Athletics

Instant Replay: A's blow five-run lead, lose 10-6 to Astros

Instant Replay: A's blow five-run lead, lose 10-6 to Astros

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The outcome might have been shocking had the A’s not dropped so many clues that Saturday’s game ultimately would end badly for them.

Even in building a five-run lead, there were numerous malfunctions that a team pays for against a dangerous opponent. It all caught up to the A’s in a 10-6 loss to the Houston Astros in front of a Coliseum crowd that understandably grew disgruntled as the afternoon wore on.

It’s tough to make off with a ‘W’ when your pitching staff issues eight walks. Or when your defense makes two errors on one play that costs two runs. Or when two bases-loaded opportunities wind up netting zero runs.

That’s not a complete list of all that went wrong, but it provides a clue as to why this one played out the way it did. The A’s have lost three in a row, and the news wasn’t great on the injury front Saturday morning as shortstop Marcus Semien underwent an MRI for a sore right wrist.

The A’s built a 5-0 lead after striking for three in the second inning, then getting home runs from Trevor Plouffe and Khris Davis in the fifth. But Houston began chipping away with two in the sixth, then two more in the seventh.

Things got ugly in the eighth, when the Astros put runners on second and third with one out against Santiago Casilla, trailing 5-4, and Sean Doolittle came on to relieve him. Doolittle threw a wild pitch on his first offering to bring home the tying run and move Brian McCann to third base. He would score on Nori Aoki’s sacrifice fly to put the Astros ahead. George Springer’s two-run homer made it 8-5, and the A’s couldn’t muster the needed comeback magic.

Starting pitching report:
Sean Manaea put together another crazy pitching line. In his previous start, he struck out 10 while allowing six runs against the Texas Rangers. On Saturday, he exited in the sixth inning having walked five but allowing zero hits. He had swing-and-miss stuff, as his six strikeouts would suggest. But his command deserted him in the sixth, when he issued three consecutive free passes to open the inning. With the bases loaded, Carlos Correa smoked a liner that got past shortstop Adam Rosales for an error. Two runs wound up scoring on the play as center fielder Jaff Decker mishandled the ball for another error. With the A’s lead cut to 5-2, manager Bob Melvin came to get Manaea, who threw 98 pitches over five-plus innings and was charged with two runs (one earned).

Bullpen report:
There was plenty of blame to go around in this area, as five relievers combined to allow eight earned runs. Doolittle was on the mound when the lead changed hands, but it doesn’t all fall on him. Casilla walked two to spark Houston’s go-ahead rally, and then Frankie Montas gave up two runs late to stymie any thoughts of a comeback. And it’s worth noting the relief corps has been overworked the past two days with short starts from Kendall Graveman and Manaea, respectively.

At the plate:
Plouffe is showing signs of awakening offensively. He homered for the second consecutive game also drew two walks in the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He was in that spot with both Marcus Semien and Rajai Davis out of the lineup. Two batters after Plouffe went deep, Khris Davis connected for his sixth homer, an opposite-field shot to right-center on a curve ball on the outer part of the

In the field:
Defensive mistakes continue to bite the A’s at bad times. Correa scorched his sixth-inning liner, but Rosales should have caught it, and Decker’s error on the same play led to a second run scoring on the play. The A’s have committed a major league-high 15 errors, including at least one in each of the last nine games.

Attendance:
A crowd of 20,140 was on hand.

Up next:
This series wraps with a 1:05 p.m. game Sunday as Jharel Cotton (1-1, 3.97) matches up against Charlie Morton (0-1, 4.09), who will be facing the A’s for the first time in his career.

The young A's player that could be biggest beneficiary of Rajai Davis trade

The young A's player that could be biggest beneficiary of Rajai Davis trade

The A's traded veteran center fielder Rajai Davis to the Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon, clearing yet another veteran from their roster.

In return they receive 18-year-old outfielder Rafael Rincones, a Venezuela native currently playing in the Dominican Summer League.

The move doesn't come as a shock in the grand scheme of things. Davis, 36, is signed only through this season and didn't fit in the plans of Oakland's current youth movement. He did, however, have to clear waivers before this move could happen. And he joins Yonder Alonso as the second veteran the A's have shipped off after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The move opens up the possibility of Chad Pinder getting some playing time in center field against left-handers, as manager Bob Melvin has said he'd like to get Pinder some starts out there.

With recently promoted Boog Powell playing well in center, there's the chance he could draw some starts against lefties too, so it may not be a straight platoon. Pinder also sees playing time in right field, shortstop and second base.

A's trade Rajai Davis to Red Sox for minor league outfielder

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USATSI

A's trade Rajai Davis to Red Sox for minor league outfielder

Rajai Davis' second tenure with the A's is up.

Davis has been traded to the Red Sox for 18-year-old minor league outfielder Rafael Roncones.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the A's lost to the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday.

News of the pending deal was first reported by CSN New England.

Rincones has spent the 2017 season with the Red Sox affiliate in the Domincan Summer League. In 57 games, he's hitting .258 with 13 doubles, three triples, one homer and 19 RBI.

Boston are in need of an outfielder after placing Jackie Bradley Jr. on the disabled list with a thumb injury.

Davis signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the A's in the offseason. In 100 games this season, the 36-year-old is hitting .233/.294/.353 with 17 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 18 RBI and 26 stolen bases.

Boston will be Davis' seventh team. In addition to the A's, he has suited up for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates, Tigers and Indians.