Pratt's Instant Replay: Rangers 7, A's 2


Pratt's Instant Replay: Rangers 7, A's 2


For the third straight night the A's got off to a promising start before falling apart. This time it was two fifth-inning errors that did them in against the division-leading Rangers. Texas defeated the A's 7-2, it is the first game the A's have lost by more than one run in their last eight losses. Starting Pitching ReportTommy Milone pitched much better than the score indicates. He lasted five innings allowing six runs, only one of them earned. He struck out a career-high six hitters. The young lefty fell victim to shoddy defense in a big fifth inning for the Rangers. Texas plated five runs, three coming on a Josh Hamilton homer after the A's committed two errors. Giving the top-hitting team in baseball extra outs is a recipe for disaster, and it burned the A's on Saturday. The Rangers' other two runs in the fifth came on a two-run single by Ian Kinsler. He struck out looking in his first two at-bats.At the PlateChris Carter stayed hot since being called up to the A's on Friday. The right-handed slugger is 3-for-7 with two homers, three runs and two RBIs in his last two games. Carter was a factor in the A's only two runs. He homered in the second inning, then hit a two-out double in the fourth inning, and came around to score on a single by Brandon Inge. Inge now has 34 RBIs in 40 games with the A's. Yoenis Cespedes lead off with a double to right field in the sixth inning, but the A's failed to score. Cespedes is 6-for-12 in the series with three RBIs and one walk. Bullpen ReportBrian Fuentes made his first appearance since June 23. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning, but was charged with a run in the seventh after he remained in the game and gave up two hits before departing. The run scored when Jordan Norberto gave up an RBI single to Hamilton. Norberto finished the night with 1.2 innings pitched, allowing two hits and striking out one batter. In the FieldIn the fourth inning, Elvis Andrus lead off with a double. He attempted to steal third but Kurt Suzuki gunned him down with a perfect strike to Inge at third. Inge committed his second error in as many nights, allowing Nelson Cruz to reach base to start the bottom of the fifth. Cruz was caught in a rundown when Yorvit Torrealba grounded into a fielder's choice. The next batter Craig Gentry hit a line drive that Brandon Hicks made a leaping catch on. He had to use every last inch of his 6'2" frame to catch the ball. Hicks later made an error bobbling a ball that would have ended the inning. That preceded the Hamilton home run. Up NextOn Sunday Travis Blackley (1-2, 3.05 ERA) takes on Yu Darvish (10-4, 3.57 ERA). Darvish is tied for the A.L. lead with 10 wins, but struggled in his last start against the A's. He is 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA in three starts against Oakland. Blackley has pitched well over his last three starts, but left his previous start in Seattle after seven innings with back tightness.

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.