Athletics

A's 20-game win streak: Where are they now?

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A's 20-game win streak: Where are they now?

Its been 10 years since the As concluded their record20-game winning streak, beating the Kansas City Royals in a wild 12-11 game in Oakland.So on the 10-year anniversary of that historic win, we takea look back at the box score and where the players of that legendary As teamare now.Leadoff hitter Ray Durham: 2002 was Durhamsonly season with Oakland he was a midseason acquisition from the White Sox -- though the secondbaseman didnt go far after the season, moving across the Bay to the Giants.After five and one-half seasons with the Giants, Durhamfinished off his career with a half of a season in Milwaukee. Durham hit .276 in his six seasons after theAs, knocking 80 home runs and 369 RBI.No. 2 hitter John Mabry: Mabry was also a midseasonacquisition for the As traded from the Phillies in exchange for Jeremy Giambi.Mabry bounced around after leaving the As in 2002, spending one season withthe Mariners, two in St. Louis and one with theCubs before concluding his career with the Rockiesin 2007. The utility player had one productive season after leaving Oakland, hitting .296 forthe Cardinals in 2004.No. 3 hitter Miguel Tejada: Tejada, who would go on to winthe MVP award in 2002, spent one more season in Oakland in 2003 before hittingfree agency and leaving for the Orioles. Tejada made five more All-Star Gamesafter leaving the As and drove in 150 runs in 2004. He ended his career with adisappointing year with the Giants in 2011 in which he hit .239 with 26 RBI.Tejada technically hasnt retired yet but is not currently on a team afterbeing released at his request by the Orioles in June.No. 4 hitter Eric Chavez: Chavez plays for the Yankees afterspending 13 seasons with the As. He is hitting .289 this season with 13 homeruns and 33 RBI. Now 34, Chavez won six Gold Gloves with the As and a SilverSlugger in 2002. He hit 230 home runs in his time with the As and drove in 787runs.No. 5 hitter Jermaine Dye: Dyes career concluded in 2009after five seasons with the White Sox. Dye spent one more year with the Asafter the 2002 season, hitting .172 in 65 games. He made the All-Star Game in2006 and hit .315 with 44 home runs and 120 RBI that year. The right fielderfinished his career with 325 homers and 1072 RBI.No. 6 hitter David Justice: Justice never played anotherseason in the majors after 2002. The outfielder finished his career with a .279batting average, 305 home runs and 1017 RBI.No. 7 hitter Mark Ellis: Ellis is currently a second basemanwith the Dodgers, hitting .264 with a .349 on-base percentage. Ellis, who was arookie in 2002, played for the As until getting traded to the Rockies in June 2011. Ellis hit .274 in 70 games with Colorado before signingwith the Dodgers as a free agent.No. 8 hitter Terrence Long: Long was a first-round pick ofthe Mets that never fully developed after a promising rookie campaign with theAs in 2002. His career lasted just eight years before he retired in 2006 atage 30. Long stayed with the As in 2003, but with his batting average in the.240s for the second straight season, he was dealt to the Padres. Long finishedhis career with the Yankees in 2006.No. 9 hitter Ramon Hernandez: Hernandez is a catcher for theColorado Rockies but missed 42 games with a left hand injury this season. Hisbatting average has dropped precipitously this season to .218, down from .282last year. Hernandez, 36, was an All-Star in 2003 with the As before gettingtraded to San Diego.He spent two years with the Padres, three with the Orioles and three with theReds before signing with the Rockies as a freeagent in November.Starting pitcher Tim Hudson: Hudson was robbed of a win in the 20th-consecutive-victorygame, tossing 6.2 innings with only two earned runs. The right-hander pitchedfor the As until 2005 when he joined the Braves. Hudsonhas pitched for Atlantaever since. He made his second All-Star Game in 2004 and another in 2010. Hudson has 194 careervictories and an ERA of 3.42. Hes 13-5 this season with a 3.76 ERA in 146innings.Pinch hitter Scott Hatteberg: Hattebergs pinch-hit,walk-off home run in that game was one of 15 he hit in 2002. Hatteberg retiredwith the Reds after 2008. He had his best season in 2007, hitting .310. Afterthe As converted him to a first baseman in 2002, Hatteberg remained at theposition for the rest of his career.Pitcher Barry Zito: Though he didnt throw in that game,Zito was an integral part of the As success in 2002, winning 23 games andcapping off the season with a Cy Young Award. Zito stayed with Oakland for four more years before signing aseven-year, 126-million deal with the Giants. He has a 4.51 ERA with theGiants this season and a 10-8 record. Zito needs one more win to match his season-highin six years in San Francisco.After posting an ERA of 3.55 in seven years with the As, Zito has a 4.54 ERAwith the Giants.Pitcher Mark Mulder: Mulder was the third ace of the Asstaff in 2002, winning 19 games with a 3.47 ERA. After five years in Oakland, Mulder wastraded to the Cardinals in December 2004. He retired from St. Louis in 2008 with 103 career victories.Mulder only won 22 more games after leaving the As.

A's find two bright spots in tough shutout loss to Astros

A's find two bright spots in tough shutout loss to Astros

HOUSTON — Some losses go down tougher than others, and that’s true for Bob Melvin whether it’s April or whether it’s August and his team is playing out the string.

