Otero leads bullpen's rescue effort against Angels

Otero leads bullpen's rescue effort against Angels

ANAHEIM -- This probably wasn't the recipe A's manager Bob Melvin had in mind when he spoke before the game about the continual process of trying to forge the right bullpen mix. But he sure enjoyed the final product.

Dan Otero led the way with a career-high four scoreless innings, Evan Scribner followed with a scoreless eighth and Tyler Clippard pitched around a pair of baserunners in the ninth for his first save with the Athletics, bailing out starter Kendall Graveman -- who lasted just three-plus innings -- in a 6-3 series-opening win at Angel Stadium.

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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.

Homers from Vogt, Semien lead Athletics past Angels

Homers from Vogt, Semien lead Athletics past Angels

ANAHEIM -- The A's got home runs from Stephen Vogt and Marcus Semien and relied on a dominant six-inning performance from their bullpen to hold off the Angels, 6-3, on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series at Angel Stadium.

A's right-hander Dan Otero put together four scoreless innings in relief of starter Kendall Graveman, who lasted just three-plus innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. David Freese singled in two runs off him in the first, and Albert Pujols added an RBI single in the third.

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

A's Pomeranz, Angels' Santiago set for lefty battle

A's Pomeranz, Angels' Santiago set for lefty battle

Two left-handers who've started the season strong, the Angels' Hector Santiago and the Athletics' Drew Pomeranz, will take the mound Tuesday night at Angel Stadium in the second game of a four-game series between the division rivals.

Santiago is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts after getting a victory at Texas on Wednesday, when he went seven innings and allowed one run on four hits. In seven career starts against the A's, he's 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 31 2/3 innings. Last season, he went 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in four starts against Oakland -- although the current A's lineup hardly resembles last year's, thanks to a complete infield makeover, among other moves.

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

Chavez to start for Hahn Thursday

Chavez to start for Hahn Thursday

ANAHEIM -- A's right-hander Jesse Chavez will start against the Angels on Thursday in place of Jesse Hahn, who will be given more time to allow the blister on his pitching hand to heal.

It will mark the first start of the season for Chavez but his fifth appearance, his last resulting in 3 2/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts in relief of Hahn on Saturday in Kansas City. Chavez went 8-7 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts last year.

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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.

Zobrist out with cartilage damage in knee, hopes to avoid DL

Zobrist out with cartilage damage in knee, hopes to avoid DL

ANAHEIM -- Ben Zobrist will receive a cortisone shot in his sore left knee Monday evening and could miss the A's four-game series in Anaheim this week.

The veteran infielder/outfielder underwent an MRI exam on the knee Monday morning and was relieved to learn there's no ligament damage. The exam did, however, show existing cartilage damage that's accumulated over the years, which Zobrist attributes to his sliding technique.

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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.

Reddick says Herrera 'not professional'

A's outfielder not buying Royals RP's postgame excuse, believes he, Ventura should be suspended

Reddick says Herrera 'not professional'

While the A's and Royals were each preparing for new opponents on Monday, there was still a focus on their intense weekend series that saw numerous ejections and pitches flying at and behind hitters.

A's outfielder Josh Reddick offered his thoughts Monday on MLB Network Radio regarding Sunday's series finale in Kansas City that saw five Royals ejections and verbal exchanges between both clubs.

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

Tempers remain hot following OAK-KC finale

Five Royals ejected in game; A's Lawrie upset about pitch thrown behind him by Herrera

Tempers remain hot following OAK-KC finale

KANSAS CITY -- This certainly didn't feel like your casual Sunday afternoon ballgame in April.

An intense and heated series between the A's and Royals concluded Sunday with a 4-2 Royals win that featured five Royals ejections and pitches flying everywhere, even behind hitters.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Day after plunking, Lawrie thrown at again

Royals reliever Herrera ejected after 100-mph pitch goes behind third baseman

Day after plunking, Lawrie thrown at again

KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Brett Lawrie was back in the A's lineup during Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Royals, after taking a 99-mph Yordano Ventura fastball to his left elbow in Saturday's drama-filled win.

"It's all right," Lawrie said in the morning. "Just swollen. That's about it."

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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 lose grip of lead during heated eighth

A's lose grip of lead during heated eighth

KANSAS CITY -- Kendrys Morales hit a two-run double to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday as the Royals rallied to beat Oakland, 4-2, in another wild and fiery game that featured five Royals players and coaches getting ejected.

The Royals trailed 2-1 entering the eighth after being handcuffed by Oakland starter Scott Kazmir, who threw 7 1/3 innings and gave up just six hits and two runs while striking out five. But Lorenzo Cain doubled in the tying run after Paulo Orlando walked.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lawrie, A's get last laugh in shutout of Ventura, Royals

Lawrie, A's get last laugh in shutout of Ventura, Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Josh Reddick belted a three-run homer and right-hander Jesse Hahn tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings before leaving with a blister on his throwing hand, as the A's toppled the Royals, 5-0, on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Reddick's blast preceded Brett Lawrie being hit by a pitch by Royals starter Yordano Ventura in the fourth inning in what likely was retaliation for Lawrie's hard slide into Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar on Friday night. More >

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tension flares between A's, Royals for second straight night

Benches clear again after Ventura's ejected for hitting Lawrie; players offer differing viewpoints

Tension flares between A's, Royals for second straight night

KANSAS CITY -- For the second straight day, benches and bullpens emptied at Kauffman Stadium.

On Friday, Oakland's Brett Lawrie slid hard into Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar in the seventh inning, which led to the first fracas. The incident was complicated by the fact that Escobar claims he did not receive a text message apology from Lawrie. More >

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lawrie, Escobar have different takes on text apology

A's third baseman says he sent message to KC shortstop, who says he never got it

Lawrie, Escobar have different takes on text apology

KANSAS CITY -- Before the A's and Royals met again in the middle of the diamond during a 5-0 Oakland victory, contradictory messages raced between their clubhouses.

On one end, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar claimed he had yet to hear from A's third baseman Brett Lawrie, who slid into Escobar while attempting to break up what he thought could be a double play in the seventh inning of Friday's opener, causing a mild strain and contusion to Escobar's left knee.

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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.

Pair of Jesses combine on A's shutout of Royals

Hahn goes 5 1/3, exits with blister on finger; Chavez does rest, whiffing six

Pair of Jesses combine on A's shutout of Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Right-handers Jesse Hahn and Jesse Chavez combined for the A's fifth shutout of the season Saturday night, with starter Hahn collecting his first win as an Athletic and Chavez compiling a 3 2/3-innings save, the club's first save of the year.

"Jesse plural was very good tonight," said catcher Stephen Vogt, smiling. "They both used their movement, both sides of the plate. Just really made pitches."

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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.

Vogt's two homers not enough to lift A's past Royals

Vogt's two homers not enough to lift A's past Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Rookie Paulo Orlando hit his fourth triple of the season, driving in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning off A's right-hander Dan Otero as the Royals held on for a 6-4 win on Friday night in front of 39,228 fans at Kauffman Stadium.

"I missed my spot by probably 18 inches trying to come hard in," Otero said. "Just came back over, outside corner."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lawrie maintains no intent to injure Escobar

Lawrie maintains no intent to injure Escobar

KANSAS CITY -- A's third baseman Brett Lawrie insists he had "no intention of hurting anybody" when sliding into Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar at second base while trying to break up a double play that turned into a benches-clearing escapade in the seventh inning in Friday's 6-4 loss at Kauffman Stadium.

Escobar, who departed the game immediately, sustained a mild strain and contusion to his left knee, and Lawrie, who was confirmed out on the play following a replay review, said he planned to reach out to Escobar, reiterating several times after the game, "I would never try to cleat anybody."

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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.

Vogt, A's keep enduring Wild Card nightmare

Vogt, A's keep enduring Wild Card nightmare

KANSAS CITY -- On a night Stephen Vogt should've been celebrating his first multi-home run game, the A's catcher instead spent much of his postgame session with the media lamenting moments of a 6-4 loss to the Royals that "brought back a lot of memories" of last year's heartbreaking American League Wild Card Game loss at Kauffman Stadium.

"I felt like we had a ton of barrels right at people, and I felt there were a lot of non-barrels not at people for them," Vogt said. "That's the way this game goes sometimes. It was eerily similar to six months ago."

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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.

Butler happy to receive AL championship ring

Butler happy to receive AL championship ring

KANSAS CITY -- One of the first things former Royals designated hitter Billy Butler did when he got to Kansas City on Thursday, an off-day for his new team, the A's, was check out some serious barbecue.

