hits. In the fourth inning, Josh Reddick launched his 12th homer of the season, making it a 3-1 game. Reddick now ranks sixth in the American League in home runs. Kurt Suzuki made it 6-2 with a sacrifice fly to center field, but the ball he hit could have easily done more damage. Suzuki hit the ball to the deepest part of the park and Curtis Granderson made a tremendous grab at the wall to rob Suzuki of extra bases. Kila Ka'aihue added a run in the seventh inning, hitting a solo homer to right field, making the game 6-3. Bullpen ReportJerry Blevins spelled relief for the A's bullpen. Pitching 2 23 scoreless innings, and striking out three. His only blemish was a walk to Russell Martin. Jim Miller followed with a scoreless eighth inning, in which he struck Derek Jeter out swinging. He came back out and pitched the ninth as well, striking out Teixeira. In the FieldWith two outs, Robinson Cano lined a Ross offering to right-center field. Coco Crisp got to the ball, fully extending his arm and reaching out as the ball ricocheted off the side of his glove. The next batter, Mark Teixeira crushed a three-run homer to right field making it a 3-0 game. The best defensive play in the game came with runners on the corners and two outs in the first. Mark Teixeira popped a ball deep into foul territory, and Josh Donaldson tracked it the whole way. He ended up going into a full extension Superman-style leaping dive, making the catch to end the inning. Donaldson is starting to look like a big-league third basemen. AttendanceThe announced attendance of 33,559 looked accurate. The place was packed even though there were some splashes of blue in the crowd. Up NextBartolo Colon vs. C.C. Sabathia. Easily the most intriguing matchup at the Coliseum this weekend. The heavyweight bout featuring two former Cy Young Award winners takes place on Saturday and it will be a sight to behold. Colon weighs in at 267 pounds and has 165 career wins; Sabathia tips the scales at 290 pounds with 181 career wins. Sabathia is a Vallejo native and is still active in the Bay Area community.

Graveman takes to leadership role while Gray is sidelined

Graveman takes to leadership role while Gray is sidelined

MESA, Ariz. — Kendall Graveman feels comfortable with the leadership role that comes with being the A’s Opening Night starter, but he pointed out how all the starters will carry the load together.

“I told BoMel this morning when he told me, I said ‘I’m the No. 1 starter for Opening Night, but then whoever is the second guy is the No. 1 starter for us the next night,’ and that’s the way we have to go about it to be successful,” Graveman said Thursday afternoon.

That’s a message that Graveman says he’s already trying to spread to Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton, the starters who will follow him in the rotation. Oakland’s final two rotation spots are up for grabs.

With Sonny Gray sidelined by injury for what’s expected to be most of April, Graveman — with all of 52 major league starts under his belt — becomes the veteran leader of the A’s staff in the interim. Manager Bob Melvin gave Graveman the official word Thursday morning that he would take the ball April 3 against the Angels at the Coliseum. But shortly after Gray went down with a strained lat muscle March 7, Melvin approached Graveman about being his likely Opening Night guy.

It’s a natural fit. Graveman went 10-11 with a 4.11 ERA last season, and while those aren’t eye-catching numbers, they don’t tell the story of how valuable he was as the A’s lost starter after starter to injury.

Graveman has improved his mental preparation and his physical conditioning since coming over from Toronto in the Josh Donaldson trade. He’s become a meticulous studier to get ready for his starts. He’s picked the brain of veterans such as Gray and Barry Zito, who he played alongside with Triple-A Nashville for part of 2015.

And, not to be overlooked, his stuff and pitch arsenal have improved since he first arrived to the A’s. Though he’s a sinkerballer who relies more on location than velocity, the A’s clocked Graveman as high as 98 miles per hour on the radar gun in his last start.

“He’s kind of on a mission to be one of those guys that pitches at top of the rotation for many years to come,” Melvin said.

A's name Kendall Graveman 2017 Opening Day starter

A's name Kendall Graveman 2017 Opening Day starter

MESA, Ariz. -- Kendall Graveman was announced as the A's Opening Night starter, confirmation of a move that had become obvious the more that spring training progressed.

With Sonny Gray set to begin the season on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle, Graveman is the veteran presence in the rotation and coming off the best 2016 season of any Oakland starter.

His performance this spring only strengthened his status. In his last outing, he threw six innings and faced just one batter over the minimum in that span.

Manager Bob Melvin said Sean Manaea will be the No. 2 starter followed by Jharel Cotton. The last two rotation spots are still open, though Melvin acknowledged that Andrew Triggs would have the inside track on one if the season began tomorrow.

Jesse Hahn and Raul Alcantara are also competing for those jobs. Alcantara takes the ball against Milwaukee on Thursday.