Instant Replay: A's bats put it all together on offense to beat Royals

Instant Replay: A's bats put it all together on offense to beat Royals

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KANSAS CITY – The A’s coasted to the kind of low-stress victory Wednesday that every major league manager should get to savor once in a while.

They established season highs in runs and hits as they hammered the Royals 8-3 to win consecutive games for the first time this season. The victory was the A's eighth in a row over the Royals.

Eight of the nine hitters in Oakland’s starting lineup had at least one hit. The lone player who didn’t, leadoff man Marcus Semien, walked twice, scored two runs and had a stolen base.

That made it an easy night for skipper Bob Melvin, who made a minor lineup tweak as he dropped Ryon Healy down to the sixth spot and moved Jed Lowrie into the ‘3’ hole. The switch paid dividends, as Lowrie notched a team-high three RBI, and Healy — who entered the night 5-for-32 — had a single and a double.

A team that’s done most of its damage with the long ball this season, the A’s (5-4) instead bunched together singles and doubles Wednesday, knocking former Athletic Jason Hammel (0-1) from the game after 4 2/3 innings.

The beneficiary was right-hander Andrew Triggs (2-0), who has yet to allow an earned run through his first two starts, spanning 11 2/3 innings.

The A’s will go for the sweep in Thursday night’s road trip finale against the Royals, who fell to 2-6 and have scored the second-fewest runs in the American League (24).

Starting pitching report

Triggs held the Royals to four hits over six innings with three strikeouts and a walk. Kansas City put the leadoff hitter aboard in three of the first four innings, but Triggs bore down with men on base. He stranded six runners total.

Bullpen report

Ryan Dull, Liam Hendriks and Frankie Montas handled the final three innings, with the Royals scoring two runs off Hendriks in the eighth on the strength of three hits and a walk. It was Hendriks’ third appearance, but his first in six days.

At the plate

Good stuff up and down the box score for the A’s. Lowrie’s two-run double highlighted a four-run sixth that turned a 4-0 game into 8-0. Rajai Davis got the A’s on the board with a double that scored Trevor Plouffe all the way from first in a the third inning. Three singles, including Yonder Alonso’s run-scoring hit to left-center, and a sacrifice fly from Plouffe made it 3-0 in the fourth. The next inning, Semien walked and stole his fourth base of the season to help set up Lowrie’s sacrifice fly, as the A’s came through with good situational hitting with runners in scoring position.

In the field

Rajai Davis made a key early play in center field. His diving catch to rob Alcides Escobar saved a run in the second and got Triggs out of that inning. Right fielder Matt Joyce also had a terrific catch in the ninth, making a running grab as he crashed into the wall on Cheslor Cuthbert’s deep drive.

Attendance

The announced crowd was 24,380.

Up next

After a quick promotion from the minors and an encouraging long-relief outing against Texas, Jesse Hahn (0-0, 3.00) makes his first start of the season Thursday. Lefty Jason Vargas (1-0, 5.40) goes for the Royals. First pitch is 5:15 p.m.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

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The A’s sprung to life offensively in the late innings Sunday and polished off their first road sweep of 2017.

They scored all five of their runs over the final three innings to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3, continuing an odd stretch of streakiness. The A’s swept the New York Yankees in four at the Coliseum, then turned around and dropped four in a row to the Houston Astros before arriving in Chicago and taking all three from the Sox. It’s their first sweep on the road since they won four in Kansas City from Sept. 12-15 of last season.

The weekend’s events provided a morale boost for a team that began the series an American League-worst 9-25 away from home. The sweep also featured numerous contributions from a pack of recently promoted young players fresh from the minors.

The A’s had no answer for left-hander Derek Holland through six-plus innings, mustering just four hits off the veteran. But trailing 2-0, they got on the board with Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh. The next inning, Khris Davis singled home the tying run and Yonder Alonso followed with a go-ahead single down the left-field line to put the A’s up 3-2.

They tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers from Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce.

Sonny rebounds: Sonny Gray (3-3) avoided the early trouble that plagued his last start, working seven innings and being rewarded with a victory thanks to the A’s eighth-inning rally. He struck out seven and walked just one. That was a key as Gray had issued seven free passes combined in his previous two starts. Adam Engel hit a 2-1 fastball for a homer in the third, then Jose Abreu scored on a passed ball in the fourth to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. But Gray held the Sox to just four hits over his seven innings.

Sign of things to come? Franklin Barreto got a look as the No. 2 hitter in the order Sunday, a spot that some scouts feel he’ll be well suited for as his career unfolds. He singled to the opposite field in his first at-bat, then struck out looking in his next two trips to the plate. In the eighth, his broken-bat single to left jumpstarted Oakland’s two-run go-ahead rally. Barreto is 4-for-10 in his first two games with the big club.

Joyce provides a lift off the bench: Joyce entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and connected for his 10th homer, right after Rosales had gone deep himself. Joyce became the fourth Athletic to crack double figures in homers, and the A’s improved to 31-26 when they hit at least one home run (they’re 3-16 when they don’t).

Doo does it again: Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle continued to deal since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and has allowed just one hit over five innings in six appearances since his return.

An unwanted milestone: The Sox scored their second run on a passed ball by Josh Phegley, which accounted for Oakland’s 50th unearned run, most in the majors. They had just 43 unearned runs all of last season.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

A new team believes in Stephen Vogt.

The former A's catcher, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The A's announced the transaction shortly before their game against the White Sox.

News of the Brewers making the waiver claim was first reported by ESPN.

The Brewers were the only team to place a waiver claim on Vogt, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogt, a clubhouse leader and one of the longest tenured A's, hit just .217 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games this season.