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A’s manager Bob Melvin: “Just a bad game for us overall”

Manager Bob Melvin said the A's "just played a bad game" on Friday night.

Manager Bob Melvin said the A’s played “just a bad game for us overall” on Friday night in a 4-0 loss to the Giants.

The A’s eight-game spring winning streak is over. Oh. The Horror.

Of course, nobody is going to fret about that. The A’s lost 4-0 to the Giants on Friday night in what manager Bob Melvin called, “just a bad game for us overall.”

“We’ve been swinging the bats, we’ve been playing great defense, we’ve been getting great pitching,” Melvin said. “We just didn’t play a very good game today.” Continue Reading

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Kazmir sharp in spring finale, finishes with a 1.00 ERA

Scott Kazmir finished a strong spring with six solid innings in a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

Scott Kazmir finished a strong spring with six solid innings in a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

Scott Kazmir closed out a second straight strong spring training for the A’s on Thursday night with six sharp innings in Oakland’s 8-2 win over the Giants.

He allowed four hits and one run (on an Angel Pagan solo home run) and watched his ERA raise slightly from 0.75 to 1.00. Afterwards, he said the might’ve been the best he’s ever felt coming out of spring training.

“In the past, I’ve had one or two pitches really working and other stuff I’m still working on,” Kazmir said. “This spring, I felt like out of the gates, I had a good feel for everything.” Continue Reading

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Zito convinced he can start in a Major League rotation, but he’s not sure what he’d do if the only offer was in the minors

Barry Zito had his streak of consecutive innings without a run allowed end at 13 Tuesday, but he feels good about the way he's pitched.

Barry Zito had his streak of consecutive innings without a run allowed end at 13 Tuesday, but he feels good about the way he’s pitched.

Barry Zito ended the Cactus League season with a 5.03 ERA, and that doesn’t bare much resemblance to the way Zito pitched this spring.

Before giving up seven runs in the third and fourth innings combined in a 13-10 win over the Angels, Zito stretched his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a run to 13. Before the Angels got eight hits and seven runs off him in his four innings, Cactus League batters were hitting .135 against him.

So believe Zito when he says the one awful inning — three homers from the Angels first five hitters in the third — doesn’t negate what he’s done all spring.

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Crisp seems likely to start the season on the disabled list

Coco Crisp played four innings in a camp game and went 0-for-3 with a walk. Jury is out on his availability for Opening Day.

Coco Crisp played four innings in a camp game and went 0-for-3 with a walk. Jury is out on his availability for Opening Day.

April 11 could be a big day for the A’s.

Already Josh Reddick is looking at it as the day he comes off the disabled list and will be eligible to play in a Major League game.

And now it seems the same is true for Coco Crisp, who inched closer to the disabled list when his elbow didn’t respond as well as hoped Tuesday in Mesa in a minor league game.

Players who have not appeared in a big league game since March 27, a group that includes both Reddick and Crisp, are eligible to have their time on the disabled list post-dated so that they’re eligible to play after just five games missed.

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Crisp tests elbow, still isn’t sure about playing in opener

Coco Crisp played four innings in a camp game and went 0-for-3 with a walk. Jury is out on his availability for Opening Day.

Coco Crisp played four innings in a camp game Tuesday and went 0-for-3 with a walk. Jury is out on his availability for Opening Day.

Coco Crisp tested his right elbow in a camp game at the A’s Fitch Park facility down the street from Hohokam Stadium, and the results for the Oakland left fielder were, to say the least, mixed.

It wasn’t so much that Crisp went 0-for-3 with a walk, a grounder, a called third strike and a soft liner. It’s that when he left after his scheduled four at-bats he offered this when asked if he thought he’d be ready for opening day:

“I don’t know,’’ he said. He only played four innings, leading off the top of each inning in a completely informal game designed for Crisp and relievers Dan Otero and Eric O’Flaherty to get some work in.

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A’s are scattered all over Valley one day before heading home

Coco Crisp will get swings but won't play defense Tuesday morning in A's minor league camp.

Coco Crisp will get swings but won’t play defense Tuesday morning in A’s minor league camp.

One day before the A’s fly as a group back to the Bay Area for the Bay Bridge Series and then the start of the season, the A’s find themselves scattered around the Valley of the Sun.

Because of their desire to have left fielder Coco Crisp (right elbow) and Josh Reddick (right oblique) play in a more contained manner Tuesday, they will have them play in a camp game in Mesa’s Fitch Park against minor leaguers beginning at 10 a.m. Crisp will be limited to swinging a bat in this, his first day of game-like activity since hurting his elbow and subsequently having a cortisone shot.

For players who are further along, like starting pitcher Sonny Gray and catcher Josh Phegley will play in the Triple-A Game about an hour later against minor leaguers of the Arizona Diamondbacks on the road at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale.

