Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 2, Rangers 0

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Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 2, Rangers 0

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- The Texas Rangers currently lead the American League with a .280 batting average. They have a lineup stacked with hitters that feast on the fastball. Bartolo Colon throws almost nothing but fastballs. In fact, 89 percent of the pitches he throws are fastballs. On paper, it seemed like a recipe for disaster. That's why they play the games. The A's shut down the Rangers' potent offense with pitching and defense, winning 2-0.Starting Pitching ReportColon flat-lined the Rangers' bats for eight innings. He retired the last 11 hitters he faced. He struck out five, and only walked one hitter. It was his fifth win of the season.If Colon pitched the ninth, he could have become the third oldest pitcher to throw a shutout. The Rangers have not been shut out this year. At the PlateYoenis Cespedes hit a double in the second inning and was driven in by Brandon Inge, making it 1-0.
In the fourth inning, Josh Reddick hit a double and was driven in by Cespedes, making it 2-0. In the sixth inning, Cespedes reached for an outside pitch and drove it to right field. Cruz dove for it and missed as Cespedes motored around the bases for a triple. Cespedes finished the night 3-for-3, a homer shy of the cycle.
After getting called up from Triple-A on Wednesday, Brandon Moss went 0-for-3 in his A's debut. Bullpen ReportBrian Fuentes pitched the ninth inning for the save. He faced the heart of the Rangers lineup. He is now 5 for 7 in save opportunities. In The FieldThe A's defense was stellar in the second inning. Reddick robbed Nelson Cruz of a hit with a head-first diving catch for the first out. Then with the bases loaded, Moreland hit a sharp grounder to Weeks. Weeks flipped the ball to Pennington, who was able turn the inning-ending double play before Napoli broke it up sliding into second. In the third inning, the A's turned another double play. Then Cespedes ranged all the way to the foul line on the run robbing Hamilton with a sliding catch. After making the catch, he popped up to his feet and waved his arms in celebration.
AttendanceThe A's announced that 15,044 were in attendance. Those that were in the house can say they witnessed... Dot RaceRed won the dot race for a second night in a row. Up NextThe press box contains some familiar faces. Some of the Japanese media that we got familiar with during Hideki Matsui's stay last year, are here to see Yu Darvish (7-3, 3.34 ERA). He will be opposed by Brandon McCarthy (4-3, 2.95 ERA). Darvish has faced the A's one time. He allowed one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. McCarthy allowed four runs in his last start against the Rangers. He was shut down with shoulder soreness after that start.

Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman

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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

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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.