Sergio Santos loses his slider and A’s end their 10-game losing streak

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It looked like it was going to be 11 in a row for the A’s, but in new manager Bob Melvin’s second game at the helm, the team’s newest acquisition came up big.

Scott Sizemore hit a three-run double in the top of the ninth to give the A’s a 7-5 lead and halt the team’s long losing streak Friday with a victory over the White Sox.

Sergio Santos blew his second save in 13 attempts for the White Sox.  The converted shortstop just couldn’t find his slider tonight.  He got two outs to begin the ninth in a 5-3 game, but he then walked Josh Willingham, who took second on fielder’s indifference.  Hideki Matsui singled him in and then Santos walked Daric Barton and hit Kurt Suzuki with a breaking ball to load the bases.

Left with nothing but his straight fastball, Santos proved hittable.  Sizemore drilled one to the gap in left-center, clearing the bases with ease.  Sizemore finished the game — his third since replacing Kevin Kouzmanoff as the team’s third baseman — 3-for-4 with a walk.  The former Tiger is 5-for-9 since his callup.

And now the A’s are on the board again, even though Graham Godfrey struggled in his major league debut, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.  Edwin Jackson pitched six innings of two-run ball for the White Sox, only to have the bullpen let him down. Santos has suddenly given up seven runs in his last two appearances, taking his ERA from 1.24 to 3.23.  It’s not going to cost him the closer’s role, but the White Sox are surely concerned.  For all of his velocity, he doesn’t have the fastball movement to succeed when his slider isn’t working.

The Mets will not commit to Matt Harvey making his next start

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Matt Harvey has had a bad and injury-filled couple of years. He hit spring training in decent physical shape, however, and there was much talk about a possible Harvey Renaissance. At times in February, March and in his first start in early April he looked alright too.

That has changed, however. Over his last three starts he has allowed 14 runs on 25 hits in 16 innings, with his latest stinker being last night’s six runs on eight hits outing against the Braves. The poor pitching has resulted in Mets manager Mickey Calloway not committing to Harvey taking his next turn in the rotation. Or, as Ken Davidoff reports in the Post, not commenting when asked if Harvey would, indeed, make his next start.

It’s bad enough when the manager will not make such a commitment, but the Mets pitching coach, Dave Eiland, made comments after the game suggesting the possibility of the Mets putting Harvey in the bullpen. The comments were not pointed, but this suggests his thinking, I’d assume:

While neither Callaway nor Eiland would tip his hand about Harvey’s immediate future, Eiland, who most recently worked for the Royals, smiled when a reporter asked him if he had ever switched a starter to the bullpen under duress. “Yeah, a guy by the name of Wade Davis,” he said. “It turned out pretty well for him.”

That’s a generous way of putting it and, for Harvey, such comments could soften the blow to his ego if, indeed, the club decides to move him to the bullpen. It’s not a demotion, he could claim, it’s the team giving him a chance to regain his past stardom in a different role!

However, whether it was because he was stinging from a poor performance or because he simply hates the idea, Harvey seemed to reject the possibility out of hand, saying, “I’m a starting pitcher. I’ve always been a starting pitcher. That’s my mindset.”

Looks like he’s either going to have to change his mindset or else he’s not going to have a place to pitch in New York for very much longer.