Angels snap A's 12-game road win streak


Angels snap A's 12-game road win streak


ANAHEIM -- Sometimes being greedy isn't a bad thing. The A's would have loved to cap their seven-game road trip with a sweep of the Angels, they'll have to settle for a still solid 6-1 excursion through the lower parts of the American League West. They couldn't break out the brooms for a second time in a row, but they still cleaned up nicely. The biggest loss for the A's might not be in the standings. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes sprained his right wrist sliding into second base in the fourth inning. He is being listed as day-to-day and after the game A's manager Bob Melvin said his injury isn't serious. Having won an Oakland-era-trying 12 games in a row on the road, their streak was snapped by Angels ace and Cy Young contender Jered Weaver. The Angels' 6-0 defeat of Oakland made Weaver 3-0 in four starts against the A's this season. He only allowed one earned run in 30 13 innings against Oakland. "When he's got everything working it's tough to think along with him," Melvin said. "It's tough to eliminate pitches and sit on a certain pitch because he mixes it up so well."Weaver tossed seven innings of two-hit shutout baseball and struck out nine A's batters. He traded zeros with Brett Anderson, who matched him through the first six innings but faltered in the seventh frame, allowing five runs. "Overall the line score doesn't look very good but I was happy with the way I battled and kept us in the ball game," Anderson said. "But Jered Weaver is Jered Weaver, especially at home here in day games."Anderson allowed a leadoff homer to Torii Hunter in the seventh inning. He retired the next batter but then gave up three consecutive hits making it 3-0 Angels. Melvin visited the mound and Anderson insisted he wanted to stay in the game. He responded by striking out Chris Iannetta but walked Mike Trout to load the bases and was removed from the game. "It's pretty hot out there and it starts to get to you," Melvin said. "A lot of times when you hit that wall it comes pretty quickly, but I thought his stuff was as good as it was any time out and he is continuing to pitch at a very high level."After Anderson left the game reliever Jesse Chavez made his A's debut and allowed all three of his inherited runners to score on two singles, a walk, and a passed ball. "You never want to have one rough inning," Anderson said. "I like the way I've pitched. One bad inning today but you never want to have a reliever come in the game in the situation Chavez did, but he battled and things didn't fall our way today."The Angels sent 11 runners to the plate in their six-run seventh inning. Anderson was saddled with his first loss since returning from Tommy John surgery. He is 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA in his five starts since being forced to take 14 months off to rehab.
The A's won the season series with the Angels 10-9 and don't have to face the Halos or Weaver again unless they meet in the postseason."Outside of the lineup they have here it's a pretty hostile environment," Jonny Gomes said. "They've got that damn rally monkey jumping around in the seventh inning on. Three out of four here, six out of seven on the road trip seems to be a good thing." The A's were shut out for a Major League-leading 16th time on Thursday. They didn't seem all that concerned about it after the game. "We set ourselves up nice," Anderson said. "We have a big home series against Baltimore and a tough road trip and I like the way we are playing."The traveling A's show continues with a quick stop for three days in Oakland before heading out to Detroit, New York, and Texas.

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.