"I went to Oklahoma Joes yesterday," Butler said, grinning. "I thought it was superstitious in the World Series, too. I went there way more than you should. But I thought it was the reason we were winning. It just didn't work out in Game 7. I thought it was superstition to have good ribs."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scribner pushing for setup role in A's bullpen

Scribner pushing for setup role in A's bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- Evan Scribner's role out of the A's bullpen continues to evolve. The right-hander, no longer limited to long-relief duties, has pitched his way to a potential setup opportunity.

A cutter that Scribner added in recent months, with the help of Spring Training roommate Jesse Chavez, who throws one of the better ones in the game, has expanded Scribner's previous fastball-curve repertoire. That added weapon is helping him expand his role.

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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.

Semien calls wearing No. 42 'a real blessing'

A's shortstop grateful for what Robinson did to open doors for players

Semien calls wearing No. 42 'a real blessing'

HOUSTON -- Count A's shortstop Marcus Semien among those who consider wearing No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day "a real blessing."

"I wish they'd even do it in the Minor Leagues," said Semien, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI infield single while sporting No. 42 on Wednesday in the A's 6-1 loss to the Astros. "It's a very special day. He opened a lot of doors for a lot of people, not only African-American players but players from all over, to come in this league and show their talent, and I'm very grateful for that."

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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.

Pomeranz pays for mistakes in 2nd start

Lefty stung by former teammate Lowrie, and offense offers little support

Pomeranz pays for mistakes in 2nd start

HOUSTON -- Drew Pomeranz was rather spoiled in his first start last week, drawing 11 runs of support while tossing seven scoreless innings against the Mariners. On Wednesday, his A's teammates mustered just one run in Houston, and by the time they got it, Pomeranz had already allowed two.

The lefty was stung by former teammate Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the first inning of a 6-1 loss to the Astros, offering up a two-run home run to the shortstop, and again in the third, when Lowrie pounced on a curveball for a run-scoring double to right field.

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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.

Former mate helps hand A's loss in Houston

Former mate helps hand A's loss in Houston

HOUSTON -- Collin McHugh struck out 11 batters and allowed one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, and Jed Lowrie torched his former team by hitting a homer and driving in three runs to lead the Astros to a 6-1 win over the A's on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

McHugh (2-0) struck out the side in the first inning and had two strikeouts in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, but he was pulled after throwing 102 pitches without pitching deep enough to get a quality start. Lowrie hit a two-run homer in the first inning and had an RBI double in the third to give the Astros a 3-1 lead.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist out of A's lineup due to bruised right heel

Melvin slots Reddick in No. 3 spot for series finale vs. Astros

Zobrist out of A's lineup due to bruised right heel

HOUSTON -- After nine consecutive starts in the third spot of the A's lineup to begin the season, Ben Zobrist handed those duties over to right fielder Josh Reddick for Wednesday's series finale in Houston, as he rested a bruised right heel.

"With the off-day tomorrow, felt like we'd try to take care of it right now," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Doesn't mean he's not available during the game, but he is a guy we're going to be careful with."

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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.

Lowrie haunts former club with 2 big hits

Astros shortstop played for A's during the 2013-14 seasons

Lowrie haunts former club with 2 big hits

HOUSTON -- Jed Lowrie spent the 2013-14 seasons with the A's, but that doesn't mean he didn't want to stick it to his former club.

Lowrie, who signed a three-year deal to return to the Astros, went 2-for-3 with his team-leading third home run of the season and a walk in the Astros' 6-1 win on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

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Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler extends hitting streak to nine games in shutout

Butler extends hitting streak to nine games in shutout

HOUSTON -- A's designated hitter Billy Butler extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI double, highlighting a two-run sixth in support of starter Kendall Graveman, who provided 5 1/3 scoreless innings in a series-clinching 4-0 shutout of the Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.

In the A's five wins, they've outscored the opposition, 42-1.

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

Graveman rebounds in impressive fashion for first win

A's pitcher savors moment after struggling last week in first start

Graveman rebounds in impressive fashion for first win

HOUSTON -- A familiar voice greeted Kendall Graveman as the A's right-hander was walking off the mound at Minute Maid Park in the sixth inning Tuesday. The pitcher turned and spotted his uncle, Alabama resident John Andrews, in the crowd.

"I don't even know how he got here," said Graveman. "Did he drive? Did he fly? All I know, he was hollering."

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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.

Orbit hunts for treasure, finds Reddick's underwear

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Orbit hunts for treasure, finds Reddick's underwear

Athletics outfielder and fine art aficionado Josh Reddick was minding his own beeswax, stretching in the outfield of Minute Maid Park on Tuesday when Astros mascot Orbit came poking around.

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