OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick's strikeout numbers are way down, he's putting the ball in play more and, in turn, he's finding his way on base at a career-high rate. This is all part of a plan, he says, to become a more complete hitter.
Even Reddick maintains that he won't enjoy another 30-homer season in his career after posting 32 in 2012, his first season with the A's, despite finally being fully healthy now. Wrist and knee injuries could've excused his lackluster power numbers in his previous two years -- he exited both with 12 home runs -- but he was done waiting around for them to skyrocket again.
OAKLAND -- A's ace Sonny Gray entered Wednesday's start against the Angels as the American League ERA leader and a strong contender in the Cy Young race. By day's end, following a 9-4 loss to the Angels, Gray was forced to surrender the former title, while perhaps taking a small step back in the latter competition.
Gray endured his worst start of the year, a season-high six-run outing spanning five innings. His ERA jumped from 2.13 to 2.36, second in the AL to Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel's 2.24 -- also in the Cy Young conversation -- and he hasn't won since Aug. 7.
OAKLAND -- A's ace Sonny Gray allowed four runs in the first inning, and Albert Pujols dealt the final blow against the right-hander with a two-run home run in the second, helping the Angels secure a series-clinching 9-4 victory at the Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.
Gray, who entered with an American League-leading 2.13 ERA, was done after five innings with a season-high six earned runs to his name, which ties a career high. Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney, meanwhile, rebounded from a three-run first inning to make it through seven, with just two hits allowed in his final six frames. He walked none and struck out six.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Aaron Brooks and Edgar Olmos, two youngsters with six Major League starts between them, will face off Friday when the A's and Mariners open a three-game series at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland.
Brooks, a 25-year-old right-hander acquired from the Royals on July 28, will be making his fifth start of the season and second since being recalled last week to fill in for the injured Felix Doubront in the A's rotation.
OAKLAND -- His flowing blonde locks tucked neatly inside his cap, Ryan Dull made his way to the mound for the A's in the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Angels, quietly working his way around a one-out base hit for a scoreless big league debut.
It was a special moment in an otherwise forgettable game that saw the A's drop to 58-75, tying their loss total from 2014.
OAKLAND -- Matt Shoemaker limited the A's to one run across seven innings and Kole Calhoun went 3-for-5 with a home run on Tuesday night, helping the Angels beat the A's, 6-2, at the Coliseum to get the month of September off on a positive note.
It was only the second time that the Angels -- coming off a 19-loss August -- had won a game by more than two runs since July 26.
OAKLAND -- The A's will be sending six of their prospects to the Arizona Fall League, including lefty Sean Manaea and infielders Matt Chapman and Chad Pinder.
Right-hander Kris Hall, southpaw Brendan McCurry and outfielder Jaycob Brugman will join them on the Mesa Solar Sox in the annual league featuring a bevy of the game's brightest young players. Mesa will also feature prospects from the Angels, Cubs, Rays and Marlins.
OAKLAND -- Danny Valencia and Jake Smolinski contributed to a five-run third inning and Mark Canha provided the dagger in the sixth, launching a three-run homer to help the A's beat the American League West-rival Angels, 11-5, at the Coliseum on Monday night.
The free-falling Angels (65-66) have dropped 26 of their last 37 games and are below .500 for the first time since June 10. They finished August with 19 losses, their highest total that month since 1999, but remained 3 1/2 games back of the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot.
OAKLAND -- Evan Scribner and his bullpen mates set an over/under. Danny Valencia considered it another shenanigan in his short stint with the A's. Manager Bob Melvin joked that the grounds crew used double-sided tape to fix it.
They were all referring to the left-field wall at the Coliseum, a sizable chunk of which fell down and caused a 10-minute delay in the fifth inning of the A's 11-5 win over the Angels on Monday night.
Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Josh Reddick shows off his Vince McMahon strut
By Michael Clair |
It should be no surprise who came out the victor when Sportsnet's Jackie Redmond challenged Josh Reddick to a WWE impression competition, with the two going head-to-head on the Rock's eyebrows, Ric Flair's "Woo!" and, of course, Vince McMahon's amazing walk.
PHOENIX -- Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte picked up his first Major League victory Sunday afternoon in Arizona, returning from a scoreless, two-inning outing to a beer shower that was "cold, but well worth it," he said, smiling, after the A's 7-4, 11-inning win.
"It was nice to be able to experience that first win with this group of guys," said Venditte, who also had his first career at-bat. "Things haven't really gone our way as of late, so to come back and get that one today, it's very special."
