Parker: 'It sucks we didn't win'


Parker: 'It sucks we didn't win'


OAKLAND -- Entering the Oakland stretch of the Battle of the Bay series, the A's had everything working for them. They had the momentum after sweeping the top team in baseball, the Dodgers. They had the home field advantage -- the Giants hadn't won a game here since June 24, 2009. They even said they were excited to take on their cross-bay rivals. They got off to a great start, scoring three runs on two-time Cy Young-award winner Tim Lincecum. They even had a two-run lead going into the ninth inning -- they had it all working. Then it all came crashing down. I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles. The A's new closer Ryan Cook gave up four runs without recording an out in the ninth inning, as the Giants went on to win 5-4. Cook has been a phenomenal find for the A's. The right-handed pitcher, 23, had been rock-solid since taking over the closer's role, going four for four in save opportunities. Entering Friday, he had only allowed a run in 29 of his 30 appearances. "Cook is not going to go the whole year and not blow a save," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Too bad it had to happen tonight." Cook worked himself into trouble immediately. He walked Buster Posey on four-straight pitches, then put the tying run on first by walking Pablo Sandoval. Next, Brandon Belt -- who had been hit in the hand by a pitch in the seventh inning -- came to the plate. He laced a ball to left field that landed just outside the outstretched glove of Collin Cowgill, who laid out for the ball. Posey and Sandoval came around to score, tying the game at three."It's been my hex all year, putting guys on," Cook said. "It came back to bite me tonight."I knew he was a little bit erratic," Belt said of Cook. "If he threw anything in the strike zone I was going to pounce on it.The A's may have lost more than the lead on Belt's double. Cowgill injured his left ankle on the diving attempt. He could have possibly played it safe and let the ball fall, keeping it in front of him. That would have only allowed one run to score, preserving the lead. But as Melvin explained it would have still left the A's in a bad situation. "I don't have any problem with him trying to catch that ball." Melvin said of the diving attempt by Cowgill. "If he catches that ball it's an entirely different game."After Cook departed the game, Sean Doolittle entered and gave up RBI singles to Hector Sanchez and Gregor Blanco, giving the Giants a 5-3 lead. Both runs were charged to Cook. The ninth inning meltdown for the A's lead to the Giants snapping a six-game losing streak in Oakland. They had plenty of opportunities to put the game away too. In the first inning, they had Lincecum on the ropes. With three runs already scored, and the bases loaded with no outs, Lincecum struck out Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki, and Cliff Pennington to escape the inning. After the third run scored, Lincecum became a completely different pitcher. He retired 17 of the next 19 batters he faced, striking out eight.I was trying to channel that madness and stop worrying about the expletive happening behind me, Lincecum said. If there were any positives to point to for the A's, it's the performance of Jarrod Parker. The 23-year-old righty, was inline to win the game allowing just one run in six innings."I got outs and made pitches I need to," Parker said. "Overall it was a good outing. Sucks we didn't win. Obviously losing is not what we want, and it's a tough game but we'll bounce back."

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

The Oakland A’s avoided arbitration with right-handed pitchers Sonny Gray and Liam Hendriks and catcher Stephen Vogt when they agreed to terms on one-year contracts for the 2017 season, the club announced today.

Gray went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in 22 starts last year in a season shortened by two stints on the disabled list.  His ERA was more than 2½ runs higher than his previous career high and his five wins follow back-to-back 14-win seasons.  Gray went 33-20 with a 2.88 ERA 76 games over his first three seasons with the A’s and now has a 3.42 ERA in his career, which ranks ninth in Oakland history.

Hendriks compiled a 3.76 ERA and .270 opponents batting average in 53 relief appearances in his first season with the A’s.  He had an 8.27 ERA and .394 opponents batting average in 11 games before going on the disabled list in early May with a strained right triceps.  Hendriks then logged a 2.23 ERA and .222 opponents batting average in 42 games following his return from the DL.

Vogt played in a career-high 137 games last year and hit .251 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI.  He also had career bests with 123 hits, 30 doubles and 46 extra base hits.  Vogt was named to his second consecutive American League All-Star team.

The only remaining arbitration eligible player on the A’s roster is Khris Davis.

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Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto's 11th trade this offseason rounded out the Seattle Mariners roster with his top target.

"I've probably spent more time through the course of our offseason trying to acquire Drew Smyly than any other thing that we've done," the general manager said Wednesday.

Seattle made pair of deals on Wednesday that ultimately landed Smyly, a pitcher Dipoto thinks will fill out the Mariners starting rotation. Seattle also landed a potential key reliever, getting right-hander Shae Simmons from the Atlanta Braves.

The Mariners acquired outfielder Mallex Smith from Atlanta, then sent him to Tampa Bay along with infielder Carlos Vargas and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough for Smyly. Smith was also an offseason target for the Mariners but when Seattle acquired Jarrod Dyson from Kansas City last week, Smith instead became the conduit in helping to obtain Smyly.

"It became apparent to us over the last two or three days that we were able to access Drew Smyly by making the deal with Atlanta that tapped into Mallex Smith," Dipoto said. "So effectively these were two deals that were interlinked."

Smyly is the centerpiece of what Seattle was trying to accomplish as the Mariners seem to have rounded out a starting rotation that appeared to be a major question at the start of the year. The acquisitions of Smyly and Yovani Gallardo from Baltimore last week appear to have filled out a rotation where Felix HernandezHisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton were the only certainties.

Smyly, 27, made 30 starts last season for Tampa Bay, throwing a career-high 175 1/3 innings and striking out 167. He was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA, but starting pitching is one of Tampa Bay's strongest assets, and Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander felt comfortable making the deal because of the depth the Rays have in that area.

Smyly was 15-15 with a 3.95 ERA in 49 starts for Tampa Bay after being acquired from Detroit in the 2014 trade deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers. He is arbitration eligible after winning $3.75 million in an arbitration hearing last season.

"He fits our ballpark particularly well. He's a pretty extreme fly-ball pitcher with the low walks, high strikeouts, who in our ballpark, with what we think is a greatly improved outfield defense fits us like a glove really," Dipoto said. "If as we expect he shows up and does his thing it should fit very well for us in this ballpark."

What Smith may be able to add was attractive to Neander, who said the trade was made to help position the Rays to be competitive in 2017. He stopped short of saying he expects Smith to make the team coming out of spring training.

"We need to get better," Neander said. "To do that, we need more competition" for jobs.

Simmons is also a key acquisition for Seattle, providing another power arm in the bullpen. Simmons, 26, made seven appearances last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and threw just 6 2/3 big league innings. Before elbow issues, Simmons was 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 26 appearances during the 2014 season.

"He's had a strong history with striking (batters) out and (we're) really excited to plug him in," Dipoto said.

The cost for Seattle to complete to two deals meant giving up two of its top pitching prospects in Yarbrough and Luiz Gohara. Yarbrough, 25, was named the Southern League pitcher of the year after going 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA at Double-A Jackson last season. Gohara, 20, was 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 13 starts at two Class A stops.

Seattle also sent lefty Thomas Burrows to Atlanta and designated right-hander Cody Martin for assignment to make room on its 40-man roster.