A's call up P Godfrey, Kouzmanoff outrighted

A's call up P Godfrey, Kouzmanoff outrighted


It was no secret the A's were going to select right-hander "Moonlight" Graham Godfrey from Triple-A Sacramento to make the start Friday night in Chicago and that lefty Bobby Cramer was most likely going to be sent back to the River Cats.What was more of a mystery, though, was how the A's, with interim manager Bob Melvin, would clear space on their 40-man roster to make room for Godfrey. The answer - beleaguered third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff was outrighted to Sacramento, the latest in a string of demotions for the sixth-year veteran who was batting just .221 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 46 games with nine errors committed when he was optioned to the minors."Thank you for all the support everyone," Kouzmanoff Tweeted Thursday morning, "looking forward to getting on track in Sacramento."
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Godfrey, meanwhile, will be attempting to accomplish something that has not been done in more than a century - win his major league debut for a team on a losing streak of at least ten games.The last pitcher to do so was Ernie Ross of the old Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 17, 1902 (those Orioles would eventually move to New York and become the Yankees). Baltimore was riding an 11-game losing streak when Ross beat Boston in the second game of a double-header. It was Ross' lone victory as a big leaguer.Jim Mains was the last A's pitcher to make his MLB debut during a 10-plus game A's losing streak, on Aug. 22, 1943. The Philadelphia Athletics lost that day at Chicago's Comiskey Park to lose their 16th straight en route to a franchise-record 20 straight defeats. It was Mains' only major league appearance.
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Of course, Godfrey hopes to stick around and avoid the one-and-done tags of Ross and Mains.Godfrey, 26, is a combined 7-1 with a 2.32 ERA in 10 starts for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento this season with all of his decisions coming for the River Cats after one start at Midland. He is leading the Pacific Coast League in ERA (2.50) and lowest batting average against (.222). In 54 13 minor league innings in 2011, he has allowed two home runs while striking out 51 and walking 15.Originally drafted by Toronto in the 34th round of the 2006 first-year player draft, Godfrey was traded to the A's with right-hander Kristian Bell for utility player Marco Scutaro on Nov. 18, 2007. In five minor league seasons, Godfrey is a combined 33-32 with a 4.20 ERA in 119 appearances, 103 starts.

After Stratton leads way in Giants' shutout, what does his future hold?

After Stratton leads way in Giants' shutout, what does his future hold?

SAN FRANCISCO — After the final out Monday night, a round table was carried into the corner of the home clubhouse at AT&T Park and surrounded by chairs. Eleven players were sitting, eating, drinking and laughing as Chris Stratton prepared to address the media. 

It was a rare sight for the Giants these days, a very rare sight. But then, so was Monday’s result. Stratton led the way in a 2-0 win over the Brewers that was the first home shutout of the season and motivated the joyous post-game scene. 

The shutout was just the second of the season for the staff. Ty Blach went the distance in the other one and Stratton, a fellow rookie, did the heavy lifting Monday, throwing six strong innings before giving way to the bullpen. Matt Cain pitched the seventh, Mark Melancon pitched the eighth while going back-to-back for the first time in three months, and Sam Dyson closed it out quickly. 

There’s a chance that Stratton joins that group in a few days. Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make a rehab start on Tuesday night in Sacramento and that could put him on track to return to the rotation a turn later. That would line up with Stratton’s next start, but Bruce Bochy wasn’t ready to kick the young righty out of the rotation, not after back-to-back scoreless starts against two of the better lineups in the league. A few days after striking out 10 Washington Nationals, Stratton cut through the Brewers. He has 12 2/3 scoreless innings over his past two appearances. 

“For how we’re using him, he’s really handled it well,” Bochy said. “We skipped him, moved him back three or four days, but he doesn’t let it faze him. This is an important time for these young players coming up, whether it’s (Ryder) Jones or (Jarrett) Parker or Stratton. They’re trying to show they belong in the Major Leagues.

“You’re hoping these guys show they’re ready to play here and we don’t have to do something else because we can do it internally.”

Bochy said he could use a six-man rotation when Cueto returns, or a starter could be skipped. That will all sort itself, but the manager made one thing clear. 

“We’d like to pitch him as much as we can,” Bochy said of Stratton.

That’s the same thing Bochy used to say of another right-hander, one he compared Stratton to before Monday’s game. Bochy was asked about Yusmeiro Petit, and he smiled and fondly stated, “He was so good. So good.” The Giants see some Petit in Stratton. He is unaffected by long layoffs and he’s capable of starting, relieving, or even pumping his fastball up a couple ticks for short outings. 

Petit was a mainstay in San Francisco for years, a key cog in a championship team. Bochy has been looking for that piece since Petit departed in free agency, and Stratton seems like he might be suited for the role. He will want more, of course, because all pitchers do. The Giants will give him five more weeks here to try and earn that. 

For the moment, Stratton’s focus is elsewhere. He turns 27 on Monday and the celebration started early. As Stratton answered questions, veterans at the table heckled him about striking out just one Brewer. 

“I left all the strikeouts in Washington, I guess,” Stratton said. 

Nick Hundley walked up with a TV remote and held it up between the cameras. 

“What was your thought on the punchout?” he asked. 

“I’m glad he swung,” Stratton said, smiling. “It was a ball.”

“Did you think about getting any more?” Hundley asked. 

With that, he smiled and ducked back behind the cameras to return to the celebration in the corner. A few minutes later, Stratton joined him.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017


SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach has been a bright spot in this losing season, giving the Giants a young, cost-controlled lefty who can potentially fill a huge role next season. Chris Stratton is trying to do the same thing from the right side. 

The 26-year-old continued his August surge, throwing six dominant innings against the Brewers in a 2-0 win that was the staff's first shutout at AT&T Park this season. 

It was the kind of night that's been so familiar over the years. The Giants had six home shutouts last season. Here are five things to know from this year's first ... 

—- The Brewers are first in the league in homers and the Nationals are third, so Stratton had his work cut out for him the last two times out. His results: 12 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts. That’s quite the statement. Stratton’s scoreless streak is the longest by a Giants rookie starter since Chris Heston threw 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in July of 2015. 

—- Matt Cain was used as a short reliever to protect a two-run lead in the seventh. He had a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout. 

—- Mark Melancon pitched back-to-back games for the first time since May 19-20. He struck out Neil Walker and Ryan Braun in a perfect inning. 

—- Jarrett Parker reached base his first three times up. He’s hitting .385 at home this season but he’s just 4-for-35 (.114) on the road. Weird splits for a Giant slugger. 

—- Brandon Crawford is finally finding some traction. His double in the fourth was the big hit in a two-run frame that gave Stratton a lead to work with. Crawford is 7-for-17 on the home stand with three extra-base hits and four RBI.