This weekend has been a nightmare for the A’s.
They headed into Anaheim on Thursday for the start of a four-game series with the goal of recapturing the lead in the American League West standings, but runs have been difficult to come by and now the Angels enter play Sunday looking for the sweep.
Saturday’s game was especially frustrating for Oakland. Halos reliever Cory Rasmus made a spot start and seven different pitchers followed, but the A’s managed only three total hits in a 2-0 defeat. That putrid offensive performance spoiled a strong outing from Jeff Samardzija, who allowed just four hits and one earned run over eight innings.
The Angels — despite a relatively quiet trade deadline and the loss of stud starter Garrett Richards — are suddenly four games up on the A’s in the American League West with a month to go.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
Yankees 0, Blue Jays 2
Tigers 3, White Sox 6 (Game 1)
Cubs 5, Cardinals 1 (Game 1)
Reds 2, Pirates 3
Twins 2, Orioles 3
Indians 3, Royals 2 (11 innings)
Marlins 4, Braves 0
Rangers 0, Astros 2
Phillies 7, Mets 2
Red Sox 0, Rays 7
Tigers 8, White Sox 4 (Game 2)
Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 0
Cubs 2, Cardinals 13 (Game 2)
Dodgers 1, Padres 2 (10 innings)
Athletics 0, Angels 2
Brewers 1, Giants 3
Nationals 3, Mariners 1
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.