Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-busting win vs Indians

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-busting win vs Indians


The A’s were overdue for this one.

They snapped a four-game losing streak on their current road trip with Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians, and it was the rare occasion of late where they grabbed an early lead and made it stand.

Chad Pinder, drawing the start at shortstop, enjoyed the first two-homer game of his career, and Sean Manaea delivered seven strong innings on the mound as the A’s picked up their second win on a seven-game road trip that ends with Thursday’s matinee at Progressive Field.

Here’s five things you need to know from this one …

Pinder continues to state his case for regular playing time: There’s no one position where Pinder can settle in at right now. That’s been established. But it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the A’s need to find more regular time for this guy. And until Marcus Semien returns from a fractured wrist, that spot probably should be shortstop. Pinder has plenty of background playing shortstop and he’s shown a strong arm. Right now, he’s more of an answer offensively than Adam Rosales.

Manaea stepped up when the A’s badly needed him to: Daniel Mengden and Sonny Gray turned in subpar starting efforts in the first two games of this four-game series. Manaea took the mound Wednesday and was terrific, throwing seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out nine and walking just one. He’s been the winning pitcher in each of the A’s victories on this trip.

Every game Yonder Alonso plays is a chance to strengthen his All-Star case: The early news Wednesday was that Alonso sits second in American League All-Star voting at first base, behind only Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera. From this point moving forward, it’s a chance for Alonso to continue to bolster his case, both in the fan voting and in the eyes of his fellow players who cast votes for reserves.

Indians SS Francisco Lindor shows — again — that he’s one of the game’s brightest young stars: Lindor did the only damage off Manaea, reaching out and popping a breaking ball over the wall in left for a fourth-inning homer. He also made a terrific diving play in the ninth to retire Alonso.

The bullpen brought this one home: After Manaea left the game, Ryan Madson delivered a scoreless eighth with one strikeout. Then closer Santiago Casilla worked around a dropped fly ball from left fielder Khris Davis and nailed down his eighth save.


A's announce 2018 Opening Day starter


A's announce 2018 Opening Day starter

For the second straight season, Kendall Graveman will get the ball on Opening Day for the A's. And for the second straight year, he'll face Mike Trout and the Angels.

The team made the news official on Tuesday morning.

Last year, in a win over the Angels, Graveman went six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out seven.

"It's something I don't take for granted. It's an honor and a privilege and [I just want to] try to get the season off to a good start and hopefully be a leader of this staff," Graveman told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.

In four seasons with the A's and Blue Jays, Graveman has a 4.11 ERA in 76 appearances.

A's agree to deal with familiar veteran pitcher


A's agree to deal with familiar veteran pitcher

UPDATE (Mar. 19, 7:45 p.m. PT): The A's officially announced the Cahill signing on Monday. This story has been updated to reflect that.

On the same day the Oakland A's learned they'd be without Jharel Cotton all season, they signed a familiar face to bolster their pitching depth. 

Oakland agreed to a one-year deal with Trevor Cahill, nearly 12 years after the A's drafted him in the second round. 

Cahill pitched for Oakland from 2009-11. He started 96 games in three seasons with the A's, going 40-35 with a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. Since Oakland traded him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dec. 2011, Cahill's pitched for six teams. 

The 30-year-old won a World Series ring with the Chicago Cubs in 2016, and pitched for the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals last season. In 2017, he went 4-3 in 21 appearances (14 starts) with a 4.93 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.