Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 20, Red Sox 2

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 20, Red Sox 2

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- There's lopsided wins and then there's what happened in Oakland on Friday night. The A's clobbered the Red Sox in a 20-2 assault, The fourth time in Oakland history the team has scored 20 runs in a game.The A's have now won six in a row against the Red Sox for the first time since 1969, have won seven games in a row, and are a season-high 17 games over .500.At the PlateBrandon Moss got the start at first base over Chris Carter because he has a good track record against Red Sox starting pitcher Aaron Cook. He didn't disappoint. Moss clubbed two RBI doubles and a two-run homer to right field. He ended the night with four hits and four RBI -- both career highs. The home run came in the fifth inning off reliever Junichi Tazawa.Jonny Gomes spent the afternoon giving a tour to the Petaluma National Little League team. He led them through the dugout and clubhouse before the game, then led by example on the field. He cracked an RBI single in the first inning that sent the Petaluma kids into a frenzy in their left field suite. He knocked starting pitcher Cook out of the game with another run-scoring single in the third.Josh Donaldson is staying insanely hot. He incinerated one of Cook's pitches for a two-run homer off the concrete facing of the left field bleachers. With regular third baseman Brandon Inge set to return any day now, Donaldson has hit three homers in his last three games. He drove in another run with the based loaded in the seventh inning. He left the game with an apparent injury after reaching third in the seventh.George Kottaras kept the rout of the Red Sox going with a solo home run to right field. His second homer with the A's made it a 9-1 game. He made it an even 20 runs for Oakland with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. This is the first time Kottaras has hit two home runs in a game.The A's rallied for nine runs in the seventh inning. They sent 11 batters to the plate and forced the Red Sox to throw 52 pitches. The big blow for the A's was a Josh Reddick's first career grand slam which gave the A's an 18-2 lead. Like Donaldson, Reddick has three homers in as many games. Donaldson, Kottaras, Cliff Pennington, and Stephen Drew also drove in runs in that inning. The last time the A's put up a nine spot in a single frame was July 27, 2011 against Tampa Bay. Starting Pitching ReportBrandon McCarthy went six and one-thirds innings and allowed just two runs. He scattered nine hits and didn't walk a batter.Boston's first run off McCarthy was scored on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia homer to right field. It looked like a mistake pitch as it was a cutter left a little high over the plate. McCarthy saved his first strikeout of the game for when he needed it the most. With runners on the corners and one out he got James Loney swinging on a 91-mph cutter. Loney was the 23rd Boston batter. McCarthy retired Saltalamacchia to end the inning and the Red Sox threat.McCarthy left the game with 103 pitches and runners on first and second. One of those runners ended up scoring after a wild pitch and a ground out.Bullpen ReportPedro Figueroa entered in relief of McCarthy in the seventh. He threw a wild pitch before retiring the next two batters he faced. He was assisted by two solid plays by Donaldson. He lasted one and two-thirds innings. Evan Scribner pitched a low pressure ninth inning with an 18-run lead.In the FieldCliff Pennington made a spectacular over the shoulder catch in right field -- yes, right field. The second baseman ranged deep into the outfield and snagged the ball as he went into a slide just missing Reddick.In the seventh inning with runners on second and third Donaldson made a ranging bare-handed play on a ball down the third baseline. A runner scored on the play but Donaldson's effort limited the damage.
AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 20,121.Dot RaceGold wins the dot race. White bumped Green off the track just prior to the finish line.Up NextA.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.42) will return from the disabled list and take the mound on Saturday for the A's. We have the full details here.The Red Sox will be sending Felix Doubront (10-6, 4.79 ERA) to the mound. He gave up five runs in four innings in a losing effort against the against the A's on May 1.

New Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna takes jab at A's during media event

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AP

New Cardinals OF Marcell Ozuna takes jab at A's during media event

While expressing his happiness to be with his new team, Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna took a swipe at the A’s during a media function in St. Louis on Sunday.

Ozuna’s name, you’ll remember, swirled in trade rumors earlier this offseason that he might be dealt from the Miami Marlins to Oakland. Instead, the two-time All-Star was traded to St. Louis, making him one of several big-name players Miami has shipped off as it looks to slash payroll.

While attending the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up event to preview this season, Ozuna was asked what it was like being dealt to a team that’s more focused on winning right away as opposed to the rebuilding Marlins.

