Tigers pounce on Fuentes to hand A's 8-4 loss

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Tigers pounce on Fuentes to hand A's 8-4 loss

April 15, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) Jim Leyland received a pile of five new cigars on his clubhouse desk and a celebratory bottle of champagne each from his general manager and coaching staff. The calls of congratulations began flooding in, too.Leyland stuck to his usual postgame choice of cigarettes, then the no-nonsense skipper praised his players for his latest milestone.Brennan Boesch hit a go-ahead two-run double with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and the Detroit Tigers rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 on Friday night for Leyland's 1,500th career managerial win."I wouldn't have gotten this win tonight if I didn't have the players. It's all about the players and it always will be," Leyland said.Miguel Cabrera hit a tying solo homer leading off the ninth against fill-in closer Brian Fuentes (0-2), who blew his first save in six chances and then loaded the bases with one out in the 10th.The A's defense didn't help his cause, committing three errors in Detroit's seven-run 10th to raise their majors-leading total to 16. That includes seven in the last four games.Leyland became the 19th major league manager to reach 1,500 wins, doing so on his first attempt."I'm just getting old, that's probably what that means," Leyland said.Boesch finished with three hits for Detroit, which won its fourth straight.Brayan Villarreal (1-0) recorded two outs in the ninth for the win. Oakland scored three in the 10th but still fell short.Victor Martinez added an insurance run in the 10th with an RBI single, then two more runs came in on third baseman Andy LaRoche's wild throw home.Fuentes, who has been Oakland's ninth-inning option in place of injured 2009 Rookie of the Year closer Andrew Bailey, was tagged for six runs, three earned."I'm just trying to get on base there. You have to have the confidence in yourself to do it every time you come to the plate," Cabrera said.The Tigers turned double plays in each of the first two innings and again in the ninth on the way to winning their fourth straight at the Coliseum.A's starter Brandon McCarthy struck out seven in 6 2-3 shutout innings and walked only his second batter in three starts, but David DeJesus' RBI single wasn't enough to hold up for the A's a night after being shut out for the first time on a three-hitter by Phil Coke and three relievers in a 3-0 Detroit win.McCarthy showed again his value at the back end of a talented young rotation. He struck out seven or more for the seventh time in his career and first since May 13, 2009, for Texas against Seattle.But the defense was awful."A couple of freak little plays in the infield that happened and we were able to blow it open," Leyland said.A night after three of Oakland's four pitchers combined to allow a season-high 11 walks, six of those by Gio Gonzalez, McCarthy found the plate. Five of the six hits he allowed came with two outs, and he was able to keep the Tigers off balance before the bullpen fizzled. The A's are 1-4 at home so far."The defense will be good when it's all said and done," manager Bob Geren said. "It wasn't even a bad game, it was a bad inning. ... We need to score more runs and make it where every single pitch is not that tense, is not that tight."McCarthy, who earned the A's No. 5 job in the rotation out of spring training after a tough competition, was in position to win back-to-back starts in the majors for the first time since September 2009.Righty reliever Al Alburquerque made his major league debut for the Tigers in the seventh a day after being called up from Triple-A Toledo. He struck out three and allowed a single to Kurt Suzuki in his first two innings, then allowed Willingham's leadoff walk in the ninth.Daniel Schlereth relieved and retired Hideki Matsui on a popup before Villarreal entered.Matsui stranded five baserunners in his 0-for-4 night.Don Kelly doubled with two outs in the fourth, the Tigers' 14th straight game with at least one double and their longest such streak to begin a season since also doing so in 14 in a row in 1970.Tigers starter Rick Porcello made significant progress in six solid innings after allowing five runs on nine hits in five innings in each of his previous two starts.Detroit pitchers haven't allowed a home run in their last eight games, matching the club's longest such streak since an eight-game run June 3-11, 1981.NOTES: Struggling leadoff hitter Austin Jackson was out of Detroit's starting lineup one night after going hitless in four at-bats while dropping his average to .184. The Tigers CF took extra batting practice. ... Tigers RHP Ryan Perry, out since April 5 with an infected eye, gave up three hits and two earned runs in 1 1-3 innings with one strikeout in a rehab outing for Triple-A Toledo. He threw 27 pitches, 20 for strikes and left after giving up consecutive one-out singles in the seventh. ... SS Jhonny Peralta also didn't start because of his 1-for-18 record against McCarthy. He pinch-hit in the 10th. ... Bailey (strained right forearm) is set to throw long toss Saturday followed by a side session Sunday. ... Oakland RHP Michael Wuertz (hamstring) will pitch one inning for Class-A Stockton on Saturday. ... Cabrera received a continuance for a routine court date in his DUI and resisting arrest case until June 10. Cabrera requested it and prosecutors agreed. Cabrera - who didn't need to be in court but only represented by a lawyer - was arrested Feb. 16 in Ft. Pierce, Fla., and charged with DUI and resisting an officer.

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

OAKLAND — Some 10-9 records are better than others, and so it is that the A’s can hit the road for a nine-game trip feeling pretty good about themselves.

Their just-completed homestand began with Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman leaving a game early and landing on the disabled list. That was coupled with news that shortstop Marcus Semien would be lost for two months or more with a fractured wrist.

