Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

May 6, 2013
Giants, Phillies lineups: Pagan out, Giants waiting on Mijares

SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan won't start tonight with the Giants wanting to give him another day to make sure his right hamstring strain heals completely. Manager Bruce Bochy said Pagan will most likely be available off the bench against the Phillies.

Pagan said he ran on the field at 70-75 percent before the game and "it felt good." In fact, Pagan said he woke up this morning with no hamstring pain at all. "But I guess the best way to make sure you're OK is just give it one more day," he said.

Andres Torres will play center field and bat leadoff against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. Bochy said it's nice having the option of not only another right-handed center fielder in Torres, but two potential leadoff options in Torres and Gregor Blanco.

May 5, 2013
Giants playing them close, sweep Dodgers; Cain gets his 'W'

SAN FRANCISCO -- After the Giants closed out a sweep of the Dodgers with another win by the slimmest of margins, Hunter Pence said semi-jokingly that it "literally feels like it's been three weeks of one-run ballgames, win or lose."

It wasn't that much of a stretch. Four of the Giants' wins in their current six-game streak, including all three games against the Dodgers, were one-run games -- as were three of the losses in the five-game losing streak that preceded it.

That has made for high-leverage situations late in games for a variety of players. One of them Sunday was Jean Machi. After the Dodgers cut a 4-0 lead to 4-3 in the eighth, with runners still on first and second and two outs, Giants manager Bruce Bochy brought in Machi to face pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr.

That might normally have been a situation for Santiago Casilla, but Casilla was off-limits after pitching two innings Saturday night. Machi, who allowed his first run in seven appearances for the Giants on Saturday, got Hairston to ground out to Brandon Crawford to preserve the lead.

May 5, 2013
Giants, Dodgers lineups: Pagan (hamstring) rests, Quiroz starts

SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan is not in the Giants' lineup today against the Dodgers after he left last night's game with a right hamstring strain. Pagan, though, said the strain is "not bad" and he felt it would be a better idea to rest it rather than risk aggravating it. He said he'll get treatment today and is "very positive" he'll be in the lineup tomorrow.

Pagan said he tweaked the hamstring making a throw from center field on Matt Kemp's two-run single in the Dodgers' seven-run fifth inning last night. He stayed in for the rest of that inning and batted in the bottom of the fifth before being replaced in the leadoff spot by Francisco Peguero.

"I'd rather miss a couple of days than a couple of weeks or maybe a month," Pagan said. "That's something that obviously we don't want right now. We're playing pretty good and can't afford to lose anybody from the lineup. I was just trying to be smart and not to lose too much time out of the lineup."

May 5, 2013
Quiroz the improbable hero in another Giants walk-off win

SAN FRANCISCO -- After more than four hours, 10 pitching changes, 18 runs on 29 hits in regulation, two blown five-run leads by the Giants and a two-run lead coughed up by the Dodgers, how else was this game going to end? Guillermo Quiroz -- the journeyman backup catcher who hadn't had an at-bat since April 24 and hadn't hit a home run in a major-league game since 2008 -- stepped up against Dodgers reliever Brandon League and hit the third pitch into the left-field seats to rescue the Giants from a serious collapse and give the AT&T Park crowd its second walk-off home run in as many nights.

"I don't think any of us expected him to hit a home run," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Consider:

* Today marked 10 days since Quiroz's last at-bat, and he waited through the entirety of the four-hour, 11-minute time of game before coming to the plate in the 10th.

* Quiroz had two previous career homers in the majors, both in 2008, when he played in 56 games for the Orioles.

* League allowed one home run all season last year in 74 appearances, though he had already given up one this year as well, to the Mets' Ike Davis.

May 4, 2013
Saturday lineups: Belt 8th, plus Giants have a decision to make

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt is batting eighth in the Giants' lineup tonight for the fifth game in a row. Manager Bruce Bochy, though, isn't ready to make that a permanent thing.

"It's working right now," Bochy said. "Whether you're superstitious -- he's comfortable there, right now we're winning. So he'll stay in the eighth spot."

Belt hit eighth just three times last year. He's 3-for-13 with two of his three homers this season out of that spot. Bochy was also asked whether hitting Belt eighth could have the effect of getting some better pitches for whoever's hitting seventh (Brandon Crawford tonight), and said: "There could be, sure."

Here's the full Giants lineup tonight against Dodgers right-hander Matt Magill, who will be making his second major-league start after the Dodgers placed Ted Lilly on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a right rib cage strain:

CF Pagan
2B Scutaro
3B Sandoval
C Posey
RF Pence
LF Blanco
SS Crawford
1B Belt
P Vogelsong

May 4, 2013
Posey waits out Belisario for first walk-off homer; Ramirez hurt

SAN FRANCISCO -- One thing about games like Friday night's 2-1 Giants win over the Dodgers, which ended in abrupt and dramatic fashion with Buster Posey's first career walk-off home run as a Giant -- as manager Bruce Bochy pointed out, you look back over the previous 8 ½ innings and everything that kept the Giants in the game is magnified.

