A's lineup: Carter getting extended look?


A's lineup: Carter getting extended look?

Oakland Athletics (37-41) lineupCoco Crisp, CF
Jemile Weeks, 2B
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Jonny Gomes, LF
Chris Carter, 1B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Brandon Hicks, SS
Kurt Suzuki, C
Instant AnalysisChris Carter remains in the lineup, playing first base. I had a chance to catch up with his former River Cats coaches who were thrilled to hear that he hit a home run in his first game back in the major leagues. They stressed that the power-hitting first baseman is a different player than he was when he got called up last year. "He's staying on the baseball a lot better, particularly to left field. "River Cats hitting coach Greg Sparks said. "Mostly his power has been to right center, but his power is all over the place. He cut down on strikeouts. I'm really happy for him."Sparks added that Carter has worked very hard to improve his defense and that he believes he has upgraded from a below average fielder to an above average one. "He wants to be there and he wants to stay there," River Cats manager Darren Bush said. "Nothing is given to you. You have to go up there and take it." Carter being in the lineup and playing first base in back-to-back games is a sign that the A's might finally be ready to give the one-time top prospect a chance to prove what he can do in the big leagues.After misreading a ball in left field that ended up being Craig Gentry's game-winning hit, Cespedes returns to being the designated hitter. The A's lineup is stacked with power. It looks like A's manager Bob Melvin is attempting to fight fire with fire against Texas' slugging lineup. The three-through-seven spots in the lineup are all filled by home run hitters. Top of the orderWeeks might be getting healthier after being nagged by a hip injury that slowed him down. He hit his American League-leading fifth triple on Friday. Heart of the orderCespedes had a career-high tying three hits on Thursday, and has been a force for the A's when healthy. He has missed 31 games due to injury, but is still ranked second amongst AL rookies in homers (9) and RBIs (35). He is 5-for-8 with three RBIs and a walk in this series. Manny never made it to the A's lineup, but they have Jonny. Gomes has been effective in left field for the A's, he is also batting .324 (11-for-34) with three homers, three doubles and seven RBIs in 16 games in June. Bottom of the orderBrandon Hicks starts at shortstop instead of Cliff Pennington. Hicks could provide an offensive boost for the A's over Pennington, who is hitting .094 over his last 10 games. Two of Hicks' three hits with the A's are doubles. He hit 13 homers in Triple-A before being recalled one week ago today. Texas Rangers (49-29) lineupIan Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Michael Young, DH
Nelson Cruz, RF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Yorvit Torrealba, C
Craig Gentry, CF

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

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


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.