A's can't touch Jimenez in 5-2 loss to Rockies


A's can't touch Jimenez in 5-2 loss to Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Ubaldo Jimenez looks forward to this opening day assignment even more than his first one. This time he'll start at home.Jimenez showed he's set, pitching six shutout innings as a Colorado Rockies split-squad beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 Sunday."I am 100 percent ready for the season to start," Jimenez said. "I'm happy to be opening at home in front of our fans. We all feel like we have some unfinished business."Jimenez gave up four hits, struck out three and walked none. Four of his five spring starts were scoreless - he also threw six shutout innings in a minor league game."That was a wonderful way for an opening day starter to finish the spring," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He went out there and pitched. He used all his pitches effectively."Jimenez will start Friday at home against Arizona."We can do it all," Jimenez said. "We have starting pitching, we have a bullpen, we have guys who can play defense and guys who can hit. This year we were working on getting ready for the season. Last year we were working to get hurt."Willy Taveras had three hits, scored twice and showed off a strong arm for the Rockies."This guy had a spectacular spring," Tracy said. "I've seen a better player this spring than what I saw from the other dugout as an opposing manager."Kevin Kouzmanoff had two hits, his third straight multihit game for the A's."Our guys are ready to go," A's manager Bob Geren said. "The pitchers have been great. This is a good note for these guys to leave on."The A's open the annual Bay Bridge exhibition series in San Francisco on Monday night.A's starter Bobby Cramer went two scoreless innings. Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and Jerry Blevins each pitched a shutout inning.Taveras and Alfredo Amezaga hit back-to-back doubles with two outs in the sixth to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead.The A's had runners on first and third with no outs in the fourth. Jimenez got Mark Ellis to fly out and then induced a double-play comebacker by Conor Jackson."He's the ace of our staff and he's awfully good," Tracy said of Jimenez, 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA last year. "He's become the ace for a reason. He fields his position well."NOTES: The A's optioned RHP Joey Devine to Triple-A Sacramento. ... The Rockies optioned RHP Matt Dailey, RHP Greg Reynolds, C Jordan Pacheco and IF Eric Young Jr. to Triple-A Colorado Springs and reassigned LHP Eric Stults and LHP Rex Brothers to their minor league camp. ... A's 1B Daric Barton is 10 for 27 over his last nine games. ... Tracy's son, Mark, drew a walk in his first appearance with the parent club. "That was special," the manager said.

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win


At Goodyear, Arizona, Joe Panik, Conor Gillaspie and Jarrett Parker homered for San Francisco. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored twice.

Giants lefty Matt Moore went 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the spring, allowing one run and one hit. He walked two and struck out three.

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

MESA, Ariz. — An unexpected opportunity came Daniel Gossett’s way Sunday, and the young right-hander took it in stride.

When the A’s adjusted their starting rotation, Kendall Graveman got bumped to Monday and Gossett learned he’d be taking the ball to start Sunday’s Cactus League home opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I’m here for what they need me for,” Gossett said. “So anything they need, gimme the ball.”

He spun two scoreless innings in a game Oakland lost 5-3 at Hohokam Stadium. A nice first impression for Gossett, indeed, but the truth is A’s officials were already quite familiar with him.

A second-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Gossett impressed at three levels of the farm system in 2016, beginning the year with Single-A Stockton and finishing it with Triple-A Nashville.

This is his first big league camp, and manager Bob Melvin even mentioned Gossett as being part of the fifth starter conversation.

“He impressed everybody in the organization last year, so when talking about that fifth spot, who knows?” Melvin said before the game.

The only blemishes on Gossett’s day were the pair of walks he issued. After walking Jefrey Marte to lead off the second, he got a lift from his catcher, as Josh Phegley fired a strike to second to nail Marte trying to steal.

“A pitcher’s best friend, I guess,” Gossett said. He went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA across 27 starts at all three levels of the minors last year, and his 151 strikeouts led the A’s farm system. Gossett’s fastball ranges anywhere from 90-95 on the gun. He throws a changeup that gets the most swings and misses, plus a slider and curve.

Grady Fuson, an A’s special assistant to the general manager, liked the adjustments he saw with Gossett over the course of last season.

“He’s a super kid, a grinder,” Fuson said over the winter. “He’s a guy that hadn’t struck many guys out and had been very hittable in the strike zone. (In 2016), he started executing to different parts of the zone that limits the hard contact.”

CAMP BATTLE: Alejandro De Aza sparked the A’s first rally in the third Sunday with a triple, then scored on Mark Canha’s double. With Jake Smolinski sidelined currently by a shoulder issue, it’s a good time for De Aza, a non-roster invitee to camp, to make his mark. The door could be open for him to make a push to make the roster as a fifth outfielder.

“He’s an interesting guy,” Melvin said of the nine-year veteran. “He knows how to play the game, he can play all three outfield spots. We’ve seen him before when he’s given us trouble, too, with the White Sox.”

Another contender for a reserve outfield spot is Jaycob Brugman, who has yet to crack the majors but is already on the 40-man roster. He singled home a run in the seventh. Like De Aza and Smolinski, Brugman can play center field, and it stands to reason the A’s will want to carry someone who can back up Rajai Davis at that position.

NOTEWORTHY: Phegley admitted to some butterflies before getting behind the plate for his first game since July, when a right knee injury wiped out the rest of his season.

But he looked good springing up to nail Marte on the second-inning steal attempt. The A’s are counting on Phegley returning to his role as the right-handed hitting platoon partner with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

STOCK RISING: Melvin was impressed, and entertained, by the first look he got at reliever Simon Castro on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Castro retired Kris Bryant to strand a runner at third, the only hitter he faced. But it was what happened before the at-bat that caught Melvin’s attention.

“When he came to the mound he was pretty vocal,” Melvin noted. “He was fired up, telling the guys ‘Let’s go!’ I haven’t heard that too many times out of pitchers, let alone in spring training. So he impressed me with his eagerness to pitch.”

FAMILIAR FACES: Campy Campaneris and Blue Moon Odom each threw out ceremonial first pitches before Sunday’s exhibition home opener, which drew a smallish crowd of 4,072.