A's shake up beleaguered bullpen

A's shake up beleaguered bullpen

ARLINGTON -- A beleaguered A's bullpen obtained another reinforcement for Sunday's series finale in Arlington by way of right-hander Chad Smith, who was promoted from Triple-A Nashville to replace the demoted Ryan Cook.

The move comes less than 24 hours after A's relievers -- carrying a 4.81 ERA -- blew a four-run lead and suffered their Major League-leading eighth loss of the season, with Cook responsible for the winning run.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick's four-RBI night not enough for A's

Reddick's four-RBI night not enough for A's

ARLINGTON -- Shin-Soo Choo homered and doubled in game-changing innings for the Rangers, who got a walk-off base hit from Rougned Odor against A's reliever R.J. Alvarez in the 10th inning for an 8-7 Texas victory at Globe Life Park on Saturday night to even this series.

Choo opened the 10th with a double off right-hander Ryan Cook, who proceeded to walk each of his next two batters. That prompted A's manager Bob Melvin to bring in Alvarez -- recalled earlier in the day -- with none out to face Odor, who delivered the game-winning hit off the glove of shortstop Marcus Semien.

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Christian Corona is a contributor to MLB.com. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mark Canha singles off umpire, begins inning of chaos

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Mark Canha singles off umpire, begins inning of chaos

The seventh inning of Saturday's A's-Rangers game began with Ike Davis reaching first base on an error. Brett Lawrie singled in the next at-bat to give Oakland a pair of runners. And then Mark Canha thwacked a pitch right into second base umpire Jerry Meals' left hip. Thus began the inning of chaos.

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A's bullpen unravels in 10-inning loss

A's bullpen unravels in 10-inning loss

ARLINGTON -- The A's bullpen continues to sink this team, unable to provide the shutdown innings they so easily cruised through last year.

On Saturday, Oakland's relievers blew a four-run lead in a 10-inning, 8-7 loss to the Rangers, who scored five times after starter Drew Pomeranz's exit. It's the bullpen's eighth loss of the season already, most in the Majors -- and more than the first-place Astros have as a team.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Speedster Burns rejoins A's; Ross designated

Speedster Burns rejoins A's; Ross designated

ARLINGTON -- Speedster Billy Burns rejoined the A's for Saturday's matchup in Arlington, getting a start in center field while manning leadoff duties against the Rangers.

His return, which allows the A's to rest a struggling Sam Fuld, prompted the organization to designate Cody Ross for assignment. Ross' 40-man roster spot went to outfielder Alex Hassan, reclaimed off waivers by the A's for a third time in six months.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Flaherty to DL, Alvarez recalled

O'Flaherty to DL, Alvarez recalled

ARLINGTON -- The A's placed reliever Eric O'Flaherty on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain Saturday and recalled right-hander R.J. Alvarez from Triple-A Nashville to take his bullpen spot.

O'Flaherty flew home Saturday and will undergo an MRI in the Bay Area on Sunday. The southpaw allowed a combined six runs in his last three appearances, getting six days of rest between his final two to rest his shoulder.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crazy eighth: A's battle back with 7-run inning

Lawrie delivers go-ahead double off Texas' closer; Canha's HR sparks rally

Crazy eighth: A's battle back with 7-run inning

ARLINGTON -- The A's staged a comeback for the second time in as many days Friday. Only on this night, they completed it.

Their 7-5 victory over the Rangers to jumpstart a 10-game road trip was badly needed for a club that had dropped six of its last seven games. That it came in such spirited fashion only made it sweeter.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Canha, Lawrie spark A's wild comeback win

Canha, Lawrie spark A's wild comeback win

ARLINGTON -- The Athletics scored seven runs in the eighth inning and rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Rangers on Friday night.

The Rangers led 5-0 going into the eighth after getting six innings from starter Colby Lewis and one from reliever Alex Claudio. But Mark Canha led off the inning with his third home run of the season to get the Athletics started against Rangers reliever Shawn Tolleson.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Crisp begins rehab work with Class A Stockton

Outfielder recovering from elbow surgery, could rejoin A's next week

Crisp begins rehab work with Class A Stockton

ARLINGTON -- The A's hope to have Coco Crisp back in the outfield by the time they return home.

