A's overcome milestone moment, sweep Boston

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A's overcome milestone moment, sweep Boston

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OAKLAND -- A 175M payroll, and a home run of historic proportion couldn't derail the A's. They conquered the visiting Red Sox with a three-game sweep, winning 3-2 on Wednesday. The A's have now won four straight games and are just one game below .500. "They're a tough team, but more importantly I like the way we are playing," third baseman Brandon Inge said. "We're a team that can hang with anyone, it's just a matter of putting it all together." The A's hadn't swept the Red Sox since the 2008 season. They are 19-12 over their past 31 games. As they inch closer to the .500 mark, A's manager Bob Melvin wants the team to stay in the moment."If .500 is what you want to do, then you are going to stall out at that point," Melvin said. "I really think that what we are trying to do is just win games and count them up at the end." The aforementioned historical home run belonged to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. He blasted his 400th career homer in the fourth inning. It was a game-tying blast off A's rookie starting pitcher A.J. Griffin. "It didn't seem to affect him too much," Melvin said of Griffin. "Maybe he is proud of that. He is in the record books now."Griffin only allowed two runs -- one of which was unearned. The second run scored after an odd sequence of events. In Ortiz' plate appearance following the milestone home run, public address announcer Dick Callahan acknowledged his achievement to the announced crowd of 28,240. Ortiz received a standing ovation, tipping his cap in response. Griffin had to stand on the mound and try and ignore the scene. "I was totally trying not to even think about it. Then I walked him, that was cool." Griffin said sarcastically. "You've got to tip your hat to that guy. He is a great hitter. He deserved that, it's a big milestone right there. I guess my name will be next to that one."After Griffin walked Ortiz, Jemile Weeks made an error on a ground ball hit by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The next batter, Adrian Gonzalez, drove in Ortiz to give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead.The accomplishment for Ortiz might have been overshadowed by the actions of a former Boston player -- Brandon Moss. He went 3-for-4 with his 10th homer of the season. He ended the day a triple shy of the cycle. Moss' 10 home runs in 24 games played are second-most in A's history behind Dave Kingman, who hit 11 in 24 games in 1984. "He amazes me every day," Inge said of Moss. "That guy has unbelievable power. Every time he swings the bat our whole dugout jumps back in amazement." Moss, who was drafted in 2002 by Boston, drove in five runs in this series. Other former Red Sox were big contributors in this series as well. Josh Reddick drove in two runs, and so did Coco Crisp. Nine of the 12 RBIs in the series came off the bats of former Boston players now with the A's. Two of those former Red Sox players also scored runs on Wednesday. Crisp hit a leadoff triple in the seventh inning and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI single by Weeks. And Inge drove in Moss with a game-tying hit in the sixth inning. "There's always that additional incentive to try and beat the team that traded you away," Bob Melvin said. He added that A's pitching coach Curt Young, who was let go by the Red Sox in the offseason, can also take pride in this series. A's starting pitchers have allowed two earned runs or fewer in 18 of their last 20 games. Boston was held to just five runs in this series. The A's get a much needed day off after playing 16 days in a row. They will hope to pick up where they left off on Friday at the Coliseum against the Seattle Mariners.

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.