“I feel happy about that,” Ozuna responded. “First thing when I heard they were trying to trade me to the Oakland A’s, I say … (long pause) Well, I say ‘God, please leave me over here.’ Then I heard they trade me to the Cardinals, I say ‘OK, thanks.’”

Ouch.

Well, it’s not the first time such an insult has been hurled the A’s way, whether directly or indirectly. Last winter, it came out that Matt Holliday — who spent part of 2009 with Oakland — had a no-trade clause included in his contract with the Yankees that prohibited him from being traded only to the A’s.

Is it surprising to hear Ozuna volunteer his thoughts about the A’s in a public forum? Perhaps.

Is it a shock that he’d feel that way in the first place? Definitely not.

It’s no secret the A’s reputation is one of a team that’s always looking to trade its best veteran players rather than spend the money to sign them long term. It’s also common knowledge that they play in an outdated ballpark that’s considered the worst in the majors.

No question, those are the dominant thoughts of players on the other 29 teams when they think of the A’s. And there’s no quick fix to that. National perception is tough to alter.

“Why doesn’t ownership just start spending more money on payroll?” you might ask. “That’s the best way to change perception.”

No arguments there, but we know from the past that isn’t going to happen. Clearly, majority owner John Fisher isn’t going to spend more freely on payroll — especially with the A’s being cut off from MLB’s revenue sharing system — unless he sees the potential for other forms of revenue to stream in.

It all points back to the critical need for the A’s to identify a ballpark site and begin construction on a new home. That will send a message around the majors that a plan is in motion, that better days are ahead.

Until then, the A’s can expect to absorb the occasional jab like that delivered by Ozuna. On the bright side for Oakland fans, they might have just identified Public Enemy No. 2, a player who can slot in right behind Holliday as their favorite opponent to vilify.

A's, Khris Davis avoid arbitration, but is this a long-term union?

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USATSI

A's, Khris Davis avoid arbitration, but is this a long-term union?

The A’s took care of a big piece of business with their top run producer, signing slugger Khris Davis to a one-year contract Wednesday and avoiding arbitration.

FanRag’s Jon Heyman reported the sides settled on a $10.5 million salary. That’s more than double the $5 million Davis made last season in his first trip through the arbitration process, but a huge raise was expected after Davis put up more monster numbers in his second year with Oakland.

His 43 home runs in 2017 ranked second in the American League and he was third in RBI with 110. Consider that Davis is the only major leaguer to crack the 40-homer mark in each of the past two seasons, and only Giancarlo Stanton has more total homers during that span (86 to Davis’ 85).

That obviously makes the 30-year-old Davis a valuable commodity.

“Back to back 40-homer years in this ballpark. You guys don’t talk about it enough,” A’s executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane said in October. “When we acquired him (in a trade from Milwaukee) we knew we got a guy with a lot of power. I think we were thinking a 30-homer guy. The fact he’s gone 40 back-to-back is pretty amazing. He fits in perfectly here. I think having that big bat that Khris brings helps guys like (Matt) Olson and (Matt) Chapman.”

So it’s clear the A’s value Davis, and that’s why he hasn’t been traded thus far, as many around the game speculated he might be this winter. But where do things go moving forward?

He’ll be eligible for arbitration one more time next winter before he’s able to test free agency heading into the 2020 season. If you’re an A’s fan, you know where this is going. If July hits and the A’s are floundering in the standings, Davis no doubt will be a trade candidate. He’d have appeal as a proven slugger who would remain under team control for 2019.

But Davis is a rare breed. He loves playing in Oakland and doesn’t hide that fact. The pitcher-friendly Coliseum has done nothing to suppress his power. In fact, he’s thrived. His 26 home runs at the Coliseum in 2017 fell one short of Jason Giambi’s Oakland record for homers by a home player.

It would seem he’d be open to a long-term extension, and the sides reportedly have held past discussions about one. The A’s have designs on signing some of their younger core players to extensions. But you’d have to rank it as a surprise were they to actually complete an extension with Davis, given the money he would command.

More than likely, Beane and his staff will evaluate the team through the first half of the upcoming season, weigh the pros and cons of dealing him, and if he stays, enter through this arbitration process again next winter, knowing that he’ll command even more bucks on another one-year deal.

An ‘X’ factor is how Davis adjusts to his shift from left field to designated hitter. He told NBC Sports California in November that he prefers the outfield but will fill whatever role is best for the team.

The feeling here is that he’ll put up the same numbers that fans have grown accustomed to, and the ball will be in the A’s court as to how long he remains in green and gold.