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 returned to the field for the second game of a three-game series Saturday, 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.

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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Melvin sticking with hot-hitting rookie Canha

Right-handed batter makes seventh consecutive start Tuesday

Melvin sticking with hot-hitting rookie Canha

HOUSTON -- A's manager Bob Melvin, who utilized 137 batting orders last year, posted the same lineup for a third consecutive game Tuesday.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?" said Melvin.

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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, Lawrie, Semien notch 1st homers with A's in rout

Newcomers go deep in Houston, account for five runs

Butler, Lawrie, Semien notch 1st homers with A's in rout

HOUSTON -- The A's buried the Astros with a trio of home runs in Monday's three-game series opener, with long balls from newcomers Brett Lawrie, Marcus Semien and Billy Butler accounting for five runs in their 8-1 victory.

Lawrie's was a bullet, Semien essentially swatted his off the scoreboard with a one-handed swing, and Butler's three-run blast is likely still orbiting in space, after departing Minute Maid Park.

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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 head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

MLB head of youth sports Reagins discusses game's future

LOS ANGELES -- Tony Reagins has spent decades in the game of baseball, and he's worked in everything from marketing to baseball operations. Reagins, formerly the general manager of the Angels, has taken on a new assignment with Major League Baseball as the senior vice president of youth programs, and he took some time Tuesday to discuss his plans for the future.

Reagins, under new Commissioner Rob Manfred, will be in charge of consolidating the league's relationships with youth, high school and college baseball organizations around the country. Reagins attended the Civil Rights Game instructional clinic Tuesday at Rancho Cienega Recreation Center, and he spoke a bit about Jackie Robinson, the Urban Youth Academies and the future of the game.

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

A's find power stroke behind stellar Kazmir in Houston

A's find power stroke behind stellar Kazmir in Houston

HOUSTON -- Brett Lawrie, Billy Butler and Marcus Semien each blasted their first home runs as members of the A's, with Butler hitting a three-run shot over the Minute Maid Park railroad tracks in left field in the fifth inning, in an 8-1 rout of the Astros on Monday night.

A's starter Scott Kazmir won for the second time in as many starts, improving to 3-1 in eight career starts against his hometown team by allowing three hits and striking out eight in six innings. He retired the first nine batters he faced before Jose Altuve homered to lead off the fourth to cut the lead to 4-1.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.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.

Rehabbing Parker nearing live game action

Righty throws three sim innings in extended spring camp Monday

Rehabbing Parker nearing live game action

HOUSTON -- Rehabbing A's right-hander Jarrod Parker is nearing live game action, after throwing three simulated innings in extended spring camp on Monday.

Parker, who underwent his second Tommy John surgery last spring, totaled 45 pitches, according to manager Bob Melvin, and allowed one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout while averaging 92 mph on his fastball.

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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 to tie in ninth, fall in 10th

A's rally to tie in ninth, fall in 10th

OAKLAND -- Nelson Cruz homered for the second straight day Sunday and this one lifted the Mariners to an 8-7 victory over the A's in the 10th inning at the Coliseum.

Cruz's home run just over the left-field fence gave Seattle the series win after the A's had rallied for four runs off closer Fernando Rodney in the bottom of the ninth. Cruz's 199th career home run came on a 2-0 changeup from new A's closer Tyler Clippard.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kevin Costner interviews with Astros broadcast

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Kevin Costner interviews with Astros broadcast

Touring through Texas with his band Modern West, Kevin Costner had time to catch Monday's Astros-A's game at Minute Maid Park. The actor/musician talked for six minutes with Houston's broadcast team. One of the best moments comes at the 1:34 mark when he had to do an impromptu home run call for A's infielder Marcus Semien.

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Melvin laments loss, likes grit shown by A's in rally

Melvin laments loss, likes grit shown by A's in rally

OAKLAND -- Ninth-inning magic still lives at the Coliseum. Only it wasn't enough for the A's on Sunday afternoon.

Despite pushing across four runs in the ninth against Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, Oakland suffered an 8-7 loss in extra innings after Nelson Cruz hit a go-ahead solo shot against A's closer Tyler Clippard in the 10th.

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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.

Hahn undone by defensive miscues after sterling start

Right-hander held Mariners hitless through five innings

Hahn undone by defensive miscues after sterling start

OAKLAND -- The first five innings of Jesse Hahn's afternoon couldn't have gone much better. But after being stung by a defensive miscue, he could only watch as his team's lead slipped away.

Though he didn't factor into the decision of Sunday's 8-7 extra-innings loss to the Mariners, Hahn held his own in his second start with the A's and 14th of his career. The 25-year-old right-hander faced the minimum 15 batters through five frames, but was lifted with two outs in the sixth after the Mariners rallied to take a 4-3 lead.

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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.

Outs at home, pair of replays foil A's against Mariners

Outs at home, pair of replays foil A's against Mariners

OAKLAND -- There was a laundry list of game-changing plays that could've gone the A's way but didn't in Saturday's 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Mariners, including a pair of replay reviews that went in Seattle's favor, along with two close run-ins at the plate that took away at least two runs.

"There are just so many things you could look back on this game that could've decided it one way or the other, probably for both teams," said A's manager Bob Melvin, "and they just got one more big hit than we did."

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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.

Gray fights through illness to pitch into 8th

Righty catches bug, but posts second straight strong start to open season

Gray fights through illness to pitch into 8th

OAKLAND -- Sonny Gray caught the bug that's swarming around the A's clubhouse but managed to push it aside for 7 1/3 innings of impressive work in a 5-4 loss to the Mariners on Saturday.

Never mind that he worked eight innings just five days prior, too.

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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 fall in 11th after Gray's terrific start

A's fall in 11th after Gray's terrific start

OAKLAND -- Mariners shortstop Brad Miller hit a go-ahead, RBI double off A's reliever Fernando Abad in the 11th inning, leading Seattle to a 5-4 victory at the Coliseum on Saturday to split the first two games of this three-game series. Miller's knock plated first baseman Logan Morrison, who led off with a single and advanced to second on Dustin Ackley's sacrifice bunt. More >

Right fielder Nelson Cruz launched a three-run homer off Oakland reliever Dan Otero in the eighth to give the Mariners a 4-2 lead, but the A's answered back against Seattle's bullpen with two runs in the bottom of the inning, getting a pair of RBI doubles from Ben Zobrist and Brett Lawrie.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.