The decaying Coliseum added another dubious chapter to its legacy Saturday night, costing Josh Reddick an RBI triple, Rich Hill a possible win in his mound return and the A’s very likely a victory.
With a crowd of 26,846 in the house awaiting a postgame pyrotechnics show, Oakland was burned by its own ballpark –a hole at the base of the right field wall in fair territory that short-circuited an A’s rally and ultimately led to a 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates victory in 10 innings.
With two outs in the fifth inning and Jed Lowrie on first base for the A’s, Reddick hammered a ball over the head off Pittsburgh right fielder Sean Rodriguez for what appeared would give the A’s the go-ahead run with the score tied 2-2. Lowrie steamed all the way around the bases to score, while Reddick scampered into third.
When Reddick turned around to look into right field, however, Rodriguez was holding both hands up – the ball had lodged in a small opening at the base of the fence and Reddick had somehow found the hole on the fly.
After being on the sidelines for the last couple of years, the A’s jumped back into the international baseball pool Saturday, signing a highly touted player out of Cuba, Lazaro Armenteros, and the son of former American League MVP George Bell among five players.
Director of Pro Scouting Dan Feinstein said the A’s had been following Armenteros since long before he defected from Cuba and went to Haiti before winding up in the Dominican Republic.
And while Feinstein agreed that comparisons between Armenteros and another Cuban, former A’s slugger Yoenis Cespedes, weren’t unwarranted, he said “when I first saw him, I saw a young Frank Thomas.’’
Marcus Semien is looking increasingly like an AL All-Star.
Two weeks ago when talking about the A’s possible All Star Game representation, Marcus Semien’s name wouldn’t have shone particularly brightly.
Time changes matters like that Semien has gone from a player with an outside chance to be the A’s All Star representative to being the player with perhaps the best chance to landing the coveted berth for the July 12 game in San Diego.
The international signing period for Major League teams starts Saturday, and the A’s are expected to make as big a splash as any team with the signing of 17-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro “Lazarito’’ Armenteros.
Sources say Armenteros, who played for the Cuban national youth team before defecting to Haiti and eventually the Dominican Republic, is expected to get in the neighborhood of $3 million when the international signing period opens.
Sean Doolittle had been feeling great, but all of a sudden he’s on the DL again.
“This,’’ Sean Doolittle said, “has been a long day.’’
Doolittle knows from long days. He had five months full of them last year when he couldn’t pitch because of the pain in the back of his shoulder.
It was a rotator cuff issue, and it limited him to one game the first five months of the season. He came up and pitched most of the last month of the season, enough to ease his mind that things were right with his shoulder.
Sean Doolittle landed on the disabled list Thursday and had an MRI after he couldn’t get loose in a bullpen session Wednesday.
The A’s had hoped all disabled list stories running up to the All-Star Game would be about players coming off the list, but that all changed Thursday when left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle went on the 15-day DL.
The injury-plagued A’s had gone two weeks in which they hadn’t put anyone on the DL and had claimed reliever Liam Hendriks, right fielder Josh Reddick and starter Sean Manaea from its grasp. More than that, starter Rich Hill is due back Saturday.
Sean Manaea is back, and the A’s rotation is coming back at the same time.
A week ago, one could make a reasonable assumption that the A’s weren’t going to have much to play for the rest of the way.
Their starting pitchers hadn’t been doing much. They were in a 17-game stretch in which they were 0-9 with a 5.29 ERA. And that’s a scary long time to go without a win for an entire rotation.
Only once, almost two decades ago, had an A’s rotation gone dry longer, an 18-game stretch from July 24-Aug. 12, 1997. And if the A’s history of the last two decade says anything, it’s that the A’s are at least competitive when their rotation gives them a chance.
Sean Doolittle has a little pain in his shoulder, but he’s hoping to pitch in a day or so.
When A’s manager Bob Melvin didn’t go to lefty Sean Doolittle Tuesday on a night when Oakland was running desperately short of help, red flags immediately went up.
After all, Doolittle missed five months last year with injury problems. His health is a matter of prime concern to an Oakland bullpen that has been getting excessive work.
With Josh Reddick off the disabled list and back in his familiar third spot in the batting order Tuesday night, the A’s fielded their optimum offensive lineup for the first time in more than a month.
Even though Reddick didn’t have much to do with it, Oakland once again looked like a team that has rediscovered some serious potential at the bat rack. Even though the A’s saw their bullpen spring a leak for the second time in three days, the A’s rallied from a pair of three-run deficits for a wild 13-11 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.
Jake Smolinski’s three-run pinch-hit home run off veteran Giants reliever Javier Lopez in the eighth inning was the most dramatic blow that ultimately gave Oakland its fifth victory in six games, and a two-game mini-sweep at a park where they’d lost 13 of 16 coming into this year’s Bay Bridge clash. Now it’s over to the Coliseum for two more to see if they can inflict even more damage to the reeling Giants.
Daniel Mengden has done nothing but impress since he brought his wacky windup, high socks and handlebar mustache to Oakland, and the A’s finally rewarded him for all of his fine work on Monday night.
After scoring just four runs for him combined in his first three major-league starts – all losses Mengden didn’t really deserve — the A’s hammered the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija for five runs in the second inning, continued to add on in later frames and rolled to an 8-3 victory at AT&T Park.
Marcus Semien’s towering three-run homer to center field was the big blow in Oakland’s early outburst as the A’s continued to gather steam following an impressive four-game series in Anaheim, where they won three of four from the Los Angeles Angels and were a bullpen blowup from completing a sweep.