New deal in place, A's Cahill takes on ChiSox

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New deal in place, A's Cahill takes on ChiSox

April 12, 2011

A'S (5-5) vs.
CHICAGO (6-4)

Coverage begins at 4:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

CHICAGO (AP) -- With his current contract expiring at the end of this season, Edwin Jackson could be in line for a lucrative deal if he continues his brilliant start for the Chicago White Sox.

Trevor Cahill just parlayed an All-Star season with the Oakland Athletics into a hefty raise.

The two right-handers will both try to stay perfect on the season Tuesday night when the clubs continue their series in Chicago.

RELATED: Game notes

Acquired from Arizona on July 30, Jackson has enjoyed his short stint with the White Sox, going 6-2 with a 3.03 ERA in 13 starts. Control has been an issue for Jackson, who had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.6 before last season's deal, but he has displayed much improved accuracy with Chicago, striking out 97 with just 23 walks.

Jackson (2-0, 1.93 ERA) walked one and set a career high - and a franchise record for a homer opener - with 13 strikeouts over eight innings of Thursday's 5-1 win over Tampa Bay.

"Any time I'm able to go out and get in an early rhythm and get outs quick and attack the strike zone, I like my odds," said Jackson, whose two-year, 13.35 million deal ends after the season.

NEWS: MLB player transactions

Jackson, who has never won his first three starts, is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA in four starts against the A's. He struck out six over seven innings and did not earn a decision in a 4-3 victory at Oakland on Sept. 22.

If Jackson puts the White Sox (6-4) in a save situation Tuesday, it's uncertain who will get the call out of the bullpen after closer Matt Thornton blew his third save of the season in Monday's 2-1, 10-inning loss.

REWIND: Suzuki's solo shot gives A's win over White Sox

White Sox left fielder Juan Pierre hasn't helped Thornton, dropping fly balls in the ninth inning of his last two appearances.

"One thing I said, in spring training and I say over and over, we got to take care of (Mark) Buehrle," manager Ozzie Guillen said after the left-hander held the A's scoreless through eight innings with just two hits - none until a leadoff single in the sixth by Kurt Suzuki, who hit the go-ahead solo homer in the 10th off Jesse Crain.

Oakland (5-5) will try to extend its season-high winning streak to four with Cahill (1-0, 1.42) taking the ball for the first time since agreeing to a five-year, 30.5 million extension Monday. The 23-year-old will receive a 1 million signing bonus and a salary of 500,000 in 2011 before it escalates to 3.5 million in 2012.

GUTIERREZ: Cahill's deal a stroke of genius for A's

"I came up with them and I'm just glad they gave me the opportunity to lock me up and I'm guaranteed to pitch for a while, so I couldn't be happier," said Cahill, 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA last season when he was named an All-Star for the first time.

The White Sox have hit 12 home runs and are averaging 6.3 runs with a .295 batting average, but they may not be happy to see the young sinkerballer, who has added a curveball to his repertoire since last season.

"I couldn't be happier with how that pitch has progressed," manager Bob Geren said after Cahill threw eight innings of three-hit ball in Thursday's 2-1 win at Toronto.

Cahill is 1-1 with a 3.34 ERA in five starts versus Chicago.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko is 1 for 8 lifetime against Cahill, but the AL co-player of the week is batting .421 (16 for 38) while hitting safely in all 10 games this season.

NOTES
At 51-46 (.526), the Athletics are one of only two American League teams to own a winning record against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. With a victory on Monday, Oakland would edge past the Yankees (47-42, .528) for the best such record by an AL visitor. ... The A's captured their first series of 2011 by taking two of three games from the Twins. Oakland is 3-0 in series finales this season, as opposed to 1-5 otherwise. ... The White Sox improved to 6-3 by going 3-1 versus Tampa Bay this past weekend. The Sox have scored fewer than four runs only once and lead the majors with an average of 6.9 runs per game. ... Dallas Braden has registered a quality start in each of three career outings against the White Sox, going 2-0 while compiling a 3.22 ERA. ... Mark Buehrle is 4-13 in his career against the Athletics, the lowest winning percentage (.235) by any pitcher versus the A's since the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968 (minimum 15 decisions). ... With a pair of home runs on Sunday, Paul Konerko leads the American League with 11 RBI. He's also the only American Leaguer with at least 100 RBI (103) in April since 2006.

