A's start road trip with walk-off loss to Blue Jays

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A's start road trip with walk-off loss to Blue Jays

April 5, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
TORONTO (AP) Oakland manager Bob Geren knows what really beat the Athletics: sloppy defense.Yunel Escobar hit a game-ending two-run homer in the 10th inning, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-6 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.Oakland made two errors and misplayed another potential out in a pivotal four-run sixth as the Blue Jays erased a 5-1 deficit."We had a rough inning there," Geren said. "Definitely, the errors cost us. You look at a walkoff homer as how you lost but it was the four-run inning where we didn't catch the ball that really killed us."Josh Willingham hit a leadoff homer in the top the 10th to give Oakland a 6-5 lead. But former Oakland outfielder Rajai Davis led off the bottom half with a single against Grant Balfour (0-1) and Escobar followed with a first-pitch homer that landed in the right field bullpen, his first of the season. GUTIERREZ: Recognizing Rajai's role in A's walk-off loss
"It couldn't have worked out any better for them," Balfour said. "A hit and a bomb and they're walking off like that. It's definitely not the way I saw it going out there. I felt good. I'm just annoyed at myself for not executing a couple of pitches there."Geren went to Balfour because left-hander Brian Fuentes is sidelined with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand, something that's bothering him for the past few days."We're hoping that he'll be ready (Wednesday)," Geren said of Fuentes. "Today was the first time he could play catch in a couple of days."Escobar sensed he would deliver the big hit."When we started getting closer, I got the feeling that I was going to win this game," he said through a translator.Blue Jays right-hander Jason Frasor (1-0) earned the win despite allowing Willingham's homer.The Athletics were punished for two errors. Oakland, which committed seven errors over the weekend in losing two of three at home to Seattle, leads the majors with nine miscues. The A's made 10 errors in their first four games of the 1970 season, a club record."We were a good defensive team last year and I fully anticipate us being a good one this year, too," Geren said.Oakland opened the scoring with a three-run, five-hit third against Blue Jays left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes. Conor Jackson and Mark Ellis each hit RBI doubles and David DeJesus drove in a run with an infield single.The Athletics chased Reyes with two more in the fourth. Andy LaRoche singled home a run and Willingham hit a sacrifice fly off reliever Carlos Villanueva.Toronto got one back in the bottom half off Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy, who didn't give up a hit to the first 10 batters he faced. Escobar ended that streak with a single, went to third when Adam Lind singled off the first base bag and scored on Aaron Hill's fielder's choice.The Blue Jays took advantage of sloppy Oakland defense to tie it in the sixth. Davis led off with a double and Escobar singled off the glove of third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff before Lind hit a sacrifice fly. Hill hit an RBI single and took second on McCarthy's throwing error before Juan Rivera reached on a throwing error by Kouzmanoff. Edwin Encarnacion made Oakland pay with an RBI double and Travis Snider capped the rally with an RBI groundout.Escobar's single was originally ruled an error but was changed to a hit after the game. Either way, Kouzmanoff was left frustrated."Those plays have to be made," Kouzmanoff said. "Those are routine plays and I didn't get my job done at third base tonight."Limited to 22 starts over the past three seasons because of shoulder problems, McCarthy made his first start since Oct. 2009. He allowed five runs, four earned, and seven hits in eighth innings, walked one and struck out two."It felt the way I remembered," McCarthy said. "It's fun to be back in a big league ballpark and competing in a big league game."Reyes allowed five runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings, walking one and striking out three.Coco Crisp hit a one-out double off Jon Rauch in the top of the ninth but Davis ended the inning with a running catch on the warning track to retire Jackson.NOTES: Seven of Oakland's 13 hits were for extra bases, including six doubles. ... Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista left the team Tuesday for the birth of his first child, a daughter. He's expected to miss the entire three-game series against Oakland, returning Friday when Toronto visits the Los Angeles Angels. ... Davis returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore right ankle. ... Attendance was 11,077.

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

BOX SCORE

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.