AL batting champion Gurriel lifts Astros over A's 7-6
AL batting champion Yuli Gurriel hit a winning RBI single in the ninth inning, and the AL West champion Houston Astros headed to the postseason with a 7-6 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. Gurriel hit .319 and became Houston’s second player to win a batting title after Jose Altuve in 2014, ’16 and ’17.news.yahoo.com
Astros' edge for home field in playoffs cut with loss to A's
Matt Olson and Chad Pinder each homered and the Oakland Athletics beat Houston 8-6 Friday night, cutting the Astros’ edge for home-field advantage in the AL playoffs. Houston leads the White Sox by one game for home field in their best-of-five Division Series matchup next week. The AL West champion Astros also own the tiebreaker after going 5-2 against AL Central champion Chicago this season.news.yahoo.com
Judge's single sends Yankees past A's for 12th straight win
Aaron Judge hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the ninth inning, Giancarlo Stanton homered for the third consecutive game and the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 for their 12th straight victory and longest winning streak in nearly 60 years.
Luzardo follows Manaea's stellar start, A's beat Twins twice
Matt Olson hit a grand slam, Mitch Moreland homered twice to back Sean Manaea’s shutout, then Jesús Luzardo followed with his own Game 2 gem as the Oakland Athletics swept a doubleheader against the depleted Minnesota Twins, 7-0 and 1-0 to run their winning streak to 10 games.
Fungo golf for Giants pitchers; fans for MLB spring games
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Right-hander Kevin Gausman’s impressive day at spring training had nothing to do with any of the usual statistics, like strikeouts or innings pitched. Batting practice for San Francisco's pitchers took on a non-traditional look Thursday at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona. But the stands won't be empty — or full — when the Giants host their spring training opener Sunday. Scottsdale Stadium will have the lowest capacity at 9%, which is about 1,000 fans for Giants home games. Spectators at Scottsdale Stadium may get to see Gausman throw his lively fastball, but not a look at his Fungo golf skills.
Spring training '21: New year, but COVID-19 protocols remain
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2014, file photo, Atlanta Braves batting helmets sits on the field under a shining sun during a spring training baseball workout in Kissimmee, Fla. Major League Baseball revamped its spring training exhibition schedule because of the pandemic, cutting travel for Florida-based teams in an effort to avoid the novel coronavirus, the league announced Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)NEW YORK – Completing the 2020 season required MLB to rewrite its rule book. Offers by MLB to delay opening day were rejected by the players' association last month, defaulting the league into an on-time start. The Grapefruit League schedule was reworked to limit travel, and clubs won’t play exhibitions against local colleges — usually a spring staple. MLB has claimed billions in losses after playing the 2020 season almost entirely without fans, and free agents were met by a sluggish market this winter.
MLB renews 7-inning doubleheaders, runners on 2nd in extras
The deal did not include last year’s experimental rule to extend the designated hitter to the National League or expanded playoffs. After allowing 16 teams in the postseason last year instead of 10, MLB had proposed 14 for this year before withdrawing that plan last month. “We’re comfortable with both rules,” San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler wrote in a text to the AP. About 12% of games were part of doubleheaders, the highest percentage since 13.6 in 1978. “I actually liked both the seven-inning doubleheaders and the runner on second,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin wrote in a text to the AP.
Bad-boy Astros, fun-loving Rays set to face off in ALCS
The Astros are in the ALCS for the fourth straight year, looking for a third trip to the World Series in that span. The Rays are trying to get to their second World Series after losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. You start fresh and go from there,” said George Springer, MVP of the 2017 World Series. Baker’s San Francisco Giants lost to the Angels in seven games in the 2002 World Series. The former big league catcher played parts of eight seasons with five teams, including 20 games with the Astros in 2010.
Pinder's HR helps rally A's past Astros 9-7, trail ALDS 2-1
Oakland Athletics' Chad Pinder, right, celebrates with manager Bob Melvin after the Athletics defeated the Houston Astros in Game 3 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. And just in case Laureano's words did not get the message across, he ripped a double as the A's got a pair of sacrifice flies in the eighth to rally past the Houston Astros 9-7 on Wednesday and avoid elimination in their AL Division Series. “It was awesome.”Houston leads the best-of-five series 2-1 and can advance to its fourth straight AL Championship Series with a victory in Game 4 on Thursday. Pinder hit a first-pitch slider to the opposite field for Oakland's fifth homer, a drive chased by right fielder Kyle Tucker until he ran out of room at the short wall. Houston took a 7-4 lead with five runs in the fifth, when the Astros sent 10 batters to the plate.
Astros out to 'silence the haters' in ALDS against Athletics
FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2017, file photo, the Houston Astros celebrate after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles. On Monday, Oct. 5, the Astros and the Oakland Athletics will open their ALDS matchup at Dodger Stadium. The coronavirus pandemic largely has protected the Astros from having public scorn heaped on them this season. He hasn't been particularly effective this season, and didn't start against them when the A's took seven of 10 games from the Astros this season. “We never did anything in our rotation to make him miss the Astros,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Pinder delivers timely hit, A's advance in playoffs at last
Oakland stopped a nine-game losing streak in winner-take-all postseason games, a major league record that dated to the 1973 World Series. “I woke up this morning feeling like this was going to be a hard game and it was a hard game,” Melvin said. The low-budget A's had not captured a winner-take-all postseason game since beating Hall of Famer Willie Mays and the New York Mets. That prompted White Sox star Tim Anderson to say, “I guess they haven’t done their homework.”“It’s a tough one to swallow but we've got to keep going,” Anderson said. HURLING ITThe 17 pitchers, nine by Chicago, were the most in a nine-inning postseason game.
