Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 9, Rangers 3

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 9, Rangers 3

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ARLINGTON -- After five consecutive tightly-contested, one-run games, the A's needed a laugher and they got it. They dropped the Rangers by a total of 9-3 to move within three games of Texas in the American League West. Oakland's magic number to clinch at least a spot in the Wild Card playoff game is now at six.At the PlateThe A's erupted for five runs in the first inning and sent nine batters to the plate. Oakland batters collected eight hits including RBI triples hit by Yoenis Cespedes and Derek Norris, and RBI singles by Chris Carter, Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson. The A's were aided by two huge defensive mistakes by Rangers' center fielder Josh Hamilton. He ole'd the ball hit by Donaldson, allowing it to get to the wall. He also took a bad route on the ball hit to Norris and then tried to overcompensate by jumping as the ball sailed over his head.While the A's piled up runs, they also piled up strikeouts. They struck out 11 times on Wednesday en route to breaking the American League record for most single-season strikeouts with 1,333. The previous record was 1,324 set by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2007.Two more runs came around to score in the third inning. Donaldson and Josh Reddick reached on back-to-back walks to start the inning. Stephen Drew ended up driving them both home with a two-run single. Norris added another RBI single in the fourth inning.Reddick snapped his career-worst 0-for-30 slump in the seventh inning with a single up the middle. As he reached first it looked like the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders. The players in the dugout asked for the game ball as a joke. He collected another hit in his next at-bat with a runner in scoring position. The runner was held at third though, so he didn't get an RBI.Drew hasn't been struggling to find hits. He ended the night 4-for-5 with two RBI. Moss had three hits and two runs. Norris added a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to put the A's up 9-3. He drove in three runs.Starting Pitching ReportWhile the A's knocked around Rangers' starting pitcher Martin Perez, eventually driving him out of the game in the first inning, Jarrod Parker had to sit on the bench and wait for his turn. The prolonged wait might have messed up his rhythm a little bit. He walked the leadoff hitter and then gave up an RBI double to Elvis Andrus. He ended up throwing 30 pitches in the first inning.Parker got in trouble in the second inning as well. He gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases with no outs. He ended up allowing a run on a force out and another on a sacrifice fly but escaped without giving up a big hit.After the iffy start Parker settled down and regained control. He threw four consecutive scoreless innings and made it through the sixth with 109 pitches. The way things started for Parker, six innings of three-run ball and the win is actually a pretty solid line against the Rangers in Texas.Bullpen ReportJerry Blevins started the seventh inning. He tossed a clean 1-2-3 frame. He retired two more batters in the in the eighth inning before leaving the game. Evan Scribner finished it off with one and one-third innings of scoreless relief. The A's bullpen got some much needed rest and is finally looking to be back to full strength.In the FieldThe A's turned a clean inning-ending double play in the fourth. Ian Kinsler hit a grounder to Donaldson who fielded it and make a quick throw to Pennington, who stood strong as he made his throw with the sliding runner bearing down on him.AttendanceThe Rangers announced an attendance of 46,689.Texas Legends DashNolan Ryan wins the dash. It looked like someone in the A's dugout threw something at the fake Ryan as he ran by. No word on if the real Nolan Ryan was in the costume. Though I did see Ryan in the tunnel before the game. You can jump to your own conclusions.Up NextTravis Blackley (5-3, 3.48 ERA) takes the mound in Texas against Matt Harrison (17-10, 3.17 ERA). Harrison leads the Rangers in ERA and wins.

A's adjust rotation in order to give one struggling starter extra rest

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AP

A's adjust rotation in order to give one struggling starter extra rest

The A’s announced a shuffling in their upcoming starting rotation, with Daniel Gossett being called up from Triple-A to start Wednesday at Baltimore and Sean Manaea being pushed back to get some extra rest.

