Things got a little hairy at the end, but the Athletics defeated the Angels 5-3 last night at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland and now sit one game back in the American League West.
Sonny Gray had a chance to go the distance, but issued a one-out walk in the ninth before being pulled. He ended up allowing three runs over 8 1/3 innings of work, improving to 13-7 on the year. The game was actually tied through five innings before the A’s got two runs in the sixth on an RBI triple from Sam Fuld and a sacrifice fly from Andy Parrino. Stephen Vogt added a solo homer in the eighth for insurance. They almost needed every bit of it.
Sean Doolittle replaced Gray in the ninth before striking out Howie Kendrick, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Erick Aybar and David Freese to bring in a run. He then walked pinch-hitter Collin Cowgill to load the bases, but managed to strike out Chris Iannetta swinging to end the ballgame. No sweat.
The series will resume tonight with Jon Lester on the hill for Oakland and C.J. Wilson pitching for first-place Los Angeles. We could have a tie this time tomorrow morning.
Your Friday box scores:
Angels 3, Athletics 5
Orioles 1, Cubs 4
Astros 5, Indians 1
Giants 10, Nationals 3
White Sox 3, Yankees 4
Cardinals 4, Phillies 5
Rays 8, Blue Jays 0
Braves 3, Reds 1 (12 innings)
Mariners 5, Red Sox 3
Royals 6, Rangers 3
Marlins 13, Rockies 5
Pirates 8, Brewers 3
Royals 6, Rangers 3
Tigers 6, Twins 20
Padres 1, Diamondbacks 5
Mets 2, Dodgers 6
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: