Gonzalez, A's get another chance at Yankees

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Gonzalez, A's get another chance at Yankees

June 1, 2011
NY YANKEES (30-23) vs.
A's (27-29)

Coverage begins at 12:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

OAKLAND (AP) -- Gio Gonzalez has looked dominant on the mound for the Oakland Athletics of late. That's hardly been the case for the left-hander at home against the New York Yankees.

Gonzalez likely will need to be at his best while trying to help the A's avoid a 10th consecutive loss to the Yankees in Wednesday's series finale at the Coliseum.

RELATED: Gio Gonzalez 2011 game logs

Curtis Granderson went 3 for 5 with a homer and four RBIs, and Alex Rodriguez had three hits with three RBIs as New York (30-23) continued its dominance of Oakland with a 10-3 win Tuesday.

The Yankees have scored 22 runs during a three-game winning streak, and won 10 of 14 overall to take a one-game lead in the AL East.

"We've been doing our job with men on base," said second baseman Robinson Cano, who hit a two-run homer Tuesday.

The Yankees have won 23 of 27 versus Oakland (27-29) since the start of the 2008 season. They have not won 10 straight over the A's since a 14-game run in 1956-57 when that franchise was based in Kansas City.

New York has hit eight home runs during a five-game winning streak in Oakland, where it has won nine of 10.

Oakland starters had allowed four runs or fewer in 28 straight games before Brett Anderson gave up 10 Tuesday.

REWIND: Anderson lit up by Yankees, A's lose

"What you need is to throw strikes and keep the pitch counts down so (the Yankee hitters) don't wear you down, and try to keep the ball in the park," A's manager Bob Geren told the team's official website.

The Yankees look to stay hot and continue their success against Gonzalez (5-2, 2.17 ERA), who gave up 10 runs and 10 walks in 8 1-3 innings while losing both of his only home starts against them - both in 2010.

Gonzalez, however, is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five starts overall since losing to the Los Angeles Angels on April 25. He did labor while allowing an earned run and five walks in five innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-2 win over Baltimore on Friday.

"Definitely put myself through a roller-coaster ride," Gonzalez said.

Mark Teixeira, who had 10 homers and 22 RBIs in May, is batting .375 (3 for 8) with two doubles and a home run against Gonzalez. Derek Jeter is just 1 for 8 against Gonzalez, but had two hits Tuesday to move within 17 of 3,000 for his career.

Granderson is 1 for 6 versus Gonzalez, but has hit a major league-leading nine of his 17 homers against southpaws this season.

Scheduled New York starter A.J. Burnett (5-3, 3.99) allowed five runs in 13 innings to win both of his 2010 starts against the A's. He gave up two runs in seven innings of a 6-2 win on July 7 to improve to 1-2 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts at Oakland.

The right-hander gave up four runs and matched a season high with five walks in five innings but did not factor in the decision of a 4-3 loss at Seattle on Friday.

Oakland's David DeJesus is just 2 for 11 against Burnett, but was 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBIs Tuesday.

The A's have totaled three runs the last two games after they averaged 5.0 while winning a season-high four straight prior to this series.

A's spring training Day 42: Roster longshot Decker could claim outfield spot

A's spring training Day 42: Roster longshot Decker could claim outfield spot

MESA, Ariz. — As the pieces are beginning to fit for the A’s 25-man roster, Jaff Decker may be an unlikely feel-good story come Opening Night.

A non-roster invitee this spring, the journeyman has impressed with his all-around game to the point that he might make Oakland’s club as a fifth outfielder.

There’s other factors that play into it — how many relievers the A’s carry will determine whether they keep five outfielders — but things are breaking right for the 27-year-old Decker, who’s with his fourth organization and has never made an Opening Night roster.

When Jake Smolinski went down with a shoulder injury that required surgery, it thrust Decker into the competition. Then Monday, the A’s released veteran Alejandro De Aza, who had impressed this spring but had an opt-out clause in his minor league deal. The A’s think enough of Decker that they cut De Aza loose. On Monday, Decker returned from a minor oblique issue and started in left field, going 1-for-3 in a 10-3 loss to Kansas City.

“I’m super excited,” Decker said. “I feel like I fit in well here, and I get along with the guys really well. It’s a good group of baseball minds, baseball guys. I hope I have done enough and shown I’m healthy enough to land that spot.”

De Aza hit .300 in 19 games and displayed the veteran savvy that seemed to make him a possible fit on the A’s bench. Manager Bob Melvin expressed hope that De Aza might re-sign with the A’s if he doesn’t find a big league opportunity elsewhere.

But Decker, who bats left-handed as does De Aza, is hitting .308 and has his own attributes, including a strong arm and the ability to play all three outfield spots. It’s a nice package of skills for a player who, at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, doesn’t appear the prototypical big league outfielder at first glance.

If the A’s keep seven relievers, they will take five outfielders into the regular season. The decision on a seventh reliever appears to be between lefty Daniel Coulombe and right-hander Frankie Montas. But the A’s could hang on to both and only keep four outfielders, with Mark Canha being the fourth.

Decker fun fact: His first name is pronounced “Jeff.” He’s named after his uncle, whose first name was misspelled on his birth certificate. Decker’s uncle kept the spelling.

MELVIN ON RAIDERS: Melvin, a Bay Area native who is quite tuned in to the history of local teams, weighed in on the Raiders announcing a move to Las Vegas. That news has a direct impact on the A’s, obviously, as a co-tenant of the Coliseum with the Raiders.

“It’s too bad,” Melvin said. “Like us, they have a rich tradition and unbelievable fan base. They’re well supported in the Bay Area. It’s tough to have to deal with it.”

NOTEWORTHY: In his first start since being named part of the rotation, Andrew Triggs struggled mightily against the Royals, getting tagged for eight runs and three homers in 3 2/3 innings. While stressing that now is no time for complacency in his position, Triggs also said he was approaching the game differently than if it were the regular season. He kept throwing his changeup, his fourth best pitch, in an effort to get more comfortable with it.

“If this were (the regular season), we probably would have said in the first or second inning, this wasn’t so great, and gone out there and started back-dooring cutters and working off the sinker,” he said. “But we made a concerted effort to work on a pitch, it wasn’t very good, and the results showed that.”

FAMILIAR FACE: One of the homers off Triggs came from former Athletic Brandon Moss, who connected for a two-run shot in the fourth. The outfielder signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Royals in the offseason.

ODDS AND ENDS: Coulombe had a great day, tossing three scoreless innings. That’s three outings in a row without allowing a run for the lefty after a rough patch before that. Melvin pointed out that the ability to throw multiple innings will be important if Coulombe makes the team. … Matt Chapman homered in the fifth, his third long ball of the spring. He’s hitting .261 and playing stellar defense. “He’s got a lot of enthusiasm and it rubs off on guys,” Melvin said.

 

Fairfield-native Avila gets NABF Featherweight title shot

Fairfield-native Avila gets NABF Featherweight title shot

Fairfield native Manuel "Tino" Avila (22-0, 8 KO) will challenge Joseph Diaz Jr. (23-0, 13 KO) for his NABF Featherweight title on May 6th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This will be Avila's first appearance on pay-per-view television, as part of the undercard for the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. main event presented by Golden Boy Promotions.

This will be the biggest test of each fighter's budding careers,  and could prove to be the most action-packed fight of the night. 

Avila is coming off a hard-earned split decision victory over Jose Ramirez last November. The 24-year will undoubtedly enter the bout as an underdog.

Diaz - a former U.S. Olympian - has successfully defended his title four times, including a unanimous decision victory over Horacio Garcia in December.