Trevor Plouffe

A's trade third baseman Plouffe to Rays

A's trade third baseman Plouffe to Rays

OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s traded third baseman Trevor Plouffe and cash to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash, the club announced Saturday.
 
Plouffe was batting .214 with seven home runs and 14 RBI in 58 games with the A’s when he was designated for assignment on Thursday.  He was 6-for-51 (.118) over his last 18 contests.  

Plouffe signed with the A’s as a free agent prior to the 2017 season and is a .245 career hitter with 103 home runs and 371 RBI in 781 games in eight seasons in the majors with Minnesota (2010-16) and Oakland (2017).

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A's defense becomes a storyline for all the right reasons

A's defense becomes a storyline for all the right reasons

OAKLAND — Jackie Bradley Jr. turned in the play of the night Friday, a home run-robbing catch in the bottom of the ninth that will live on in highlight shows for the rest of the year.

The A’s turned in their own brand of excellent defense, however, and it was a big key to a 3-2 10-inning victory over the Red Sox that gave them their third win in the past four games.

When talk centers around defensive play, it usually hasn’t been positive for Oakland in 2017. They lead the majors with 38 errors and entered the night tied with San Diego for the major league lead in unearned runs. But they turned in several impressive plays to back starter Kendall Graveman and four relievers in front of a fireworks night crowd of 24,728 at the Coliseum.

“It’s a game where you have to be good defensively. They were too,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Hopefully that’s not what beats you. A lot of times at the end of close games it does. But it didn’t for us tonight.”

Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, after making a throwing error earlier in the game, made a terrific backhand stop and long throw to first — with Ryon Healy digging the ball out of the dirt — to get Graveman out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.

The A’s best sequence in the field came in the top of the seventh with the score 2-2. With a runner on first after Ryan Madson issued a leadoff walk, second baseman Jed Lowrie went up the middle to cut off Mookie Betts grounder and flipped to second for a force out on a close play. Right after that, Betts tried to steal second and catcher Josh Phegley snapped off a quick throw to nail him, with shortstop Adam Rosales fielding the short hop and putting down a quick tag.

Khris Davis added a running catch in the left field corner to end the top of the 10th and set the stage for Mark Canha’s walk-off homer.

Before the game, injured shortstop Marcus Semien praised Rosales’ play at short in his absence.

“He definitely has one of the best arms I’ve seen at shortstop,” Semien said. “He’s doing a great job considering he hasn’t had an everyday role for a while, especially at shortstop.”

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Healy launched a drive toward right-center that looked like it might be the game winner. But Bradley Jr. leapt high and made a sensational grab over the wall to send the game to extras.

“He’s a great center fielder,” Healy said. “I don’t know if surprised is the right word. It’s not something I want to see ever again. But hat’s off to him.”

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Matched up against Boston’s Chris Sale, Graveman pitched well with six innings of two-run ball. He struck out five and walked three over 105 pitches.

A's receive good news about Alonso's knee; Plouffe honors Cornell

A's receive good news about Alonso's knee; Plouffe honors Cornell

OAKLAND — The A’s received encouraging news Thursday night after MRI results showed no structural damage on first baseman Yonder Alonso’s left knee.

Alonso left Wednesday’s game at Seattle after twisting his knee on a check swing. Manager Bob Melvin said after Thursday’s 8-3 win over Boston that Alonso wouldn’t be in Friday’s lineup but could return Saturday or Sunday.

Before Thursday’s game, Alonso said treatment and therapy had the knee feeling better, but that extra rest was probably a good idea.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Alonso said. “One or two more days, depending on what they want to do. We’ll see how it goes, how I react to treatment. I think we’re headed in the right direction to do this stuff for a day or two, then I’ll be ready.”

Ryon Healy started at first Thursday and will likely do so again Friday against Sox lefty Chris Sale.

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Third baseman Trevor Plouffe was among the multitude of rock fans devastated by the death of Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell on Wednesday night. As a tribute, Plouffe changed his walk-up music to Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” He said before the game he might keep the Soundgarden theme for a while, and given Plouffe had a three-hit night against Boston, why mess with what’s working?

Actually, Plouffe’s swing has shown gradual signs of coming around. He’s riding a nine-game hitting streak, during which he’s hitting .424. That’s lifted his overall average to .252.

Said Melvin: “Typically when we've been good this year it's been the (Jed) Lowrie, (Khris) Davis, Alonso (combo), and when they're not swinging at times, and that's going to happen, you need some depth in the lineup. Trevor's got a history of hitting. He's swinging the bat now as well as he has all year.”

Before the game, Plouffe made sure to have music from the Seattle grunge era playing over the clubhouse speakers in tribute to Cornell. Plouffe also is a huge fan of Pearl Jam, which helped spawn the grunge movement along with bands like Soundgarden, and said he’s met Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder on multiple occasions.

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Reliever Sean Doolittle has been playing catch to test his strained shoulder, and he’s scheduled to throw a flat-ground session Sunday. If that goes well, he’ll likely throw off the mound toward the middle of next week.

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Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-4 and now has a 21-game hitting streak against the A’s. The only Boston player with a longer hitting streak against them since the franchise moved to Oakland is Jim Rice, with a 22-gamer from 1979-81. Peoria also owns the majors’ longest active hitting streak against the A’s.