Oakland exultant -- Outman, A's beat Royals 2-1

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Oakland exultant -- Outman, A's beat Royals 2-1

June 15, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) The Oakland Athletics had a lot of firsts Wednesday night.They won the first home game under new manager Bob Melvin. Jemile Weeks stole his first major league base, and a starting pitcher won for the first time in 16 outings.Most importantly, they finally just won in Oakland again.Josh Outman allowed four hits over seven innings and two relievers helped the struggling A's snap out of a funk by beating the Kansas City Royals 2-1. Oakland hadn't won a game at the Coliseum since May 29."It's always nice to win at home and get a lot of the first out of the way," said Melvin, who is 2-4 since Bob Geren was fired. "First win on the road, home and all that so we can put all that past us and start winning ball games."A complete pitching performance by both sides kept things quiet.
A'S INSIDER GALLERY: Barton steps up
Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton had RBI singles off starter Luke Hochevar (4-7), who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before it all fell apart. The scuffling A's also got two sparkling defensive plays to end a skid of three straight losses and 13 of 14, a streak that began under Geren.Outman (2-1) struck out two and walked two in the deepest outing of his major league career without allowing a run. Andrew Bailey pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances."I think it's just kind of exciting to be in a pitcher's duel," Outman said. "It was only a matter of time until we broke through."The only noise the Royals made all game came far too late.
GUTIERREZ: A's find winning formula against Royals
Alcides Escobar had three hits, including a double off reliever Brian Fuentes in the eighth, tying his career high with an eight-game hitting streak. He scored a batter later on Alex Gordon's infield single to trim Oakland's lead to 2-1, with Fuentes and Barton getting mixed up on who was covering first for what should have been an easy out.Melvin came out for a brief conference with Fuentes, who then allowed Melky Cabrera's single to put runners on first and third with two outs. Fuentes rallied by getting Eric Hosmer to foul out along the spacious third-base line."We took advantage of just about every chance we could get," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It was a well-pitched game on both sides.Neither team had many opportunities in this one.David DeJesus sent Hochevar's third pitch of the game off the pitcher's right forearm, redirecting the ball to second baseman Chris Getz for an easy groundout. Hochevar was inspected by a team trainer and threw a few light tosses before staying in the game.The hard-throwing right-hander showed no effects from the bruising shot. Hideki Matsui's two walks were the only time an Oakland player reached base until Landon Powell's line-drive single to center leading off the sixth.Then it all came unraveled.Weeks followed with a bunt up the first-base line, Hochevar fielded the ball and tossed it to first baseman Eric Hosmer hustling back to the bag. Television replays appeared to show Hosmer tagging Weeks just before he reached the base, but he was called safe by first base umpire Jeff Nelson.After DeJesus bunted into a fielder's choice, Weeks stole third base without a throw. Then Pennington drove him in with a single to give Oakland a 1-0 lead."That's my game. I'm not a power-hitter. I have to use my legs," Weeks said. "I think that's the route that we're taking. I think that's a good route right now."
NEWS: A's Harden 'felt fine' after simulated game
As bad as the Royals were offensively, Oakland was even better defensively.Matt Treanor sent a shot off Outman deep to left field in the fourth that seemed headed for the seats. Josh Willingham backpedalled to the wall and leaped up to catch the ball near the top of the wall, robbing Treanor of extra bases and possibly a home run.Ryan Sweeney provided another big defensive play for the A's, running down Jeff Francoeur's soaring shot to deep center in the seventh with a runner on first. Sweeney followed with a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, and Barton drove him in two batters later to put Oakland ahead 2-0.NOTES: Oakland RHP Rich Harden, on the DL since straining a muscle behind his right shoulder early in spring training, threw about 40 pitches in a simulated game before batting practice. He hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the minors as early as next week. ... Athletics CF Coco Crisp sat out the game with a sore right heel. He expects to be back in the lineup Thursday. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen (left lat strain) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Omaha on Saturday, and RHP Kyle Davies (right shoulder inflammation) will make a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Decision time for A's: Trade Sonny Gray now or later?

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AP

Decision time for A's: Trade Sonny Gray now or later?

As Sonny Gray prepares to take the mound against Toronto on Tuesday night, there’s not a hotter name in the rumor mill as the major leagues’ non-waiver trade deadline approaches Monday.

Yet there’s a contradiction attached to the A’s right-hander. He is simultaneously the likeliest Athletic to be traded, and the toughest to pry away simply because of what the team will demand in return.

The markets for first baseman Yonder Alonso and second baseman Jed Lowrie haven’t developed as expected, to the point that you wonder how much the A’s could even get in return for them right now.

That focuses the spotlight squarely on Gray, 27, who has posted a 1.62 ERA over his last five starts and comes with two more seasons of team control before he hits free agency. That’s why he’s been linked to no fewer than nine contending teams who are looking for starting pitching.

The A’s sit in a position of strength here. They don’t have to deal Gray right now, and indications from within the organization are that they don’t feel a pressing need to deal him before Monday if they don’t get swept off their feet by an offer. They can retain him, and he’ll still hold great value as an offseason trade chip with those two years of team control.

MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Tuesday morning that the Yankees and Nationals — who have already struck a deal with Oakland to get relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson this month — are two teams in particular to watch in the hunt for Gray.

Morosi also reported that the A’s are targeting young outfielders as the anchor of any deal. That makes all the sense in the world given their organizational needs, particularly in center. It’s also in line with what I’ve heard that the A’s would prioritize getting position players in return since they worked so hard over the past couple of years to acquire and draft young starting pitching (though it stands to reason a deal for Gray would be a multi-player package that could also include pitching prospects as well).

Morosi specifically mentions Yankees Single-A center fielder Estevan Florial as a player the A’s like. He’s just 19 and at least a couple years away from the majors. But Billy Beane, the head of Oakland’s baseball operations, said after making the Doolittle/Madson trade that the emphasis moving forward would be on acquiring high-end talent, not necessarily prospects close to being major league-ready.

Other potential Gray suitors have elite outfield prospects in their system: The Astros boast Kyle Tucker, the Nats have Victor Robles and the Mariners have Kyle Lewis, though it’s doubtful whether Seattle has enough elsewhere in its farm system to assemble a package to land Gray.

Just a hunch, but keep an eye on the Dodgers as a team that could enter the Sonny Sweepstakes in light of Clayton Kershaw’s lower back injury. There’s strong ties between the Oakland and Los Angeles front offices, and the teams struck a deadline deal last summer that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers. They have one of the majors’ top outfield prospects in Alex Verdugo, who’s currently at Triple-A.

Though much mystery remains, an eventual trade of Gray is inevitable. The A’s have a solid base of young pitching depth, both in the majors and coming up through the system. And Gray’s rebound from a poor 2016, combined with his favorable contract status, makes him too tantalizing a trade chip for the A’s not to make the move.

The key question is not “if” but “when.”

 

Report: Blazers trade Allen Crabbe

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USATI

Report: Blazers trade Allen Crabbe

Allen Crabbe will end up in Brooklyn after all.

The Blazers will trade the shooting guard to the Nets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange, Brooklyn will send big man Andrew Nicholson to Portland.

Nicholson will not suit up for the the Blazers, as Portland will waive and stretch his contract.

Last summer, Crabbe -- who was a restricted free agent -- signed a 4-year, $75 million sheet from the Nets.

The former Cal star returned to the Pacific Northwest because the Blazers matched the offer.

Last season, Crabbe averaged a career-best 10.7 points per game, while shooting just under 47 percent from the field and over 44 percent from deep.

He averaged just 5.5 points in the opening round of the playoffs against the Warriors.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller