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A’s end Zach Britton’s record save streak but lose in extra innings

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:17:14 UT

BALTIMORE — Oakland played catching up most of the day at Camden Yards, right into the ninth inning. That’s when the A’s, facing a man who had converted 60 consecutive saves, ended that string, a moral victory of sorts before falling 8-7 on Manny Machado’s walkoff homer off Simon Castro in the 12th inning. Jed Lowrie led off the ninth with a single off Zach Britton, Boog Powell clipped a double down the third-base line and Marcus Semien provided an RBI single. Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly tied the game, ending Britton’s string of saves, an American League record and the second longest in major-league history.



A’s trade Rajai Davis to Red Sox

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:14:24 UT

BALTIMORE — Rajai Davis’ second tenure with Oakland ended Wednesday, when the A’s traded the outfielder to Boston for Dominican outfielder Rafael Rincones, 18. Davis, who blasted a game-tying homer in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series last fall while with the Indians, is eager to return to the postseason. “Once you get a taste of the playoffs, you want more,” he said. “I’m thankful this opportunity came my way. ... I grew up in Conneticut, so it’s pretty close to home.” Davis is batting .303 with 11 steals since the All-Star break. The 36-year-old is batting .233 overall with five homers and 49 runs. “I just really appreciate the patience they’ve showed with me,” Davis said.




After Boogs meet, A’s Powell helps ignite win over Orioles

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:44:13 UT

BALTIMORE — It was a Boog-fest, a Boogapalooza, a Boogaloo on Tuesday at Camden Yards, and the event carried into the game. Oakland rookie Boog Powell met his nickname-sake, 1970 American League MVP Boog Powell, over some of the elder’s famous barbecue during the afternoon, then the A’s Boog recorded two hits in his team’s 6-4 win over the Orioles. A’s designated hitter Ryon Healy homered twice, and second baseman Jed Lowrie hit his second homer in two games. The Boogs chatted for nearly an hour Tuesday afternoon, first at Boog’s BBQ beyond the right-field fence and then in a conference room, where they FaceTimed 12-year-old Little Leaguer Jeffrey “Boog” Powell at his school in Tennessee.



A’s Paul Blackburn exits after liner off hand

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 04:34:38 UT

BALTIMORE — A’s right-hander Paul Blackburn left Tuesday’s game after taking a line drive off the side of his right hand, but the rookie said he hopes to make his next start. “I’m definitely sore, but I’m glad it’s not broken,” Blackburn said. “I couldn’t move my hand, I couldn’t squeeze it. It did not feel good at all.” Blackburn, who is from Brentwood, worked four shutout innings before Trey Mancini, leading off the fifth, nailed him with a shot up the middle. “Hopefully, we dodged a bullet,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ll see how he is in the next couple of days.” Blackburn has been one of the A’s most pleasant surprises this year, going 3-1 with a 3.22 ERA.



A’s rookie Boog Powell meets Orioles legend Boog Powell

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:27:03 UT

BALTIMORE — At long last, Boog Powell, the A’s rookie outfielder, met Boog Powell, the 1970 American League MVP. “This is too cool. I love it,” the original Boog said. “Honest to God it's great. I had to root for you even though you're the opposition.” The elder Powell, 76, invited Oakland’s Boog out to Boog’s Barbecue beyond the right-field wall at Camden Yards on Tuesday to sample his famous fare. “Anything that’s barbecue is my favorite,” Boog 2 said. The younger Powell, 24, hit his first big-league homer Monday night, almost hitting the barbecue stand. “I did think about that. I was trying not to smile and laugh,” Boog 2 said.



Jed Lowrie homers in A’s loss; why he might be sticking with Oakland

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:54:58 UT

BALTIMORE — Even with a last-place team, there are intriguing questions, and one of the more interesting developments in the last month concerns Jed Lowrie’s future. Going into July, it was a given that the A’s would deal their second baseman before the deadline to open a spot for top prospect Franklin Barreto. But with no trade materializing and with Lowrie quietly turning in a solid season — he homered in Oakland’s 7-3 loss to the Orioles on Monday — it’s increasingly apparent that Oakland not only plans to keep Lowrie but also will exercise its team option on him for next year. Team officials, so sold on Lowrie they’ve traded for him twice, appreciate the season he has had.



A’s Boog Powell hits 1st HR, will meet the Orioles’ Boog Powell on Tuesday

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:25:29 UT

BALTIMORE — The Boog Powells — Boogs Powell? — will meet at last Tuesday at Camden Yards. The A’s rookie, nicknamed Boog since he was a small child in order to distinguish him from his dad and grandfather — he’s officially Herschel Mack Powell IV —hit his first big-league homer Monday and almost hit the other Powell’s barbecue stand beyond the right-field fence. Oakland’s Powell has long wanted to meet the original, a Baltimore first baseman who was the 1970 AL MVP. The Orioles’ Boog, 76, will be taking the younger Boog, 24, to his stand Tuesday. “I’ve always told myself I’d meet him here, and it’s finally here!” the A’s rookie said Monday.



Boog Powell might receive more time in A’s leadoff spot

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 01:31:43 UT

HOUSTON — After Boog Powell’s super day Sunday, the A’s might have a new option in the leadoff spot. Powell, acquired from Seattle for Yonder Alonso this month, had three hits and a walk, and his hustle to second in the first inning helped set off the Astros’ two-error sequence that allowed Powell and Marcus Semien to score. “He’s done a really nice job defensively, then we gave him a little bit of a challenge to lead off and see what he could do, and he got on base four times,” manager Bob Melvin said. Powell loves hitting leadoff. “I mean, it’s my spot. Like, that’s where I feel comfortable,” he said.



Astros’ errors, nice work by Jharel Cotton spur A’s win

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:57:09 UT

HOUSTON — The A’s will take what they can get against Houston, and if it’s runs gifted via mistakes, that’s swell. Oakland, dominated for the past year by Houston, scored two runs Sunday when the Astros made two errors on one play and also scored on a passed ball, accounting for all the A’s runs in a 3-2 win over the AL West leaders. Houston had won 19 of the previous 21 games between the teams, 12 of 14 this season. “Everybody was feeling it going into the last game,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Nobody likes to get beat consistently like that.” Boog Powell singled to right to open the game, the first of his three hits Sunday.



Astros, now the A’s role models, come out on top again

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 06:01:05 UT

HOUSTON — The Astros simply own the A’s to the point that they are now Oakland’s inspiration. In the first two games at Minute Maid Park, Oakland has scored just one run, and after a 3-0 loss Saturday that dropped the A’s to a season-high 17 games below .500, manager Bob Melvin chewed his team out for several minutes, according to sources. The A’s had plenty of baserunners — six hits, three walks, a hit batter — but they grounded into five double plays and lined into another, and they struck out five times. Houston starter Collin McHugh worked six scoreless innings. “He threw the ball well. ... I expect us to score some runs tonight,” Melvin said in his postgame interview session.



Peacock upped his game

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:46:22 UT

HOUSTON — In the finale at Minute Maid Park, the A’s will face Astros starter Brad Peacock — who is, get this, 10-1 with 121 strikeouts in 922/3 innings. Yes, that is the same Brad Peacock who was once an Oakland minor-leaguer and who was traded to Houston along with Chris Carter and Max Stassi in exchange for Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez before the 2013 season. “He’s made some significant adjustments,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “His arm angle is lower now, he’s got a different complement of pitches. He’s really reinvented himself. It’s a credit to them over there for basically having a different guy now. When we had him, he was straight over the top, heater and curveball, basically.



A’s Matt Joyce getting it going against left-handers

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:17:46 UT

HOUSTON — Matt Joyce started the season in a dreadful funk, batting .193 as late as June 9. Since then, he has lifted his average 43 points, and he’s starting to get regular at-bats even against left-handers — especially after delivering a three-run double off lefty Mike Minor in Oakland’s comeback win over the Royals on Tuesday. On Friday at Houston, Joyce was the lone left-handed hitter in Oakland’s lineup against lefty Dallas Keuchel. “He’s taking advantage of the opportunity,” manager Bob Melvin said. “You look at his swing and the way he goes about his business, tracking the baseball, you would think he could have success against left-handed pitching.



Sean Manaea much improved, A’s still fall to Astros again

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 03:55:24 UT

HOUSTON - Sean Manaea’s awful August took a better turn Friday, when the A’s left-hander faced one of his favorite opponents, the AL West leaders. Manaea typically is at his best against the Astros, and Friday he put together his strongest outing in weeks, bedeviled only by two stray home-run pitches and a wild pitch that led to another run. He still took the loss, however, his third in four starts, because Houston starter Dallas Keuchel was typically superb in the Astros’ 3-1 victory at Minute Maid Park. The Astros have taken 11 of the first 13 games between the teams this season, and Oakland has dropped 18 of the past 20 overall against Houston. The A’s fell a season-low 16 games below .500 at 53-69.



A’s Chad Pinder learned versatility back home

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:59:01 UT

This A’s road trip will be a significant one for Chad Pinder, who next week will be making his first-ever appearance at Camden Yards as a big-league player. Pinder grew up an Orioles fan in Poquoson, Va. His father, Chris, played in Baltimore’s system and Pinder got his first taste of the majors when they’d visit the Orioles’ clubhouse and dugout to see Chris Pinder’s former minor-league trainer. And it was while watching an Orioles game on TV that Pinder decided on his future. “I remember getting pizza with my dad after a high school game, watching the Orioles play, that’s the first time I said aloud, ‘This is what I want to do.



Chris Hatcher throws scoreless inning in A’s debut

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 04:00:58 UT

Because Chris Hatcher hadn’t appeared in a big-league game since June 22 until Wednesday, there might be some questions about what the right-hander whom the A’s acquired from the Dodgers on Tuesday will bring to the Oakland bullpen. Talking with him for a few minutes in the Coliseum clubhouse before Wednesday’s game against Kansas City, it’s clear he brought one thing: a sense of humor. “I’ve been a closer,” Hatcher said, quickly adding, “Excuse me, I take that back: I’ve closed some games in the big leagues. I’ve been the first guy out of the ’pen. I’ve come in in the third inning. I’ve kind been a jack of all trades and a master of none. “When they call my name, I’ll be ready.