Sunday sun stumps A's in 6-5 loss

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Sunday sun stumps A's in 6-5 loss

OAKLAND -- The A's 10-game winning streak in games decided by one-run came to an end as Toronto defeated Oakland 6-5 on Sunday. It might not have been a one-run contest had it not been for a costly miscue. With two outs in the fifth inning, Rajai Davis hit a popup that shortstop Adam Rosales lost in the afternoon sun and couldn't catch. The next four batters reached base as the Blue Jays scored three runs and took a 6-4 lead. "I really wish I made that play. It definitely changed the game," Rosales said. "I make that play and I believe we win for sure."Rosales said the ball went into the sun right off the bat. He explained that usually it comes out of the sun and he is able to stay with it to make a play. On this occasion he said the ball never revealed itself. It is impossible to place the blame squarely on the A's shortstop on this occasion. Starting pitcher Tommy Milone made sure to point out that he deserves a share as well. "It's just one of those things that happens," Milone said. "I know the guys behind me are trying their best and sometimes that ball gets up in the sun and there is nothing they can do. My job is to get back out there and throw quality pitches, and I felt like I didn't do that after that happened."Milone is officially in a rut. He has allowed 16 runs in his last 19 innings pitched and lost his last three starts. It is the first three-game losing streak of his career. This after having a pretty successful first half of the season. Even with the recent struggles he has a respectable 3.91 ERA -- not bad for a rookie. "It's a bad run right now," Milone said. "I just have to forget about it and hopefully come out of it and worry about the next one."Milone says he isn't feeling fatigued as the season wears on. He did admit to not feeling sharp in his last few starts. His self assessment after the game was brutally honest. "Horrible, I couldn't get that one big pitch that I needed," he said. "I was leaving balls up over the plate and they were capitalizing on them."Arguably the worst pitch he made was a fastball to Edwin Encarnacion that badly missed location. The Jays DH smashed the ball to dead center for a two-run homer. Milone's 19th homer allowed this season gave the Jays back the momentum right after Josh Reddick hit his team-leading 24th homer of the year, a three-run blast to give the A's a 4-1 lead. The A's got another bad break in the bottom of the ninth. Down one run, pinch-hitter Brandon Moss drew a one-out walk and was lifted for pinch runner Eric Sogard. Jemile Weeks came to the plate and cracked a hard-hit ball that was snared by Jays third baseman Yan Gomes, who threw to first to complete the game-ending double play. Weeks made solid contact on the ball. Had it gotten past Gomes it could have made it all the way to the wall, possibly tying the game."I thought it was going to get by, but he let it get deep and caught it like that," Weeks said. "Wasn't much else I wanted to do with that pitch and he made a play."
After 18 and one-third innings pitched by the Oakland bullpen the last two days the team was forced to make two roster moves before. They added relief pitchers Evan Scribner and Pedro Figueroa. Those two pitchers combined for three scoreless innings and kept the team in the game until the end. Their efforts gave the rest of the overworked relievers a much needed day off. "We were very limited in what we were going to do in the bullpen today," Melvin said. "They came in the game and held it there. We ended up coming back within one run where one hit can tie it up for us, so they did very well."The A's split the four-game series with the Blue Jays and have now lost their last two games and five of their last eight contests. They are a half game ahead of the Angels and tied with Detroit for the first American League Wild Card spot. Those division rival Angels will be in Oakland the next three days for a key series.

A's issue statement regarding Oakland's plan for Raiders stadium

A's issue statement regarding Oakland's plan for Raiders stadium

On Friday, the city of Oakland released a detailed framework for a planned stadium for the Raiders.

A day later, the A's issued the following statement in response to Oakland's plan.

"Oakland is an incredible sports town that deserves world class facilities. We wish the Raiders the best in their stadium quest. Our work is independent of theirs. We are focused on building a ballpark in our hometown for our fans."

On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on a term sheet for a stadium proposal designed to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

A's holiday shopping focuses on a center fielder

A's holiday shopping focuses on a center fielder

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The A’s didn’t add any players during the four-day winter meetings, but they did wave goodbye to one.

Minor league right-hander Dylan Covey was scooped up by the Chicago White Sox in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. The Sox pay the A’s $50,000 for his rights, and he must either remain on their 25-man roster for the entire 2017 season or be offered back to Oakland for $25,000.

The 25-year-old Covey, ranked the A’s No. 20 prospect by mlb.com, was an Arizona Fall League standout this offseason after working his way back from an oblique injury that wiped out most of his 2016 season.

“We’ll see what happens,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “He certainly was as deserving as anybody of being protected (on the A’s 40-man roster), we just ran out of spots. Good for him to get this opportunity.”

As for ways Oakland might supplement its own roster, that task continues.

The A’s held plenty of discussions over four days spent at the sprawling Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, but those talks didn’t bear fruit in their search for a center fielder. They had trade dialogue with the Kansas City Royals regarding Jarrod Dyson, a blazing runner and potential leadoff man, but couldn’t find common ground.

As the holidays approach, the A’s will continue to scan the free agent market and explore trade opportunities.

“My guess is there are plenty of things we talked about this week that have legs, and those conversations will continue over the next few weeks,” Forst said. “We’ve got two months until pitchers and catchers report, four months until the season. We’re not the only ones leaving here without actually consummating something.”

The Orioles are another team reportedly trying to pry Dyson from the Royals. Another center fielder mentioned as being available is Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, although reports suggest Cincinnati isn’t in a rush to move him.

Dexter Fowler is the best free agent center fielder still on the market, although Austin Jackson and Rajai Davis seem to fall more in the A’s price range.

Forst was asked how much urgency there is to the center field search.

“I’m not confident they’re gonna be there all winter, there’s only a certain number of guys,” he said. “We’re not going to risk anything to jump out (and do something) we wouldn’t otherwise do. But we think we’re being diligent.

“We cast a wide net, and we continue to. We have to keep doing that just to make sure — free agents, trades, different kinds of players, platoons, whatever. I think we have to keep our toes in every option.”

As for other areas the A’s can improve, they may look to add a veteran starting pitcher. Just speculation, but Doug Fister is one free agent whose price tag figures to be reasonable, and he’s a Northern California native. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the A’s simply invited a veteran to camp on a minor league contract to see if they can find a diamond in the rough, or at least someone to provide competition.

A’s executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane mentioned second base as an area of concern because of injury issues (Jed Lowrie) and inexperience (Joey Wendle, Chad Pinder), but it’s very possible the A’s stick with their in-house options.