Melvin, A's have 'great humor' about sewage issue
Club owner Wolff insists it's not a big deal, jokes he's team's plumber
OAKLAND -- As A's manager Bob Melvin took a seat amid reporters Wednesday morning for his daily media session, he was also joined by a few extra visitors.
Less than two hours before first pitch, Coliseum workers were still cleaning up the sewage mess from the bathroom in the A's dugout that initially arose during the sixth inning Tuesday night. Turns out a blue rag flushed down the toilet was the culprit, leading to the stadium's second sewage issue of the season.
In June, sewage invaded both clubhouses, forcing the A's and Mariners to shower together in the Raiders' locker room.
Still, A's owner and managing partner Lew Wolff insisted, "We're making a bigger issue out of it than it really is."
"It's not fair to all the people at the Coliseum, all of the staff here, who work hard to keep this place going," Wolff continued. "We haven't had that many problems of that nature. That could happen in your house."
"It's more a distraction during the middle of a game, but everyone had great humor about it," said Melvin. "It's not the first time something like that has happened here. It certainly didn't affect anyone during the middle of the game, nor would it now. I think, we, to an extent, got a kick out of it. It just made me move out of a superstitious spot more than anything else."
Wolff has long yearned for his club to move out of the 45-year-old Coliseum in favor of a new stadium in a better location. But his plans to move to San Jose have stalled while waiting for approval from Major League Baseball.
In the meantime, the A's will have to make do with what they have, even if it means keeping a plumber on speed dial.
"You're looking at him," Wolff cracked. "If I have to, I will."
"It wasn't as bad as it looked, but it's still bad," catcher Derek Norris said. "It's part of the things you have to deal with here. It's not fun. It's not awesome. But we have to just keep playing, and hopefully some day we'll move into a nice new stadium that doesn't have health hazards all over the place."
Cook to work through recent rough stretch
OAKLAND -- Like he's done with Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour at times this season, A's manager Bob Melvin will let reliever Ryan Cook work through his ongoing struggles.
Cook has allowed six runs, 21 hits and seven walks in his last 10 innings. He hit two batters in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game against the Angels after hitting two total in his first 65 outings, which loaded the bases for lefty Jerry Blevins.
Blevins struck out Josh Hamilton to bail out Cook and end the seventh, but Cook's woes are still apparent -- and magnified when considering how dominant he was before this stretch. He allowed just 12 earned runs in 53 1/3 innings through Aug. 14, for a 2.03 ERA.
That's why Melvin can't afford to rest Cook, unless he actually needs the rest.
"[Tuesday] night, he didn't give up a run. He got two quick outs and then had some baserunners, and we were able to get him out of it," Melvin said. "I'd give him some time off if his workload would suggest that, but this is a guy that's important to us.
"I think, like anybody, Doolittle struggled for some time, and he worked through that and is doing great for us now. It's more about if you want to give him a day for the workload, and we do have some other resources down there, some other guys to use if that's the case."
Lowrie rejoins lineup after battling tight hamstring
OAKLAND -- For the first time since Sunday, shortstop Jed Lowrie returned to the A's starting lineup for Oakland's series finale against the Angels on Wednesday afternoon.
Lowrie exited Sunday's contest against the Rangers in Texas with right hamstring tightness and was held out of the lineup the following two days. He entered Tuesday night's game in the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter.
"He's good to go today," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's always important to get him in there, but we do have some guys to pick up the slack when he's out. You want to make sure you don't push a guy too far at this point in the year, and giving him almost two full days off hopefully helped that."
Lowrie entered the day hitting .284, though he's batting just .196 over his last 14 games after compiling a .386 clip with 10 doubles over his previous 14 games. He made his team-leading 61st start in the No. 3 hole Wednesday.
Amid walk-off celebration, Sogard loses glasses
OAKLAND -- Eric Sogard has made just one error in 113 starts as a middle infielder for Oakland, but that surehandedness was absent in the A's postgame scrum following their 2-1 walk-off win over the Angels on Tuesday at O.co Coliseum.
Sogard, Oakland's bespectacled shortstop/second baseman hybrid, lost his glasses in the midst of the A's mobbing of Josh Donaldson following his walk-off RBI single. Sogard's hat was the first to go and he suspected his glasses were soon to follow, but the euphoria of the moment was too much to pass up.
A flailing limb jarred them loose and Sogard nearly salvaged them on their way to the ground. Yet he couldn't quite snag them. They were crushed in multiple pieces by the time Seth Smith returned the remains of the eyewear.
"By the time I wasn't able to make the catch, they hit the ground and the mob kept moving. I knew I had no shot at going down and getting them," said Sogard, one of the few players in baseball who opts to wear glasses instead of contacts. "I just kind of hoped that nobody stepped on them, but this time that wasn't the case.
"It's always on my mind," he added. "I'm always cautious of it. I try to keep them on my face and not let them get crushed."
Smith spotted the glasses after the scrum.
"It's kind of hard to talk about," Smith said. "One piece over there, one piece over here. There's just nothing you can do. Thankfully, he was prepared and he has a backup."
Sogard brought the remains to the A's authenticator, who placed a sticker to commemorate the moment. He said he hopes to auction them off for charity -- assuming the Hall of Fame doesn't come calling.