BUSTER.jpegBarry Zito putting the leadoff runner on in all six innings he started but only allowing one to score. Brandon Belt making a snap decision to come home with a throw on a ground ball in the second inning, cutting off a run. Hunter Pence throwing out Hanley Ramirez trying to go from first to third with nobody out on a single in the sixth, a play on which Ramirez came up grabbing his left hamstring and left the game.

All developments that seemed like they might go for naught as Clayton Kershaw was no-hitting the Giants through five innings, exhibiting his usual dominance at AT&T Park, where his ERA in 61 2/3 innings is now 0.73. And all suddenly crucial plays when the Giants broke through for a run against Kershaw in the sixth on Marco Scutaro's triple to break up the no-hit bid and Posey's double, which one-hopped the wall in right-center.

With Kershaw out after seven innings and 104 pitches, it suddenly became a bullpen game for both teams. Five Giants relievers combined to throw four scoreless innings, including Sergio Romo pitching around a one-out Matt Kemp single in the ninth. That brought Posey to the plate leading off the bottom of the inning, the game still tied.

May 3, 2013
Giants' Sanchez down for at-bats, Dodgers scratch Gonzalez

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the decision to option Hector Sanchez to Triple-A today was made largely to get Sanchez more game action than he saw during the first month of the season with the Giants. Sanchez missed a lot of spring training with shoulder and calf injuries and had just 23 plate appearances this season.

"Sanchez needs to play," Bochy said. "He hasn't been playing much here so we want to get him going, get some at-bats down there, pinch-hit here and there, get him going."

Bochy said Francisco Peguero, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno, gives the Giants flexibility as a speed guy and another right-handed bat in the outfield. Peguero is hitting .415 in Fresno (27-for-65) and got the call over Brett Pill, who's also off to a good start (.367, 6 homers, 30 RBIs in 23 games).

"We just felt (Peguero) gives us a little more flexibility right now," Bochy said.

May 3, 2013
Giants, Dodgers lineups: Affeldt off DL, Sanchez to Fresno

SAN FRANCISCO - This is a fine welcome home. The Giants are back at AT&T Park to kick off a 10-game homestand, they're fresh off a sweep of the Diamondbacks in Arizona, they welcome Jeremy Affeldt back to the bullpen today -- and, oh yeah, they're facing Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw, as is well-documented, has the lowest ERA of any pitcher who has thrown at least 50 innings against the Giants (1.28), and has a 0.66 ERA in eight career games at AT&T Park (that's four earned runs allowed in 54 2/3 innings).

No doubt this will be an emotional start for Kershaw. The left-hander rejoined the Dodgers yesterday from the bereavement list, reportedly due to the death of his father.

May 1, 2013
Back in the bigs after four years, Montz contributes in 5-4 loss

OAKLAND -- Luke Montz's Tuesday night started with him getting thrown out of a Triple-A game in Fresno. It ended with his being summoned to the majors for the first time in more than four years.

Montz, called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday to replace Coco Crisp (15-day DL -- strained left hamstring) on the A's roster, said he was on the bench with the River Cats in Fresno when the team took some vocal exception to a pair of called strikes early in the game against center fielder Michael Choice.

After the second, Montz said, the home plate umpire pointed toward the Sacramento bench and motioned to eject somebody -- only nobody was sure who. So Montz jumped up and took charge of arguing the case.

May 1, 2013
A's, Angels lineups: Crisp, Anderson to DL; Montz, Straily up

OAKLAND -- The A's were thrilled to win the longest game in Oakland history on Monday night, but it ended up costing them a couple of key pieces for the next two weeks. The A's placed Coco Crisp (strained left hamstring) and Brett Anderson (sprained right ankle) on the 15-day disabled list today, Crisp retroactive to April 30 (yesterday) and Anderson effective today.

Crisp was injured running out a ground ball in the 13th inning of that game. Manager Bob Melvin said Crisp had discoloration in the area yesterday, couldn't run and was having a little trouble walking, so the prudent move was to put him on the DL. Melvin said the A's are hopeful Crisp will be able to return after 15 days.

Anderson had already sprained the ankle -- and was in fact scratched from starting what ended up being the A's 10-8 19-inning win Monday -- before throwing 5 1/3 innings of relief in the game, coming out only after he felt discomfort in the ankle again. Melvin said the A's actually got a better idea of Anderson's status because of that outing -- they realized just skipping one of his starts might not be enough to let Anderson fully recover.

"Our feeling is we just need to try to knock this out," Melvin said.

May 1, 2013
Parker into the win column for A's; Cespedes turns on the jets

OAKLAND -- A's catcher Derek Norris said he was surprised when he looked up at the scoreboard in the seventh inning Tuesday night, as manager Bob Melvin walked out to relieve Jarrod Parker, and saw the Los Angeles Angels with three runs.

"I thought he'd given up maybe one, and I looked up and it was a couple more," Norris said of Parker. "But he threw the ball extremely well."

It wasn't Parker's prettiest line -- he allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits, walking three and striking out four in the A's 10-6 win over the Angels. But as Norris indicated, it didn't feel like Parker was hit hard even in the innings where the Angels did score.

J.B. Shuck reached on an infield hit in the third and later scored on an error. Shuck beat out another slow chopper in the fifth, moved up when Erick Aybar shot a ground ball into right for a single and scored along with Aybar when Mike Trout hit a chopper that snuck just inside the third-base line into left-field for a double.

April 30, 2013
A's, Angels lineups: Short-handed after 19-inning marathon

OAKLAND -- The A's made just one roster move today following last night's 19-inning marathon win over the Angels, recalling reliever Evan Scribner from Triple-A for some bullpen depth and sending Dan Straily back down. Manager Bob Melvin said the A's are probably just going to be a little short-handed tonight after Coco Crisp and Chris Young both left last night's game with injuries.

Crisp (strained left hamstring) and Young (strained left quad) are both out of the lineup. Melvin said Young's is probably less of a concern than Crisp, and that Young possibly could be available to pinch-hit tonight. Hamstrings can be tricky, so the A's don't want to take a chance with a speed guy like Crisp. Melvin said he didn't yet know if either is a candidate for the disabled list.

April 30, 2013
A's win longest game in Oakland history on Moss' blast in 19th

OAKLAND -- By the time Brandon Moss' two-run homer sailed over the right-field wall in the 19th inning, officially ending the longest game in Oakland A's history, the A's had rallied from a five-run deficit for the second consecutive day, Brett Anderson had made his first career relief appearance after being scratched from starting against the Angels, the teams had combined to throw 597 pitches and Moss had already homered in the game -- 13 innings earlier and technically the day before.

"I'm glad it's over," Moss said.

The A's beat the Angels, 10-8, in the first game of a three-game series at O.co Coliseum on Monday night, although it was well into Tuesday morning when Moss hit his third career walk-off homer off Angels right-hander Barry Enright. The time of game was six hours, 32 minutes, the longest ever for the stadium, the Angels and the Oakland era.

"It's one of those things where you just want to quit, but at the same time you don't want to lose, so you're not going to quit, and you just keep fighting through and hoping they throw a ball into your bat," Moss said.

April 29, 2013
Melvin, A's react to NBA's Collins coming out as gay

OAKLAND -- In light of NBA center Jason Collins coming out as gay today in a story in "Sports Illustrated," A's manager Bob Melvin was asked what he thought the reaction in the A's clubhouse would be to having an openly gay teammate. Melvin said he agreed with reliever Jerry Blevins' assessment that the A's clubhouse is one of the more inclusive and open in sports to begin with.

"We welcome all kinds here, and I think it's good," Melvin said. "We embrace that as an organization, especially in the demographic we're in, in California here. We would absolutely have no issues with that at all."

Collins, a 34-year-old center who ended this season with the Washington Wizards, is the first active player in one of the four major U.S. pro sports to come out as gay. Melvin was also asked for his reaction to Collins' announcement.

April 29, 2013
How A's Lowrie helped bust Josh Donaldson's slump; lineups

OAKLAND -- A's third baseman Josh Donaldson said he'd just woken up this morning and flipped on the TV when he heard his name on the MLB Network. The reason -- he had been named A.L. Player of the Week for the term ending Sunday, over which Donaldson batted .545 (12-for 22) with seven doubles, 10 RBIs, seven walks and four runs in seven games.

"Within about 30 seconds they said it on TV and I was like, this is crazy. Really?" said Donaldson. "I knew I put a pretty decent week together, but I wasn't expecting any kind of award or anything. But it happened and I'm appreciative of it."

A pretty understated reaction from Donaldson, about whom manager Bob Melvin later joked that when Melvin was telling people about the award today, the common response was, "That's great," followed by, "Oh no."

"Meaning if you know him, he can be a little bit vocal and spread the word," Melvin said with a grin. "But congratulations to him, well-deserved."