PHOENIX -- Marcus Semien's two-run base hit off D-backs closer Brad Ziegler in the 11th inning lifted the A's to a series-winning, 7-4 victory at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon.
Ziegler recorded two quick outs to begin the inning but surrendered back-to-back singles to Danny Valencia and Stephen Vogt and hit Josh Phegley with a pitch to load the bases for Semien, who singled down the right-field line. Eric Sogard followed with an RBI single.
PHOENIX -- Sean Doolittle, trying to regain his All-Star form, took a big step in the right direction Sunday with a perfect eighth inning that included two strikeouts in the A's 7-4, 11-inning victory in Arizona.
"Best we've seen him, and you can see the confidence grow after the first few pitches," manager Bob Melvin said.
PHOENIX -- A's catcher Stephen Vogt, waking from what he called "one of my worst games on both sides of the ball in a long time," returned to the park Saturday and cranked a homer and drove in all three runs in Oakland's 3-2 victory over the D-backs.
"I was obviously not in a good place last night, so I was excited to see I was back in the lineup and was ready to go tonight," said Vogt, whose two passed balls led to a pair of unearned runs in Friday's series-opening loss. "I had a lot of steam to get off, and it felt pretty good to get off to a good start."
PHOENIX -- A's first baseman Ike Davis underwent successful left hip surgery Thursday and is expected to be ready by Spring Training, according to Oakland trainer Nick Paparesta.
The arthroscopic procedure, which repaired a torn labrum, was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon in Vail, Colo. Davis remains there, resting comfortably, and is scheduled to return home Tuesday. Paparesta said he would begin therapy immediately.
PHOENIX -- The A's were forced to relive several key moments from the sixth inning of Friday's series-opening, 6-4 loss to the D-backs in an attempt to explain just what went wrong in the mistake-laden frame.
Catcher Stephen Vogt shouldered the blame for much of the game-changing events that led Sonny Gray to throw 28 pitches in the inning. Vogt, who had just five passed balls to his name entering the game, committed two in the frame.
PHOENIX -- The D-backs rallied from an early deficit to defeat the A's, 6-4, on Friday night at Chase Field to snap a four-game losing streak while extending Oakland's losing skid to three games.
The A's gave starter Sonny Gray a 2-0 lead on RBIs by Billy Burns and Mark Canha. Gray, meanwhile, handcuffed the D-backs, holding them to just two hits through five innings while maintaining the American League's best ERA (2.13).
A's beat reporter Jane Lee answers fans' pressing pitching questions -- and more.
Who do you think will be called up when rosters expand? Please tell me Barry Zito will finally get to pitch in Oakland. I don't think anyone understands why he keeps getting passed over, and I'd love to see him in the green and gold again.
-- Kristina M., Livermore, Calif.
SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz clubbed his Major League-leading 39th home run and Felix Hernandez pitched eight innings of two-run ball to win his 15th game of the season, an 8-2 decision over the A's on Wednesday as the Mariners wrapped up a series win at Safeco Field.
Hernandez gave up a leadoff homer to Billy Burns and a seventh-inning shot to Brett Lawrie, but allowed just those two runs and three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Hernandez (15-8, 3.66) had an 8.48 ERA over his previous five starts, but he dominated the A's to move into a tie with Dallas Keuchel of the Astros for the most wins in the American League.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
#TBT: Rickey Henderson sets single-season SB record
By Chris Landers |
By now, even the most casual baseball fans know that Rickey Henderson was -- and, if mascots are to be believed, still is -- one fast dude. But it bears repeating just how crazy Henderson's dominance on the basepaths was, because the numbers look like they came out of a video game. Case in point: Lou Brock, number two on the all-time steals list, is closer to Carl Crawford in 44th place (!) than he is to Rickey.
And, if your mind still isn't sufficiently blown, there's this: On August 27, 1982, Henderson set a new single-season record by swiping his 119th bag against the Brewers ... with 33 whole games left.
SEATTLE -- The A's fell victim to yet another one-run loss Tuesday, a 6-5 defeat to the Mariners representing their 30th of the season, but not because of bullpen blunders that have affected so many of these close outcomes.
Rather, it was the bullpen that gave the club every opportunity to come out on top this time. The A's got 3 1/3 scoreless innings from Fernando Abad and Fernando Rodriguez in relief of right-hander Jesse Chavez, who was done in by consecutive three-run frames.