09/05/10 5:52 PM ET
Larish enjoying everyday chance with A's
By Alex Espinoza / MLB.com
Larish started in left field, batting sixth, for Sunday's series finale against the Angels, marking the 10th time in 13 games Larish has been in the starting lineup. After playing exclusively at first base and third base for his five-plus professional seasons, Larish has started six of the past eight contests in left field.
"I feel pretty comfortable out there now," Larish said. "It was just a matter of getting that first game under the belt because I haven't been out there in a while. But I haven't got a missile hit at me yet, so we'll see what happens. The ball's kind of snaking and shooting up [now with Oakland's field being used for football]."
As Oakland manager Bob Geren pointed out before Sunday's game, Larish has reached base safely in eight of nine games during his second stint.
"It's nice get the opportunity to play every day," Larish said. "I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts."
A's catcher Kurt Suzuki received a day off Sunday, his first full day of rest since Aug. 22.
A's Kouzmanoff exits with back spasms
OAKLAND -- A's third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff left in the bottom of the fifth inning of Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Angels due to lower back spasms.
Kouzmanoff hit a hard single to left field on a 2-2 pitch from Ervin Santana, but grabbed his lower back about 15 feet out of the batter's box and jogged slowly down to first base. Head trainer Steve Sayles came out to first base to check on Kouzmanoff, who immediately left the game.
A's manager Bob Geren said Kouzmanoff will be day-to-day.
Kouzmanoff has provided the A's with a bit of a power boost lately, as he has knocked out four home runs in his last 10 contests. He leads the A's with 14 home runs and 69 RBIs this season.
Outfielder Gabe Gross pinch-ran for Kouzmanoff and entered the game in right field, moving Rajai Davis to left field and Jeff Larish to third base.
The A's have used the disabled list 23 times this year, two short of the team record set in 2008.
Braden's quick pick keeping runners honest
OAKLAND -- Since he's been 13 years old, Dallas Braden has realized the value of an effective pickoff move.
While Braden ranks second in the American League with eight pickoffs, he once picked off four runners in the same game. Granted, he was only 14.
"I had one inning in that game when I hit two guys and picked them off," Braden said. "Then I walked a guy and picked him off. That's how I got out of the inning."
Braden would be hard-pressed to pull off such a feat at this level, but his unique move has certainly commanded respect around the league. Unlike other pitchers who often use a leg kick to deceive the runners, Braden's move is a quick snap of his wrist and elbow that rarely uses his legs to create any power.
Though Oakland's rotation features two young lefties, Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez, Braden said he hasn't tried to pass on his knowledge when it comes to picking off runners.
"I do it purely based on feel and timing, just whatever kind of feel I get from the runners, so it's not something I would necessarily be able to teach," Braden said. "It's something that they could definitely work on and get comfortable at their own level with. But honestly, when you think about it, those are two types of guys especially that don't need something like that because they have the ability to go dominate the inning."
Braden said he's never possessed overpowering stuff, so he's always been looking for creative ways to get people out. Braden's pickoff prowess has also limited the opponents' ability to steal bases, as they have just one stolen base in 205 chances against him this season.
"Just because you can't get the guy out at the plate, doesn't mean you can't get that guy out again," Braden said. "There's always outs to be had in the game. The game dictates itself that way. ... Pickoffs are like bonus outs."
While Gonzalez commended Braden's move, he also said it's something that can't be duplicated.
"It's quick, bro," Gonzalez said. "One of the best pickoffs in the Major Leagues in my opinion. ... It's so hard to teach because the fact it's so ... bam. Instant. I think he does it just to show off sometimes."
Matinee stars: A's excel in day games
OAKLAND -- Entering play Sunday, the A's featured baseball's best record in day games at 31-14. Alas, their 36-54 record at night has put Oakland behind the eight ball in their quest for the American League West crown.
While it may just be the result of the game's quirky nature, Oakland manager Bob Geren offered up a few possibilities for the stark difference in results.
"You can see spins of balls and different things a little better in the day time," Geren said. "So sometimes weaker pitching is exposed more in the day time and our pitching is real good."
Geren also noted the large contingent of young players on his roster and how they may respond to day games after night games better than older players.
The A's will play their third day game in a row on Monday, as they will take advantage of Labor Day with a rare Monday matinee.
A's raise $70,650 for breast cancer
OAKLAND -- The A's celebrated their 12th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Sunday, raising $70,650 for the cause.
Proceeds of the event will benefit the American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention Institute of California and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Funds were raised through the sale of commemorative memorabilia, raffles, special ticket packages and fan support.
Since the event's inception, the A's have raised more than $1.145 million for breast cancer awareness, research and education. Each year, the A's also gives a $5,000 "Gift of Faith" grant to a local charity in memory of the late TV reporter Faith Fancher. This season, the grant went to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund of San Francisco.
As part of the pregame ceremonies, more than 500 breast-cancer survivors dressed in pink uniforms gathered on the field in the symbolic shape of a ribbon.
Before Sunday's game against the Angels, A's owner Lew Wolff presented Dallas Braden with a ring and a pendant for his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, to commemorate Braden's perfect game. ... Class A Kane County locked up its sixth postseason berth in eight years with a 6-2 win over Wisconsin on Saturday. Five of Oakland's six Minor League affiliates have made the playoffs, all but the Rookie League A's.
Alex Espinoza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.