Following Thursday’s day off, Kendall Graveman will now take the ball in Friday’s series opener against Texas at the Coliseum, with Manaea going Saturday. That gives Manaea three extra days of rest from his originally scheduled turn Wednesday. The lefty has seen his fastball velocity diminish in recent starts, even though he had better results Friday at Houston, when he went six innings and gave up three runs.

Gossett was sent down to Nashville on Aug. 3 because the A’s had an upcoming day off in the schedule and they wanted him to keep pitching on turn in the minors. He’s coming off back-to-back strong starts in the minors, striking out 16 with just four earned runs over 12 innings.

Inserting Gossett into the rotation will temporarily give the A’s six starters and also provide a little extra rest for Paul Blackburn, who left Tuesday’s start against Baltimore in the fifth inning after he was struck on the right wrist/hand area by a line drive. X-rays afterward showed no fracture, and Blackburn appeared visibly relieved by that as he addressed reporters in Baltimore after the A’s 6-4 win.

“It’s definitely sore, but I got X-rays and they were negative, so that’s good,” Blackburn said. “But it’s definitely sore. I’m just glad it’s not broken. When I was out there, I couldn’t move my hand. I couldn’t squeeze.”

He said he was hopeful of being able to make his next start but did not know the chances of that.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 6-4 win over the Orioles

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Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 6-4 win over the Orioles

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The A’s showed they can make themselves at home in one of the majors’ most homer-happy ballparks.

A day after Baltimore homered four times, Oakland did the same at Camden Yards to power to a 6-4 victory over the Orioles. Ryon Healy went deep twice and continued his hot streak of late, and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis also homered. The win ended the day on a good note for the A’s, but they hope they don’t get bad news on starting pitcher Paul Blackburn.

He left the game in the fifth after getting hit on the right wrist by a liner. After the game, manager Bob Melvin said Blackburn has a bruised hand/wrist.

Healy has a 10-game hitting streak, and he’s hitting .375 over his past 14 contests. He entered the night having homered just twice over his last 41 games.

The A’s led 5-2 in the eighth before Baltimore rallied for two runs, helped by a missed check-swing appeal call, on which first base ump Angel Hernandez didn’t ring up Tim Beckham on what appeared to be a sure third strike on replays. That extended the inning and made for a tense ninth inning, but the A’s improved to 2-3 on this six-game road trip that concludes Wednesday afternoon.

EARLY EXIT: Blackburn, after getting knocked around a bit in his previous two starts, was locked in Tuesday and impressed through four scoreless innings. Then Trey Mancini led off the bottom of the fifth by lining a comebacker that appeared to hit Blackburn flush near his right wrist. He walked around the mound in obvious pain as A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta came out to check on him. Blackburn was removed from the game.

EXTENDED DUTY AGAIN: When the Orioles loaded the bases in the eighth with two outs, closer Blake Treinen was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth for the second time in three games. He ended the eighth and stranded three by retiring Adam Jones on a groundout. The bottom of the ninth began with a throwing error from shortstop Chad Pinder, but Treinen closed out the game with help from a 5-4-3 double play and a strikeout of Chris Davis.

UNDERRATED PLAY OF THE GAME: Treinen got the ground ball he needed with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth. But it came down to Matt Olson making a great scoop at first base when Pinder short-hopped his throw across the diamond.

ENCORE FROM JED: Jed Lowrie homered for the second day in a row, and the A’s went deep four times total. Along with Healy’s two blasts, Khris Davis connected for his 34th of the season in the top of the ninth to make it a 6-4 game and provide some breathing room.

CONTINUING TO IMPRESS: It was an eventful day for Boog Powell even before he took the field. He enjoyed some barbecue with former Orioles slugger Boog Powell, the man who inspired his own nickname. Then those two held a Face Time chat with a third “Boog” Powell, — a youngster from Tennessee who played in the Little League World Series.

Then Powell, hitting leadoff for the second time in three games, singled in his first two at-bats and scored a run. He’s continued to find ways to provide the A’s a spark since being called up from Triple-A Nashville.