Anderson pitches through pain in postseason win

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Anderson pitches through pain in postseason win

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OAKLAND -- After making six innings of shutout ball look easy, Brett Anderson admitted that his right oblique was still hurting him during the game. That news may come as surprise to the Tigers hitters who stepped into the batter's box against him. Anderson allowed just two hits and struck out six batters in a win-or-go-home game. A mere 20 days ago the young lefty strained his right oblique and was thought to be lost for the season.
PRATT'S INSTANT REPLAY: A's stave off elimination
Anderson, 24, hit 93-MPH on the radar gun and had command of his biting slider. He battled through the pain to win his first postseason start and keep the A's alive in the American League Division Series."It was just kind of dull and annoying," Anderson said of his right oblique. "It wasn't like I'd throw one pitch and it would throb or pull. It was just kind of there. You have to deal with it and go out and compete."Anderson fired off 80 pitches, 45 of which were strikes. He may have been fighting through some pain but he really settled into a groove late in the game as he retired nine of the last 10 hitters he faced. After he completed the top of the sixth by striking out Miguel Cabrera, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd, A's manager Melvin broke the news that he was done for the night."There was a long discussion with him because he wasn't aware there was a pitch count with him," Melvin said. "Earlier in the game I don't think he felt as good as he did later in the game. But 19,20 days off, we weren't looking for any more than that." Anderson did his best to plead his case. He wanted to stay in the game but trusted his manager's decision. "I told him I could go," Anderson said. "Not knowing how today was going to play out, 80 pitches was enough and I had confidence in our bullpen and they did the job." "Annoying" pain aside, Anderson said his start in Game Three against the Tigers was the most fun he has ever had on the mound. He plans to show up on Wednesday and do his treatment like normal in hopes of getting prepared to make another start. He credited the raucous Oakland Coliseum crowd for helping make his first postseason start memorable. Anderson induced 10 ground ball outs and only one fly out. That one ball that was hit in the air was a rocket off the bat of Prince Fielder to leadoff the second inning, that center fielder Coco Crisp made a highlight reel catch on to keep it inside the park. "You don't ever expect a guy to rob a home run for you," Anderson said. "When he hit it I was hoping it wasn't going to leave the yard, at that point for a double. Then I see him fly through the air and make the catch."
RATTO: Coco Crisp -- From goat to hero
The catch by Crisp was as soothing as a liberal smattering of icy hot. The defense made several nice plays behind Anderson including a double play to end the third. He did himself several favors as well. He struck out Austin Jackson and Omar Infante swinging in seven total pitches to start the game, and got Cabrera on one pitch to end the first."You don't really know how the game is going to go until you end up there on the mound," Anderson said. "I was fairly sharp the first two hitters and got some strikeouts and kind of set the tone a little bit."After working through the nerves, he was able to focus on Detroit's hitters. Battling with the Tigers lineup ended up being a welcome distraction. "You aren't worried about your oblique when you are facing a Triple Crown Winner or Prince Fielder or whoever is in their lineup," Anderson said. The A's will have to hope Anderson's effort brings them some momentum. They won't be able to get him back out on the mound unless they win their next two games and survive elimination at the hands of the Tigers.

Healy exits early, Blackburn suffers first loss with A's

Healy exits early, Blackburn suffers first loss with A's

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NEW YORK — Michael Conforto hit a pair of two-run homers and Jerry Blevins rescued the Mets' bullpen with a five-out save as New York held off the Oakland Athletics 7-5 on Friday night for its third straight victory.

T.J. Rivera put the Mets ahead in the sixth inning with a two-run single that turned into a Little League home run. Rivera came all the way around to score on the play after third baseman Matt Chapman, trying to get Rivera at second, threw the ball away into right field for a costly error that made it 5-3.

Moments earlier, New York loaded the bases when Lucas Duda's bad-hop infield single struck first baseman Ryon Healy near the temple. Healy left the game and walked off under his own power with a swollen bruise next to his left eye.

Conforto's second homer made it 7-3 in the seventh. Oakland rallied for two in the eighth, but Blevins replaced closer Addison Reed with the bases loaded and got five straight outs against his former team for his fifth major league save and first this season.

Normally a lefty specialist, Blevins recorded five outs in a game for the first time since 2014 with Washington. He retired All-Star slugger Yonder Alonso on a foul popup and struck out Khris Davis to escape the eighth-inning jam.

"We just tried to find some matchups that worked," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Yoenis Cespedes had three hits after raising eyebrows when he told the San Francisco Chronicle before the game that he wants to play the final season of his career in Oakland, his first big league team.

Cespedes, who signed a $110 million, four-year contract in the offseason to remain with the Mets, also said A's manager Bob Melvin is his favorite skipper and he doesn't think there's a better one.

"Bob's a great manager. I don't blame him," Collins said after the game. "This is the first I've heard of it."

After the game, Cespedes clarified his comments while speaking with reporters through a translator and said he meant no disrespect toward Collins or the Mets.

Yoenis Cespedes: 'I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland'

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AP

Yoenis Cespedes: 'I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland'

After signing a four-year, $36 million deal with the A's before the 2012 season, Yoenis Cespedes' time in Oakland came to an end halfway through his third season.

The current Mets star certainly hasn't forgetten his time in Oakland, sharing his desire to end his career back where he started it to the San Francisco Chronicle

“I wish that happens,” Cespedes said on Friday with the A's taking on his Mets in New York. “I told (Jerry) Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.”

Cespedes, who has also played in Boston and Detroit, loved his time in Oakland. 

“I still love the A’s, they were the first team to give me an opportunity to play in the big leagues," Cespedes said. “I love Oakland all the time.”

Another key reason for Cespedes' hope to return to the A's one day is how much he enjoyed playing for manager Bob Melvin. 

“I tell my guys here all the time that he’s the best manager for me so far,” Cespedes said. “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin.”

Cespedes hit .262 with 66 home runs in his time with the A's. Over his six-year career, the slugging outfielder owns a career .272 batting average with 146 homers.