Sunday sun stumps A's in 6-5 loss


Sunday sun stumps A's in 6-5 loss

OAKLAND -- The A's 10-game winning streak in games decided by one-run came to an end as Toronto defeated Oakland 6-5 on Sunday. It might not have been a one-run contest had it not been for a costly miscue. With two outs in the fifth inning, Rajai Davis hit a popup that shortstop Adam Rosales lost in the afternoon sun and couldn't catch. The next four batters reached base as the Blue Jays scored three runs and took a 6-4 lead. "I really wish I made that play. It definitely changed the game," Rosales said. "I make that play and I believe we win for sure."Rosales said the ball went into the sun right off the bat. He explained that usually it comes out of the sun and he is able to stay with it to make a play. On this occasion he said the ball never revealed itself. It is impossible to place the blame squarely on the A's shortstop on this occasion. Starting pitcher Tommy Milone made sure to point out that he deserves a share as well. "It's just one of those things that happens," Milone said. "I know the guys behind me are trying their best and sometimes that ball gets up in the sun and there is nothing they can do. My job is to get back out there and throw quality pitches, and I felt like I didn't do that after that happened."Milone is officially in a rut. He has allowed 16 runs in his last 19 innings pitched and lost his last three starts. It is the first three-game losing streak of his career. This after having a pretty successful first half of the season. Even with the recent struggles he has a respectable 3.91 ERA -- not bad for a rookie. "It's a bad run right now," Milone said. "I just have to forget about it and hopefully come out of it and worry about the next one."Milone says he isn't feeling fatigued as the season wears on. He did admit to not feeling sharp in his last few starts. His self assessment after the game was brutally honest. "Horrible, I couldn't get that one big pitch that I needed," he said. "I was leaving balls up over the plate and they were capitalizing on them."Arguably the worst pitch he made was a fastball to Edwin Encarnacion that badly missed location. The Jays DH smashed the ball to dead center for a two-run homer. Milone's 19th homer allowed this season gave the Jays back the momentum right after Josh Reddick hit his team-leading 24th homer of the year, a three-run blast to give the A's a 4-1 lead. The A's got another bad break in the bottom of the ninth. Down one run, pinch-hitter Brandon Moss drew a one-out walk and was lifted for pinch runner Eric Sogard. Jemile Weeks came to the plate and cracked a hard-hit ball that was snared by Jays third baseman Yan Gomes, who threw to first to complete the game-ending double play. Weeks made solid contact on the ball. Had it gotten past Gomes it could have made it all the way to the wall, possibly tying the game."I thought it was going to get by, but he let it get deep and caught it like that," Weeks said. "Wasn't much else I wanted to do with that pitch and he made a play."
After 18 and one-third innings pitched by the Oakland bullpen the last two days the team was forced to make two roster moves before. They added relief pitchers Evan Scribner and Pedro Figueroa. Those two pitchers combined for three scoreless innings and kept the team in the game until the end. Their efforts gave the rest of the overworked relievers a much needed day off. "We were very limited in what we were going to do in the bullpen today," Melvin said. "They came in the game and held it there. We ended up coming back within one run where one hit can tie it up for us, so they did very well."The A's split the four-game series with the Blue Jays and have now lost their last two games and five of their last eight contests. They are a half game ahead of the Angels and tied with Detroit for the first American League Wild Card spot. Those division rival Angels will be in Oakland the next three days for a key series.

A's lineup: In rare move, Melvin makes no changes vs Astros

A's lineup: In rare move, Melvin makes no changes vs Astros

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After winning their fourth straight game on Tuesday, the A's are trotting out the same lineup Wednesday against the Astros.

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
8. Franklin Barreto (R) SS
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
Jesse Hahn -- RHP

Houston Astros:
1. George Springer (R) CF
2. Josh Reddick (L) RF
3. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
4. Carlos Correa (R) SS
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Marwin Gonzalez (S) 3B
8. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
9. Norichika Aoki (L) LF
David Paulino -- RHP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's streak-extending win over Astros

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's streak-extending win over Astros


The A’s took a noteworthy step toward changing the narrative in their recent history against the Houston Astros.

Coming through during clutch moments, both at the plate and on the mound, Oakland beat baseball’s best team 6-4 Tuesday at Minute Maid Park to run their winning streak to four.

Ryon Healy hit his first career grand slam to snap a 1-1 tie in the sixth, and starter Sean Manaea notched his first victory in seven career starts against the Astros, throwing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

George Springer’s three-run homer off Liam Hendriks pulled Houston to within two runs in the ninth, but with two runners aboard, Santiago Casilla coaxed a 3-6-1 double play from Brian McCann to end it.

The A’s (35-42), who have stumbled so badly on the road for the majority of this season, moved to 4-0 on this six-game road trip and defeated the Astros (52-26) for just the second time in their past 17 meetings with them.

Key two-out rallies: They came in with a majors-worst .225 average with runners in scoring position, but the A’s delivered in some key at-bats and scored five of their six runs with two outs. Bruce Maxwell singled home Khris Davis in the second to get the A’s on the board. Then with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, with the score 1-1, Ryon Healy capped an eight-pitch at-bat with an opposite-field grand slam, his 18th homer of the season.

Making himself at home: Sean Manaea (7-4) flirted with danger throughout his 5 2/3 innings but wound up registering his first victory in seven career starts against Houston. He stranded two runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, then wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth with minimal damage. With no outs and the bags filled, Manaea fell behind 3-0 to Evan Gattis. Gattis chased a low pitch that would have been ball four and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. A run scored on the play but that play defused the rally and Manaea escaped with just the one run scoring that kept it a 1-1 game. The lefty gave up nine hits, but he’s now allowed just one earned run over three career starts at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park (16 IP).

Madson comes up clutch: Ryan Madson took two losses in four appearances at Minute Maid Park last season and allowed five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. But manager Bob Melvin called on him in a crucial situation Tuesday, with two runners aboard and George Springer hitting in the sixth with the A’s up 5-1. Madson got Springer swinging on a 97 mile-per-hour fastball to end the inning and keep Houston from jumping back into the game after Oakland had scored four to command the lead. Madson retired all four batters he faced with three strikeouts.

Maxwell continues his roll: The A’s catcher went 3-for-4 and is 10-for-18 since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville. He also threw out Jose Altuve trying to steal second in the first.

Casilla slams the door: After Springer’s three-run shot in the ninth, Santiago Casilla entered and allowed singles to Altuve and Carlos Correa to bring the winning run to the plate. But Casilla retired pinch hitter Josh Reddick on a foul pop out and got McCann on the game-ending double play, getting over to cover first to cap the play.