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Blame loss on the pen, but A’s could have won this one early

Billy Butler and the A's couldn't add on to their lead early, and it cost them late in 7-4 loss to Red Sox.

Billy Butler and the A’s couldn’t add on to their lead early, and it cost them late in 7-4 loss to Red Sox.

Most of the focus around the A’s 7-4 loss to the Red Sox Sunday had to do with another bullpen implosion, Boston scoring seven times in the eighth inning to erase a 4-0 Oakland lead.

Six of the runs came against the bullpen, three each off Evan Scribner and Tyler Clippard, the two steadiest hands in the pen this season.

Just as significant, however, was the A’s inability to get runs home with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox proved you only have to do it one inning a game to break through, but seven of the nine men Oakland left on base were stranded either at second or third.

Those would be runs the A’s would miss as they were flying back the Bay Area, saddled with yet another loss.

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It turns out to be a dog’s life in Boston this weekend

Jesse Hahn had a special companion with him this weekend in Boston, his dog Hank.

Jesse Hahn had a special companion with him this weekend in Boston, his dog Hank.

This weekend has seen the streets of Boston treated to the completely ordinary sight of a man walking a dog.

What made it more than a little unusual was that the man was A’s starting pitcher Jesse Hahn. While many baseball players have dogs, they generally don’t travel with them.

But there was Hahn and Hank, the dog he shares with his girlfriend, Jessica Pauley.

The A’s hotel, the Taj Boston, is pet friendly, so when Jessica joined Hahn for the weekend series with the Red Sox, Hank came along.

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Don’t ask Brett Lawrie to watch video of broken bat incident; A’s hitter is just grateful woman is out of immediate danger

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie's broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie’s broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie said he hasn’t seen the gruesome footage of his broken bat hitting the face of Red Sox fan Tonya Carpenter.

But hearing that the woman, whose life was in danger after the incident Friday in Fenway Park, is now expected to survive was just what Lawrie was hoping for.

“It’s fantastic to hear no doubt,’’ he said. “Any time you see someone carried off on a stretcher like that, you keep them in your prayers. It’s good to hear, and hopefully she’ll be out sooner rather than later.’’

Carpenter was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center bleeding heavily from her head and in obvious pain.

The woman’s family identified her to the Goble in a statement that asked for privacy as she recovers in the hospital.

“Tonya’s family and loved ones are grateful to all who have reached out with thoughts and prayers,’’ the statement read.

Friday night the woman’s condition was called life-threatening, but by Saturday, Boston police spokeswoman Officer Rachel McGuire said “she is expected to survive.’’

And if the video of it was something of an internet sensation, Lawrie will pass, all the same.

“I haven’t seen the play still to right now,’’ he said after the A’s 4-2 loss to the Red Sox Saturday. “I don’t really want to watch it, to be honest.’’

 

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Fenway’s history adds to Major League debut for Venditte

A's Pat Venditte accommodates one of many interview requests Saturday after debuting as a switch-pitcher Friday.

A’s Pat Venditte accommodates one of many interview requests Saturday after debuting as a switch-pitcher Friday.

Pat Venditte labored for parts of eight seasons in the minor leagues to become an overnight sensation.

He did it by pitching with both his left and right hand in his Major League debut. The A’s pitcher was the first pitcher in two decades to do it, and unlike Greg Harris, who did it in the final game of his career in 1995, being a switch-pitcher is what Venditte does.

Before he could do it, he had to walk down the wooden steps from the visitor’s clubhouse in Fenway Park steps and through the concrete tunnel that leads to the field. This is the exact same tunnel where Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron all walked.

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Woman hit by a fragment of Lawrie’s bat expected to survive

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie's broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

Fan Tonya Carpenter is tended to by medics at Fenway Park after being hit by part of Brett Lawrie’s broken bat. She is expected to survive after much blood loss.

The woman struck by part of the shattered bat of A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie in the second inning of Friday’s game against the Red Sox in Fenway Park was listed in serious but stable condition midday Saturday.

Identified by The Boston Globe as Tonya Carpenter, the woman bled heavily after being struck by the fragment of the bat and the game was stopped for several minutes while paramedics tended to her and got her to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

She had been sitting in the second row between home plate and the visitor’s dugout on the third base side of the diamond, and she was just beyond the netting that shields fans from the field.

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Kazmir happy to be healthy after having skipped a start

Scott Kazmir returned to the mound for the first time since May 27, but took the loss against the Red Sox.

Scott Kazmir returned to the mound for the first time since May 27, but took the loss against the Red Sox.

Lost in the buzz surrounding the arrival of the first fully ambidextrous pitcher in the Major Leagues in Pat Venditte was the fact that the A’s got another pitcher back Friday.

Scott Kazmir, who was skipped one start because of shoulder discomfort, was back on the mound. He lasted only 4.2 innings, gave up nine hits and was roughed up by the defense behind him.

Kazmir, at least, seemed to think the result didn’t reflect his level of success he felt in returning to the mound for the first time since May 27. And it didn’t reflect the fact that he felt no problems in his shoulder.

“I felt great,’’ Kazmir said. “I really did. My fastball had a lot of life. I was throwing a lot of strikes, my changeup was good. I just caught too much of the plate on some pitches. But overall I felt great.’’

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Zobrist flattered teams want him, but he likes it with A’s

Ben Zobrist, here hitting a game-deciding grand slam, likes the 's chances, doesn't want to go anywhere else.

Ben Zobrist, here hitting a game-deciding grand slam, likes the ‘s chances, doesn’t want to go anywhere else.

Even with the A’s recent surge in winning nine of their last 12, the A’s still have the American League’s worst winning percentage, and the vultures are starting to circle.

The A’s general manager, Billy Beane, has been approached by multiple clubs about second baseman/outfielder Ben Zobrist, Fox’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted Friday. The tweet mentioned that the Washington Nationals had called inquiring about Zobrist, and they weren’t alone.

Zobrist has been down this road before with the Tampa Bay Rays. And while he gets it that teams with losing records frequently are plucked for their talent by team in contention, he said it’s too soon.

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A’s intrigued by the addition of switch-pitcher Venditte

Pat Venditte and his special glove were an oddity for A's this spring, but he's in the big leagues now, ready to pitch both left-handed and right-handed.

Pat Venditte and his special glove were an oddity for A’s this spring, but he’s in the big leagues now, ready to pitch both left-handed and right-handed.

The A’s went for a little bit of history-in-the-making Friday morning, deciding to call up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Nashville. He will be with the team Friday night in Fenway Park.

Most of the A’s haven’t seen him since the spring, when he made a strong run for a sport in the bullpen. But Ben Zobrist, who was in Nashville on an injury rehabilitation assignment, played behind Venditte a couple of times.

“I’d say he looked very sharp when I was there,’’ Zobrist said. “He was throwing a lot of strikes with all his pitches, and from both sides. I’m happy for him.’’

Venditte throws both left-handed and right-handed, and he’s the first pitcher in history to have done that as a regular thing. Greg Harris, a pitcher that Venditte idolized as a kid, was a right-hander who threw one game both lefty and righty. It was the last game of his big league career, Sept. 28, 1995.

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History in making with A’s calling up switch-pitcher Venditte

Pat Venditte and his special glove were an oddity for A's this spring, but he's in the big leagues now, ready to pitch both left-handed and right-handed.

Pat Venditte and his special glove were an oddity for A’s this spring, but he’s in the big leagues now, ready to pitch both left-handed and right-handed.

The A’s went for a little bit of history-in-the-making Friday morning, deciding to call up switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Nashville. He will be with the team Friday night in Fenway Park.

Venditte throws both left-handed and right-handed, and he’s the first pitcher in history to have done that as a regular thing. Greg Harris, a pitcher that Venditte idolized as a kid, was a right-hander who threw one game both lefty and righty. It was the last game of his big league career, Sept. 28, 1995.

There have had to be special rules in the minor leagues just to address the uniqueness of Venditte, 29, who has been pitching with some considerable success with Nashville. He has a 1.36 ERA for the Sounds in 17 games. He’s had a little trouble with 13 walks, but with only 19 hits allowed his WHIP of 0.97 is exceptional.

A natural right-hander, Venditte had a 0.00 ERA in 13.1 innings when facing left-handed batter and a 2.29 ERA in 19.2 innings against right-handers.

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Vogt in pain because of cramp, but hopeful of playing Friday

Stephen Vogt left Thursday's game with right leg cramps, but hopes to be able to play Friday.

Stephen Vogt left Thursday’s game with right leg cramps, but hopes to be able to play Friday.

As much as anything, the A’s admire Stephen Vogt for his toughness.

He played the second half of the 2014 with a foot injury that would have sent most people to the surgeon. Vogt went to the surgeon, to be sure, but not until playing the final two months of the season basically unable to run on his right foot.

So when the team’s RBI leader (39) came limping off the field in the ninth inning, and he was favoring his right leg, more than a few breaths were held.

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