Drew's all-over-the-place effort sparks A's

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Drew's all-over-the-place effort sparks A's

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OAKLAND -- On a night that Major League Baseball's 500,000th error was committed, the A's defense dazzled at the Oakland Coliseum. After making an American League-worst 124 errors in 2011, the A's made it their priority to focus on their glove work going forward and the leather was on full display on Saturday as they again held the Orioles to just two runs to win the game 5-2.Stephen Drew's all-over-the-place effort led the way. He snared a liner that saved a hit, made a highlight reel glove flip on a play ranging up the middle, ranged deep into foul territory to make a catch, and was the relay man in possibly the most pivotal play of the game. "I just told him 'You had a busy night, huh?'" starting pitcher Jarrod Parker said of Drew. "He's running the left field line, up the middle, everywhere. That's what's fun to watch and he's able to make some great plays and it really helps out mentally for me."As the media assembled around Drew for his postgame comments, reliever Ryan Cook walked by and proclaimed in a joking fashion that Drew is the best shortstop ever. On this night he sure looked the part."I like getting action out there instead of sitting back on my hill," Drew said. Oh, and he hit a home run too. Drew really did do it all on this evening. His second home run with the A's put Oakland on the board in the third inning. It sparked a five-run rally that saw 10 batters step to the plate."It's been fun being here," Drew said. "It's kind of crazy how this team works sometimes."The five-run rally featured RBI singles from Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes and a two-run opposite field double down the right field line hit by Chris Carter. On Carter's double Cespedes got a great jump and was running so fast that he almost passed Reddick on the base paths. "Reddick runs pretty good but when Cespedes gets going full tilt he runs really well," Melvin said. "It was a big inning for us."After the A's big inning, the Orioles were answering with a rally of their own. Adam Jones led off with a single and Chris Davis clubbed a double to the wall in left field. As Jones rounded third and headed for for home, Cespedes got to the ball and came up throwing. He hit Drew with a perfectly-aimed throw and Drew turned and fired home to catcher Derek Norris, who caught the ball in perfect position to make the tag on Jones at the plate. The impressive defensive effort stopped the Orioles in their tracks and seemed to deflate them offensively. "You see that play not go right a lot," Melvin said. "Everything has to work on a play like that."Parker was the beneficiary of the A's stout defense and explosive inning, but he made his own luck with another solid pitching performance, earning his 11th win of the season. He lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. He now has 119 strikeouts this season, which is fifth-most for a rookie in Oakland history. He fell behind 2-0 early in the game after allowing an RBI double to Mark Reynolds in the second inning and a solo homer to Nate McLouth in the third inning, but grounded the Orioles hitters after that. "Early on I was kind of battling myself a little bit and then I was able to get over that and just pitch a little better," Parker said. "They are an aggressive team and I got some early contact with some offspeed pitches and that helped out." The A's victory over the Orioles could come in handy later as it clinched the season series. If the A's and O's finish with the same record atop the Wild Card standings, the one-game Wild Card playoff game will now take place in Oakland. The A's are now a season-high 23 games over .500 and just two games behind the Rangers in the American League West after Texas lost 8-6 to the Mariners on Saturday. Oakland hasn't been this close to Texas in the standings since April 13.
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"We know that stuff is going on," Parker said. "We just want to win. That's all you can ask for. If we take care of our business then good things are going to happen."Oakland has won eight of the last nine games, and are 41-18 since the All-Star Break. They are keeping it all in perspective behind their even keel manager. "As long as we can try to remain in the moment not get too caught up in how things are going, what's being written, and where you are in the season, and just kind of play for the day and have all your energies in that, then I think it's easier to focus and stay calm," Melvin said.

Rosales, Healy homer, A's hold off Mariners for fifth straight win

Rosales, Healy homer, A's hold off Mariners for fifth straight win

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OAKLAND -- Adam Rosales got counsel on leading off from Chris Young when they were Oakland teammates in 2013.

