Parker falters in fifth as rookie can't match Greinke in A's loss


Parker falters in fifth as rookie can't match Greinke in A's loss


OAKLAND For four innings, rookie Jarrod Parker tradedzeroes with a former Cy Young Award winner in Zack Greinke.But the fifth inning has spelled doom for Parker in many previous starts, andTuesday was no different. Parker allowed the games first run in the fifth,gave up a second in the sixth, and the As bullpen didnt do him any favors, asthe Angels added four insurance runs to roll to a 6-1 win.Parker gave up his fifth-inning run on three singles and has now allowed 20 ofhis 61 runs in that fateful frame. That means 32.8 of the runs opponents scoreagainst Parker come in the fifth.As manager Bob Melvin said he was unaware of the numbers, but wasnt ready tocall it a trend.I dont see a trend there, Melvin said. Maybe the numbers would suggestthat, but I havent seen anything that would suggest a fifth-inning problem forhim.What about Parker? His explanation:Its just probably the hitters making an adjustment and mebeing a little bit behind and not making a quick enough adjustment.Fifth-inning blemishes aside, Parker put together an impressive outing. Melvinwill take two runs in seven innings, especially from a rookie in September, anyday.He threw the ball well, Melvin said. Weve got to scoresome runs to win the game. But all in all I thought he threw really well.Unfortunately for Melvin, Parker and the As, Greinke threw better. Greinkegave up a solo shot to Brandon Moss, a double to Seth Smith and two duck-snortsingles in his seven innings of work. The As looked lost at the plate the restof the time. Obviously hes got great stuff and you know that when anyof those guys over there go out to the mound, you have to be on your game andbasically go blow for blow, Parker said. And we tried to do that and we did apretty good job of it early.The As struggled against Greinke less than a month aftertagging him for four runs in five innings in his third start as an Angel onAugust 8. They worked five walks off him in the second inning alone. He was adifferent pitcher Tuesday.A lot better than we saw him last time, Melvin said. He had better commandof his fastball, you know, speed you up, slow you down. He just had us offbalance all night. Other than Moss home run, we didnt get too many goodswings.Moss home run to lead off the seventh made the score 2-1and brought some life to the sparse Coliseum crowd, but the As bullpen allowedtwo runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to put the game essentially outof reach.The two eighth-inning runs were charged to Sean Doolittle, who was welcomed tothe game with a sharp line drive off his shin. To add insult to injury, theshin burger ricocheted into the outfield for a leadoff single for AlbertPujols. Melvin and the As trainers checked on Doolittle, but determined he wasfine to remain in the game. Doolittle may have been better off icing his leg onthe bench, as he gave up a double and another single before handing the ballover to Melvin with the As trailing 4-1.Hes a little sore, Melvin said. It got him pretty good.He was alright to pitch, certainly with the adrenaline and everything. Wellsee how he is tomorrow.Tomorrow, the As wrap up their series with the Angels andwill look to avoid their first sweep since falling to the Diamondbacks in threestraight contests in Arizona from June 8-10. Salvaging a win in the home seriesis especially important considering the As play 16 of their next 19 games awayfrom Oakland.We dont want to get swept by these guys at home, Melvinsaid. I think each and every game is important here in September. But theycome in and take the first two games from us; I think its just as important towin the game tomorrow to not get swept by them, let alone a homeroad issue.A dejected Parker stood at his locker in the clubhouse after the game and tooksolace in the fact that the As have Brandon McCarthy on the mound for thematinee series finale on Wednesday. We dont want to be on the losing end of anything, Parkersaid. And I think when we send Mac out tomorrow, we have a pretty good chanceof taking a game. And every game is important at this point.

Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'


Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'

C.C. Sabathia couldn't save the Yankees' 2017 season. And now he has a decision to make.

After nine seasons in New York, the 37-year-old hits the free agent market this winter.

With career earnings nearing $250 million and a 2009 World Series ring already on his resume, would the Vallejo-native consider coming home to play for the A's? That's a question that was posed to Insider Joe Stiglich last week.

While it's a possibility, based on comments after Saturday's ALCS Game 7 loss to the Astros, it sounds like Sabathia doesn't want to leave The Bronx.

“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great. This is my home, and I want to see this thing through," Sabathia told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series


Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series


HOUSTON -- Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis off Sabathia which made it 1-0.

Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of "MVP" rained down on him.

Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.

Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles after that before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann's two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.

It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who dropped Game 7 to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS 13 years ago today.

Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.

Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston's lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird's cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.

A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.

Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh inning.