Athletics

Sogard optioned to Triple-A to make room for Griffin

697810.jpg

Sogard optioned to Triple-A to make room for Griffin

OAKLAND -- As we reported on Saturday, Brandon McCarthy has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. Right-handed pitcher A.J. Griffin will be making his first career start in his place."The situation came up and he was a guy that was recommended," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Griffin. "You look at his numbers, he has pitched well. He is supposed to be a mature kid and they feel like he is up for the task here today." Griffin, 24, was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento where he is 3-1 with a 2.81 ERA. He is listed as six-foot-five, 215 pounds, and has 40 strikeouts and seven walks in 51 innings pitched with the River Cats. He started the season in Double-A, and is a native of San Diego. Griffin had to be added to the A's 40-man roster, so the team designated relief pitcher Danny Farquhar for assignment. They also recalled relief pitcher Evan Scribner to create bullpen depth. To make room on the active roster for Scribner, the A's optioned infielder Eric Sogard to Sacramento. He arrived at 10:13 a.m. and headed straight into Melvin's office where he was given the news. "Obviously it's frustrating," Sogard said. "You want to be here. But it is part of the game so I understand it. You take what you are given and make the best of it." Sogard last played on Wednesday against the Dodgers going 1 for 3. He was recalled from Sacramento on June 16 for his second stint with the As. He is hitting .145 with two home runs and six RBI in 22 games this season. Melvin stressed the decision to send Sogard down has nothing to do with his performance. "He was just the odd man out," Melvin said. "We always feel like Sogard contributes here. It is just a numbers game because of the pitching end of it."The A's just recalled infielder Brandon Hicks on Saturday and the team feels that he is a better option against left-handed pitchers. He also has the ability to play shortstop, second base and spell Brandon Moss at first base. The A's will face left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas on Tuesday in Seattle.

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

as-recap-us.jpg
USATSI

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Alex Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth after Oakland tied it in the bottom of the eighth, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Athletics 7-6 on Wednesday.

Alcides Escobar doubled to start the ninth against Blake Treinen (1-1), matching his season high with three hits. Then Gordon delivered his second run-scoring single of the series finale.

Oakland's Matt Chapman hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth against Brandon Maurer (1-1), who wound up the winner.

Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Danny Duffy struck out eight over five innings but the Royals couldn't hold a late lead again before holding on - a day after squandering a four-run advantage in a 10-8 defeat.

Cain added a key RBI single in the eighth for the Royals, who began the day tied with Minnesota six games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland.

Kelvin Herrera finished for his 26th save in 29 chances after allowing Ryon Healy's two-out infield single.

Duffy's winless stretch reached four outings since a victory at Detroit on July 25. The left-hander earned his first major league win at Oakland on June 14, 2011, and has never lost to the A's - 3-0 in seven career appearances and six starts - but hasn't beaten them since April 10, 2012.

Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer in the third and Oakland got back in it on Jed Lowrie's two-run single in the fifth.

Kansas City's Melky Cabrera fouled a ball off his leg in the third and went down writhing in pain before recovering to hit a single on the very next pitch to load the bases with no outs. But Blackburn struck out Mike Moustakas and induced an inning-ending double play from Brandon Moss to escape unscathed.

A's starter Paul Blackburn was tagged for eight hits and four runs in four innings of his first career start against Kansas City, striking out two and walking three.

MINOR LEAGUE TRADE

The A's acquired lefty Sam Moll from Colorado for a player to be named later or cash then optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Oakland added right-hander Chris Hatcher to the 25-man roster and he made his A's debut in the sixth inning, a day after coming to Oakland in a trade from the Dodgers. The A's optioned righty Josh Smith to Nashville and designated righty Zach Neal for assignment to clear 40-man roster space to add Moll.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Joakim Soria - who allowed four straight hits in the eighth inning Tuesday night - is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday after stiffness in his lat and ribcage area to determine when he can pitch again. The reliever showed up to the Coliseum with discomfort. "He's been battling with it for two weeks, he's been pitching through it, he's been pitching very effectively through it," manager Ned Yost said. "But after last night he showed up more so than usual."

Athletics: Josh Phegley (strained left oblique) was slated to catch five or six innings in a rehab game for Triple-A Nashville at Tacoma. ... OF Jake Smolinski, on the disabled list since March 30 recovering from right shoulder surgery, isn't expected to be able to play in the outfield until "well into September," manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA) starts Friday at home against the first-place Indians trying to snap a 14-start winless stretch at Kaufmann Stadium since a victory vs. Minnesota on Aug. 20 last year.

Athletics: Following Thursday's day off, LHP Sean Manaea (8-7, 4.59) starts at Houston on Friday looking to end a five-start winless stretch in which he's 0-2 since beating Cleveland on July 16.

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

athletics-balldude-mlbnetwork.jpg
MLB Network

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

All the Royals' reliever wanted to do was congratulate the A's balldude for making a nice play.

Instead, he got nothing but air.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday, A's outfielder Chad Pinder fouled a ball down the right field line. The young man in charge of protecting the opposing bullpen from foul balls made the catch just a few feet in front of the seated Royals relievers.

His first move was to go give the ball to a young fan. But he failed to notice one of the Royals relievers trying to give him some dap.

Here's the awkward sequence: