A's won't change approach heading into must-win game


A's won't change approach heading into must-win game

OAKLAND Youll forgive the As if they have to leanheavily on clichs to explain their mindset heading into a must-win Game 3 ofthe American League Division Series.A lot of people preach one game at a time but weveactually done it all year, injured third baseman Brandon Inge said. Weregoing to come out firing and play exactly the same way.Down 0-2 in a best-of-five series following two losses in Detroit, the Asclubhouse is as loose as its been all year with players optimistic that bytaking it one game at a time, this team can defy the odds.Were really not going to play the game tomorrow anydifferent than we did in the ones to get here, Jonny Gomes said.Gomes also explained that the As have the benefit of a short memory.After the first bus, maybe 30 minutes, Gomes said when asked how long it tookthe team to get over Sundays walk-off loss to the Tigers. Weve had aboutfour or five season-ending losses.Gomes specifically mentioned the As 10-9 14-inning loss to the Yankees in NewYork on Sept. 22, a day after another extra-inning loss to the Bronx Bombers.The As went on to win nine of their next 11 contests.
The problem now is Oaklandcant afford to win even X-1 of their next X games. They are faced with thetough task of winning three straight to overcome an 0-2 series hole, somethingthey have never done in franchise history.But the long odds dont seem to faze Gomes, his teammates, or his skipper BobMelvin.I know 25 plus guys and a manager that say panic doesnt exist, Gomes said.
RATTO: A's philosophy -- 'Why the hell not?'
The clubhouse consensus was that the As wouldnt changetheir approach despite their backs being against the wall. That includes apromise that Oaklands hitters wont be choking up to avoid the gaudy strikeouttotals that have carried over from the regular season to the playoffs. After setting an American League record with 1,387strikeouts in 162 games, the As went straight from the batters box to thevisitors dugout in Detroit a whopping 23 times in the two losses. Granted,they did take on 2011 AL pitching Triple Crown winner Justin Verlander and DougFister, who made history when he struck out nine consecutive batters during theregular season.
For Gomes, the strikeouts are an understandable product of ayoung power-hitting club.
Weve got some young hitters; some of these guys were bornin the late 80s, Gomes said. If you look at offensive stats from June on,the strikeouts are obviously there. But you cant let the negative outweigh thepositive. And the positive is weve outscored our opponents outside of theselast two games.Josh Reddick, born in 1987, struck out 151 times but hit 32home runs during the regular season. He racked up six strikeouts in his firstsix postseason at-bats, but snapped that slump with a go-ahead home run Sundayin Detroit.Ive got to bear down and put more balls in play, Reddicksaid, adding that his late home run in Game 2 will hopefully get him back ontrack. It was huge. I hope with that ball itll give me a little boost inconfidence.Melvin said he is not overly concerned with the strikeoutsand doesnt plan on telling his hitters to change their approach at the plate.Well continue to swing the bats like we have, Melvin said. Were one swingaway from driving in a couple runs here in this ballpark. Its worked well forus. Its not like the last day youre going to say today lets work on cuttingout swing down and choke up two inches on two strikes. Were going to play whatgot us here.What got the As to the ALDS is a lot of big swings, some of which lead to longballs and many of which end up for strikeouts. Even in the division-winningsweep of the Texas Rangers, the As struck out 22 times in three victories. Weve proven we can come here and sweep good teams, closerGrant Balfour said, referring to the season-ending series with the Rangers.Were in a similar situation again so why not do it again Most things thatare rewarding dont come easy.

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox


CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of their future on a day when the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their past.

Matt Olson hit his first two major league home runs, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto also launched their first career shots and the A's routed the White Sox 10-2 on Saturday.

Barreto homered in his big league debut. He joined Olson and Brugman in becoming the second trio of teammates to hit their first homers in the same game, the Elias Sports Bureau said. It also happened in 1914 with the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League - the rival circuit lasted a couple of seasons, and included many big leaguers.

"They said something about it was the first time it has happened in a while. It's awesome to be able to share that moment with guys that I already built relationships with," said Olson, who played with Brugman and Barreto in the minors.

Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle had his No. 56 jersey retired in a pregame ceremony. After the 30-minute tribute ended, the A's roughed up James Shields (1-1).

Daniel Gossett (1-2) took advantage of an early 6-0 lead for his first win in the big league. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings.

"It was a special experience for everyone. To get out of there with my first win was just the icing on the cake. It was an awesome experience to be a part of and I'm glad I was here," Gossett said.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the second straight game. He threw his hat to the ground and was tossed, right after third baseman Todd Frazier was ejected for showing his displeasure over a replay review that wasn't reversed.

"I thought it was quick," Frazier said. "I said some things that were borderline, I guess. But at the same time, it's just frustrating, man. You can't get the call right in New York as well, and they've got every different angle. They can zoom in as close as possible, and to think that they cannot make that call is just frustrating with the technology we have today. It's just crazy. It boggles your mind. It really does."

After a leadoff walk in the first, Olson homered to right. He added a two-run homer in the seventh. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and is in fourth stint with the club.

Brugman hit a solo drive in the second. Barreto had a two-run homer in the third.

Barreto, a top prospect in the Oakland organization, was called up after shortstop Chad Pinder injured his hamstring Friday night and was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Barreto was a late addition to the lineup at second base when Jed Lowrie couldn't play after a mild knee injury he sustained Friday night. The newcomer went 2 for 5 and scored twice.

"Of anybody, you're not surprised. We've seen him hit homers in his first spring training at-bats, so not a total shock. But I think everybody kind of looked around and said, `Wow, I can't remember that ever happening before,'" A's manager Bob Melvin.

Shields gave up six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He allowed three home runs in his second start since a two-month DL stint.

Buehrle's number was stenciled onto the dirt behind second base. He went 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA in 390 appearances for Chicago from 2000-11. The lefty pitched two no-hitters for the White Sox, including a perfect game, and helped them win the 2005 World Series.

White Sox: All signs are pointing to LHP Carlos Rodon making his season debut sometime next week. Rodon, who has been out with a biceps bursitis injury, pitched Friday night for Triple-A Charlotte. Renteria was satisfied with the reports after his fourth rehab start.

"Another start last night. He went 4 1-3, 93 pitches. Actually, in talking to everybody, he threw pretty well. Had a couple miscues in the field that were probably limited his outing. He felt good, pain-free, we're very happy with that. According to the reports, the slider was working very well. He's on track to come on back," Renteria said.

Gossett said the Oakland hitters made it easy for him in his third major league start.

"To see guys I've played with a little bit last year and this year, to see Barreto get his first hit and other guys get their first home runs, it's really special for them and I'm glad I was part of it," he said.

With wins Friday and Saturday, the A's snapped a streak of losing nine consecutive road series.

Despite the rough start, Shield reached 2,000th career strikeouts.

Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (2-3) is scheduled to start Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA over his last five starts.

White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (5-7) is 1-4 with a 9.55 ERA and nine home runs allowed over his last five starts.

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Friday night was a bad night for a couple of former A's players.

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Rangers, first baseman Chris Carter was designated for assignment by the Yankees.

New York called up first base prospect Tyler Austin.

In 57 games with the Yankees, Carter his eight homers and drove in 23 runs, but he his just .204 with 70 strikeouts.

Derek Norris, an All-Star with the A's in 2014, was designated for assignment by the Rays after they activated offseason acquisition Wilson Ramos from the 60-day DL.

Norris clubbed nine homers and drove in 24 runs, but hit .201 in 53 games with the Tampa Bay.