Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as A's score season-high to win series

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as A's score season-high to win series


ANAHEIM — It took them four-plus hours and 18 hits to pull it off, but the A’s completed one crazy comeback victory Sunday at Angel Stadium.

Down five runs in the seventh inning, Oakland rallied for an 11-10 victory to take two of three in Anaheim in one of their wildest games of the season. The A’s knocked out 10 extra-base hits, one off their franchise record, and highlighted their comeback with six consecutive two-out hits during a five-run rally in the eighth.

They trailed 2-0, then jumped ahead 4-2, and eventually were facing a 10-5 deficit before they started hammering away at Angels relievers Blake Parker and Bud Norris in the eighth.

That rally was highlighted by Khris Davis’ two-run homer and a two-run single from slumping catcher Bruce Maxwell. On a day these teams combined for 30 hits, the A’s overcame two errors and won their firs series in Anaheim since June of last season.

The morning started with the A’s trading Yonder Alonso. Who knew their afternoon would get even more unpredictable?

PINDER POWER: Chad Pinder played an instrumental role in the A’s comeback, finishing 4-for-5 with two RBI and needing just a triple for the cycle. In six games since coming off the disabled list, Pinder is 9-for-18.

MAXWELL DELIVERS AT RIGHT TIME: Mired in a 5-for-49 slump, Maxwell came through with the two-run go-ahead single in the eighth to cap the A’s mad five-run rally.

MANAEA’S STRUGGLES: For the first time in his career, Sean Manaea has gone back-to-back outings of less than four innings. He gave up solo homers to Yunel Escobar and Mike Trout early. Then the A’s scored four runs in the top of the fourth to give him a two-run lead to work with, but the lefty gave the lead right back as the Angels answered with a four-run rally of their own to go up 6-4. Manaea walked two and allowed three hits in the inning before Bob Melvin called on Simon Castro from the bullpen.

NAILING IT DOWN: After the A’s went up 11-10, they got scoreless innings from Santiago Casilla and Blake Treinen to close it out.

THE ALONSO AFTERMATH: With the morning trade of Yonder Alonso to the Mariners, Melvin said Matt Olson will be called from Triple-A Nashville to join the club for Tuesday’s series opener against Seattle. The plan is for the left-handed hitting Olson and Ryon Healy to platoon at first base.

The A's are now 50-62 on the season. 

Could Franklin Barreto get a look in center field for A's?


Could Franklin Barreto get a look in center field for A's?

Don’t count out top prospect Franklin Barreto as a possibility for the A’s in center field.

It’s long been speculated that the middle infielder might eventually get a look in center, and the idea has at least been discussed in team circles. It’s tied partially to whether the A’s exercise their $6 million club option on Jed Lowrie and bring him back as their regular second baseman in 2018.

Regardless, the battle to be Oakland’s everyday center fielder will be one of the A’s most intriguing storylines next spring. Grady Fuson, a special assistant to general manager David Forst who spends much of the season evaluating the team’s farm system, discussed several of the team’s center field options in the latest A’s Insider Podcast.

So much revolves around the health of 22-year-old Dustin Fowler, one of three prospects the A’s received from the Yankees for Sonny Gray. He’ll spend the winter continuing to rehab from a devastating knee injury suffered in his very first major league game in June while still with New York.

The A’s are hopeful he’ll be ready for spring training and believe he can be a solution in center.

“Fowler certainly is the guy we made this trade for, and I think everybody, top to bottom, in the system is counting on him taking that spot,” Fuson said. “But we all know he’s been hurt. How he comes back, who knows? Boog (Powell’s) been doing a very good job for us. And there’s other options.”

The 21-year-old Barreto, who has split time between second and short this season at Triple-A and with the big club, played some center in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2015. He’s always talked with enthusiasm about the idea.

The A’s experimented with another highly touted young infielder, Yairo Munoz, in center field in the minors this season.

“(We’ve) had discussions about taking Munoz out there, which we’ve done,” Fuson said. “We’ve had discussions about maybe Franklin Barreto, depending on what happens at second here at end of the year, over the winter, and early in camp.”

Lowrie has enjoyed a very strong season with Oakland, and A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane has said the team is seriously considering picking up his option. Having Barreto be an option in center could be a way to keep him in the majors in 2018 even if Lowrie returns at second base.

Fuson stressed that the idea of Barreto in center hasn’t advanced past the early-discussion phase. No decisions have been made.

What’s interesting is that, in a short time, the A’s have gone from scarce few center field options to suddenly having several. Powell and Fowler may enter the spring as front runners, but Munoz, Jaycob Brugman, Chad Pinder, Jake Smolinski and, perhaps, Barreto may all have a shot too.

The A’s also used their first-round pick in June on high school center fielder Austin Beck, who represents another option down the road.

Bob Melvin provides update on Bruce Maxwell after 'pretty good shot' to face


Bob Melvin provides update on Bruce Maxwell after 'pretty good shot' to face

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell has a history with foul tips and concussion concerns, so there was cause for concern after he took a direct shot during Wednesday's game against the Tigers.

With one out in the ninth inning, Tigers shortstop fouled a ball square into Maxwell's facemask. The A's catcher immediately fell backwards. As manager Bob Melvin and the team trainer checked on him, he appeared dazed and rubbed his eyes. In an attempt to try to stay in the game, reliever Liam Hendriks tossed two warmup pitches. Maxwell missed the first one, but even after he caught the second one, it was clear he wasn't right and was removed from the game.

Afterwards, Melvin was asked about Maxwell's status.

"He went through all the protocol. It doesn't look like a concussion at this point. We'll probably know more in the next couple of days," Melvin told reporters in Detroit. "Took a pretty good shot. More sore on his face because of where the impact was, which was right in the middle of his face."

Josh Phegley replaced Maxwell for the final two outs of the game. Hendriks managed to close out the 3-2 win for the A's.