Pratt's Instant Replay: Blue Jays 6, A's 5


Pratt's Instant Replay: Blue Jays 6, A's 5


OAKLAND -- The A's had won 10-straight one-run games before losing 6-5 to the Blue Jays on Sunday. A few bad breaks derailed the A's hopes of winning the four-game series against Toronto. The A's were burned by a sun-aided single that ended up yielding three runs and later a line drive to end the game that might have tied it up had it not been snared in a slick play by Yan Gomes. At the PlateThe A's rallied with two outs in the second inning. Brandon Inge smacked a single up the middle. Derek Norris came next and lined a double into the left field gap just past a diving attempt by center fielder Anthony Gose. Inge came around to score with ease tying the game at one.Josh Reddick has had some struggles with runners in scoring position. He delivered in a major way on Sunday. With two on and one out Reddick pulled an 0-2 pitch into the right field bleachers. Reddick's three-run homer gave the A's a 4-1 lead. According to the official scorer David Feldman it is the first time in his career he has hit an 0-2 pitch for a home run. Reddick now has 24 homers this season.The A's hit two doubles in the seventh inning to put another run on the scoreboard. Adam Rosales doubled to left with one out and then Coco Crisp doubled down the right field line to score Rosales.Chris Carter drew a one-out walk in the eighth inning. He leads Major League Baseball with 19 walks since the All-Star Break.Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a sprained wrist. He went 0 for 4.Down 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth Derek Norris just missed a game-tying homer to left field. The ball hooked foul. He hit another long foul ball later in the bat but ended up striking out swinging. Brandon Moss pinch hit for Rosales and drew a four-pitch walk before Eric Sogard was brought in as a pinch runner. Jemile Weeks hit a hard liner that was snared by the third baseman and tossed to first to double off Sogard to end the game. Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone's line is an ugly one. He allowed six runs in six innings and gave up nine hits and one walk. He didn't pitch quite as bad as the numbers indicate.He gave up a leadoff double to Rajai Davis. The speedy former A's player then broke for third as Anthony Gose dropped a bunt. As Gose made contact Davis never slowed down, he tore around third and scored as catcher Derek Norris threw to first. Norris might not have thought Davis was coming home. It is not often you see a runner score from second on a bunt. Milone failed to throw a shutdown inning after Reddick's homer gave him a three-run lead. He missed on a two-strike fastball that Edwin Encarnacion clubbed for a two-run homer to dead center field. It was Encarnacion's 29th home run of the year. Encarnacion was property of the Oakland Athletics very briefly prior to the 2011 season. On November 12, 2010 Encarnacion was selected off waivers by the A's from the Blue Jays. Less than a month later he was granted his free agency on December 2. At the time the A's thought Kevin Kouzmanoff was their answer at third base.Milone would have had a three-up, three-down inning in the fifth. Instead he ended up giving up three runs. The rookie left-handed pitcher did his part inducing a popup to shallow left field but Adam Rosales lost the ball in the sun and it fell safely for a single. Gose hit a double in the next at-bat, then Encarnacion was walked intentionally to load the bases. Next, Yunel Escobar smacked a two-run single to give the Jays a 5-4 lead. Kelly Johnson followed with a bloop single to shallow left to put the Jays up 6-4. It was an unfortunate turn of events for Milone.Milone has allowed 16 runs in his last 19 innings, which has to be a concern since he has been consistently good most of this season. The long ball has been a problem for Milone though. He has allowed 19 homers this season.Bullpen ReportThe A's bullpen pitched 18 and one-third innings in the last two games. As a result Oakland recalled Evan Scribner and Pedro Figueroa to provide some fresh arms for the pen. Scribner was the first to get the call out of the pen on Sunday. He pitched the seventh and eighth innings for the A's. He allowed three hits but didn't allow a run.Figueroa was next up. He stuck out Gose on a 95-mph fastball. Then quickly retired the next two hitters. Figueroa has some serious velocity from the left side. Scribner and Figueroa did a fantastic job giving the A's other over-worked relievers a much needed day of rest.In the FieldIn the third inning Moises Sierra hit a sky-high pop up to shallow left field. Jonny Gomes battled the sun and dropped to the ground in order to catch the ball. The sun aided the Blue Jays in the fifth inning when Rosales dropped a pop up that would have ended the inning. Three runs scored after Rosales' miscue.Norris threw out Kelly Johnson trying to steal second base in the second inning.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 18,308.Dot RaceWhite won the dot race after being slingshotted across the finish line.Up NextThe Angels come to town for a three-game series. Jarrod Parker, Bartolo Colon, and Dan Straily will pitch in the series. They will be opposed by Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and Zack Greinke.

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.