Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 5, Orioles 2


Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 5, Orioles 2


OAKLAND -- The A's gloves and jerseys were golden on Saturday night. They defeated Baltimore 5-2 to win the season series and now are ensured home field advantage if they end the season tied with the Orioles atop the Wild Card standings. Coupled with the Rangers' loss on Saturday, the A's are now two games behind Texas in the American League West and a season-high 23 games over .500. At the PlateAll of the A's runs scored in a five-run, 10-batter rally against Orioles' starting pitcher Zach Britton in the third inning. Stephen Drew got the scoring started with a solo homer to right field, his second for Oakland this season. He ended up striking out to end the inning. Josh Reddick went opposite field poking an RBI single to where the shortstop would have been standing if the shift wasn't on. Reddick's 76th RBI made it a 2-0 game. Yoenis Cespedes followed with a sharp RBI single up the middle driving in Jonny Gomes who was hit by a pitch. Chris Carter followed with a two-run oppositie field double scoring Reddick and Cespedes. When Carter hit the ball, Cespedes got such a good read and was running so fast that he almost blew right past Reddick on the base paths. When the dust settled from the A's offensive explosion it was a 5-2 game and Britton had thrown 38 pitches in the inning. Reddick added a double in the seventh inning, then advanced to third on a wild pitch during an intentional walk to Cespedes. Carter drew a walk to load the bases. The A's couldn't add on to their lead though. Josh Donaldson popped out to right and Derek Norris hit a foul pop up to third to end the inning. Starting Pitching ReportJarrod Parker fell behind early but didn't falter. He lasted seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. He won his 11th game of the season. Parker was charged with an error after a pickoff throw got past Carter in the second inning allowing Jones to race to third. He scored with ease when Mark Reynolds hit a double down the left field line to make it 1-0. He gave up a solo homer in the third inning to leadoff hitter Nate McLouth on a fastball. That was all the damage that was done against Parker. The rookie starting pitcher benefitted greatly from some slick glove work in the fourth frame. Adam Jones hit a leadoff single and Chris Davis followed with a double but Jones was gunned down at home on the play. After the defensive effort, Parker retired 11 of the next 13 batters. Bullpen ReportSean Doolittle pitched a hitless eighth inning and struck out one. Grant Balfour entered with a three run lead in the ninth inning looking for his 19th save of the season. He gave up a hit and a walk but escaped unscathed for the save. In the FieldThe A's picked up where they left off Friday night by turning a double play in the first inning. The Orioles have grounded into five double plays in this series. In the second inning Drew made a smart decision that followed a bad decision by Reynolds, who got caught between second and third base on a hard-hit ground ball hit directly to the shortstop. Reynolds ended up in a rundown when Drew elected to go after the lead runner instead of the out at first. Drew also made a highlight reel play in the seventh inning ranging up the middle and flipping the ball with his glove to second base. He finished the seventh by running deep into foul territory and making a catch near the bullpen mound. In the fourth inning Jones reached on a single and was gunned down at home on a perfect defensive play by the A's following a Davis double. Cespedes got to the ball and made a strong throw to Drew, who made a perfect throw to Norris, who caught the ball and made the tag on Jones as he slid home. Donaldson made a ranging catch to end the top of the fourth inning. He ran all the way to the tarp and fell over the top of the rolled-up rain protector as he hauled in the ball. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 20,342. Dot RaceGold wins the dot race. White bumped Green off the track right before the finish line. Up NextThe A's will go for the series sweep on Sunday. The Orioles announced their starter for Sunday shortly before Saturday's game. They have decided to go with lefty Randy Wolf (5-10, 5.69 ERA). It will be Wolf's first start for Baltimore, and his first since Aug. 19 with Milwaukee. He will be the third lefty in a row the A's face. Dan Straily (2-0, 3.42 ERA) will be on the mound for the A's. It will be his fifth career start. The A's have won all four games started by Straily this season.

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

Ryan Christenson has a reason to follow the World Series even more so than most years.

Christenson, who manages the A’s Double-A Midland squad, is also skippering the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. One of his players happened to be Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, if only for the briefest of periods.

Schwarber, as is well-documented, played in two AFL games as a quick tune-up before joining the Cubs’ active roster for the Fall Classic. It’s an unprecedented path, as Schwarber hadn’t appeared in a game for Chicago since April 7, when he tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.

When he crushed a double off the right field wall in Game 1 against the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Schwarber became the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after recording zero hits during the regular season.

His preparations for the grand stage took place in the relative anonymity of the Arizona Fall League, and it presented some unique conditions for Christenson to manage under.

“It’s such a unique situation to see someone thrust into that after missing so much season,” Christenson said in a phone interview before Game 1. “To have a chance to be activated this time of year, it’s something special if he can pull this off. If he (sparks the Cubs), literally the guy can be a legend.”

Schwarber appeared in just two games for the Solar Sox, going 1-for-6 as a designated hitter. Christenson didn’t have much hands-on interaction with Schwarber — the Cubs had their own staff members on site helping him with treatment — but Christenson saw Schwarber’s swing rounding into form even in his brief time in the batter’s box.

“The bat speed is there,” said Christenson, who hadn’t met Schwarber previously. “I love watching him work in the cage. He’s got a great swing. I don’t think it would take someone of his caliber long to get his timing and pick up where he left off. It’s a simple swing.”

The Cubs asked Christenson to work Schwarber into the top of the batting order with the Solar Sox so as to maximize his number of plate appearances. They also asked one other favor.

“The only request they had was that I took it easy with him on the bases … not trying to score him from first base on a gapper.”

Schwarber’s mere presence in the Arizona Fall League created a delicate dynamic. The league is geared toward up-and-coming prospects who have yet to break into the majors, and Christenson said AFL officials were concerned about Schwarber dropping in and taking playing time away from those players.

Each major league organization sends at least six players to the AFL. Of those six, one is designated a “priority player,” meaning they must play at least four days a week, so innings can be tricky to spread around.

Adding to the sensitivity of the situation, the Solar Sox’s roster includes not only Cubs prospects but also those of the Cleveland Indians. Christenson needed to avoid a situation where Schwarber was stealing at-bats away from prospects of the American League champs — the team that Schwarber was training to try to help the Cubs beat.

But things unfolded smoothly, and Schwarber showed appreciation for getting the chance to drop in for a couple games.

“I’ll definitely be pulling for him,” Christenson said.

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

CLEVELAND — Left-hander Giovanni Soto has been claimed by the Oakland Athletics off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Soto was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot on the 40-man roster for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list following knee surgery in April. Schwarber was put on the World Series roster Tuesday and went 1 for 3 with a double, walk and two strikeouts in the opening 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Soto was traded to the Cubs from Cleveland on April 11 and was 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Triple-A Iowa. He made his big league debut with the Indians in 2015 and appeared in six games and 3 1/3 innings.

Oakland claimed him Wednesday.