The A’s responded to those developments with a five-game winning streak that was halted by Sunday’s 11-1 rout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s went 5-4 on the homestand, holding their ground after a heavy dose of injury misfortune, and now the outlook changes just a bit. The focus shifts from the players joining the D.L. to those that could soon return to provide a boost.

Graveman, who has a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off the mound Monday. If that goes well, expect him to be activated sometime in the early portion of the upcoming trip. Sonny Gray, who has been out since injuring a side muscle early in Cactus League games, is set to throw Thursday for Triple-A Nashville after an encouraging rehab outing Saturday for Single-A Stockton.

If Gray comes out of Thursday’s start well, look for the 2015 All-Star to join the active roster and pitch sometime against Minnesota in the final series of this road trip. Nothing can be taken for granted until both pitchers actually return healthy, but it’s a promising scenario to possibly add two starters of their caliber as April turns to May.

“I think any time you look up and you’re over .500 and you’ve had a great homestand and you’re missing your best two pitchers, that’s something to be pleased about,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Getting Kendall back is huge. And Sonny obviously did great last night, and felt great, which is more important than the results.

“We’re excited to get those two guys back but in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to keep playing the way we are because we’re playing really good baseball and we’ll just keep things rolling.”

It was clear early on Sunday that a five-game winning streak wouldn’t reach six. The Mariners led 2-0 in the third when Andrew Triggs missed location on a 1-0 sinker and Taylor Motter launched a grand slam over the wall in left-center.

Triggs, who excelled at missing the fat part of bats over his first three starts, didn’t have the feel for his cutter Sunday. When he fell behind to Motter, the cutter is normally a pitch he would have gone to had it been working for him.

“I wasn’t commanding well,” he said. “I didn’t wanna go 1-0 to 2-0. I felt better going with the sinker. I got it down, but missed location in and out. In a perfect world, the cutter would have been great to get a groundout.”

But to this point, the A’s rotation has held firm without Gray and with the short-term absence of Graveman. Perhaps the biggest test moving forward is whether an offense that is tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits can continue to produce consistently with Semien’s absence, particularly without anyone having established themselves as the regular leadoff man.

A’s manager Bob Melvin likes what he’s seen from his team in light of the injuries.

“Every game we go out there there’s an expectation to win,” Melvin said, “and when you win multiple games in a row, you get that feeling and it’s a little more significant. So hopefully we can carry that on to the road trip. As a group, we’ve been able to manage these injuries here recently, and once we start getting guys back it’s gonna be a good thing for us.”

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – That pristine ERA wasn’t going to last forever for Andrew Triggs, and it was no secret why things took a wayward turn for the A’s right-hander Sunday.

His command deserted him in the top of the third against Seattle, and that led to a disastrous inning that told the story in an 11-1 loss that halted the A’s five-game winning streak.

Triggs, who hadn’t allowed a single earned run in winning his first three starts of 2017, walked Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third, then issued another free pass to Nelson Cruz that forced in a run and put the Mariners up 2-0. After striking out Daniel Vogelbach, Triggs caught too much plate with a 1-0 pitch and Taylor Motter drilled it for a grand slam that made it 6-0 and put this one out of reach with the way Yovani Gallardo was pitching.

Gallardo (1-2) gave up just four hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Mariners prevented the A’s from completing their first home sweep of a four-game series since July 3-6, 2014, when they took four from Toronto.

Seattle turned it into a rout as Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer in the seventh off Raul Alcantara, who was left in to eat up innings and surrendered two***more runs in the ninth.

Triggs (3-1), in a season-opening rotation for the first time in his major league career, opened the year by throwing 17 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. That was the longest such season-opening streak by a starting pitcher in Oakland history. His ERA went from 0.00 to 2.42 with Sunday’s outing.

The A’s (10-9) finished 5-4 on their nine-game homestand that was shortened by one game due to a rainout Easter Sunday.

Starting pitching report

The first batter of the game was a bad omen for Triggs as he hit Jarrod Dyson to put the speedster on base. Dyson stole second and Cano knocked a run-scoring single to right field that quickly brought Triggs’ earned-run streak to an end. The right-hander was charged with six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits with four strikeouts and the two walks.

Bullpen report

Daniel Coulombe entered in relief of Triggs in the fifth and provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Then Alcantara, who was replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn on the last road trip, was left in to soak up three innings to save the bullpen any more wear and tear in a lopsided game. He gave up five runs in three innings and walked two.

At the plate

The A’s, after falling behind early, couldn’t muster anything against Gallardo, who the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade from the Orioles. Their only run came in the seventh, when Ryon Healy led off with a double, moved to third on Trevor Plouffe’s single and scored on Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly off reliever Tony Zych.

In the field

Neither team committed an error, making it five games in a row that the A’s have gone errorless. Gallardo was aided by an outstanding diving snag by third baseman Mike Freeman in the sixth. Matt Olson, drawing a start in right field for the A’s, made a sliding catch that turned into a double play when Daniel Vogelbach wandered too far off first base.

Attendance

The homestand finale drew 24,165 fans.

Up next

The A’s take Monday off and then begin a nine-game road trip against the Angels on Tuesday. The opener pits Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00) against J.C. Ramirez (2-2, 6.46). On Wednesday, it’s Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98). Then Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) matches up against Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76) in Thursday’s finale. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. and air on NBC Sports California.