A's experience deja vu in 6-1 win over Seattle


A's experience deja vu in 6-1 win over Seattle

SEATTLE -- One of baseball's greatest quotes is of course a Yogi-ism. As Yankees' legend Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again."

That's what it felt like Saturday night at Safeco Field. The final score of both Friday and Saturday's games -- 6-1, Oakland. The A's scored the first run in the first inning on an error in both games. Both games had a fourth inning George Kottaras home run, a Stephen Drew RBI single, and the A's starting pitcher on both Friday and Saturday night threw 108 pitches. In both contests the A's also knocked out the Mariners starting pitcher prior to the fifth inning. The similarities are staggering right? Deja vu, all over again. "No game is a replay of any other game," Kottaras said. Oh, alright then, maybe we should just focus on Brett Anderson? He tossed six innings, allowed no earned runs, and is now 4-0 since returning from a 14 month recovery from Tommy John surgery. Not deja vu, but seemingly unreal."I always hold myself to a high standard," Anderson said. "You have to in this game or it will beat you up."Anderson has allowed two earned runs in 26 innings pitched since his return. He didn't walk a single batter on Saturday and has only walked three total in four starts while striking out 19. He has lasted six innings, and allowed one run or less in all of his starts in 2012. "His performance, I think, has been more than we can ever expect," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To sit there and say he's 4-0 after coming back is pretty terrific." But the young lefty said he was battling himself a bit on the mound, though it was hard to tell. "Today was definitely my most grinding start," Anderson said. "Seems like it's easy when it's going good and you are getting three up, three down. It almost makes these starts more sweet because you have to pitch your way out of jams and battle through it."One thing that happened for the first time on Saturday was Kottaras catching Anderson. The battery mates had to feel each other out a tad. Anderson shook the catcher off a couple times but said he does that to everyone that catches him. "It doesn't mean anything that's just the way I pitch," Anderson said. "If I'm going to get beat, I'm going to get beat on something I want to throw." He left Kottaras impressed."He's got electric stuff," Kottaras said. "He throws anything in every count. Being back there tonight was definitely a fun thing for me."Like last night, the A's benefited from a bomb courtesy of Kottaras. His fourth inning two-run shot left the yard in a hurry. It was his eighth homer of the season and his 13th RBI in his last five games. "Yeah, I hit it pretty good," Kottaras said. "I wasn't trying to do to much, just hit it hard somewhere." The A's have won their last eight road games, the longest such streak since 2005. A run of success that couldn't have come at a better time. 15 of Oakland's next 18 games are on the road. They go for the series sweep on Sunday. The A's have swept the opposition in two of their last three series. They got swept in their previous series. More deja vu all over again.

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

The Oakland A’s avoided arbitration with right-handed pitchers Sonny Gray and Liam Hendriks and catcher Stephen Vogt when they agreed to terms on one-year contracts for the 2017 season, the club announced today.

Gray went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in 22 starts last year in a season shortened by two stints on the disabled list.  His ERA was more than 2½ runs higher than his previous career high and his five wins follow back-to-back 14-win seasons.  Gray went 33-20 with a 2.88 ERA 76 games over his first three seasons with the A’s and now has a 3.42 ERA in his career, which ranks ninth in Oakland history.

Hendriks compiled a 3.76 ERA and .270 opponents batting average in 53 relief appearances in his first season with the A’s.  He had an 8.27 ERA and .394 opponents batting average in 11 games before going on the disabled list in early May with a strained right triceps.  Hendriks then logged a 2.23 ERA and .222 opponents batting average in 42 games following his return from the DL.

Vogt played in a career-high 137 games last year and hit .251 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI.  He also had career bests with 123 hits, 30 doubles and 46 extra base hits.  Vogt was named to his second consecutive American League All-Star team.

The only remaining arbitration eligible player on the A’s roster is Khris Davis.

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Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto's 11th trade this offseason rounded out the Seattle Mariners roster with his top target.

"I've probably spent more time through the course of our offseason trying to acquire Drew Smyly than any other thing that we've done," the general manager said Wednesday.

Seattle made pair of deals on Wednesday that ultimately landed Smyly, a pitcher Dipoto thinks will fill out the Mariners starting rotation. Seattle also landed a potential key reliever, getting right-hander Shae Simmons from the Atlanta Braves.

The Mariners acquired outfielder Mallex Smith from Atlanta, then sent him to Tampa Bay along with infielder Carlos Vargas and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough for Smyly. Smith was also an offseason target for the Mariners but when Seattle acquired Jarrod Dyson from Kansas City last week, Smith instead became the conduit in helping to obtain Smyly.

"It became apparent to us over the last two or three days that we were able to access Drew Smyly by making the deal with Atlanta that tapped into Mallex Smith," Dipoto said. "So effectively these were two deals that were interlinked."

Smyly is the centerpiece of what Seattle was trying to accomplish as the Mariners seem to have rounded out a starting rotation that appeared to be a major question at the start of the year. The acquisitions of Smyly and Yovani Gallardo from Baltimore last week appear to have filled out a rotation where Felix HernandezHisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton were the only certainties.

Smyly, 27, made 30 starts last season for Tampa Bay, throwing a career-high 175 1/3 innings and striking out 167. He was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA, but starting pitching is one of Tampa Bay's strongest assets, and Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander felt comfortable making the deal because of the depth the Rays have in that area.

Smyly was 15-15 with a 3.95 ERA in 49 starts for Tampa Bay after being acquired from Detroit in the 2014 trade deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers. He is arbitration eligible after winning $3.75 million in an arbitration hearing last season.

"He fits our ballpark particularly well. He's a pretty extreme fly-ball pitcher with the low walks, high strikeouts, who in our ballpark, with what we think is a greatly improved outfield defense fits us like a glove really," Dipoto said. "If as we expect he shows up and does his thing it should fit very well for us in this ballpark."

What Smith may be able to add was attractive to Neander, who said the trade was made to help position the Rays to be competitive in 2017. He stopped short of saying he expects Smith to make the team coming out of spring training.

"We need to get better," Neander said. "To do that, we need more competition" for jobs.

Simmons is also a key acquisition for Seattle, providing another power arm in the bullpen. Simmons, 26, made seven appearances last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and threw just 6 2/3 big league innings. Before elbow issues, Simmons was 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 26 appearances during the 2014 season.

"He's had a strong history with striking (batters) out and (we're) really excited to plug him in," Dipoto said.

The cost for Seattle to complete to two deals meant giving up two of its top pitching prospects in Yarbrough and Luiz Gohara. Yarbrough, 25, was named the Southern League pitcher of the year after going 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA at Double-A Jackson last season. Gohara, 20, was 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 13 starts at two Class A stops.

Seattle also sent lefty Thomas Burrows to Atlanta and designated right-hander Cody Martin for assignment to make room on its 40-man roster.