April 28, 2013
Céspedes' dramatic return, Sogard's mad dash cap 9-8 A's win

OAKLAND -- Sure, there's the disparity in the A's record when Yoenis Céspedes starts (now 9-2 this season) and when he doesn't (5-10). There's the fact that he protects other hitters batting in the middle of the lineup and has to be on the minds of opposing runners and base coaches with his arm in left field. But today showed why the A's spent the past few days answering questions about how much they were looking forward to having him back from the disabled list. When Céspedes steps into the batter's box, it generates an air of anticipation. And the moment is not too big for him, even when it's expectation of him that is creating it.

Céspedes hit a game-tying, two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning of the A's 9-8 win over the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon that sent the game into extra innings -- they won in 10 -- and helped the A's avoid a four-game sweep at home and a ninth loss in 10 games. It was Céspedes first game back from the 15-day DL with a strained muscle in his left hand, and his fifth at-bat of the day. In a 1-2 count, left-hander Brian Matusz threw a changeup down near the level of Céspedes' ankles, and he hit it into the bleachers in left.

"He's very impactful obviously, and that home run was kind of what he's all about," said manager Bob Melvin. "We need him in the lineup and he showed today why."

April 28, 2013
A's, Orioles lineups: Céspedes returns, Anderson to miss start

OAKLAND -- Yoenis Céspedes is back in Oakland and back in the cleanup spot for the A's today as they try to avoid a four-game sweep at home against the Baltimore Orioles. Céspedes was activated from the 15-day disabled list this morning; to make room on the 25-man roster, the A's designated outfielder Casper Wells for assignment.

Céspedes went 3-for-9 with a home run during his three-game rehab assignment with the Triple-A River Cats. He said this morning his left hand, where he strained a muscle April 12, is pain-free and that he "felt pretty well" hitting in Sacramento.

"Those games, I used them not only to hit, but to recognize the pitching," he said.

April 27, 2013
'Mr. October' speaks as A's honor 1973 World Series team

OAKLAND -- Reggie Jackson pulled up to the third-base dugout at the O.co Coliseum before today's game in the passenger's seat of a golf cart, wearing a gold jersey and an A's hat that he said he brought himself from home. But that's nothing, he said -- he has T-shirts of former A's teammates Vida Blue, Bert Campaneris, Catfish Hunter and Joe Rudi hanging up in his car shop.

"I wear my A's hat when I play golf," Jackson said. "I work for the Yankees and love the Yankees, but the A's are certainly a part of me that goes back forever."

On hand as the A's honored their 1973 World Series championship team, Jackson met with reporters for about 15 minutes before the pre-game ceremony. Players from the '73 team were introduced individually before the game and escorted to their former positions by current A's players. Josh Reddick walked to right field with Jackson, who later threw out the first pitch to former catcher and current broadcaster Ray Fosse.

Among the topics Jackson discussed was the number of African American players in the major leagues, which he termed: "Not very good. It's not very good, and I don't know why." Jackson said the rise of travel teams and private coaching that costs money may be a factor.

April 27, 2013
A's, Orioles lineups: '73 champs honored, Cespedes on track

OAKLAND -- The A's will honor the franchise's 1973 World Series championship team before their game this afternoon against the Orioles. Most of that team, including Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris and others, will be here for the pre-game on-field reunion.

"You can't help but just feel good being around world champions," said manager Bob Melvin, who grew up in the Bay Area following those mid-70's A's teams. "They're always there for a resource and picking their brain, and when you're around winners sometimes it rubs off."

The current A's could use a little of that. They've lost seven of their last eight games and were shut out last night by Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. It's right-hander Chris Tillman on the mound for Baltimore today, meaning the A's are going with their lefty-heavy lineup:

CF Crisp
C Jaso
DH Smith
SS Lowrie
1B Moss
3B Donaldson
RF Reddick
LF Young
2B Sogard

April 26, 2013
A's offense goes cold again in 3-0 loss; Doolittle honing slider

OAKLAND -- The A's offense has been a case of feast or famine this month, and Friday night they were starving. Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen gave up a Coco Crisp single and Nate Freiman double over eight innings, and Jed Lowrie hit a blooper off closer Jim Johnson that fell in for a double in the ninth inning of Oakland's 3-0 loss.

It was the sixth time already this season the A's have been held to one or zero runs -- a quarter of their games. And yet they ended the night still the highest-scoring team in all of baseball this season with 126 runs, three ahead of the Colorado Rockies. Take away a 13-0 win in Boston and the A's have scored a total of 17 runs in losing seven of their last eight games.

"We were very good early on and we've hit a dry spell at this point," said manager Bob Melvin. "There have been some games where we've been shut down. We have to find the consistency. We have the ability to do it. We're just in a little bit of a rut right now and we've got to fight our way out of it."





About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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