Ross deals; A's and Dodgers play to 3-3 tie


Ross deals; A's and Dodgers play to 3-3 tie

PHOENIX -- Even in the spring, Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Aaron Harang appreciates a quick out."I'd like to thank that guy for swinging at the first pitch," said Harang, who allowed two runs in the Dodgers' 3-3, nine-inning tie against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday. "One pitch, fly ball to left, always makes things a lot easier."After getting two outs, Harang gave up a two-run double to Josh Reddick that scored Kurt Suzuki and Chris Carter. He then retired the final four batters he faced.

"If you look at my track record it's pretty much the same thing," said Harang, who signed a two-year, 12 million contract with Los Angeles after going 14-7 and posting a career-low 3.64 ERA last year for San Diego. "I'm not concerned about it."Harang has been limited slightly this spring, at least in non-pitching activities, with soreness in his right foot unrelated to the injury he had in the same foot a year ago."Physically I felt fine," Harang said. "Sometimes you get those days where you feel really sharp in the pen and then you get out there and everything's staying over the middle of the plate. But everything felt nice and easy."Right-hander Tyson Ross, yet another of Oakland's young, largely unproven arms, had few such issues during his three-inning stint.Ross, who was 3-3 with a 2.75 ERA in nine games and six starts for the A's last season, allowed just one hit and walked one while striking out two in his second start of the spring."It was good to see him respond, give us three innings and do some good things," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "His velocity looked to be better."
NEWS: Manny scratched from spring game with stiff back
NOTES: Oakland OF Yoenis Cespedes went 4 for 5 with a home run in a simulated game earlier Wednesday. Melvin said Cespedes could be in the A's lineup as early as this weekend. ... A's 1B Brandon Allen, who entered the game leading the majors with eight RBIs, went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. ... Dodgers non-roster OF Cory Sullivan had three of Los Angeles' four hits. ... Los Angeles scored two runs without a hit in the fourth on four walks and two RBI groundouts. ... The Dodgers were playing their first game away from their Camelback Ranch home. ... Oakland DH Manny Ramirez was scratched 20 minutes before the first pitch with stiffness in his back experienced while getting some extra at-bats in a simulated game. Ramirez, who is hitless in his first five at-bats and has hit only one ball out of the infield, also will take Thursday off before returning to the lineup on Friday. ... Carter took Ramirez's place and went 1 for 4. ... Dodgers 2B Dee Gordon was given the day off after starting the past two days.

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

Ryan Christenson has a reason to follow the World Series even more so than most years.

Christenson, who manages the A’s Double-A Midland squad, is also skippering the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. One of his players happened to be Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, if only for the briefest of periods.

Schwarber, as is well-documented, played in two AFL games as a quick tune-up before joining the Cubs’ active roster for the Fall Classic. It’s an unprecedented path, as Schwarber hadn’t appeared in a game for Chicago since April 7, when he tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.

When he crushed a double off the right field wall in Game 1 against the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Schwarber became the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after recording zero hits during the regular season.

His preparations for the grand stage took place in the relative anonymity of the Arizona Fall League, and it presented some unique conditions for Christenson to manage under.

“It’s such a unique situation to see someone thrust into that after missing so much season,” Christenson said in a phone interview before Game 1. “To have a chance to be activated this time of year, it’s something special if he can pull this off. If he (sparks the Cubs), literally the guy can be a legend.”

Schwarber appeared in just two games for the Solar Sox, going 1-for-6 as a designated hitter. Christenson didn’t have much hands-on interaction with Schwarber — the Cubs had their own staff members on site helping him with treatment — but Christenson saw Schwarber’s swing rounding into form even in his brief time in the batter’s box.

“The bat speed is there,” said Christenson, who hadn’t met Schwarber previously. “I love watching him work in the cage. He’s got a great swing. I don’t think it would take someone of his caliber long to get his timing and pick up where he left off. It’s a simple swing.”

The Cubs asked Christenson to work Schwarber into the top of the batting order with the Solar Sox so as to maximize his number of plate appearances. They also asked one other favor.

“The only request they had was that I took it easy with him on the bases … not trying to score him from first base on a gapper.”

Schwarber’s mere presence in the Arizona Fall League created a delicate dynamic. The league is geared toward up-and-coming prospects who have yet to break into the majors, and Christenson said AFL officials were concerned about Schwarber dropping in and taking playing time away from those players.

Each major league organization sends at least six players to the AFL. Of those six, one is designated a “priority player,” meaning they must play at least four days a week, so innings can be tricky to spread around.

Adding to the sensitivity of the situation, the Solar Sox’s roster includes not only Cubs prospects but also those of the Cleveland Indians. Christenson needed to avoid a situation where Schwarber was stealing at-bats away from prospects of the American League champs — the team that Schwarber was training to try to help the Cubs beat.

But things unfolded smoothly, and Schwarber showed appreciation for getting the chance to drop in for a couple games.

“I’ll definitely be pulling for him,” Christenson said.

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

CLEVELAND — Left-hander Giovanni Soto has been claimed by the Oakland Athletics off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Soto was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot on the 40-man roster for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list following knee surgery in April. Schwarber was put on the World Series roster Tuesday and went 1 for 3 with a double, walk and two strikeouts in the opening 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Soto was traded to the Cubs from Cleveland on April 11 and was 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Triple-A Iowa. He made his big league debut with the Indians in 2015 and appeared in six games and 3 1/3 innings.

Oakland claimed him Wednesday.