Giants Mull Their DH Options for World Series

Giants Mull Their DH Options for World Series


SANFRANCISCO (AP) The lack of a designated hitter in the first two gamesof the World Series already has wreaked havoc with the Texas Rangers'lineup, with cleanup hitter Vladimir Guerrero not starting Game 2 onThursday night.When the World Series moves to Texasthis weekend, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy will be the onewith decisions to make.Bochy said he will talk with hiscoaches about his designated hitter options on the flight to Texas.While left fielder Pat Burrell would appear to be a prime optionbecause he is one of San Francisco's best hitters and often is removedfor defense late in games, Bochy said he's not inclined to go thatdirection because of his struggles as a DH in Tampa Bay."If a guy is not comfortable doingsomething, you don't want him in that position," Bochy said. "That'spart of our job putting a player in that position where he'scomfortable and can succeed."Burrell has a .209 career average in160 games as a designated hitter, leading to his release by the Raysearlier this season. Burrell has said he's willing to do whatever he'sasked but it's clear he is more comfortable in the outfield.Other options include playing TravisIshikawa at first base and moving Aubrey Huff to designated hitter orusing Pablo Sandoval as his DH. Ishikawa also could just DH, based onhis success as a pinch hitter. Bochy said he likely would use multipleoptions for the three games in Texas.Huff has extensive DH experience fromhis time in the American League, having batted .278 with 69 homers and240 RBIs in 401 games."That's up to Boch," Huff said. "He'snailed the lineups all postseason. Every time he's put somethingtogether it's worked out. Obviously I'm comfortable DHing. I've done itfor a long time. ... I don't care where I am. We have one goal as ateam and that's to win the World Series."

A's find two bright spots in tough shutout loss to Astros

A's find two bright spots in tough shutout loss to Astros

HOUSTON — Some losses go down tougher than others, and that’s true for Bob Melvin whether it’s April or whether it’s August and his team is playing out the string.

The body language and demeanor said it all for the A’s manager Saturday after a 3-0 loss to the Astros, in which Oakland didn’t advance a single runner past second base.

Houston right-hander Collin McHugh brought a 4.88 ERA into the game over five starts since returning from a shoulder injury. He wound up celebrating his first victory of 2017 after six stellar innings.

“He threw the ball good, (but) I expected us to score some runs tonight,” Melvin said.

The A’s were done in by five ground-ball double plays, including a game-ending 5-4-3 job from Ryon Healy, which was reversed on replay review after Healy initially was called safe.

“Those things are killers,” catcher Bruce Maxwell said. “It just didn’t roll our way today.”

So the A’s (53-70) were left to pick through the scraps of this one to find some silver linings, and there were a couple.

Kendall Graveman held Houston to two runs over six innings, and the damage off him came on a two-run single from Marwin Gonzalez that glanced off the glove of second baseman Jed Lowrie. It was the second strong outing in a row for Graveman, who’s now got four starts under his belt since returning from his second stint on the disabled list this season for shoulder issues.

Most encouraging from his standpoint was he didn’t really have his best stuff, yet still managed to limit an opponent that leads the majors in every significant offensive category, including runs, batting average and homers.

“I think it’s the first one where I’ve been back when I had to kind of pitch and grind through,” said Graveman (3-4). “I didn’t have my best stuff. It’s just one of those where you’ve got to get out there and compete.”

The highlight of the game for the A’s came when center fielder Boog Powell unleashed a strike to home plate that nailed Alex Bregman trying to score from second on Jose Altuve’s single in the fifth.

Maxwell barely had to move his mitt to apply the tag, and count the A’s catcher as the most surprised person in the ballpark that Powell even gave him a chance on the play.

“It caught me off guard,” Maxwell admitted. “I haven’t played with Powell in a long time. I didn’t expect there to be that big of a play at home. He was fairly deep in the outfield as well.”

Powell, a 24-year-old rookie who was acquired from Seattle for Yonder Alonso, said he’s worked on his throwing in the minors in recent seasons.

“I didn’t (have a good arm) back in the day,” Powell said. “I’m definitely improving my arm strength. I pride myself on getting the ball out as quick as I can.”

It’s the kind of play that sticks in the memory bank as Powell tries to make his mark in the wide open battle to be the A’s center fielder in 2018. His throw to ring up Bregman was at least one moment from Saturday night that gave Melvin reason to smile.

“He can play the outfield, no doubt about it,” Melvin said. “It was a big play at the time, and it should give you a little momentum to go back out there and do a little better offensively.”

Despite injury concerns, Foster, Bowman play 20 snaps in exhibition vs Broncos


Despite injury concerns, Foster, Bowman play 20 snaps in exhibition vs Broncos

SANTA CLARA -- Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, who was limited in Thursday’s practice due to a shoulder sprain, started the 49ers’ exhibition game Saturday night against the Denver Broncos at Levi's Stadium.

Foster played 20 snaps and recorded one tackle before the 49ers’ first-team defense was removed in the second quarter.

There were some concerns when Foster was included on the 49ers’ pre-practice injury report Thursday with an injury to his surgically repaired shoulder. But the 49ers said the injury was not related to the torn rotator cuff he sustained for Alabama in the national semifinal game against Washington.

NaVorro Bowman, who was removed from practice Thursday with a similar shoulder condition, also started and played every snap alongside Foster. Bowman was credited with two tackles.

With Foster and Bowman on the field, the Broncos totaled just 63 yards of total offense.