And then bulk of the team will be in Tempe to play the Angels with Barry Zito getting his last spring start in an effort to extending his streak of scoreless innings past its current 11 and, along the way, perhaps land a job in the big leagues. There are expected to be scouts from teams looking to add pitching on hand.

The A’s don’t have a big league job for him, and it’s not clear if the former Cy Young Award winner would be willing to begin the season in the minor leagues.

Normally, manager Bob Melvin would try to take in parts of all minor league games before heading to the Cactus League game. But he’ll likely settle for watching Crisp and Reddick and then the Zito-led semi-regulars after that.

“We’re a little bit scattered today,’’ Melvin said. “There’s a lot going on.’’

Wednesday will be the opposite. With the team scheduled to fly out of Phoenix late in the afternoon, players will be allowed to arrive at the ballpark late so as to finish last-minute packing. The Cactus League finale against the Angels in Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium will be moved up from 1:05 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. to facilitate an early departure.

It’s been a long six-plus weeks and “we’re all anxious to get going,’’ Melvin said.

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Radio voice Korach on DL, will miss first homestand, road trip

Ken Korach will miss the first homestand and first road trip of the year while he rehabs his knee. His goal is to be back April 24.

Ken Korach will miss the first homestand and first road trip of the year while he rehabs his knee. His goal is to be back April 24.

The number of A’s on the disabled list has gone up by one; radio play-by-play man Ken Korach will miss this week’s Bay Bridge Series, the first homestand against Texas and Seattle and the first road trip as well.

Korach, who had a left knee replacement in 2012, has been rehabbing the knee since suffering an injury. The rehab is progressing, but Korach, entering his 20th year doing A’s radio work, isn’t ready at this point for a grueling 162-game season on 95.7 The Game, the A’s flagship station.

“I’ve wanted to find a way,” Korach told this newspaper Monday. “But it became clear there wasn’t, not with the amount of time I still need to get healthy.”

Korach and A’s vice president of communications and broadcasting Ken Pries have been talking this over for more than a month. At one time, it seemed like Opening Day April 6 against the Texas Rangers in Oakland was a goal worth working toward, but “I am getting, better just not that fast,” Korach said.

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Pomeranz has temper under control, and his control in check

Drew Pomeranz has his anger issues behind him, so there will be no repeat of 2014's broken hand.

Drew Pomeranz has his anger issues behind him, so there will be no repeat of 2014′s broken hand.

There was a noticeable improvement in Drew Pomeranz his last time out.

When he was angry at the world last Tuesday, he wound up and threw his glove on the A’s bench. One puff of dust, and he was on to think about the next inning.

Last year after a bad start against Texas, the left-hander did it differently. He slammed his right hand into a chair, broke his non-throwing hand and was essentially done as a major contributor for the A’s for the season.

“I’m a competitor, that’s going to happen,’’ Pomeranz said of throwing his glove last Tuesday. “But that (breaking his hand) is never going to happen again.

“You won’t see me abuse my body to take away anger again.’’

The first time was once too many. It was last June 16. Pomeranz was starting for the A’s after a seven-game stretch in the rotation in which he had a 1.88 ERA, a .199 opponents’ batting average, a 1.096 WHIP and a 4-3 record.

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Reddick can’t talk way into opener; he’ll start with Stockton

Josh Reddick got into five innings of a minor league game Sunday on his way back from a right oblique strain.

Josh Reddick got into five innings of a minor league game Sunday on his way back from a right oblique strain.

Right fielder Josh Reddick has given up trying to be the in A’s starting lineup on opening night.

The A’s are committed to having him start the season on the disabled list thanks to the right oblique strain that has blotted out most of March for him athletically.

“I’ve tried, and it’s pretty much set in stone that I’m pretty much staying back,’’ Reddick said of his bid to make himself ready for next Monday’s home opener against the Rangers. “I’ll be in minor league camp, get my work there, then start the season with Stockton.’’

So, as he said the other day, if all goes as scheduled, he gets the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez Saturday, April 11 for his personal opening day.

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Bassitt saw demotion coming after spring struggles

Chris Bassitt will have to sort out his game at Triple-A to start the season

Chris Bassitt will have to sort out his game at Triple-A to start the season

One of the reasons that the A’s were willing to trade Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox is that they were getting back a pitcher in whom they had great expectations, Chris Bassitt.

Things didn’t go as planned in Bassitt’s first spring with Oakland, and Sunday morning with still a week left before the season starts, Bassitt was sent down to Triple-A Nashville.

He began as part of a four-man newcomers’ competition to nail down two spots in the starting rotation. Sean Nolin was the first to bow out because he never recovered from an off-season sports hernia surgery. That left Bassitt pitted against Jesse Hahn and Kendall Graveman.

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