Athletics

Instant Replay: Offense silent again, A's lose 3-1 to Astros

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Instant Replay: Offense silent again, A's lose 3-1 to Astros

BOX SCORE

It was another rough night offensively for the A’s on Tuesday, and the signs of that came early courtesy of Astros left fielder Colby Rasmus.

He made a throw home to nail Ryon Healy in the second and extinguish an early A’s scoring opportunity. Then Rasmus did it with the bat, homering off Kendall Graveman in the bottom of that inning to send the Astros on their way to a 3-1 victory over Oakland at Minute Maid Park.

It’s been a barren two days in the Lone Star state for the A’s so far. Over the first 18 innings of this three-game series, they’ve managed to score just one run on nine hits. On Tuesday it was right-hander Collin McHugh who handcuffed them. McHugh came in having allowed 12 earned runs over his previous 13 1/3 innings, spanning three starts. But he went six scoreless innings in this one and held the A’s to just four hits, striking out five and walking one.

The Astros put on a show defensively throughout the night, including terrific plays from the dynamic double play combo of Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve at different points. That continued a month-long pattern that has seen the A’s score just 3.4 runs per game throughout August. Their 93 total runs are the fewest in the American League for the month.

Starting pitching report:
Kendall Graveman (10-9) took the loss in this one, but he certainly didn’t get much help tonight. The sinkerballer went seven inning sand allowed three runs on just four hits. Rasmus got to him for a homer on a 1-2 pitch. Then Houston added a run in the third on Alex Bregman’s two-out single, set up by George Springer’s steal of second and Stephen Vogt’s throwing error that moved him to third. Then Evan Gattis added a solo shot in the seventh to make it a 3-0 game.

Bullpen report:
John Axford pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the A’s within striking distance.

At the plate:
The A’s appeared to be in business against McHugh (9-10) in the second, when Healy advanced to third base with one out. But Max Muncy lofted a fly ball to left, and Rasmus fired his throw home as Healy tagged up. The throw was well off-line, taking catcher Jason Castro well to the first-base side of home plate. But Castro retrieved the ball and made an excellent diving effort to tag Healy before he touched the plate.

The A’s scored their only run in the eighth when Max Muncy reached on an error and came around to score eventually on Marcus Semien’s grounder to short.

In the field:
Marcus Semien made a terrific diving play up the middle, then hopped to his feet and threw out Marwin Gonzalez for the A’s best defensive play of the night.

Rasmus’ throw home to nail Healy wasn’t the first time he’s hurt the A’s with his arm this season. He made a terrific play earlier this season at Minute Maid Park, fielding Jed Lowrie’s base hit off the wall and firing a perfect throw to second to get Lowrie, who had to figure he had a double as the ball came off the bat.

Attendance:
23,114

Up next:
Ross Detwiler (1-3, 5.74) matches up against Mike Fiers (9-6, 4.40) in Wednesday’s 11:10 a.m. matchup that closes this six-game road trip for Oakland.

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

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USATSI

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Alex Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth after Oakland tied it in the bottom of the eighth, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Athletics 7-6 on Wednesday.

Alcides Escobar doubled to start the ninth against Blake Treinen (1-1), matching his season high with three hits. Then Gordon delivered his second run-scoring single of the series finale.

Oakland's Matt Chapman hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth against Brandon Maurer (1-1), who wound up the winner.

Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Danny Duffy struck out eight over five innings but the Royals couldn't hold a late lead again before holding on - a day after squandering a four-run advantage in a 10-8 defeat.

Cain added a key RBI single in the eighth for the Royals, who began the day tied with Minnesota six games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland.

Kelvin Herrera finished for his 26th save in 29 chances after allowing Ryon Healy's two-out infield single.

Duffy's winless stretch reached four outings since a victory at Detroit on July 25. The left-hander earned his first major league win at Oakland on June 14, 2011, and has never lost to the A's - 3-0 in seven career appearances and six starts - but hasn't beaten them since April 10, 2012.

Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer in the third and Oakland got back in it on Jed Lowrie's two-run single in the fifth.

Kansas City's Melky Cabrera fouled a ball off his leg in the third and went down writhing in pain before recovering to hit a single on the very next pitch to load the bases with no outs. But Blackburn struck out Mike Moustakas and induced an inning-ending double play from Brandon Moss to escape unscathed.

A's starter Paul Blackburn was tagged for eight hits and four runs in four innings of his first career start against Kansas City, striking out two and walking three.

MINOR LEAGUE TRADE

The A's acquired lefty Sam Moll from Colorado for a player to be named later or cash then optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Oakland added right-hander Chris Hatcher to the 25-man roster and he made his A's debut in the sixth inning, a day after coming to Oakland in a trade from the Dodgers. The A's optioned righty Josh Smith to Nashville and designated righty Zach Neal for assignment to clear 40-man roster space to add Moll.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Joakim Soria - who allowed four straight hits in the eighth inning Tuesday night - is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday after stiffness in his lat and ribcage area to determine when he can pitch again. The reliever showed up to the Coliseum with discomfort. "He's been battling with it for two weeks, he's been pitching through it, he's been pitching very effectively through it," manager Ned Yost said. "But after last night he showed up more so than usual."

Athletics: Josh Phegley (strained left oblique) was slated to catch five or six innings in a rehab game for Triple-A Nashville at Tacoma. ... OF Jake Smolinski, on the disabled list since March 30 recovering from right shoulder surgery, isn't expected to be able to play in the outfield until "well into September," manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA) starts Friday at home against the first-place Indians trying to snap a 14-start winless stretch at Kaufmann Stadium since a victory vs. Minnesota on Aug. 20 last year.

Athletics: Following Thursday's day off, LHP Sean Manaea (8-7, 4.59) starts at Houston on Friday looking to end a five-start winless stretch in which he's 0-2 since beating Cleveland on July 16.

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

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MLB Network

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

All the Royals' reliever wanted to do was congratulate the A's balldude for making a nice play.

Instead, he got nothing but air.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday, A's outfielder Chad Pinder fouled a ball down the right field line. The young man in charge of protecting the opposing bullpen from foul balls made the catch just a few feet in front of the seated Royals relievers.

His first move was to go give the ball to a young fan. But he failed to notice one of the Royals relievers trying to give him some dap.

Here's the awkward sequence: