Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 10, Angels 4

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Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 10, Angels 4

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OAKLAND -- A night after suffering their MLB-worst 13th shutout, the A's erupted for 10 runs against the Angels. Oakland hit four home runs en route to a 10-4 rout of their division rivals. C.J. Wilson hasn't won a game in his last eight starts. The A's tattooed him for six runs. At the PlateJonny Gomes got the scoring started with a solo homer to left field. It was his 12th of the year. Like the Petaluma National Little League team that defeated Nevada 10-6 to advance to the Western Regional Playoffs, Gomes had success at the plate on Tuesday. He also added an RBI single in the fifth inning. Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup and collected two infield singles. He now has 11 this season. After spraining his right wrist on Friday attempting to steal third base, he successfully swiped third on Tuesday night. He ended the night 2 for 5. Derek Norris stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the first, third and fourth innings. The first time he struck out looking to end the inning. The second time he hit a sharp grounder to third base that was completely missed by Alberto Callaspo. Two runs scored on the play making it 3-0 A's. The third time he hit a soft grounder to Wilson. Norris stepped to the plate in the sixth inning without the bases loaded. He smashed a pitch from David Carpenter onto the out of town scoreboard in left field. The umpires ended up reviewing the play and confirmed it was a two-run homer, which made the score 8-0. Adam Rosales followed with a line drive homer to left field and then did his patented home run sprint. It was his first of the year. Rosales also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Jemile Weeks cracked an RBI triple into the right field gap making it 5-0 in the third inning. Weeks leads the American League with eight triples this season. Josh Reddick sent bacon to the right field bleachers before the game to celebrate Bacon Tuesday. In the eighth inning he also sent them his 25th home run ball. He smashed a Jerome Williams sinker into the bleachers over the 362 sign. The A's smacked around Wilson and drew five walks. Wilson, who is infamous around these parts for saying the A's play "lawyer ball," and his criticisms of the Oakland fan base and their pitching mound -- was met with his typical "C.J. sucks" chants from the fans. They were sent home happy. Starting Pitching ReportBartolo Colon extended his scoreless inning streak to a career high 22 and one-third innings on Tuesday. His scoreless streak was snapped in the seventh inning on an unearned run. Colon set the tone early, striking out rookie phenom Mike Trout looking on a four-seam fastball, and Albert Pujols on a two-seam fastball. He carved up the Angels lineup for seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball. He threw 93 pitches -- 73 strikes -- and struck out five batters while walking none. He was in complete control on the mound. With the way the A's rookie pitchers have been struggling lately, the consistency of the 39-year-old veteran has been massive for this pitching rotation. Colon is now 10-6 in his career against the Angels. Bullpen ReportTravis Blackley entered the game and surrendered a homer to Trout. Trout's 20th homer of the season came on his 21st birthday. Trout is now one of five players to hit a homer run on his 21st birthday in MLB history (Ted Williams - 1939, Frank Robinson - 1956, Alex Rodriguez - 1996, Jason Heyward - 2010).Blackley also allowed a two-run homer to Erick Aybar in the ninth inning. In the FieldCoco Crisp made an unbelievable leaping catch to rob Kendrys Morales of a home run in the ninth inning. He tracked the ball all the way to the wall in center field and then leaped up and caught the ball at the height of his jump.Inge made a leaping snag on a hard liner hit by Maicer Izturis. Jemile Weeks was charged with an error in the seventh inning after bouncing a throw to Chris Carter. It looked like a play Carter should make. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 15,458. Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race. Funny how Blue lost every race during the Blue Jays series and now Red is in a slump with the Angels in town. Up NextDan Straily (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will take the mound in his second Major League start. He leads all of professional baseball this season with 180 strikeouts -- 175 in the minor leagues. Straily told me a story about taking BART to the Coliseum during a 2 Wednesday to watch the A's play the Angels when he was in college. He will now be on the mound in the exact same scenario. Zack Greinke (0-1, 5.14 ERA in the American League) will take the mound for the Angels in the rubber match. Greinke was acquired by the Angels in a big trade deadline deal.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

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AP

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

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Ryon Healy trade has domino effect

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AP

Ryon Healy trade has domino effect

The A’s wasted no time making their first major move of the offseason, and it has a domino effect on how their 2018 lineup will take shape.

The trade of young slugger Ryon Healy to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday paves the way for left fielder Khris Davis to start getting heavy at-bats as the designated hitter, the spot left vacant by Healy.

It also points to another move the A’s want to pull off — acquiring a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who presumably can eat up those defensive innings that Davis spends as the DH.

It’s a series of moves that isn’t all that surprising given the A’s roster makeup right now. Healy, who hit .282 with 38 homers in 221 games over his first two big league seasons, is capable of playing either first or third base. But Matt Olson and Matt Chapman secured those spots, respectively, with their solid showings as rookies last season.

“We’ve obviously talked a lot since the end of the season about adding to the bullpen,” A’s general manager David Forst said on a conference call Wednesday night. “At the same time, with the emergence of Matt and Matt, on the corners, maybe Ryon needed to be somebody we might have to move ...”

It makes sense for Oakland to find a way to shift Davis from being the everyday left fielder while still keeping his 40-homer bat in the lineup. Opponents have routinely taken extra bases the past two seasons on Davis’ throwing arm, and whether they add a newcomer to play left or shift Joyce or someone else there, chances are they can benefit from better defense in left.

The A’s also feel they got an important chip back from Seattle to help bolster a bullpen that ranked 13th in the American League last season with a 4.57 ERA. They received right-hander Emilio Pagan (along with minor league shortstop Alexander Campos), and figure that the 26-year-old Pagan is someone the A’s have pegged to be an immediate contributor in their ‘pen.

A 10th round draft pick in 2013, Pagan made his big league debut in 2017 and posted a 3.22 ERA over 34 games spread over four stints with Seattle. He endured a rocky first couple of outings but, after being called up for good in the second half, eventually worked his way into a late-inning setup role. Pagan struck out 56 and walked just eight in 50 1/3 innings, numbers that surely popped out to Oakland’s front office.

He’ll likely be called upon in middle relief to help set the table for Chris Hatcher and closer Blake Treinen, as the bullpen currently looks.

Campos, just 17, spent this past season in the Dominican Summer League, and Forst said the A’s were eyeing Campos last summer when they eventually traded Yonder Alonso to the Mariners. Oakland wound up getting center fielder Boog Powell back in that deal.

Did the A’s rake in enough for Healy? As with all trades, it will take time to judge. But it’s fair to say that Healy’s departure will be felt in a clubhouse that is characterized by the emergence of many young position players, and he was a part of that group. In fact, when Healy was called up in July 2016 — knocking Danny Valencia out as the regular third baseman — he became the first of several promising position-player prospects to establish himself in Oakland’s lineup.

He rented a house in the East Bay and eventually took in Chapman, Olson and Chad Pinder as roommates. There’s a fiery side to Healy’s on-field personality that was a positive for the A’s, and watching him play Oakland as a member of an AL West rival will make for entertaining theatre.

Another storyline is how Davis takes to being a regular DH. Forst praised Davis’ approach to his game and doesn’t anticipate any problems, adding that the A’s still want to get Davis some time in the outfield.