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The Oakland Athletics completed a pair of two games series this week that saw them take two from the Los Angeles Angels and lose two to the Minnesota Twins. After sweeping the Angels the A’s climbed into a first place tie with the Texas Rangers. However, two losses to the Twins leaves Oakland looking at a two game deficit behind Texas.
The high point of the week came on Tuesday when Gio Gonzalez threw seven innings of one hit ball and the offense put 14 runs on the board. It was a virtually perfect performance from the batters and pitchers and propelled the A’s into first place.
The low point of the week came two days later as Thursday’s loss to Minnesota was their worst pitching performance in quite some time and saw the A’s lose starter Tyson Ross with a left oblique strain. The A’s dropped back to .500 with the loss. They’ll head across the Bay to face the San Francisco Giants in their first interleague series of the 2011 season.
Tues, May 17: A’s 14 – Angels 0
WP: Gio Gonzalez (5-2)
LP: Tyler Chatwood (2-2)
Thurs, May 19: Twins 11 – A’s 1
WP: Nick Blackburn (3-4)
LP: Tyson Ross (3-3)
The Oakland Athletics suffered a brutal defeat in more ways than one on Thursday as they were handily defeated 11-1 by the Minnesota Twins. The bigger loss came when Tyson Ross left the game with a left oblique strain after facing two batters. The A’s bullpen was able to get through the game but not without taking it on the chin for most of the game.
After Ross exited the game, David Purcey came on in relief. Purcey lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up one run (with another run credited to Ross). He was followed by Craig Breslow who gave up two runs on a Justin Morneau homerun in 2 1/3 innings. Trystan Magnuson followed and was destroyed to the tune of six runs in two innings. Brad Ziegler wrapped up the forgettable afternoon giving up one run in the top of the ninth.
The A’s offense had some chances to get back into the game before it got blown open, but they couldn’t get any timely hits (par for the course). The loss drops the A’s back to .500 at 22-22 and 1 1/2 games back of the Rangers. The Angels lost their fifth straight game to remain 1/2 game back of the A’s.
Oakland “travels” across the Bay for their first interleague series of the season as they face the San Francisco Giants this weekend. The A’s will send out their top three pitchers in Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, and Gio Gonzalez.
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Tyson Ross has departed his Thursday start against the Minnesota Twins with a left oblique strain. Ross suffered the strain two batters into the inning after a passed ball. Ross had given up a game-opening single to Denard Span and then threw a pitch that got past Kurt Suzuki. The team trainer then came out and Ross departed.
David Purcey came on in relief of Ross and put together 3 2/3 inning of solid relief. He allowed Span to score in the first and gave up a run of his own in the second inning, but otherwise made his way through the emergency call. Craig Breslow relieved Purcey in the fourth inning and just gave up a two-run homer to Justin Morneau. The Twins currently lead 4-0 in the fifth inning.
Ross’ injury was has been preliminarily diagnosed as a left oblique strain, which could lead to an extended absence for the young starter. Timing is never good with injuries, but this one is particularly bad given how well Ross was pitching lately. He had given up two runs or less in each of his last four starts and was proving to be an excellent replacement for Dallas Braden.
Although there is not a specific timetable on Ross’ return, one would imagine he’ll end up on the 15-day disabled list. Oblique strains are always tricky and often lead to a decent amount of missed time. The A’s don’t have a day off until Thursday June 2, so they’ll likely need to find a spot starter for the next couple of weeks. Some of the candidates would include Josh Outman, Guillermo Moscoso and Bobby Cramer.
The Oakland Athletics face the Minnesota Twins Thursday in a lunch-time series finale. Tyson Ross looks to improve to 4-2 as he squares off against Nick Blackburn. Ross will be making his sixth start in place of injured starter Dallas Braden. It appears as though Braden will be on the shelf for the remainder of the season, and Ross has done enough to earn the fifth spot in the rotation for the foreseeable future. After a tough first start in which he gave up three runs in only 4 1/3 innings, Ross has given up five earned runs in 26 2/3 innings over four starts. The A’s are 3-1 in those starts.
