Athletics

Weaver frustrates A's batters in shutout win

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Weaver frustrates A's batters in shutout win

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OAKLAND -- The A's Major League-leading 13 walk-off wins get all the attention, but their MLB-worst 13 shutouts are cause for concern. The latest shutout came at the hands of Angels ace Jered Weaver who blanked the A's bats for nine innings of four-hit ball. By defeating the A's 4-0, Weaver earned his MLB-leading 15th win -- his ninth win in as many starts. He simply tormented the A's lineup."To be honest extremely frustrating," Derek Norris said of facing Weaver. "I could count five or six times where I fouled a ball right down the middle just straight back. There's something about his deception that throws you off."Norris was the only batter not named Brandon to collect a hit for Oakland. Brandon Inge had two of the A's four hits and Brandon Moss collected the other one. Inge connected for a double, the only extra-base hit Weaver allowed all night. "He kept us off balance all night," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Both sides of the plate. In between fastball and change-up, enough sliders, a few curveballs, he was really good tonight." The Angels Jered out-dueled the A's Jarrod. Parker allowed four runs over six and two-thirds innings. The rookie pitcher allowed two runs in the second inning and two more in the seventh. The big blow for the Angels came in the form of a two-out, two-run Torii Hunter single on a slider that was left up in the zone. "That's a pitch he's been swinging through all day and he made an adjustment and I didn't put it where I needed to," Parker said. "If it's down and away he swings though it again. It's just that the execution wasn't right. It's the right pitch, not the right spot."Parker pitched pretty well all things considered. He was locked in from the third to the sixth inning, a good sign considering he is 2-3 with a 5.95 ERA in his last six starts. His previous 13 starts he was 5-3 with a 2.46 ERA. The A's had to contend with the Angels' All-World rookie phenom Mike Trout. The rookie of the year frontrunner reached base in four of his five plate appearances and swiped a career-high tying three bases. He leads the American League with 36 stolen bags. "He fast," Norris said eliciting a chuckle. "He's a terrific player. He's really got all five tools. It's kinda cool to be out there seeing him play. Unfortunately he's on the other side of the team which sucks." "He wreaks havoc out there," Parker said. "He's a good player, he's scary and he's going to continue to get better."One of the lone bright spots for the A's was when Josh Reddick gunned down the speedy Trout as he attempted to stretch a single into a double. Reddick's throw beat Trout to the bag and shortstop Eric Sogard's glove skimmed across the tips of Trout's fingers as he slid headfirst into second. It was Reddick's 13th outfield assist which leads Major League Baseball. The last A's outfielder to reach 13 assists was Matt Stairs in 1999. While Weaver is 10-0 in his last 12 starts, Tuesday's starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is winless in his last seven outings. Wilson blanked the A's for eight shutout innings on May 22 at the Coliseum in his last trip here. Wilson is notorious in Oakland for his harsh comments about the A's mound and fans. The A's might be catching him at the right time.

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

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USATSI

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

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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

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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: