Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 5, Blue Jays 4 (15)

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 5, Blue Jays 4 (15)

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- It seems nothing can rattle the A's anymore. Prior to the game the team made five roster moves, shocking the clubhouse -- the big move was a trade that sent veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki to the Nationals. They didn't have much time to sulk or feel sorry for themselves. They had a game to play. The A's played their second 15-inning game this week. And for the 13th time this season they won it in walk-off fashion. This time it took a leadoff triple from Jemile Weeks who scored on a Coco Crisp sacrifice fly to win the game 5-4. It's his third walk-off hit this year. He was treated with a two cooler cold shower. Then Spiderman emerged and pied Crisp with two pies. The A's win came at a cost. Yoenis Cespedes left the game with a right wrist sprain. He had two infield singles on Friday -- he has nine this season. He swiped second base for his ninth stolen base, but then got thrown out trying to steal third. He then left the game. He likely injured his wrist when he got caught stealing third. Starting Pitching ReportProfessional baseball's strikeout leader Dan Straily wasted no time getting his first major league strikeout. He struck out the first batter he faced, Brett Lawrie, looking on a 3-2 fastball. Straily, 23, used all four of his pitches effectively. His arsenal included a 92-mph fastball, a 82-mph change-up, a 73-mph curveball, and an 82-mph slider. He struck out five batters -- three with fastballs, one with the change-up, and one on the slider. Straily attacked the strike zone, throwing 13 first-pitch strikes over 24 batters faced. He only walked one batter. The only run he allowed came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. He worked through his debut jitters and settled into a groove in the fifth and sixth innings and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced. Straily was in line for his first career win but will have to settle for an impressive no decision after the A's gave up the lead in the bottom of the ninth. At the PlateThe A's got two on in the second after Cespedes legged out an infield single and Chris Carter worked an 0-2 count into a walk. Brandon Inge stepped to the plate next and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with an RBI-single giving the A's a 1-0 lead. Jonny Gomes swung and missed on Brett Cecil's first two offerings before driving an 0-2 pitch into the left field bleachers. Gomes now has 11 homers this season and his blast gave the A's a 2-0 lead. Carter hit a hanging slider so hard in the fourth inning that it landed about 30 stairs deep in the left field stairwell. It was his ninth homer of the season and it gave the A's a 3-1 lead. At this point it would be wise to put Carter in the lineup daily. Gomes hit the hardest single of his life in the the fifth. It was a screaming line drive that smashed into the very top of the wall in left field. The ball was hit so hard that he had to stop at first. Gomes' single moved Coco Crisp to third base. He ended up scoring on a Josh Reddick sacrifice fly to right field. In the 10th inning Jemile Weeks hit a leadoff single up the middle past the outstretched glove of Kelly Johnson as he dove for the ball. Coco Crisp drew a six-pitch walk and then Weeks and Crisp advanced on a wild pitch thrown by Brad Lincoln. Gomes drew a walk of his own to load the bases for Reddick with one out. Reddick struck out looking on a 2-2 curveball. Brandon Moss stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter but grounded out to short. Weeks led off with a triple in the 15th. This time, Crisp drove him home with a sacrifice fly.Bullpen ReportGrant Balfour brought rage to the right field bleachers and to the Jays hitters. He pitched two flawless innings striking out three batters. Ryan Cook blew the save after allowing a two-out, three-run game-tying homer. He struck out the first two batters he faced but let the Jays rally to tie the game. Cook has allowed six runs in his last six appearances. His six blown saves are tied for the most in the American League. Jerry Blevins started the 10th. He allowed two runners to reach base after hitting Colby Rasmus and walking Edwin Encarnacion. He then got Kelly Johnson to fly out for the second out. Pat Neshek entered in relief of Blevins. He threw two pitches and ended the Blue Jays threat in the 10th. He came back out in the 11th and struck out the side. Not bad for a guy that was pitching in Triple-A all season. Sean Doolittle pitched the 12th inning and got bailed out by some solid defense (read below). Travis Blackley entered the game in the 13th. Having just been moved to the bullpen, he can serve as a very effective long reliever. Blackley flashed his pickoff move, nailing Rajai Davis at first base. He has now picked off seven runners. He ended up throwing three scoreless innings and got the win. In the FieldIn the 12th inning Brandon Moss, who doesn't usually play left field, slightly misplayed a ball hit to left off the bat of Colby Rasmus. Omar Vizquel, attempting to score from first, rounded third as Moss' throw hit the cutoff man Inge who fired the ball home to Norris to get the 45-year-old at the plate. The play preserved the 4-4 tie. In the 15th inning Eric Sogard made a ridiculous play to save a run. He ranged far to the right backhanding the ball and flipping it to third base for the force out to end the inning. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 30,169. Straily Italian Heritage night Fireworks = attendance. Dot RaceWhite wins the dot race.Up NextStraily's Double-A roommate A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.51 ERA) will take the hill for the A's on Saturday. According to the A's game notes Griffin is the first pitcher since at least 1918 to begin his career by tossing six or more innings while allowing three runs or less in each of his first seven starts. Ricky Romero (8-8, 5.69 ERA) will get a chance to redeem himself against the A's after allowing eight runs in one and a third innings last time he faced them. Rehabbing A'sCliff Pennington went 1-for-2 with two walks and one RBI for the River Cats. He also stole a base. This is his first rehab start since hitting the disabled list with left elbow tendonitis on July 20.

