Athletics

A's walk off Angels, win first series vs AL West since April

A's walk off Angels, win first series vs AL West since April

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Jonathan Lucroy hit an RBI single off the center-field wall in the 11th inning and the Oakland Athletics capped their comeback Sunday with a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The A's rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie it at 5, then took advantage of control problems by a pair of Angels relievers to win.

Jed Lowrie led off the 11th with a single and Jake Jewell (0-1) hit Khris Davis with a pitch. After Matt Olson flied, Eduardo Paredes replaced Jewell and walked Mark Canha to load the bases.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought left fielder Justin Upton in for a five-man infield but it didn't matter. Lucroy hit a deep drive to win it.

Canha hit an early two-run homer, and added a tying single with two outs in the ninth. Marcus Semien homered to begin the Oakland ninth.

Albert Pujols hit his 625th career home run, Chris Young also went deep and Mike Trout reached base five times for the Angels.

It was another blown save for Scioscia's bullpen, the 15th by the Angels this season.

Blake Parker gave up two runs in the ninth. He also had a blown save Wednesday in Seattle. Canha's tying single came off Cam Bedrosian.

Pujols' drive off Daniel Mengden was his fourth this month and 11th overall this season. It also moved the Angels' 38-year-old slugger within five home runs of tying Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth place all time.

Pujols also had an RBI single in the third.

Trout had homered in four of his previous six games. He had singles in the fifth and ninth, walked twice and was hit by a pitch.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman (right thumb contusion) added throwing to his regimen, one day before his scheduled visit with a hand specialist in Los Angeles. Chapman's biggest hurdle remains swinging a bat. . LHP Brett Anderson (strained left shoulder) is headed for Arizona to pitch in extended spring training.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (5-2, 2.61 ERA) faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a two-game series Monday in Anaheim. Barria's ERA is the lowest among all rookies with at least 40 innings pitched this season.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05 ERA) starts against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday to begin Oakland's 10-game road trip.

Troy Tulowitzki as A's second baseman could be awesome possibility

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USATSI

Troy Tulowitzki as A's second baseman could be awesome possibility

The A's are making starting pitching a priority during their offseason quests for improvements. But after some recent news that they might not be bringing second baseman Jed Lowrie back, a middle infielder spot could be opening up.

So why not Troy Tulowitzki?

Yes. The shortstop was released by the Blue Jays on Tuesday, making him a free agent.

Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle was told by Tulo's agent, Paul Cohen, that the 34-year-old would love to play in the Bay Area:

This is good news, considering there was one point in Tulowitzki's career that whispers said he refused to move from his position at shortstop.

The Jays still owe him $38 million, so he's not necessarily desperate for the money. Plus, he's from the Bay. He went to Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, and even grew up an A's fan. 

He has an extensive résumé as well: Five All-Star selections, two Gold Gloves and just as many Silver Slugger Awards. 

His downfall, however, is his health. He's unfortunately defined by his injuries, which is a black cloud hanging over him as he hits the market.

But at the end of the day, why not?

Chris Herrmann, A's agrees to one-year contract reportedly worth $1M

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Chris Herrmann, A's agrees to one-year contract reportedly worth $1M

The A's announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement with catcher Chris Herrmann.

News of the agreement originally was reported by Jerry Crasnick. Fancred's Jon Heyman reported it as a one-year, $1 million deal.

Herrmann spent 2018 with the Mariners and played in 36 games. He finished his campaign with a .237.322/.421 slash line and two home runs ... one of which was a walk-off shot against Oakland:

The A's recently agreed to terms with backup catcher Josh Phegley on a one-year deal, and Jonathan Lucroy, who sported green and gold last season, is in a different situation of his own. As The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported, the 32-year-old would accept a one-year deal, but the two aren't on the same page in regard to contract negotiations. 

This could mean, just like Jed Lowrie, they could be moving on.

Herrmann has moved around a lot on the defense. He has played in every position in the outfield, on top of being behind the plate, and he even spent some time at first base. 

His power increased from 2017, but his massive power surge in 2016 is something of note. It's up to you if you want to determine whether or not Chase Field's ballpark factor is something that carried that or not, but a .284 batting average with a .209 ISO is something that cannot be ignored.

"We saw him last year," Bob Melvin told NBC Sports Bay Area. "He had some good games against us. A left-handed bat. Kind of a guy with a lot of versatility, yet we're identifying him right now at the catching position. I don't think he's ever got a true opportunity to catch consistently. There's a good chance where we're sitting right now that he's going to get a lot more reps behind the plate.

"He handles the bat pretty well. A lot of the metrics we look at as far as framing and pop times to second base look pretty good for us, and that's why we ended up signing him."

And Melvin might not be done signing catchers.

"In any position nowadays, you're trying to increase your depth, no matter what," the manager said. "It's not a significant cost for us. It's a guy that we like, and our analytics would support that. We'll continue to look -- and potentially Luc, too, because he was so impactful for us last year.

"Down the road, we're looking at kind of holding down the fort for Sean Murphy. We think he has a chance to be a real good everyday big league player behind the plate, too."

It'll be interesting to see how Herrmann fares, but he's no stranger to the American League from being with the Twins for four years, and most recently in the AL West. If his power can stay where it has been in the past, he could be an underappreciated addition to the A's lineup -- especially with his defensive diversity.