Tigers tip hat to Anderson, Crisp, Coliseum crowd


Tigers tip hat to Anderson, Crisp, Coliseum crowd


OAKLAND Heres what Brett Anderson said Monday about his pitching style heading into a must-win Game 3 against the Detroit Tigers:My breaking ball is my bread and butter. Ill try to use my fastball to get ground balls and keep my pitch count down and get deeper in the ballgame.Making his first start since leaving an outing in Detroit with a right oblique strain after allowing three runs in 2.1 innings, Anderson stuck to his premeditated plan and it worked to perfection.They pitched and played a perfect game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after the As cut his series lead to 2-1 with a 2-0 win. You have to tip your hat to them. Nothing you could do about it. He had a good curveball, had a very good breaking ball.Anderson mixed his breaking ball with a lively fastball to work six scoreless innings and allow his manager Bob Melvin to turn the ball over to his premium bullpen arms in Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour to complete the shutout.We just didnt do much offensively and you credit their pitching, Leyland said after watching his hitters go 2-for-10 with five strikeouts following Anderson's exit. Their bullpen is really nasty. Cook, Doolittle, Balfour, theyre really good. And their starter tonight gave them what they needed. It set up perfect for them tonight. They took advantage of that and they earned it. Pretty simple.Game 3 started simply enough for Anderson, who struck out the first two batters he faced in a 1-2-3 first inning that required just eight pitches. But the next frame was anything but simple. Tigers slugger Prince Fielder hit a line drive that appeared headed for a sure hit at least off the centerfield wall if not over it. But Coco Crisp used his speed to get to the wall and his legs to leap over it and rob Fielder of a likely home run. That ended up being the only fly ball out of Andersons night. He got ten groundouts and six more by way of the strikeout.I think Coco gave them a lot of momentum when he took the home run away from Fielder, Leyland said.Prince wasnt willing to give Crisp credit for shifting the momentum of the game, but he did tip his hat to a player who just two days earlier cost his team immensely when he dropped a fly ball in a crucial spot in Game 2.I thought I had a hit, Fielder said. It was a good play. Thats what hes supposed to do.Fielders frustration was just starting to mount, however. He stepped back into the batters box against Cook in the seventh and hit a line drive to shallow left that Yoenis Cespedes charged and caught as he fell into a tuck and roll.Tried to go under coverage; couldnt go over it. But they caught that one too, Fielder said with a dry wit that was fitting for a 200 million man that went 0-for-4, including a game-ending double play. Its frustrating. But these are good teams youre playing. Theyre going to make those plays; thats why theyre here.Anderson, even though he was limited to just six regular season starts due to Tommy John surgery and the oblique strain, is a big reason why the As are here and still alive and kicking in this playoff series. He showed no signs of rust in his first career postseason start, even though he admitted after the game that he was pitching through pain.He was able to establish that fastball in and hes got that tough slider and that breaking ball he was able to mix in, Tigers catcher Gerald Laird said. He kind of settled in and found his groove and we just couldnt get him out of it.Anderson only needed 80 pitches, which Melvin later said was a predetermined pitch count, to make it through his six shutout innings because he was consistently hitting As catcher Derek Norris target.He didnt throw too many mistakes, Fielder said. Curveball was working. He hit his spotsthat always helps.Leyland wasnt surprised the As starter was so sharp despite the layoff. He explained that it was his faith in Melvin, not his knowledge of Anderson, that led to his high expectations.Bob Melvin is pretty smart, Leyland said. If he had not felt totally comfortable with him he would not have pitched him in this game they dont do foolish things here.Anderson made Leylands hitters look foolish and that made the Coliseums capacity crowd get so loud that it impressed Oaklands guests.The crowd was really electric tonight and got them going, Laird said. This is the environment we thought it would be like.Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who pitched well but couldnt match Anderson, said that it was the loudest stadium he had pitched in.Detroit they have pretty good fans, Sanchez said. Tigers fans really cheer for the team. They support the team and give you a loud ovation for everything. But the fans here are so loud you cant hear anything from your teammates, so you just hear fans yell. But its really fun.With his Tigers still up 2-1 in the series, Sanchez may avoid a Kangaroo Court fine for calling a loss in enemy territory fun, but plenty of his teammates are not sleeping on the As.We just know theyre a great team, period, Laird said. To win your division, especially beating Texas out in the West, we knew what we were coming into. We just got to come out here and win one game. We knew they werent going to roll over; we knew they were going to come ready to play and they did tonight.

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a two-year contract.

Rzepczynski's deal is fo $11 million over two years. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported details of the contract

The Mariners also signed right-handed reliever Casey Fien on Saturday. Left-hander Dean Kiekhefer and righty Zach Lee were designated for assignment.

The 31-year-old Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for Oakland and Washington this season. He then pitched three times in the NL playoffs for the Nationals.

Rzepczynski has made at least 70 appearances in each of the last three years. He's also pitched for Toronto, St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego in an eight-season career.

The 33-year-old Fien was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 39 games for Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 27-year-old Kiekhefer made his major league debut last season and pitched 26 times in relief for the Cardinals. Seattle claimed him off waivers from St. Louis last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Report: Beltran agrees to one-year deal with AL West team

Report: Beltran agrees to one-year deal with AL West team

Houston's offseason shopping spree got a little richer on Saturday.

More than 12 years after going to the Astros in a trade deadline deal, nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran has reportedly agreed to return to Houston.

According to multiple national reports, the pact is a one-year, $16 million deal.

News of an agreement was first reported by ESPN. Terms were first reported by Fox Sports.

Beltran, who will be 40 years old in April, joins outfielder Josh Reddick and catcher Brian McCann as new Astros this offseason.

In 151 games between the Yankees and Rangers in 2016, Beltran hit .295/.337/.513 with 33 doubles, 29 home runs and 93 RBI.

During the 2004 season, the Royals traded a then-27-year-old Beltran to the Astros in a three-team deal that involved the A's. Oakland sent third baseman Mark Teahan and pitcher Mike Wood to Kansas City, while the A's received reliever Octavio Dotel from Houston. Kansas City also received catcher John Buck from the Astros.

Beltran's brief run with the Astros in 2004 was highlighted by one of the greatest postseason performances in MLB history. In 12 games, Beltran collected 20 hits and hit eight home runs.