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.

Royals ace Yordano Ventura dies in car crash at 25 years old

Royals ace Yordano Ventura dies in car crash at 25 years old

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, whose electric arm and confident demeanor helped lead his long-suffering team to the 2015 World Series title, died in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic early Sunday. He was 25.

With the fitting nickname of "Ace," Ventura burst onto the baseball scene with a 100 mph fastball and an explosive attitude to match. He was a fierce competitor always willing to challenge hitters inside, then deal with the ramifications when they decided to charge the mound.

Not surprisingly, he quickly became a fan favorite as Kansas City embraced baseball once again.

"Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a statement. "He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano."

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo said Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles northwest of Santo Domingo. Mateo did not say whether Ventura was driving.

Also Sunday, former major league infielder Andy Marte died in a separate car accident in the Dominican Republic. Metropolitan traffic authorities said he died about 95 miles north of the capital.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura," players union executive Tony Clark said. "It's never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and there are no words to describe the feeling of losing two young men in the prime of their lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends, teammates and fans throughout the United States and Latin America."

Ventura is the second young pitching star to die in past four months. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was among three men killed in a boating accident in late September, when the 24-year-old pitcher's boat crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach in the early morning hours.

Ventura went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, and helped the long-downtrodden Royals reach the World Series for the first time since 1985. He proceeded to dominate San Francisco in both of his starts, though the Royals would ultimately lose in seven games.

In an eerie coincidence, Ventura paid tribute to his friend and countryman, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, with a handwritten message on his cap during Game 6. Taveras also was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, and his funeral occurred just hours before Ventura stepped on the mound.

The following year, now firmly entrenched in the rotation, Ventura helped lead Kansas City back to the World Series, pitching well in two starts against Toronto in the AL championship Series. The Royals went on to beat the New York Mets in five games to win their second championship.

Not surprisingly, the Royals moved quickly to sign their burgeoning young ace to a five-year contract through the 2019 season that included two more options that could have kept him in Kansas City.

He wound up pitching his entire career for the Royals, going 38-31 with a 3.89 ERA.

Born June 3, 1991, in Samana, Dominican Republic, Ventura represented a true rags-to-riches story. He quit school at 14 and was laboring on a construction crew to support his family when Ventura heard about a tryout, which led to a spot in the Royals' academy located on his picturesque island home.

Still, the odds were long that Ventura would ever make it to the big leagues. Very few players from the Dominican academies reached the pinnacle of the sport.

But over time, Ventura was able to harness one of the most electric fastballs that scouts had seen in years, and his headstrong and confident nature was essential in his rapid rise. He made his big league debut to great fanfare in 2013, allowing just one run again Cleveland in a sign of things to come.

He eventually became a cornerstone of a youth movement that included young stars such as first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas, one that carried the Royals first to respectability, then to the top of the American League — rare heights the organization had not experienced in decades.

Hosmer took to Twitter upon hearing the news of Ventura's death, saying: "I love you my brother. I'm in disbelief and don't know what to say. I love you ACE."

Moustakas also expressed disbelief, tweeting: "I love you Ace. I don't know what to say other than I'm going to miss you a lot. RIP ACE."

Reports: Ex-A's catcher Suzuki agrees to deal with NL East team

Reports: Ex-A's catcher Suzuki agrees to deal with NL East team

Kurt Suzuki is headed back to the National League.

After three seasons in the American League with the Twins, the former A's backstop has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Braves.

News of the agreement was first reported by SB Nation.

Suzuki will reportedly make $1.5 million, according to Fox Sports. He has a chance to make an addition $2.5 million in incentives.

The 33-year-old Suzuki was drafted by the A's in the second round of 2004 MLB Draft. He made his debut with Oakland in 2007 and was the starting catcher until a 2012 trade to Washington. A year later, the Nationals traded Suzuki back to the A's for the final five weeks of the season.

Prior to the 2014 season, Suzuki signed with Twins. In three seasons with Minnesota, Suzuki hit .263/.316/.364 with 75 doubles, 16 home runs and 160 RBI.

Suzuki will likely serve as a back-up to catcher Tyler Flowers.