MLB Team Report - Oakland Athletics - INSIDE PITCH
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Left-hander Jon Lester pitched his fourth career shutout Thursday night, leading the Oakland A’s to a 3-0 victory against the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series at the O.co Coliseum.
Making his second start for the A’s since being traded July 31 along with outfielder Jonny Gomes to Oakland from Boston for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, Lester allowed just three hits and recorded his 11th career complete game.
Lester struck out eight and walked two, improving to 2-0 with the A’s and 12-7 overall. He threw a season-high 122 pitches. As Lester pitched a perfect ninth inning, A’s fans chanted his name.
”It’s been great,“ said Lester, who received a standing ovation when he left his first A’s start with two outs in the seventh inning of an 8-3 win against Kansas City. ”I think the biggest thing is just to feel welcomed.
“We all know what Cespedes did for this organization and how well he’s liked and everything. The biggest thing, coming over here, you just don’t want to screw that up. You want to make the trade look like it had a purpose and it was good. You don’t want to come in halfway through the year after these guys have battled their butts off to be in first place and screw that up.”
Lester, who pitched a no-hitter for Boston against Kansas City on May 19, 2008, had a perfect game through five innings. But former A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki lined a leadoff single to left in the sixth, ending Lester’s bid for perfection and no-hitter No. 2.
MLB Team Report - Oakland Athletics - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson, 10-8, 3.93 ERA) at Athletics (LHP Scott Kazmir, 12-4, 2.53 ERA)
--LHP Jon Lester pitched his fourth career shutout and 11th career complete game Thursday night as the A’s beat Minnesota 3-0. The former Red Sox ace struck out eight, walked two and threw a season-high 122 pitches. Lester won his sixth straight decision and improved to 2-0 with the A’s and 12-7 overall. He was traded to the A’s by Boston, along with LF Jonny Gomes, for OF Yoenis Cespedes on July 31.
--SS Jed Lowrie missed his third straight game Thursday night for the A’s against Minnesota as he continued recovering from a bruised right index finger. He pinch hit in the seventh inning, lining out to right field, and A’s manager Bob Melvin said he is “almost certain” that Lowrie will start at shortstop on Friday night against the Twin. Lowrie was injured Monday night in the fourth inning against Tampa Bay when a ground ball took a bad hop and hit him in the tip of his finger. “It’s pretty swollen,” Lowrie said before the A’s 3-0 victory. “It’s pretty bruised. The way it hit me, I think I‘m lucky it wasn’t broken. It’s just a matter of getting that inflammation out of there to where it’s comfortable. Literally if it’s any other finger it’s not an issue, but because that’s the finger that leaves the ball last, it’s hard to control the ball throwing when you don’t have a good feel with that finger.”
--1B/C Stephen Vogt snapped an 0-for-23 skid with a two-run homer in the third inning of a 3-0 A’s victory against Minnesota on Thursday. The hitless streak was the second longest of his career. He began his career going 0-for-32.
--1B/OF Brandon Moss went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning double, snapping his career-long 0-for-18 skid, Thursday night in a 3-0 victory against Minnesota. Moss scored a run, drew an intentional walk and struck out twice.
--1B Kyle Blanks (torn left calf) ran the bases Thursday for the second time and will likely begin a rehab assignment Saturday or Sunday, A’s manager Bob Melvin said before his team’s 3-0 victory against Minnesota. Blanks went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 23. He’s hitting .333 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 21 games for the A‘s.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “That was his last hitter. My heart was beating over there. I‘m glad he did it. I probably wouldn’t let anybody else get to that point, but he’s been there before. That’s why we got him here. Not only is he able to pitch that type of game, he’s also the guy that gives the bullpen a rest.” -- A’s manager Bob Melvin, after LHP Jon Lester struck out Twins LF Josh Willingham to end a 3-0 win over Minnesota Thursday.
MLB Team Report - Oakland Athletics - ROSTER REPORT
--SS Jed Lowrie (sore right index finger) missed games Aug. 5-6. X-rays were negative. He pinch hit Aug. 7 and A’s manager Bob Melvin said he will likely return to the starting lineup Aug. 8.
--1B Kyle Blanks (torn left calf) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 23. An MRI revealed that Blanks’ calf has a small tear and is not merely strained, the initial diagnosis. He ran full speed Aug. 2 and ran the bases Aug. 5 and 7. He is expected to begin a rehab assignment as early as Aug. 9.
--2B Nick Punto (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3.
--OF Craig Gentry (broken right hand) went on the 15-day disabled list July 28. He might be able to return in mid-August.
--RHP A.J. Griffin (right flexor tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 4. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery April 30.
--RHP Jarrod Parker (torn right ulnar collateral ligament) went on the 60-day disabled list March 20. He had a second Tommy John surgery March 24, and he will miss the entire season. He resumed playing catch Aug. 4.
LHP Jon Lester
RHP Sonny Gray
LHP Scott Kazmir
RHP Jeff Samardzija
RHP Jason Hammel
LHP Sean Doolittle (closer)
RHP Dan Otero
LHP Eric O‘Flaherty
RHP Ryan Cook
RHP Luke Gregerson
LHP Fernando Abad
RHP Jesse Chavez
1B Alberto Callaspo
2B Eric Sogard
SS Jed Lowrie
3B Josh Donaldson
INF Nate Freiman
INF/OF Stephen Vogt
LF Jonny Gomes
CF Coco Crisp
RF Brandon Moss
OF Sam Fuld
OF Josh Reddick