The veteran outfielder, who underwent right elbow surgery four weeks ago, could be activated during the club's 10-game road trip, A's manager Bob Melvin said Friday, prior to the opener of a three-game set with the Rangers.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's do their part to support local youth

Club active with multiple initiatives geared toward Bay Area youngsters

A's do their part to support local youth

OAKLAND -- The A's Community Fund has long invested in the Bay Area's future, supporting this mission through several programs and donations that particularly focus on the community's youth.

Youth baseball is very much alive in the Bay, and the A's are doing their part to sustain its growth. Each Sunday home game, the A's select a youth baseball or softball team to join Oakland's players on the field during the national anthem, with each participant receiving an autographed baseball as a souvenir for the unique experience.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

24-years-ago, Rickey Henderson broke Brock's record

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24-years-ago, Rickey Henderson broke Brock's record

Before Rickey Henderson came along, Hall of Famer Lou Brock held the MLB all-time career steals record with 938 over his 19 years in the bigs. 

On May 1, 1991, Henderson stole third against the Yankees to pass Brock and take over sole possession of the record.

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A's ready to leave April behind them

Oakland loses series to Angels, drops to five games below .500

A's ready to leave April behind them

OAKLAND -- An "awful homestand," as Oakland manager Bob Melvin deemed it, and a rather forgettable month of April is behind the A's. That's the good news.

"It's been frustrating, especially the way the spring went," said starter Jesse Chavez, who allowed four runs in five innings in Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Angels. "At the same time, it's baseball. You're going to have high months, you're going to have down months.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's rally not enough in series finale

A's rally not enough in series finale

OAKLAND -- Mike Trout robbed A's first baseman Ike Davis of a game-winning hit with a remarkable catch in center field to close the book on a 6-5 Angels victory at the Coliseum in Thursday's series finale.

Davis, who lined a ball Trout's way with the bases loaded off of Angels closer Huston Street, said he was "hoping it was" over his head.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's bullpen waiting to hit stride

A's bullpen waiting to hit stride

OAKLAND -- Three late runs were charged to A's reliever Ryan Cook in Wednesday night's 6-3 loss to the Angels. But make no mistake, it was a group effort.

Oakland's bullpen has had a tough April, with its latest struggles coming in the seventh inning on Wednesday. Cook set an ominous tone when he issued a leadoff walk to Matt Joyce, who is batting .143 this year.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's rally, but Trout helps Angels escape

A's rally, but Trout helps Angels escape

OAKLAND -- Faint "MVP!" chants could be heard at the Coliseum on Wednesday night, moments after Mike Trout extended the Angels' lead with another well-struck line drive. One night after an 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance, the superstar center fielder came back with a vengeance, blasting a 454-foot home run in the third and a two-run double in the seventh to lead the Angels to a 6-3 win over the A's.

Matt Shoemaker, pitching on eight days' rest after being placed on the bereavement list, departed the game with two outs and a one-run lead in the sixth, but A's right fielder Josh Reddick lined an RBI single off Cesar Ramos to tie the game at 3. The next half-inning, though, Johnny Giavotella hit an RBI single up the middle off Ryan Cook and Trout added a bases-loaded double off Evan Scribner two batters later to give the Angels a 6-3 lead.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist hopes to return to A's by late May

Zobrist hopes to return to A's by late May

OAKLAND -- Less than 24 hours after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Ben Zobrist was walking around the A's clubhouse without a noticeable limp. In fact, the veteran infielder/outfielder even spent 20 minutes on an exercise bike on Wednesday afternoon.

Team orthopedist Jon Dickinson gave Zobrist a glowing report following Tuesday's procedure in San Francisco.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Several A's seeking first trip to All-Star Game

Several A's seeking first trip to All-Star Game

OAKLAND -- Nine members of the green and gold appear on this year's American League All-Star ballot, which was released Wednesday.

Outfielders Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld and Josh Reddick, infielders Ike Davis, Ben Zobrist, Marcus Semien and Brett Lawrie, catcher Stephen Vogt and designated hitter Billy Butler are all listed on the ballot.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Command -- not heat -- key to Graveman's development

A's right-handed prospect can throw up to six pitches for strikes

Command -- not heat -- key to Graveman's development

Right-handed pitcher Kendall Graveman was a major component of the trade this past offseason that sent third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics to the Toronto Blue Jays. Graveman came to Oakland along with third baseman Brett Lawrie, shortstop prospect Franklin Barreto and pitching prospect Sean Nolin.

Graveman, who is the A's No.6-ranked prospect, made four starts with the A's before being optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Sunday.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scribner pitches way into setup role

Scribner pitches way into setup role

OAKLAND -- The A's bullpen has been a target of frequent criticism this season. After allowing three runs in Wednesday night's 6-3 loss to the Angels, Oakland's relievers had a combined 4.50 ERA, which ranked 26th in the Majors. It's a far cry from the unit's ERA of 2.91 in 2014, ranking third.

Despite letting two inherited runners score on Mike Trout's double in the seventh on Wednesday, Evan Scribner has stood out as a steady presence. While Tyler Clippard has been moved into the closer's role with Sean Doolittle (shoulder) on the disabled list, Scribner has found himself in some high-pressure situations. Like on Tuesday night, when he struck out Trout, Albert Pujols and David Freese in order to close out Oakland's 6-2 win.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray cruises after Lawrie's blast helps sink Angels

Gray cruises after Lawrie's blast helps sink Angels

OAKLAND -- Brett Lawrie blasted a three-run homer to highlight a five-run first inning and Sonny Gray cruised from there, leading the A's to a 6-2 win over the Angels on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the A's, who moved to 9-12 and dropped the Angels to 9-11.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray rediscovers right stuff to remain unbeaten

Gray rediscovers right stuff to remain unbeaten

OAKLAND -- Judging by the first inning on Tuesday night, it seemed like it was going to be a long one for Sonny Gray.

The A's right-hander was tagged for a couple of early runs and he had trouble finding the strike zone to begin the evening. But Gray eventually returned to his usual shutdown status by the third inning, as he tamed the Angels and earned his third win of season in Oakland's 6-2 victory at the Coliseum.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick, Lawrie boost A's with strong bats

Reddick, Lawrie boost A's with strong bats

p>OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick and Brett Lawrie supplied all the power for the A's during Tuesday night's 6-2 victory over the Angels.

While Reddick kept up his recent hot streak with a three-RBI performance, Lawrie also drove in three runs for the second straight contest. It was just the type of evening manager Bob Melvin was hoping to see out of his Nos. 6 and 7 hitters.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist undergoes successful left knee surgery

Zobrist undergoes successful left knee surgery

OAKLAND -- A's utility man Ben Zobrist underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday in San Francisco, according to the club. Dr. Jon Dickinson performed a debridement of Zobrist's medial meniscus and the veteran is expected to miss four to six weeks.

"Everything went great," manager Bob Melvin said. "As far as timetables go, I don't know about that. I don't know if he'll be here tomorrow or the next day, but Dr. Dickinson said it went as well as we could have hoped. That's all I needed to hear."

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Doolittle throws off mound; Crisp swings off tee

Doolittle throws off mound; Crisp swings off tee

OAKLAND -- A couple of the A's biggest stars are making significant progress as they rehab from their respective injuries. While closer Sean Doolittle threw off the mound on Tuesday for the first time since undergoing an offseason procedure on his left shoulder, leadoff man Coco Crisp (elbow surgery) hit off a tee and is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon.

"I feel like I've continued to get stronger to build up the strength I need in my shoulder," Doolittle said. "It feels really good to have that hurdle, that step under my belt now, getting off the mound and having it go well."

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Should A's do something about 'pen's struggles?

Beat reporter Jane Lee responds to Oakland fans' questions

Inbox: Should A's do something about 'pen's struggles?

Do you think the A's will try to wait out these bullpen struggles or look for outside help?
-- @bradenjoseph

Help is on the way soon, with Sean Doolittle expected back at the beginning of June. Until then, the A's are likely to stick with what they've got. And if Ryan Cook continues throwing like he did Sunday -- he hit 96 mph on the stadium gun -- in his season debut with the club, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Cook's presence could really help lengthen this bullpen and provide a little more consistency to everyone's roles. I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see all of the bullpen pieces clicking at the same time.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cook recalled, pitches perfect inning

Club happy to have reliever back in bullpen; Graveman optioned

Cook recalled, pitches perfect inning

OAKLAND -- Reliever Ryan Cook is back in the A's bullpen. The right-hander was recalled Sunday morning to take the roster spot of the demoted Kendall Graveman and made his season debut for the club just hours later, pitching a perfect seventh inning in a 7-6 loss to the Astros.

"It's great to get Ryan back," said catcher Stephen Vogt. "We all missed him, personally and pitching-wise, and to see him come out, that's some of the best stuff I've seen from him in the last year. I think he looks great. We're excited to have him back."

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.