Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 9, Rangers 3


Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 9, Rangers 3

ARLINGTON -- After five consecutive tightly-contested, one-run games, the A's needed a laugher and they got it. They dropped the Rangers by a total of 9-3 to move within three games of Texas in the American League West. Oakland's magic number to clinch at least a spot in the Wild Card playoff game is now at six.At the PlateThe A's erupted for five runs in the first inning and sent nine batters to the plate. Oakland batters collected eight hits including RBI triples hit by Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris, and RBI singles by Chris Carter, Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson. The A's were aided by two huge defensive mistakes by Rangers' center fielder Josh Hamilton. He ole'd the ball hit by Donaldson, allowing it to get to the wall. He also took a bad route on the ball hit to Norris and then tried to overcompensate by jumping as the ball sailed over his head.While the A's piled up runs, they also piled up strikeouts. They struck out 11 times on Wednesday en route to breaking the American League record for most single-season strikeouts with 1,333. The previous record was 1,324 set by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007.Two more runs came around to score in the third inning. Donaldson and Josh Reddick reached on back-to-back walks to start the inning. Stephen Drew ended up driving them both home with a two-run single. Norris added another RBI single in the fourth inning.Reddick snapped his career-worst 0-for-30 slump in the seventh inning with a single up the middle. As he reached first it looked like the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders. The players in the dugout asked for the game ball as a joke. He collected another hit in his next at-bat with a runner in scoring position. The runner was held at third though, so he didn't get an RBI.Drew hasn't been struggling to find hits. He ended the night 4-for-5 with two RBI. Moss had three hits and two runs. Norris added a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to put the A's up 9-3. He drove in three runs.Starting Pitching ReportWhile the A's knocked around Rangers' starting pitcher Martin Perez, eventually driving him out of the game in the first inning, Jarrod Parker had to sit on the bench and wait for his turn. The prolonged wait might have messed up his rhythm a little bit. He walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up an RBI double to Elvis Andrus. He ended up throwing 30 pitches in the first inning.Parker got in trouble in the second inning as well. He gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs. He ended up allowing a run on a force out and another on a sacrifice fly but escaped without giving up a big hit.After the iffy start Parker settled down and regained control. He threw four consecutive scoreless innings and made it through the sixth with 109 pitches. The way things started for Parker, six innings of three-run ball and the win is actually a pretty solid line against the Rangers in Texas.Bullpen ReportJerry Blevins started the seventh inning. He tossed a clean 1-2-3 frame. He retired two more batters in the in the eighth inning before leaving the game. Evan Scribner finished it off with one and one-third innings of scoreless relief. The A's bullpen got some much needed rest and is finally looking to be back to full strength.In the FieldThe A's turned a clean inning-ending double play in the fourth. Ian Kinsler hit a grounder to Donaldson who fielded it and make a quick throw to Pennington, who stood strong as he made his throw with the sliding runner bearing down on him.AttendanceThe Rangers announced an attendance of 46,689.Texas Legends DashNolan Ryan wins the dash. It looked like someone in the A's dugout threw something at the fake Ryan as he ran by. No word on if the real Nolan Ryan was in the costume. Though I did see Ryan in the tunnel before the game. You can jump to your own conclusions.Up NextTravis Blackley (5-3, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound in Texas against Matt Harrison (17-10, 3.17 ERA). Harrison leads the Rangers in ERA and wins.

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

Mariners sign former A's lefty reliever to $11 million deal over two years

The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a two-year contract.

Rzepczynski's deal is fo $11 million over two years. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported details of the contract

The Mariners also signed right-handed reliever Casey Fien on Saturday. Left-hander Dean Kiekhefer and righty Zach Lee were designated for assignment.

The 31-year-old Rzepczynski was a combined 1-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 70 games for Oakland and Washington this season. He then pitched three times in the NL playoffs for the Nationals.

Rzepczynski has made at least 70 appearances in each of the last three years. He's also pitched for Toronto, St. Louis, Cleveland and San Diego in an eight-season career.

The 33-year-old Fien was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 39 games for Minnesota and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 27-year-old Kiekhefer made his major league debut last season and pitched 26 times in relief for the Cardinals. Seattle claimed him off waivers from St. Louis last month.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Report: Beltran agrees to one-year deal with AL West team

Report: Beltran agrees to one-year deal with AL West team

Houston's offseason shopping spree got a little richer on Saturday.

More than 12 years after going to the Astros in a trade deadline deal, nine-time All-Star Carlos Beltran has reportedly agreed to return to Houston.

According to multiple national reports, the pact is a one-year, $16 million deal.

News of an agreement was first reported by ESPN. Terms were first reported by Fox Sports.

Beltran, who will be 40 years old in April, joins outfielder Josh Reddick and catcher Brian McCann as new Astros this offseason.

In 151 games between the Yankees and Rangers in 2016, Beltran hit .295/.337/.513 with 33 doubles, 29 home runs and 93 RBI.

During the 2004 season, the Royals traded a then-27-year-old Beltran to the Astros in a three-team deal that involved the A's. Oakland sent third baseman Mark Teahan and pitcher Mike Wood to Kansas City, while the A's received reliever Octavio Dotel from Houston. Kansas City also received catcher John Buck from the Astros.

Beltran's brief run with the Astros in 2004 was highlighted by one of the greatest postseason performances in MLB history. In 12 games, Beltran collected 20 hits and hit eight home runs.