A's Lineup: How the Brandons revitalized the A's


A's Lineup: How the Brandons revitalized the A's

Oakland A's (34-36) lineupCrisp CF
Weeks 2B
Reddick RF
Cespedes DH
Smith LF
Inge 3B
Moss 1B
Suzuki C
Pennington SS
Instant AnalysisThis is the best possible incarnation of the A's lineup. Speed at the top, power in the middle, and another pseudo leadoff hitter batting ninth. An A's lineup without Cespedes, Inge, Crisp and Moss was able to defeat Friday's starter Tim Lincecum on May 20. That day, the A's scored four runs on him, and knocked him out after four innings. Cespedes is still the DH. On Wednesday he said his strained left hamstring is 80-percent and will only return to the outfield when he deems it 100-percent ready. He seems to have taken kindly to the DH role though. He is 3 for 8, with two doubles, one homer, and four RBIs since returning to the A's lineup two games ago.Also notable, is that Kurt Suzuki is back in the lineup after catching prospect Derek Norris made his Major League debut on Thursday. A's manager Bob Melvin insists they are in a time share, and that Norris is here to play. The pressure is on the veteran catcher to force Melvin to keep him in the lineup now. Suzuki is a workhorse who hates not being in the lineup, but being the class act that he is, he is helping Norris learn the A's ways. Top of the OrderCoco Crisp has been performing as the team's table-setter. He has gotten on base in his last eight games. He has scored a run in five of those games, and stolen four bases over that span. He is batting .423 (11 for 26) in his last eight games as well. He was still on the DL the last time the A's played the Giants. Heart of the OrderJosh Reddick has started to level out. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, and is one at-bat away from potentially tying a career-worst mark of 20 at-bats without a hit. The three-hitter who got a day off Thursday is batting .211 (16 for 76) with one home run and 29 strikeouts over his last 20 games. In his previous 21 contests, he hit .291with 10 homers, and 19 strikeouts.Bottom of the OrderThe Brandons -- Inge and Moss -- make a nice power-hitting tandem in the six and seven spots of the order. Moss is out slugging all of the Giants first basemen combined with seven homers in just 14 games. Inge is proving his value to the team both offensively and defensively. The play he made in the ninth inning on Thursday to get Matt Traenor at second on Dee Gordon's bunt swung the momentum in the game firmly in the A's favor. The A's may finally have a viable solution to their power starved corner infield spots.

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox

Trio of A's rookies make history in win over White Sox


CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of their future on a day when the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their past.

Matt Olson hit his first two major league home runs, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto also launched their first career shots and the A's routed the White Sox 10-2 on Saturday.

Barreto homered in his big league debut. He joined Olson and Brugman in becoming the second trio of teammates to hit their first homers in the same game, the Elias Sports Bureau said. It also happened in 1914 with the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League - the rival circuit lasted a couple of seasons, and included many big leaguers.

"They said something about it was the first time it has happened in a while. It's awesome to be able to share that moment with guys that I already built relationships with," said Olson, who played with Brugman and Barreto in the minors.

Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle had his No. 56 jersey retired in a pregame ceremony. After the 30-minute tribute ended, the A's roughed up James Shields (1-1).

Daniel Gossett (1-2) took advantage of an early 6-0 lead for his first win in the big league. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings.

"It was a special experience for everyone. To get out of there with my first win was just the icing on the cake. It was an awesome experience to be a part of and I'm glad I was here," Gossett said.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the second straight game. He threw his hat to the ground and was tossed, right after third baseman Todd Frazier was ejected for showing his displeasure over a replay review that wasn't reversed.

"I thought it was quick," Frazier said. "I said some things that were borderline, I guess. But at the same time, it's just frustrating, man. You can't get the call right in New York as well, and they've got every different angle. They can zoom in as close as possible, and to think that they cannot make that call is just frustrating with the technology we have today. It's just crazy. It boggles your mind. It really does."

After a leadoff walk in the first, Olson homered to right. He added a two-run homer in the seventh. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and is in fourth stint with the club.

Brugman hit a solo drive in the second. Barreto had a two-run homer in the third.

Barreto, a top prospect in the Oakland organization, was called up after shortstop Chad Pinder injured his hamstring Friday night and was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Barreto was a late addition to the lineup at second base when Jed Lowrie couldn't play after a mild knee injury he sustained Friday night. The newcomer went 2 for 5 and scored twice.

"Of anybody, you're not surprised. We've seen him hit homers in his first spring training at-bats, so not a total shock. But I think everybody kind of looked around and said, `Wow, I can't remember that ever happening before,'" A's manager Bob Melvin.

Shields gave up six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He allowed three home runs in his second start since a two-month DL stint.

Buehrle's number was stenciled onto the dirt behind second base. He went 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA in 390 appearances for Chicago from 2000-11. The lefty pitched two no-hitters for the White Sox, including a perfect game, and helped them win the 2005 World Series.

White Sox: All signs are pointing to LHP Carlos Rodon making his season debut sometime next week. Rodon, who has been out with a biceps bursitis injury, pitched Friday night for Triple-A Charlotte. Renteria was satisfied with the reports after his fourth rehab start.

"Another start last night. He went 4 1-3, 93 pitches. Actually, in talking to everybody, he threw pretty well. Had a couple miscues in the field that were probably limited his outing. He felt good, pain-free, we're very happy with that. According to the reports, the slider was working very well. He's on track to come on back," Renteria said.

Gossett said the Oakland hitters made it easy for him in his third major league start.

"To see guys I've played with a little bit last year and this year, to see Barreto get his first hit and other guys get their first home runs, it's really special for them and I'm glad I was part of it," he said.

With wins Friday and Saturday, the A's snapped a streak of losing nine consecutive road series.

Despite the rough start, Shield reached 2,000th career strikeouts.

Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (2-3) is scheduled to start Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA over his last five starts.

White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (5-7) is 1-4 with a 9.55 ERA and nine home runs allowed over his last five starts.

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Friday night was a bad night for a couple of former A's players.

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Rangers, first baseman Chris Carter was designated for assignment by the Yankees.

New York called up first base prospect Tyler Austin.

In 57 games with the Yankees, Carter his eight homers and drove in 23 runs, but he his just .204 with 70 strikeouts.

Derek Norris, an All-Star with the A's in 2014, was designated for assignment by the Rays after they activated offseason acquisition Wilson Ramos from the 60-day DL.

Norris clubbed nine homers and drove in 24 runs, but hit .201 in 53 games with the Tampa Bay.