LEADING OFF: Marlins' Marte hopes to play with broken hand
The Marlins are hoping center fielder Starling Marte can play through a broken bone in his left hand as they try to eliminate the Cubs at Wrigley Field. To do it, the Braves might need to make a whole lot more contact at the plate than they did Wednesday while beating the Reds 1-0 in 13 innings — the first postseason game to be scoreless after 11. They’ll be up against Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.21), who makes his first career playoff start for the Reds. He was out for a second straight playoff game because of a sprained right foot that kept him out of the final three games of the regular season. Wainwright closed out the Padres at Petco Park in their previous postseason appearance in 2006.
A's hold off Abreu, White Sox 5-3, force series to Game 3
Now, the slugging A's are right back in a familiar fall position: one winner-take-all postseason game with the season on the line. Semien and Davis connected early and Oakland's bullpen barely held off José Abreu and the Chicago White Sox late for a 5-3 win Wednesday that sent the AL playoff series to a deciding Game 3. The White Sox went 14-0 in the regular season against left-handed starters and beat southpaw Jesús Luzardo in the playoff opener. “I'm pretty sure we're pretty dang confident in anyone we throw against the White Sox,” Bassitt said. He went just 3 for 18 against the White Sox last season.
LEADING OFF: Wild, 8-game day opens with Bauer vs Fried
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)A look at what's happening around the majors Wednesday:___CRAZY EIGHTHow’s this for wild: MLB is set to stage eight postseason games on the same day for the first time. National League clubs will open their best-of-three wild-card series, while four American League teams are already facing elimination after starting Tuesday. With the expansion of the first round from a pair of wild-card games to eight best-of-three series, there are a maximum 65 possible postseason games this year. In the 1960s, there were 66 postseason games in the entire decade, with league championship series starting in 1969. Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 1.99 ERA) starts Game 2 following a successful first season with Chicago.
Giolito dazzles, Abreu slugs White Sox past A's in opener
Giolito simply dazzled in his postseason debut, stymieing the Oakland Athletics through six perfect innings and sending the White Sox to a 4-1 victory in the opener of their best-of-three wild-card series Tuesday. “It was a different feel though because throwing a perfect game, no-hitter is a great personal accomplishment, but we’re in the playoffs, the goal is to win the game,” Giolito said. They lost in the AL wild card game each of the past two seasons after 97 wins both times. No big deal for the White Sox, apparently. RHP Chris Bassitt, drafted by the White Sox before being traded to Oakland in December 2014, takes the ball for the A's with victories in his last three decisions.
Longtime baseball pro scout Gary Hughes dies at 79
SAN FRANCISCO – Gary Hughes, a beloved professional scout for numerous big league organizations during a 54-year career, has died in Northern California after a battle with cancer. “Gary Hughes was the quintessential baseball man,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “Without Gary Hughes, I probably would have never played a day in the big leagues," said Kevin Millar, a 12-year major league veteran. Hughes' son, Michael “Rock” Hughes, longtime Marlins visiting clubhouse manager, is married to Counsell's sister. “Gary was one of the great baseball scouts," former baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said, "and one of the great baseball minds of our generation.”___AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
LEADING OFF: Bieber starts, Verlander limbers up, deGrom OK?
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Cleveland. Bieber, a top contender for the AL Cy Young Award and perhaps the best pitcher in baseball this season, was beaten 3-1 in Minnesota last week for his first loss of the year. Still, he became the fastest starting pitcher since 1900 to reach 100 strikeouts in a season, hitting the milestone in 62 1/3 innings. Bieber will face Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85 ERA), the No. The right-hander was removed following a surprisingly rough two innings that could derail his bid for a third consecutive NL Cy Young Award.
Mariners rally to topple Athletics 6-5 in DH opener
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)SEATTLE – Kyle Lewis sparked Seattle’s rally with a two-run homer and walked with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, helping the Mariners top the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Monday in the opener of a doubleheader. But Seattle chipped away and scored twice in the sixth inning against Oakland’s bullpen to move in front for good. The win pulled Seattle within one game of idle Houston for second place in the AL West. Lewis hit his 10th homer in the fifth inning to pull Seattle within 5-4 and end Luzardo’s day. A’s manager Bob Melvin planned to play Lamb in the second game of the doubleheader.
Smoke from nearby wildfires creates eerie baseball scene
Smoke from California wildfires obscures the sky over Oracle Park as the Seattle Mariners take batting practice before their baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in San Francisco. By mid-morning across San Francisco Bay, the Giants Oracle Park resembled a black-and-orange horror scene. Little experiment on my behalf today.Still, the air quality was below 100 about two hours before first pitch. AL West-leading Oakland was set to face the Houston Astros, while across San Francisco Bay the Giants were hosting the Seattle Mariners. The NFL's San Francisco 49ers practiced in similar conditions at their Santa Clara facility in the South Bay on Wednesday.
Awkward activism: MLB's uneven response to racial injustice
ARLINGTON, Texas In a typically awkward way, Major League Baseball has been pulled into Americas discussion about racial injustice. Though the process may be imperfect, there was agreement that coaches, players and teams should speak their mind. By sitting out tonights game, I feel like its just a small building block of what we want to see. In recent seasons, the percentage of Black players has hovered around 8%. NBA officials later announced that all three of the days scheduled playoff games had been postponed, and games scheduled Thursday also weren't played.