It's not over for A's, yet

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It's not over for A's, yet

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DETROIT -- "Over? Did you say "over?" Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!" -- John Belushi as Bluto in Animal House That famous clip from the movie Animal House often plays on the big screen at the Oakland Coliseum when the A's are down late in a game. Aside from the historical inaccuracies, it perfectly sums up the Oakland Athletics' attitude as they packed up their clubhouse stalls and headed for home down 2-0 in the American League Division Series and facing elimination. "We're not going to get our heads down and act like we're beaten," Josh Reddick said. "We've gotten this far for a reason and we are a good team and we know we are a good team. We're just going to grind it out and win these next three ballgames." Is the series over? Not until they lose one more game. Just ask the Rangers how dangerous the A's can be when they need three home wins. Many of the Rangers' players were probably watching the Tigers defeat Oakland 5-4 in walk-off fashion from their couches at home. History isn't on their side. The A's have gone down 0-2 seven times in a postseason series and they ended up getting eliminated in all seven. Five teams in Major League history have over come a 0-2 deficit in a best of five series. Two of the teams that pulled off the feat did so against the A's. The Yankees did it in 2001 and the Red Sox did it in 2003. "We just need to win a game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We need to go home and concentrate on Tuesday. If you start thinking about three games ahead, then you lose your focus on Tuesday's game."They do have reason to be optimistic. Of all the AL playoff teams the Tigers are the only one with a losing record on the road. They went 38-43 on the road this season. The A's were 50-31 at home and have fed off the energy at the Coliseum lately. "We're still alive and now it's a must-win situation," Coco Crisp said. It will be an adjustment for the A's who have played all season long like they have nothing to lose. Their storybook season could either come to an end with one more loss, or their tale could get even more miraculous with a few well timed wins. It will be interesting to see how the A's respond with their backs truly against the wall for the first time this season. "It's a little tougher no doubt," closer Grant Balfour said. "You lose the next one you go home. You lose in the regular season there's tomorrow." The A's will work out at the Coliseum on Monday. They take on the Tigers on their home turf at 6:07 p.m. on Tuesday. Detroit will be sending Anibal Sanchez to the mound. Oakland scored six runs -- five earned -- against Sanchez on September 20 in Detroit. Injured starting pitcher Brett Anderson is likely taking the mound for Oakland. He strained his right oblique on September 19 against the Tigers. All reports indicate that he is feeling good, so what better time to have him pitch than a must-win game?

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.