Athletics

Pratt's Instant Replay: Twins 7, Athletics 2

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Pratt's Instant Replay: Twins 7, Athletics 2

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- The A's had won four games in a row. The Twins had lost five straight. Brandon McCarthy was 2-0 in four career starts against Minnesota. On paper, this game looked like an easy win. That's why they play the games.The Twins rocked starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy for six runs snapping all of the aforementioned streaks with a 7-2 victory over Oakland.While the final tally may be disappointing for A's fans, there was some news to pique their interests. The A's acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks for a Minor Leaguer during the game.Starting Pitching ReportThere has to be some concern about the health of starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who has been on the disabled list twice this season. The A's opening day starting pitcher is one of the most consistent pitchers in the American League when healthy. On Monday he allowed six runs -- all earned -- on 10 hits. He walked in a run and hit a batter. It very well could just be an off-night for the tall righty, but he didn't look like himself on the mound. McCarthy was out of control in the first inning. He walked in a run and hit a batter while throwing 32 pitches. The Twins collected three consecutive hits to start the inning. The third hit was an RBI double by Josh Willingham.Willingham added an RBI single in the second inning off McCarthy. The former A's hitter has five homers and 14 RBIs vs. his former team this season. The A's might need to consider a new approach with him. That, or just stop pitching to him all together.McCarthy settled down with a clean frame in the third inning. He gave up back-to-back hits to start the fourth inning. Darin Mastroianni bunted the runners into scoring position. Joe Mauer drove them both in with a two-run single to right field giving the Twins a 6-2 lead. That would be it for McCarthy. He only lasted three and one-third innings.Bullpen ReportTravis Blackley bailed out the A's bullpen. He allowed just one run over five and two-thirds innings. He gave up five hits and one walk.Coco Crisp made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall in center field to rob Ryan Doumit of an extra-base hit in the ninth. After making the catch Crisp threw the ball in to cutoff man Adam Rosales who chucked the ball to first base to double off Justin Morneau. Blackley stood on the mound saluting Crisp, and clapped.At the PlateYoenis Cespedes sparked the A's offense. He beat out a throw from third base for an infield single, stole his 12th base uncontested, then scored easily on a Josh Donaldson double into the right-field gap. Cespedes' infield single was his 100th MLB hit.In the fourth inning Crisp reached base on an error, stole his 27th base, and advanced to third when the ball got away from shortstop Pedro Florimon. Crisp ended up scoring on an RBI groundout by Josh Reddick. Through four innings pretty much the only thing that was working for the A's was their base running.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 10,274.Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race in a photo finish with Red.Up NextThe highly anticipated return of Brett Anderson takes place on Tuesday. He underwent season-ending "Tommy John" surgery in 2011. Anderson is confident that he is ready to return.The Twins will be sending Cole De Vries (2-4, 5.04 ERA) to the mound. De Vries is 0-2 with a 9.49 in his last three starts. He gave up seven runs on July 14 against Oakland.

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

Bruce Maxwell: Kneeling for anthem not 'disrespecting my country or my flag'

OAKLAND — Bruce Maxwell’s gesture to take a knee during the national anthem Saturday night at the Coliseum was no knee-jerk reaction by the A’s catcher.

It was something he’s considered for a long time, balancing his own personal convictions to make a statement with how it might affect his teammates and organization.

Think it was bold of Maxwell to become the first player in baseball to kneel during the anthem, in protest of racial discrimination and the inflammatory remarks of President Trump? It took just as much guts to stand before his teammates, manager Bob Melvin and GM David Forst and explain why he felt he needed to do it.

He did so in a pregame meeting Saturday that made for a degree of discomfort in the room, but also seemed to have played out in a healthy way.

“I didn’t want them to sugarcoat or aid me when it comes to the media and their personal feelings,” Maxwell said, “because the whole point of this is the ability to protest (based on) our personal beliefs and our personal choices.”

Many athletes have been critical of the President, with things intensifying across the sports landscape Saturday after Trump, among other things, withdrew an invitation for the Warriors to visit the White House and harshly criticized athletes who have knelt during the anthem, saying they should be booted off their teams.

After blasting Trump on both Instagram and Twitter, Maxwell took the field for the anthem and took the action that will define him in the eyes of the baseball world. Maxwell had been wanting to make a statement in some way. He said he and his sister dealt with racial discrimination growing up. Watching Trump’s rally play out in his hometown of Huntsville, Ala. on Friday further persuaded Maxwell to finally do so.

“This goes beyond the black community, it goes beyond the Hispanic community, because right now we’re having … a racial divide in all types of people,” said Maxwell, who is African American. “It’s being practiced from the highest power we have in this country and it’s basically saying it’s OK to treat people differently. And my kneeling, the way I did it, was to symbolize the fact that I’m kneeling for a cause. But I’m in no way or form disrespecting my country or my flag.”

A’s outfielder Mark Canha stood next to Maxwell during the anthem with his hand on Maxwell’s shoulder, a show of support. Canha said he’s considered kneeling before in protest himself but had chosen not to. As he listened to Maxwell address the team, Canha wasn’t going to let his teammate make his statement on his own.

“I could tell he was getting kind of choked up and emotional about his beliefs and how he feels about the racial discrimination that’s going on in this country right now,” Canha said. “I felt like every fiber of my being was telling me that he needed a brother today.”

Canha added that he sensed some “discomfort” in the room as Maxwell addressed the team. But he also said there was support.

“It was an open forum to ask him questions. It was as articulate as I’ve seen him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This wasn’t an emotional thing just today for him. … I think he handled it really well and everybody was comfortable after the session. I’m proud of him for the fact he went about it the way he did.”

Maxwell, who was born in Germany while his father served in the Army over there, said he will continue to kneel for the anthem. He doesn’t expect his teammates to do the same, only to stick to what they believe in.

“I have plenty of family members, including my father, who have bled for this country,” Maxwell said. “At the end of the day, this the best country on the planet. My hand over my heart symbolized that I am, and will forever be, an American citizen. But my kneeling is what’s getting the attention because I’m kneeling for the people that don't have a voice.”

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history Saturday night in Oakland. The 26-year-old became the first player in big-league history to kneel during the national anthem. 

Below is the official statement from Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.

MLB media services contributed to this report