Chad Pinder

A's power past Phillies, flex their way to series win on the road

A's power past Phillies, flex their way to series win on the road

BOX SCORE

PHILADELPHIA -- Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning to lift the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Wendle was one of three rookies to hit a home run for the Athletics. With the Athletics trailing 3-2 with two outs in the sixth, Wendle lined the first pitch he saw from reliever Edubray Ramos into the right-field seats, quieting the crowd of 28,054. Oakland had loaded the bases with two walks and a single. The grand slam was Wendle's first home run of the season and the second of his career.

Fellow rookies Chad Pinder and Matt Olson hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning, erasing an early 2-0 deficit. Olson has homered in three consecutive games and has 17 home runs since Aug. 11.

Sean Manaea (11-10) lasted five innings to earn the win. He gave up three runs and struck out four. Five Oakland relievers combined to throw four hitless innings to preserve the win. Blake Treinen picked up his 11th save after a scoreless ninth.

Phillies starter Henderson Alvarez (0-1) made his first start since May 22, 2015 when he was with the Miami Marlins. He worked into the sixth inning but allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base and was removed. Both runners scored on Wendle's grand slam.

The Phillies scored first on a fielding error by Matt Chapman in the first inning. Maikel Franco had three hits, including two RBI singles.

Oakland improved to 66-83 with the victory and has won eight of its last 11 games. The Phillies dropped to 58-91.

LONG TIME COMING

Alvarez missed over two seasons while returning from shoulder surgeries. He signed with but never pitched for the Athletics last year and spent the beginning of 2017 with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League before the Phillies signed him.

RECORD USAGE

Alvarez became the 31st pitcher used by the Phillies this season. That broke a team record set in 2015.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton (8-10, 5.81) takes the hill Monday to start the Athletics' three-game set vs. the Tigers, who will throw RHP Buck Farmer (4-3, 6.62) in Detroit.

Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (5-10, 6.75) pitches Monday at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who toss National League ERA leader LHP Clayton Kershaw (17-3, 2.12). Pivetta debuted against the Dodgers in April, allowing two runs in five innings.

Kaval: 'Signing the nucleus' of A's young talent will be key for new ballpark

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USATI

Kaval: 'Signing the nucleus' of A's young talent will be key for new ballpark

BOSTON — A’s president Dave Kaval believes the team has the ideal location to build a new ballpark.

He’s also confident the A’s current core of young players will become the seasoned group of veterans that ushers in that new ballpark, which is slated to open for the 2023 season if all goes according to plans the A’s unveiled Wednesday.

“I think the biggest thing you’re going to see, and it’s something (V.P. of baseball ops) Billy (Beane) has talked about, is really signing the nucleus of young players,” Kaval said in a phone interview Thursday. “We’re aiming to have them through the arbitration, and even the free agent years. We want to have those players together as a unit as we break ground and then move in.”

Figure that group could include players such as Ryon Healy, Matt Olson and Chad Pinder (who’ll all be eligible for free agency leading into that 2023 season), Matt Chapman (2024) and perhaps others. Those baseball-oriented decisions will come with time. Before they do, Kaval and the A’s have to push the ballpark project down the road from concept to reality.

That’s far from a given. The A’s settled on a site in Oakland currently occupied by the Peralta Community College District headquarters, just off Interstate 880 and down the block from Laney College. They need to negotiate a deal to buy the land; satisfy the concerns of the surrounding business owners and residents near the potential site; complete environmental impact reports; and get construction underway. The A’s don't plan for the first shovel to hit dirt until 2021.

“There’s a long road ahead of us,” Kaval said. “There will be good days and bad days. We’re celebrating and at the same time rolling up the sleeves.”

Though the A’s will be moving from the relative isolation of the Coliseum complex into a more urban setting on the edge of downtown Oakland, they aim to keep the game-day experience similar in some respects.

Many fans are curious about whether there will be areas for tailgating. Kaval says yes: Some in traditional parking lots, some in picnic areas that will be located near parking structures.

“Obviously the space won’t be as big as the Coliseum, but I think we can do it where it can be a win for everybody,” he said, noting that fans will have dining options within walking distance of the new ballpark that don’t exist at the Coliseum.

The nod to some of the franchise’s all-time greats will carry over, with the playing surface at the new venue to be called Rickey Henderson Field as it is now. There’s also the possibility of an A’s Hall of Fame.

As the A’s were considering multiple sites to build around Oakland, one concern over the Peralta/Laney site was a lack of parking in the immediate area. The A’s plan to build parking structures, but Kaval also thinks an advantage of being closer to downtown is that there will be more parking available around the city, and with cars likely to be spread out more, traffic congestion will be lighter.

Weather also played a key role in the A’s choosing Peralta. Candlestick Park-like conditions were feared at Howard Terminal, right on the water. Peralta isn’t subject to the marine layer that can sometimes require fans to bring jackets to Coliseum night games.

“Peralta really was the Goldilocks site with the weather — not too hot, not too cold,” Kaval said.

While still calling the Coliseum home for the next five seasons, the A’s will keep making upgrades to the aging facility as they have in 2017.

“We have a lot of that on tap for next year as well,” Kaval said. “And every year here we’ll continue to do that, to make sure people have a reason to come here now, and to test things (for the new ballpark). We may learn something here.”

Last-place A's complete four-game sweep of first-place Astros

Last-place A's complete four-game sweep of first-place Astros

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND  — Astros ace Dallas Keuchel walked in two runs and hit a batter to force in another during a shaky sixth inning, and the Oakland Athletics completed a four-game sweep of Houston with a 10-2 victory on Sunday.

The Astros entered the day tied with Cleveland for the best record in the AL, but their pitching has fallen apart at the Coliseum. Oakland rallied from behind in each of the first three games of the series, including one in which Houston's bullpen brought in five runs with bases-loaded walks.

Keuchel (12-4) never had a lead in the finale. He had allowed only two runs over 21 2/3 innings in three games against the A's this season and was doing well again until the sixth, when he lost control and labored through a 40-pitch inning.

The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Jed Lowrie, then walked three of the next four to push in the go-ahead run. Two batters after hitting Mark Canha with a bases-loaded pitch, Keuchel walked home another to extend Oakland's lead to 4-1 and end his day. Keuchel allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Oakland piled on against the bullpen with two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth.

Jose Altuve had two hits and J.D. Davis added a pinch-hit home run for the Astros. Houston was outscored in the four-game series 41-15.

The Astros frustrations boiled over in the fifth when Jake Marisnick was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Marisnick struck out looking twice and was upset the second time, angrily slamming his bat and helmet to the ground before getting thrown out by home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus.

Kendall Graveman (5-4) pitched five-hit ball over six innings and allowed one run for Oakland.

Matt Chapman, Ryon Healy, Boog Powell and Matt Olson homered as the A's completed their second four-game sweep this year. It's the second time in Oakland history that the team has swept a pair of four-game series in the same season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: Right-hander Collin McHugh will skip his scheduled start Thursday because of a lingering fingernail issue on his pitching hand. Brad Peacock will pitch in McHugh's place. ... Juan Centeno is expected to miss a few days with a mild concussion after being hit in the facemask by Lowrie's swing Saturday.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (11-8) faces the Angels on Tuesday in his second start with Houston since being acquired from Detroit. Verlander is 6-8 lifetime against the Angels.

Athletics: Following a day off Monday, LHP Sean Manaea (10-9, 4.33 ERA) pitches against Boston in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.