Athletics

Angela Sun will bring fresh perspective to A's home telecasts

Angela Sun will bring fresh perspective to A's home telecasts

MESA, Ariz. — From reporting on-site at the Winter Olympics to investigating ocean contamination in the Pacific, Angela Sun’s career resume is diverse and wide-ranging.

Now she tackles another challenge as CSN California’s new A’s in-game reporter, where she’ll interact with players, coaches and fans to bring viewers a fresh perspective during home telecasts at the Coliseum.

Sun joins the A’s broadcast team during a time of increased optimism surrounding the franchise’s future, with an announcement expected this year about a location for the A’s to build a new ballpark in Oakland.

“I’m excited about Oakland, and the A’s organization specifically, because there’s just so much energy and good vibes right now,” Sun said. “Oakland is such a special place, and I feel like there are so many things that have yet to be discovered. I’m really excited to explore that, to share fans’ stories, to showcase really all that it has to offer.”

A Saratoga native who attended UCLA, Sun has been somewhat of a trailblazer, becoming the first Asian American female sportscaster to appear on ESPN, Yahoo Sports, Tennis Channel, Fox Sports Net and NBC.

She hosted the Yahoo Sports’ NFL-themed show “Outside The Game,” where her stories ranged from Josh Cribbs’ fashion style to Alan Page’s post-football career as a Minnesota Supreme Court justice. In 2010, she reported for Yahoo on site from Vancouver at the Winter Olympics.

As for her own athletic career growing up in the South Bay, Sun broke into a smile describing how her mother played a part in getting that off the ground.

“My mom would not let me do cheerleading,” she said. “Instead, I did volleyball, basketball and softball until I realized I was vertically challenged and I wasn’t going to grow too much anymore.”

She would soon get into activities like snowboarding and skateboarding, which wound up being good preparation for a stint covering the X Games. In high school Sun even taught herself how to surf. Looking back now, she jokes that it wasn’t the safest decision she’s made, but it’s an example of how she dives into things that catch her interest.

“I’m just pretty stubborn that way,” she said. “If I set my mind to something, I will go 110 percent into it. I like to do my research and I like to be thorough about things. But I’m also the first one to say, ‘I don’t know what I’m talking about.’ And if I don’t, I’ll ask.

“So I try to soak things in like a sponge. And that’s what I’m here for, for the fans and for the players and for the staff and coaches … I want to share their stories and I want to be that conduit so that we get to learn a little bit more behind the uniform.”

That desire to explore was instilled in Sun by her father, who passed away when she was just starting college. Her love for surfing planted the seed for the feature documentary she directed and produced in 2013. “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” examines the damaging effects of plastic pollution in the oceans. The film has received critical praise and been shown at more than 60 film festivals. Read up on it at plasticparadisemovie.com.

Sun says her inquisitive nature will guide her reporting on the A’s just as it has her other assignments.

“I think if you’re passionately curious about things,” she said, “it’ll just lead you down different roads.”

A's notes: Oakland completes best 50-game stretch since 2005

A's notes: Oakland completes best 50-game stretch since 2005

OAKLAND — On June 15, the A's were 34-36, 11 games out of a playoff spot. Since then, all they've done is rattle off 38 wins against 12 losses, their best 50-game stretch in 13 years. Even more incredible, 20 of those 38 wins have been of the comeback variety, and 14 have seen the winning run scored in the eighth inning or later. Oakland has only lost one of its last 17 series (14-1-2), moving within a game of first-place Houston in the AL West.

--- The A's won their 65th straight game when leading at the end of the seventh inning, matching the longest such streak in franchise history (July 21, 1927 – June 23, 1928). Oakland is 50-0 this season when leading at the end of the seventh, and 59-0 when leading at the end of the eighth.

--- Matt Chapman doubled and walked to extend his career-high on-base streak to 28 games. It's the longest active streak in the American League. Chapman also extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games.

--- Marcus Semien hit his third home run in the last four games. He is 9 for his last 17 with three home runs, six RBI, and seven runs scored.

--- Jonathan Lucroy threw out Dee Gordon attempting to steal second base in the eighth inning. Lucroy leads MLB with 22 runners caught stealing this season.

--- The A's have won 11 of their last 12 home games, and 17 of their last 20. For the season, Oakland is 35-23 at the Coliseum.

--- The A's improved to 25-10 in one-run games, the best record in MLB. Seattle fell to 30-16 in one-run contests.

--- Felix Hernandez made his first career relief appearance after making 398 starts. Only Mike Mussina made more career starts before his first relief appearance.

Mike Fiers battles through injury to earn first win with A's

Mike Fiers battles through injury to earn first win with A's

OAKLAND — In the hours leading up to first pitch Tuesday night, Bob Melvin wasn't even sure Mike Fiers would be his starting pitcher.

“He almost didn't make the start,” Melvin said after the game. “He had a lower back/upper glute issue. I had two (lineup) cards made out. I had potentially (Yusmeiro) Petit starting that game.”

Fortunately Fiers was able to battle through the injury and pitch six strong innings, earning his first win as a member of the Athletics.

“I was fine,” Fiers said. “Everyone's not 100 percent this part of the season, but I was fine. I just had a little something going on, but nothing serious at all.”

After allowing a run in the first inning, Fiers settled in and allowed just one more run in the next five innings. He struck out five batters, without issuing a walk.

“The first couple of innings, I was a little worried about him,” Melvin admitted. “He seemed to loosen up and get better as the game went along. But to think that he was going to give us six innings -- he was pitching on adrenaline.”

“I didn't feel anything,” Fiers said. “I just had a little muscle cramp. It was nothing. I just had to stretch and get a little active warmup in, and it went away.”

Fiers has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts, lowering his ERA from 4.29 to 3.38. In two starts with the A's, he has given up just three runs in 11 1/3 innings, for an ERA of 2.38, with 13 strikeouts and no walks.

“They all feel like playoff games,” Fiers said. “This is the spot I wanted to be in. I wanted to be on a team that's winning and heading for the playoffs.”

Fiers has already helped the A's in their playoff push, and he figures to be a vital piece the rest of the season.

“To have a guy go out there and give us a quality start, we're going to need that down the stretch,” said second baseman Jed Lowrie.

“He just goes out there and competes, throws strikes, and goes after guys,” added third baseman Matt Chapman. “It's fun to play defense behind a guy like that.”

“I feel like this team has a lot of trust in me,” Fiers said. “I don't want to let them down. I want to pitch well and give them everything I've got.”