Alomar, Larkin highlight new Hall of Fame ballot

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alomar larkin.jpgRoberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff highlight the list of 15 newcomers on the Hall of Fame ballot released on Friday.
Also on the ballot for the first, and likely last, time are Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura and Todd Zeile.
Only the first four newcomers figure to receive the five percent of the vote needed to stay on the ballot for 2011. Perhaps one member of the group will even make it in, though it seems unlikely. Alomar and Larkin are definitely well above the Hall of Fame standards for middle infielders, but both have enough holes in their candidacy that it seems likely they’ll have to wait for enshrinement.
That definitely bodes well for holdover candidates Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven. With 75 percent needed for enshrinement, Dawson was named on 67 percent of the ballots last year and Blyleven on 62.7 percent.
The other returnees, with their 2009 share of the vote, are: Lee Smith (44.5), Jack Morris (44), Tim Raines (22.6), Mark McGwire (21.9), Alan Trammell (17.4), Dave Parker (15.0), Don Mattingly (11.9), Dale Murphy (11.5) and Harold Baines (5.9).
We’ll have more on all of the new candidates over the next month. The results from the current ballot will be announced Jan. 6.

Athletics score 21 runs, rout Angels

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After drubbing the Angels 10-0 on Wednesday, the Athletics stayed hot, scoring 21 runs to once again rout the Angels on Thursday afternoon. Edwin Jackson got the start, yielding two earned runs on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.

The offense started in the bottom of the third inning, when the A’s plated five runs. That featured a two-run double from Matt Chapman and a three-run home run from Stephen Piscotty. In the fourth, the A’s scored seven more on RBI singles from Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, and Stephen Piscotty, which were followed up with an RBI double from Ramon Laureano and an RBI single from Marcus Semien. In the sixth, the A’s bolstered their lead to 18-2 when Laureano hit a bases-loaded single, Semien hit a bases-clearing double, Josh Phegley hit an RBI single, and Franklin Barreto knocked in a run with a double play. The following inning, with position player Francisco Arcia pitching, Nick Martini hit a two-run homer and Chad Pinder made it back-to-back jacks with a solo shot of his own, pushing the score to 21-2.

Arcia hit a solo homer for the Angels in the top of the ninth to make it 21-3, then Kaleb Cowart popped out to end the game. It’s the sixth time a team has scored 20-plus runs this season and the first since the Mets won 24-4 over the Phillies on August 16. The other occurrences: Dodgers 21-5 over the Brewers on August 2, Nationals 25-4 over the Mets on July 31, Diamondbacks 20-5 over the Padres on July 7, and Phillies 20-1 over the Marlins on April 7.

Notables in the box score for the A’s: Martini had three hits and three runs scored, Piscotty had four RBI, Semien had three hits and five RBI, and Phegley had three hits with three runs scored.

With Thursday’s win, the A’s cut their deficit to 3.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. They have a six-game lead over the Rays for the second Wild Card and trail the Yankees by two games for the first Wild Card. Nine games remain in the regular season for the A’s.