Coco Crisp is back in the lineup after dealing with a family matter yesterday. Crisp is having a very solid season thus far with a line of .279/.308/.429 and is tied for the AL lead with 13 stolen bases. If Crisp can remain healthy (a big question mark last season), he provides an excellent spark at the top of the A’s lineup.
The big change today has Ryan Sweeney manning left field in place of Josh Willingham and hitting in the third spot in the lineup. Sweeney was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored to improve his batting average to .333. Sweeney has been getting relatively limited playing time but has been the A’s most consistent hitter in those starts.
The Oakland Athletics dropped a tough 4-3 extra innings game to the Minnesota Twins Wednesday night due in part to a rare defensive miscue by first baseman Daric Barton. After Brian Fuentes gave up a single to Delmon Young in a 3-3 game, Alexi Casilla grounded to first base. Barton went to throw out Young at second but his throw sailed high and wide. The throw moved Young to third and got Casilla to second. Although Fuentes got a ground out on the next at bat, Trevor Plouffe was able to get Young home on a sacrifice fly to right field, which ended up being the game-winning run.
The game was an otherwise tense affair as the teams exchanged the lead several times in the early innings. The Twins jumped on top 1-0 in the first after Justin Morneau singled in Jason Kubel. The A’s took a 2-1 lead on a Kevin Kouzmanoff single but then lost the lead on a Plouffe single. The A’s tied it back up in the sixth but could not get back out in front to grab the win.
The Oakland Athletics open up a brief two-game set with the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night at the whatever you want to call it Coliseum. The A’s are coming off a two-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels that has propelled Oakland into a first place tie with the Texas Rangers. Their 14-0 demolition of the Angels Tuesday night gave them a share of first place for the first time since June 3, 2010.
The A’s now host a Minnesota Twins squad that is struggling mightily, sitting 13.5 games back of the first place Cleveland Indians. The Twins were expecting big things this season, but instead it’s been a nightmare as they’ve dealt with numerous injuries and other problems. Even their season highlight, Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter came amidst his own monstrous struggles.
The A’s will send out Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross as they look to build on the momentum they’ve gained in climbing into first place. The A’s have reached a pivotal point as the Rangers and Angels are both dealing with numerous injury concerns. The A’s have somehow managed to avoid the injury bug to a large extent (big knock on wood) with Dallas Braden being their only major injury and Andrew Bailey working his way back in good measure. Now would indeed be a good time for a lengthy winning streak so the A’s can build some kind of cushion while the Rangers and A’s work their way back to health.
The A’s will be giving Coco Crisp Wednesday night off as they get Ryan Sweeney into the lineup for a few at bats. In limited play, Sweeney has been the team’s most consistent hitter, putting together a line of .315/.403/.407. David DeJesus will hit in the leadoff spot, while Sweeney hits sixth behind Kurt Suzuki. Mark Ellis is in the seventh spot as he looks to build on his strong showing the last few days that has gotten his batting average above the Mendoza line (.200).
The Oakland Athletics obliterated the Los Angeles Angels 14-0 to complete a two-game sweep of the LAAAAAAs and have briefly climbed into a first place tie with the Texas Rangers. The A’s received a dominant pitching effort from Gio Gonzalez while the offense put together season-highs in hits and runs. The win combined with the Texas loss gets the A’s back into first place for the first time since June 3 of last season.
The A’s offense was the story of the game as the lineup absolutely tattooed Angels pitching. The A’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning and expanded their lead in three of the next four innings. Mark Ellis led the way going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and has used a 7-for-13 run to get his batting average over the Mendoza line. The A’s also got big contributions from Josh Willingham (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) and Coco Crisp (3-for-4, 2 RBIs), among others.
Somewhat lost in the rare offensive explosion was a brilliant performance by Gio Gonzalez. He lasted seven innings and gave up one hit and one walk while striking out seven. Gonzalez improved to 5-2 as he won his third straight start. It was a strong rebound for Gonzalez following a washed out start against Texas. Gonzalez had given up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings before the game was cancelled by rain and the poor performance erased from the record books. Tuesday night’s game almost suffered the same cancellation fate, with the A’s on the opposite end of the result. However, the two teams played on and made it through all nine innings.
The A’s will now welcome the Minnesota Twins for two games as they look to potentially claim the AL West lead all to themselves. The A’s will send out Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross to face Carl Pavano and Nick Blackburn.
(Sports Network) – The Oakland Athletics try to jump the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the American League West standings and complete a two-game sweep of their division foes when they close the brief set tonight at the Coliseum. Oakland knocked the Halos out of first place in Monday’s opener, as Kurt Suzuki slid in safely at home in front of Howie Kendrick’s throw from the infield grass in the 10th inning, lifting the A’s to a 5-4 win.
The A’s tied the game on Daric Barton’s RBI single in the ninth and came away with their second win in the last three games in their next at-bat. After striking out Hideki Matsui on a payoff pitch to start the 10th, Fernando Rodney (2-2) walked Suzuki and Conor Jackson on nine total pitches. On a 2-1 count to Mark Ellis, Rodney threw a wild pitch to move both runners up a base.
Kendrick was shifted from left field to second base as an extra infielder, and Ellis hit a chopper right to him. Running on contact, Suzuki was able to score the deciding run on Kendrick’s high and wide throw.
“What a great finish to a tough game,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “That was a big win for the team.”
A’s starter Brett Anderson was charged with three runs on five hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings, while his counterpart, Joel Pineiro, was strong over seven innings, allowing three runs — only one earned — on six hits. With Texas’ win over the Chicago White Sox, the Angels fell a half-game back of the Rangers for the division lead. The A’s are a game back of Texas and now just a half game behind the Halos.
Hoping to get them even closer in the standings, the A’s will rely on left- hander Gio Gonzalez, who will try to bounce back from an ugly outing in his last trip to the hill. Gonzalez allowed seven runs in 2 2/3 innings to the Ranges on Wednesday, but fortunately the start never counted since the game was called because of rain shortly after he was lifted.
“Obviously, it was a blessing in disguise that would happen. Now you just move forward,” Gonzalez said. “It happens to any pitcher: You give up a couple of runs, but it’s how they bounce back. This is a situation where I have to bounce back, especially against the Angels. It’s not an easy task against a division rival. They’re not going to be easy, but as long as I keep my team in the game, that’s all that matters.”
Aside from that outing in Arlington Gonzalez has been terrific posting a 4-2 mark to go along with a 2.68 ERA. However, one of his few poor showings came against the Angels back on April 25 when he allowed five runs (four earned) and eight hits in five innings. He is 3-2 lifetime against Anaheim with a 3.90 ERA in six starts.
The Angels will counter with rookie Tyler Chatwood, who is 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA. Chatwood has not received a decision in either of his last two starts, but has given up just a run in each outing, spanning 14 1/3 innings. Chatwood’s last win came against the A’s back on April 26 when he gave up three runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings in his only other appearance against the club.
The Angels took two of three from the Athletics at home in late April, giving them a victory in six of the past seven meetings. They did lose six of 10 in Oakland a season ago.
In a game that saw a late start due to some wet weather, The Oakland A’s jumped out to an early lead, and eventually had to battle back to force extra innings. But the A’s found a way to hang on for the victory tonight by a score of 5-4 in at the soggy Coliseum.
The approximately 1:25 minute rain delay let up for the first few innings but came back rather steadily, although there were no more stoppages of play. Brett Anderson still had a pretty good start after the long delay, pitching 6 2/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. Michael Wuertz also gave up an earned run out of the bullpen, while Grant Balfour (W 3-1) got the win with his extra inning of work.
The A’s plated some runs with small ball and Angels errors in the fifth inning as David DeJesus scored on a Alberto Callaspo error, followed by a Cilff Pennington RBI single then a Josh Willing a sacrifice fly. The Angels battled back with some small ball of their own, taking the lead with a Callaspo fielder’s choice, Trumbo sacrifice fly, and 2 run single from Howie Kendrick in the sixth and seventh.
Coco Crisp stole second with two outs in the ninth, and evenetually scored off a Daric Barton single to force extra innings. Then in the bottom of the tenth, Kurt Suzuki and Conor Jackson were walked by Fernando Rodney (L 2-2), then advanced on a wild pitch. Mark Ellis’ fielder’s choice scored the winning run in walk off fashion to push the A’s back over .500.
Full box score can be found here.
The A’s and Angels will conclude their two game series tomorrow as Gio Gonzalez (4-2 2.68 ERA) will take the mound to face Tyler Chatwood (2-1 3.67 ERA) for the Halos. Coverage can be found on CSN California and Sports Radio 95.7 FM.
For more discussion and analysis of your Oakland As, head over to Athletics Nation to get in on the action.
The Oakland A’s continue their homestand this evening, beginning with the first game of their two game set with the Anaheim Angels.
Brett Anderson will be on the mound for the A’s tonight, sporting a respectable 3.21 ERA, 18th best in the American League, but only fourth best on his own staff. The A’s 20-20 record has largely been in part of their terrific staff, now they must get some more runs on the board to help them out.
Oakland A’s Lineup:
Anaheim Angels Lineup:
First pitch is set for 7:05 this evening at the Coliseum with coverage on CSN California and Sports Radio 95.7 FM.
For more discussion and analysis of the Oakland A’s, head over the Athletics Nation to get in on the action.
As the Oakland Athletics open up a two-game series with the Los Angeles Angels, they remain right in the thick of the AL West race. The A's have scuffled along this season with fantastic starting pitching and wildly inconsistent hitting and it has left them right at the .500 mark. At 20-20, the A's currently sit 1.5 games back of the Angels and a half game back of the second place Texas Rangers. They remain in the thick of the American League Wild Card race as well, but given the weak nature of the AL West at this point, one has to wonder if the wild card will really matter.
The A's were right in the thick of things at this point last year and hung around into the summer before the Texas Rangers pulled away in August and September. Of course, the Rangers added Cliff Lee in a big July trade, which played a part in their eventual success. The question now is whether one of these three teams will make a big addition over the summer to try and put away a division that is open to any of the three. Seattle is only five games back, but they have not shown any signs of jumping back into this race anytime soon.
For the Angels, if they pull this thing out, it could be due to their deal last season that netted them Dan Haren. The deal did not pay dividends last season, but this year he is the veteran leader of the Angels pitching staff. If they can come together, LA would seem to be the favorites for now.
The Rangers will get back Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz in the coming weeks, but their pitching remains wildly inconsistent. They need Colby Lewis to revert to his 2010 form if they want to really have a chance.
And then you have the Oakland A's. They've got the necessary starting pitching and will be getting Andrew Bailey back as their closer in the next couple weeks. There is no question they've got the pitching to win the AL West. Unfortunately it all comes back down to their hitting. They need their hitters to regroup and form a cohesive lineup. If they can do that, they very well could be the favorites in the West.
|New York||20||18||.526||1||Lost 5|
|Kansas City||20||19||.512||1.5||Lost 2|
(updated 5.16.2011 at 8:25 AM PDT)
The Oakland Athletics wrap up a seven game home stand with a pair of two game sets against the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the AL Central cellar-dwelling Minnesota Twins. The A's are currently 20-20 after dropping two of three at home to the Chicago White Sox. The series wrapped up Sunday night with Trevor Cahill losing his first game of the season to Mark Buehrle.
The A's start their week with two games against the first place Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels lead the Rangers by a half game and the A's by one and a half games. This means that in spite of their recent scuffling, the A's could actually find themselves in first place if they sweep this two game set. Barring further developments, it's looking like the AL West won't be putting out any dominant 100-game winning teams. Things can change, but nobody is really pulling away at this point. The A's lost two of three to the Angels down in LA late last month.
The A's will follow that series up with two games against the Minnesota Twins, who find themselves in the cellar of the AL West, 12.5 games back of the first place Indians. The A's took two of three from the Twins up in Minnesota and will look to build on that in this series. The A's will send out two of their solid surprises thus far in Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross.
|Tue 05/17 - Gio Gonzalez vs. Tyler Chatwood
||7:05 PM PDT|
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