Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 6, Angels 5


Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 6, Angels 5


ANAHEIM -- The A's needed every last run they scored on Tuesday night to beat the Angels 6-5 and extend their road winning streak to 11 games. They are now 21 games over .500. At the PlateYoenis Cespedes snapped out of his 21-game homerless streak in the second inning. He drove his first home run since August 18 just to the left of the rock pile. The shot was his 17th of the season and gave the A's an early 1-0 lead. The A's display of power continued in the fourth inning when Brandon Moss absolutely obliterated a ball into the right field stands. Moss' go-ahead homer was his 18th of the year and his sixth in his last 12 starts. Moss has driven in 13 runs in his last 12 games. A's manager Bob Melvin said he wanted to play the hot hand with Moss and it is working. After Moss' homer Josh Donaldson and George Kottaras hit back-to-back singles. Stephen Drew then drove home Donaldson with a sacrifice fly to left field to give the A's a 4-2 lead. The A's were up one run in the ninth inning. In need of some insurance Cliff Pennington hit a two-out single. Coco Crisp followed with an RBI triple to right field that got misplayed by Torii Hunter, allowing Crisp to come around to score. The play gave the A's a 6-3 lead. Starting Pitching ReportDan Straily got into frequent jams. He escaped the first one in impressive fashion. With runners on the corners and no outs he got Albert Pujols to pop out and struck out both Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick. In the second inning he gave up a two-run homer to Vernon Wells on a first pitch fastball right down the middle. After the homer two more runners reached base but Straily got Pujols to foul out to end the inning. Pujols ended up going 0 for 3 against Straily. Straily allowed one base runner in each of the third and fourth innings. He retired seven batters in a row before giving up a solo home run to Torii Hunter in the seventh inning. Hunter's homer to left field made it a 4-3 game and chased Straily from the game.Straily put forth an admirable performance in his first start back in the big leagues. He went six and two-third innings, allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out eight batters. All of the runs he allowed scored via the long ball. Last time he faced the Angels he gave up four homers. This is an improvement. Trout went 3 for 4 against Straily. All three of his hits were singles. Bullpen ReportPat Neshek entered the game to face Pujols in the seventh inning. He did his part but Pujols reached on an error. Sean Doolittle entered the game next. He gloved a ball hit up the middle and threw to first to end the inning. He remained in the game and pitched a scoreless eighth inning as well. Balfour entered the game with a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth. He walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up back to back RBI singles to Hunter and Pujols. He left the game with runners on the corners and no outs. Jerry Blevins entered the game in arguably the most pressure packed situation of his career. He struck out Kendrys Morales then got the game-ending double play. His heroic effort on this evening might be the be the biggest save of his life. In the FieldThe 2012 Reddick for Gold Glove campaign should be officially kicking off. With Pujols batting with runners on the corners and two outs in the second inning Reddick made a sliding catch in foul territory to take the bat out of Pujols' hands. Reddick had to range very far to make the grab. He was in a full sprint as he slid to make the snag. In the first inning Pujols also came up with runners on the corners. He hit a shallow fly ball to right field that Reddick caught cleanly. Trout, arguably the fastest runner in baseball, was on third base and he didn't even think to challenge Reddick's throwing arm. Drew made a nice play on a sharp ground ball hit by Pujols but bounced the throw to first and Moss couldn't come up with it. Drew was charged with the error on the play. Moss would probably say that was his own fault. Drew made amends in the eighth inning by making a spectacular diving stop and throw to second for the force out to end the inning. AttendanceThe Angels announced an attendance of 37,794. Rally Monkey ReenactmentsPsycho - The monkey pulled back the curtain in the famous shower scene. The monkey was also apparently discovered on Mars by the curiosity rover. A contestant on Price is Right (hosted by Bob Barker) won a monkey as well. Up NextA.J. Griffin (5-0. 2.21) takes the mound for the A's against Ervin Santana (8-11, 5.21 ERA). According to the fantastic A's game notes put together by Mike Selleck, Griffin is the only Major League pitcher since at least 1918 to allow three runs or fewer and walk two batters or fewer in each of his first 10 career starts.

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.


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.”


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.


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.”


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


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.