A's look to keep champagne out of visiting clubhouse

798796.jpg

A's look to keep champagne out of visiting clubhouse

OAKLAND -- The champagne that was sprayed with unbridled elation is dried and sticky. The plastic sheets that acted as a clubhouse splashguard have been wadded into a huge ball and hauled away. The cigar butts that littered the floor are now swept out and disposed of. Today is a new day, and the 2012 Oakland Athletics live their lives one game at a time.

As a result, it's time for them to hide their grey American League Playoffs shirts and hats, stow away the goggles, and file away the memories of Monday night in order to focus on staying alive in the division. "We've got one thing on our mind," Jonny Gomes said. "And this is definitely a stepping stone to what we are trying to do." Sure, the Wild Card is a nice ace up their sleeve, a guaranteed spot in the postseason, but it isn't the most desirable route. If the A's can keep defying the odds and win their next two games against the division-leading Rangers they will be the American League West champions and will be assured at least a full series."We're still shooting for something," Reddick said. "We still got a lot of work to do."
RATTO: A's celebrate before it's back to business
The A's took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate -- and it was a pretty wild one for a while. As they let loose they acknowledged that it could be a small taste of what could be ahead if they handle their business the next two days. The champagne is much more effervescent when it is division-winning bubbly. If they lose just one game, it will be the Rangers that get to party like animals instead. The A's will be sending Travis Blackley to the mound on Tuesday. The Australian lefty enjoyed the celebration but had a more stern look on his face while his teammates partied around him. He has been struggling mightily lately. Last Thursday he gave up five runs against the Rangers and didn't make it to the second inning. He is 1-2 with a 7.00 ERA in four starts against Texas this year. It would appear the odds are against the A's on Tuesday, but when hasn't the deck been stacked against them this season? They have lost veterans Brandon Inge, Brandon McCarthy, Bartolo Colon and Brett Anderson -- and they keep on winning. It seems surprising, but it makes sense when you look at the big picture. The A's aren't a team stacked with All-Stars. They get contributions from every player on the roster and don't lean on one player to carry the team.
PRATT: This is better than Moneyball
"We've got a great group," Brandon Moss said. "There's not a single guy in this clubhouse that hasn't contributed to something."While all the remnants of Monday night's celebration may have been disposed of, the A's know there's plenty more where that came from. The big question is if they can keep it out of the visiting clubhouse.

Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman

chriscarter-yankees-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman

The A's hit a lot of home runs and they appear to be bringing back a player that hits a lot of home runs.

Chris Carter, who played for the A's from 2010 through 2012, is reportedly signing a minor league contract to return to the organization.

News of the deal was first reported by FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.

Carter was released by the Yankees on July 10. In 62 games for New York, Carter hit .201/.284/.370 with five doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBI.

Over the previous four seasons between Houston and Milwaukee, Carter hit 131 home runs and drove in 328 runs.

Carter's high-water mark with the A's came in 2012 when he hit 16 home runs in 67 games.

Sonny Gray keeps dealing, A's avoid sweep with win over Rays

sonny-recap-us.jpg
USATSI

Sonny Gray keeps dealing, A's avoid sweep with win over Rays

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — Sonny Gray struck out six pitching into the seventh in what might have been his final home start in Oakland if the club tries to deal him before the trade deadline, and the Athletics rallied in the fifth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Wednesday.

Matt Joyce hit a towering homer to the right-field seats in the eighth for Oakland.

Rajai Davis doubled home Oakland's first run in the fifth then Joyce followed with a tying sacrifice fly before Davis scurried home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Gray (6-4) won his third straight start and fourth in five. When speculation arose from the White Sox side before his Friday outing that the right-hander had been scratched because of a possible deal, the A's quickly announced that he was indeed taking the mound for his scheduled outing.

After a pair of one-run defeats to begin this series, the A's avoided being swept by the Rays in Oakland for the first time. This already marked just their third lost series at home to Tampa Bay.

Gray allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with two walks.

The Rays got three straight singles off Gray to start the fourth inning, including an RBI single by Wilson Ramos. Brad Miller also drove in a run on a groundout.

But Oakland finally got to Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Faria (4-1) in the fifth. With seven straight quality starts to begin his career, Faria took his first big league loss.

A's All-Star Yonder Alonso hit an RBI single in the inning, when Faria had two of his four walks. He allowed six hits and four runs in five innings, striking out four.

Alonso was thrown out at home in the first when he tried to go from first on Khris Davis' double to right. The throw beat him so handily Alonso didn't even try to slide and instead ran behind the plate before turning for the dugout.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: RF Steven Souza Jr. exited the game in the first after straining his left hip trying to steal second after drawing a leadoff walk to start the game. Shane Peterson replaced him. X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated once the team arrives home. ... Manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell would make his next turn in the rotation despite still being winless at 0-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 11 starts. "He's going to pitch well," Cash said.

Athletics: The A's hope to have Chad Pinder back from the DL and a strained left hamstring when they return home from an upcoming seven-game trip to the New York Mets and Toronto. Manager Bob Melvin plans to use him as a utilityman. ... RHP Kendall Graveman allowed five hits and four runs with one strikeout and a walk on 46 pitches in 2 1/3 innings with Triple-A Nashville rehabbing his strained pitching shoulder. RHP Jharel Cotton (blister on his right thumb) also pitched in the game, striking out six in 3 1/3 innings, while Pinder was 0 for 2 with a walk and strikeout for the Sounds.

UP NEXT

Rays: With the Rays back home, RHP Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.59 ERA) takes the ball in Friday's series opener against Yu Darvish and Texas having not faced the Rangers since April 6, 2014.

Athletics: After Thursday's day off following a cross-country flight, RHP Paul Blackburn (1-0, 1.83 ERA) pitches the series opener at the Mets in his fourth career start.