A's option catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A; 37 players remain in camp

A's option catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A; 37 players remain in camp

The A's optioned catcher Bruce Maxwell to Triple-A Nashville Sunday, the club announced

Maxwell, 26, went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI in the A's 11-1 win over the Brewers Sunday. Both home runs were his lone of the spring. 

In 2016, Maxwell played in 26 games with the A's after his promotion from Triple-A. He hit .283 with one homer. 

The 2012 second-round draft pick is a career .266/.346/.370 hitter in the minors with 25 home runs. Maxwell is the A's No. 10 prospect by Baseball America. 

The A’s now have 37 players in big league camp. 

Giants spring training Day 42: Blach still in the fifth starter mix

Giants spring training Day 42: Blach still in the fifth starter mix

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ty Blach is the young one in the race to be the fifth starter, but on Sunday he sounded like a veteran. Asked if he has gotten a hint one way or the other about his opening day role, Blach smiled.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day and trying to get better,” Blach said. “I’m enjoying the process and having fun.”

Smooth. 

Those days are adding up to a nice spring for Blach, the left-hander trying to unseat Matt Cain. While Bruce Bochy didn’t shed any additional light on the current lean, team officials hinted Sunday that this is not as open-and-shut as it seems. Matt Cain, who will start Tuesday, looked like a lock to be the fifth starter a week ago, but the Giants are considering all options because they have an off day during the first week and two more shortly thereafter. 

“We’ve had discussions every day,” Bochy said. “We’ve got some tough calls.”

The Giants are expected to announce their official rotation when they return home for the Bay Bridge Series. Whether he’s starting, long-relieving, or pitching in a completely new role, Blach has certainly done all he can to make sure he’s in the big leagues on April 2. He gave up two runs over six innings Sunday, walking one and striking out one while giving up seven hits. Blach has allowed 10 runs in 20 1/3 innings this spring, but four of those came when he was ambushed coming out of the bullpen one day.

“Wherever I’ll be, I know I’ll be in a good spot,” Blach said. “I’m just looking forward to getting the season rolling.

After pitching out of the bullpen most of the spring, Blach got his pitch count up to 85 on Sunday. 

“We’ve gotten him stretched out,” Bochy said. “That’s a solid, solid job. We’ve got guys stretched out where you want them. We’ve got some flexibility. We’ll see as we get close here which way we’ll go.”

POSITION BATTLES: The Giants will carry a backup for Denard Span, and for about a month it looked like Gorkys Hernandez would be that guy. But Hernandez has slumped so badly this spring that he went over the minor league facility Sunday to get a ton of extra at-bats, and Justin Ruggiano has emerged, reaching base in nine of his last 16 plate appearances. The plan a few days back was for Ruggiano to go to Sacramento and get 50 or so at-bats to see where he’s at, but this is another race that could change in the coming week. 

Cory Gearrin has done his part to hold off any charging relievers, throwing two sharp innings while going back-to-back for the first time this spring. 

FAMILIAR FACES: A rough day for a couple of longtime Giants. Ehire Adrianza and Gregor Blanco both have oblique injuries, hurting their odds of breaking with the Twins and Diamondbacks, respectively. Elsewhere, David Hernandez showed that he made a smart decision asking for his release. He was signed by the Braves. 

AROUND CAMP: Hunter Pence really does do all he can to make every single teammate feel welcome in the clubhouse. He spent some time with young right-hander Roberto Gomez on Sunday morning, learning a few Spanish phrases. When the players went out to warm up, Pence threw with Jae-Gyun Hwang. These are small gestures, but for the new guys, they matter. 

BARRY’S BACK: We all knew Barry Bonds would step into the cage at some point, and on a quiet Sunday morning, there he was. Bonds, 52, took about five or six easy hacks before crushing one out to deep right. He’s still got it. The other day, reporters asked Bonds if he could suit up in the WBC if asked. He said he can absolutely still hit, but he would need to DH and he would need a day or two off before games. Being a big league hitter is not easy, even if he always made it look that way.