"He's like, just keep it the same, if not be more aggressive because it's either the first or second pitch of the ballgame is the best pitch you'll see that day," Rosales said. "Be ready."

When Ariel Miranda served up a splitter down the middle, Rosales pounced on the 1-1 pitch.

Rosales and Ryon Healy each homered in the first inning, Jharel Cotton pitched six innings of two-run ball and the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Saturday for their fifth straight win.

The A's two hottest hitters quickly got to Miranda (1-2). Rosales hit his first leadoff homer since May 3, 2013, then made his usual sprint around the bases.

"He brings a lot of energy to the table," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

The A's fed off that energy, and two batters later, Healy hit a two-run shot, his third this season and first since April 6.

Cotton (2-2) gave up two runs, six hits, two walks and hit a batter.

"I was talking to myself on the mound, saying `attack, attack, attack, stay convicted, no matter what,'" Cotton said.

Ryan Madson got four outs for his first save.

Miranda allowed four runs and seven hits in three-plus inning in his worst start of the season, failing to pitch at least five innings for the first time in three starts.

Rosales is 6 for 17 with two homers and a double during the A's win streak, and Healy is 9 for 17 over his last five games after going 6 for 40 in his previous 10.

The Mariners fell to 1-9 on the road. Their sputtering offense had nine hits Saturday, offering some encouragement to a team that's hitting .195 away from home.

"Sometimes you're good at home, sometimes you're bad on the road and sometimes you're good on the road and sometimes you're bad at home" said Robinson Cano, who hit his third homer. "It was the same way last year. We just have to keep fighting."

Seattle cut it to 4-3 on Kyle Seager's pinch-hit, RBI triple in the eighth. Seager, mired in a slump all month, came into the game batting .233 with no home runs in 60 at-bats and was 3 for 16 over his last five games.

Madson struck out Mitch Haniger swinging to end the game after Jarrod Dyson singled and stole second with two outs in the ninth.

SPLASH HITS

The A's wore Golden State Warriors jerseys during batting practice on Saturday for a second straight day. The A's announced on Twitter that they plan to auction the jerseys with the proceeds going to charity.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Steve Cishek, who had offseason hip surgery, hasn't been sharp in two rehab appearances. "He's kind going through his spring training right now," manager Scott Servais said.

Athletics: CF Rajai Davis was out of the lineup for a second straight day with a hamstring injury. Manager Bob Melvin said he expects the speedster to be on the field soon and doesn't anticipate him going on the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Yovani Gallardo is winless through his first three starts. He's 0-5 with a 5.29 ERA in seven career starts against Oakland. ... RHP Andrew Triggs (3-0) is yet to allow an earned run through a team-record 17 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs and six hits in his only appearance against Seattle, a two-inning relief stint last year.

A's lineup: Rosales leading off, Phegley catching Cotton vs Mariners

A's lineup: Rosales leading off, Phegley catching Cotton vs Mariners

Programming note: Mariners-A’s coverage starts today at 12pm with A’s Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming on the NBC Sports App

Looking for their third straight win against the Mariners, the A's will have Adam Rosales and Jed Lowrie at the top of the lineup Saturday.

Seattle Mariners:
1. Jarrod Dyson (L) CF
2. Mitch Haniger (R) RF
3. Robinson Cano (L) 2B
4. Nelson Cruz (R) DH
5. Taylor Motter (R) SS
6. Danny Valencia (R) 1B
7. Guillermo Heredia (R) LF
8. Mike Freeman (L) 3B
9. Mike Zunino (R) C
Ariel Miranda -- LHP

Oakland A's:
1. Adam Rosales (R) SS
2. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
3. Ryon Healy (R) 1B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
6. Josh Phegley (R) C
7. Matt Joyce (L) RF
8. Chad Pinder (R) DH
9. Jaff Decker (L) CF
Jharel Cotton -- RHP