Notes: A's likely to leave winter meetings with unfinished business

Notes: A's likely to leave winter meetings with unfinished business

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A’s general manager David Forst flies home Thursday afternoon, and unless there’s a drastic change in the final stages of the winter meetings, he’ll still be searching for a center fielder.

Wednesday’s events included some discussion between Oakland and other parties, but no concrete progress toward landing a center fielder. That’s despite the late-breaking news Tuesday that the A’s and Royals were talking trade for fleet-footed Kansas City outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

“It’s a two-way street with a free agent or a team, a function of the other side’s pace,” Forst said. “It’s unlikely (they complete a deal at the meetings), and not for lack of conversations or lack of ideas. Just things move at different speeds.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean the chance of landing Dyson is done. Forst pointed out talks which transpire at the winter meetings sometimes materialize into a deal down the road. But it’s also worth noting that the Baltimore Orioles are pursuing Dyson too. FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported that Baltimore and Kansas City have discussed him.

Therefore, consider the A’s as players in the free agent as well as trade markets.

“We’ve cast a wide net,” Forst said.

Two free agent center fielders came off the board Wednesday as the Rockies agreed to a five-year $70 million contract with Ian Desmond and the Rangers re-signed Carlos Gomez to a one-year $11.5 million deal. Desmond was assumed to be out of the A’s price range, but Gomez was thought to be a realistic target. He opted to return to Texas, which needed to do some outfield re-stocking after losing Desmond and Carlos Beltran, who like Gomez was an in-season acquisition for the Rangers in 2016.

The three most enticing free agents left now at the position appear to be Dexter Fowler — like Desmond, expected to command a pricey multi-year deal — former Athletic Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson.

As for other needs, the A’s would add a veteran starting pitcher at the right price and could look to upgrade at second base, though neither of those is as high a priority as landing someone to anchor the middle of their outfield.

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Manager Bob Melvin addressed reporters at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Though A’s top baseball official Billy Beane said Tuesday the organizational focus was on the future, aiming for a strong team to be in place by the time the A’s potentially move into a new ballpark, Melvin’s attention is solely on the upcoming season.

“In 2012, we had I don't know how many rookies on that team. It was all rookie starters, and we ended up winning the division,” Melvin said. “Once you start the season, the focus is all about winning.”

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Should the A’s not bring in a center fielder who can also lead off, the first in-house candidate Melvin mentioned as perhaps hitting atop the order was Joey Wendle. He gave a nice showing of himself in a September call-up and hit leadoff for a stretch, but there’s no guarantee that Wendle even starts at second base next season, especially if veteran Jed Lowrie is healthy after foot surgery.

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Former Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale has rejoined Oakland’s staff as Melvin’s third-base coach, and Melvin has plenty of confidence that Hale will capably fill Ron Washington’s shoes as the infield instructor. Washington was popular with A’s infielders and had particular success working with shortstop Marcus Semien.

Hale served as Melvin’s bench coach before getting hired by Arizona before the 2015 season.

“Obviously we've talked a lot about Wash and what he's meant to some of these younger guys,” Melvin said. “We feel like if anybody can replace Wash, it's Chip Hale.”

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Forst said John Axford will pitch for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Fellow reliever Liam Hendriks has not yet committed to Team Australia.

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Right-hander Chris Bassitt, who underwent Tommy John surgery in May, was examined by A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta on Wednesday and his recovery is going very well. He’s between throwing programs right now. Forst added that lefty Felix Doubront is also coming back well from the same procedure.

Report: Holliday's no-trade clause with Yankees only covers A's

Report: Holliday's no-trade clause with Yankees only covers A's

Matt Holliday spent the first half of the 2009 season in Oakland.

Apparently, he has no desire to return.

In his one-year, $13 million contract with the Yankees that was finalized on Wednesday, Holliday has a limited no-trade clause that protects him from being traded to only the A's, according to SB Nation.

Holliday was acquired by the A's following the 2008 season for Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith.

But he only played in 93 games with the A's before they dealt him to St. Louis for Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen and Shane Peterson.

The 37-year-old spent the last seven full seasons with the Cardinals.