The body language and demeanor said it all for the A’s manager Saturday after a 3-0 loss to the Astros, in which Oakland didn’t advance a single runner past second base.

Houston right-hander Collin McHugh brought a 4.88 ERA into the game over five starts since returning from a shoulder injury. He wound up celebrating his first victory of 2017 after six stellar innings.

“He threw the ball good, (but) I expected us to score some runs tonight,” Melvin said.

The A’s were done in by five ground-ball double plays, including a game-ending 5-4-3 job from Ryon Healy, which was reversed on replay review after Healy initially was called safe.

“Those things are killers,” catcher Bruce Maxwell said. “It just didn’t roll our way today.”

So the A’s (53-70) were left to pick through the scraps of this one to find some silver linings, and there were a couple.

Kendall Graveman held Houston to two runs over six innings, and the damage off him came on a two-run single from Marwin Gonzalez that glanced off the glove of second baseman Jed Lowrie. It was the second strong outing in a row for Graveman, who’s now got four starts under his belt since returning from his second stint on the disabled list this season for shoulder issues.

Most encouraging from his standpoint was he didn’t really have his best stuff, yet still managed to limit an opponent that leads the majors in every significant offensive category, including runs, batting average and homers.

“I think it’s the first one where I’ve been back when I had to kind of pitch and grind through,” said Graveman (3-4). “I didn’t have my best stuff. It’s just one of those where you’ve got to get out there and compete.”

The highlight of the game for the A’s came when center fielder Boog Powell unleashed a strike to home plate that nailed Alex Bregman trying to score from second on Jose Altuve’s single in the fifth.

Maxwell barely had to move his mitt to apply the tag, and count the A’s catcher as the most surprised person in the ballpark that Powell even gave him a chance on the play.

“It caught me off guard,” Maxwell admitted. “I haven’t played with Powell in a long time. I didn’t expect there to be that big of a play at home. He was fairly deep in the outfield as well.”

Powell, a 24-year-old rookie who was acquired from Seattle for Yonder Alonso, said he’s worked on his throwing in the minors in recent seasons.

“I didn’t (have a good arm) back in the day,” Powell said. “I’m definitely improving my arm strength. I pride myself on getting the ball out as quick as I can.”

It’s the kind of play that sticks in the memory bank as Powell tries to make his mark in the wide open battle to be the A’s center fielder in 2018. His throw to ring up Bregman was at least one moment from Saturday night that gave Melvin reason to smile.

“He can play the outfield, no doubt about it,” Melvin said. “It was a big play at the time, and it should give you a little momentum to go back out there and do a little better offensively.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 3-0 loss in Houston

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 3-0 loss in Houston

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON — The A’s pitching staff endured a rough series against Kansas City to finish out the last homestand.

Go figure that Oakland arrived in Houston to start a six-game road trip, and it’s the offense that has been non-existant. The Astros blanked the A’s 3-0 on Saturday at Minute Maid Park, negating a strong effort from right-hander Kendall Graveman.

Through 18 innings of this series, the A’s have advanced exactly one runner as far as third base. That came Friday night on Matt Joyce’s eighth-inning homer, accounting for the only run scored by Oakland so far in Houston.

Getting runners on base wasn’t really the tough part Saturday. Grounding into five double plays was what did them in offensively. It was fitting that the game ended on a replay overturn that gave the Astros’ a 5-4-3 double play on Ryon Healy’s grounder to end it. Healy originally was ruled safe.

GRAVEMAN ROUNDING INTO FORM: In his fourth start back from a shoulder injury, Graveman built on his previous outing when he beat the Baltimore Orioles. He went six innings Saturday and gave up two runs. The only damage off him came with the bases loaded in the fourth. Marwin Gonzalez hit a sharp grounder to the left of second baseman Jed Lowrie. The ball glanced off his glove, allowing two runners to score. It was ruled a two-run single, but it appeared a makable play that should have resulted in at least one out for Graveman.

BREGMAN STRIKES AGAIN: Astros third baseman homered for the second time in two nights. His solo shot off Ryan Dull in the eighth added some breathing room for Houston.

FAMILIAR FACE: Former Athletic Tyler Clippard, who the Astros just recently acquired, finished out the ninth to close it out.

SHOWING OFF THE ARM: Houston had a chance to build on its two-run lead in the fifth, but A’s center fielder Boog Powell made an on-the-money throw to the plate to nail Bregman, who tried to score from second on Jose Altuve’s single. Powell got the ball to the plate on the fly, with catcher Bruce Maxwell simply having to apply the tag. The Astros challenged the call but it stood upon replay review.

SHOWING OFF THE ARM, PART II: Khris Davis’ name doesn’t often appear under this subhead, but the A’s left fielder nearly threw out Astros speedster George Springer as he legged out a double in the third. Actually, Davis should have gotten the assist as the throw beat him to the bag. But Springer was safe on a nifty slide to avoid Jed Lowrie’s tag. Davis fielded the liner off a ricochet from the left field wall, then made one of his strongest throws in an A’s uniform. It’s worth noting that since Davis wrote a story in The Players Tribune, detailing the mental battles he endures with his outfield throwing, his throws have actually appeared to be stronger.