Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: From big 13 game ride to 5 game out of 8 loss slide

The Oakland A’s (17-11) Matt Chapman takes a run in this Feb 22, 2021 photo in Spring Training at Mesa AZ photo has improved his hitting from .152 and now has improved his hitting to .194 (AP News file photo)

#1 Barbara since the A’s snapped their amazing 13 game winning streak on Sun Apr 25 the team has lost five of their last seven games.

#2 The A’s just aren’t getting the hitting and they really need Matt Chapman’s bat right now his average has improved from hitting .152 now hitting .194.

#3 The A’s certainly are glad their series with the Baltimore is over the Orioles who ended the A’s 13 game winning streak have lost three of their last six games with the Orioles.

#4 On Saturday the A’s pitching struggled Jesus Luzardo is trying get on track he got shelled for five runs in three innings of work and they really need Luzardo to get some wins.

#5 The Toronto Blue Jays (14-12) second place in the American League East and have won six of their last ten games. The A’s and Jays will meet for a four game series starting Monday night. Starting pitcher for the Jays and A’s have not been announced.

Join Barbara for the A’s podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s drop four out of last five games; Lose to O’s 8-4

The Baltimore Orioles line up for the hive five post game congratulations following their win over the Oakland A’s Sat May 1, 2021 game at the Oakland Coliseum (photo from USA Today)

Baltimore 8 -10 – 0

Oakland 4 – 8. – 2

By Lewis Rubman

May 1, 2021

OAKLAND–The A’s started the season by losing seven straight games. They followed their first win by losing one more game and then going another 13 without a single defeat, giving them a record of 14-8. They ended the month at 16-11, a winning percentage of .593.

This represents an almost exact regression to the norm, since their totals for the last three seasons, including the truncated 2020 campaign, were 230-157, which comes to .594. So it would be reasonable to anticipate that we’ll see a season of ups and downs like those of the month we’ve just endured, although the swings might not be as dramatic as what we’ve seen so far. In other words, fasten your seat belts, folks, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

In this afternoon’s contest, Oakland didn’t have to contend with an opponent on the mound as intimidating as John Means, who almost completely mastered them last night. Instead they faced the veteran right hander Matt Harvey, making the 150th start of a big league career that has had its ups and downs. Recently, it’s taken a modest upturn.

His penultimate start resulted in his first win since July 13, 2019, when he still toiled for the LA Angels. His most recent start, one earned run in six innings against the Yankees, was, as the Orioles’ game notes point out, his first quality start since April 28, 2019 and marked the first time since July 13, 2018 that he’d notched consecutive wins.

Oakland countered with Jesús Luzardo, who, at 1-2, 5.40, has been tantalizing A’s fans with occasional displays of his undoubted, but inconsistently displayed, talent.

Both pitchers got through their first two frames with little difficulty. Then disaster struck the home town crew.

The top of the third was a travesty. The Orioles did a little bit to help their cause, but most of their runs were gifts from the A’s. Here’s a brief summary of the action:

D.J. Steward hit a bouncing ball wide of first that bounced off Seth Brown’s glove for an error.

Ramón Urías’s single sent Stewart to third.

Luzardo walked Cedric Mullins to load the bases with nobody out.

Austin Hayes singled to left, plating Steward and Urías. Hays advanced to second on the hit and to third on Matt Chapman’s (of all people!) errant relay throw to third.

Trey Mancini got a Texas League single that Elvis Andrus couldn’t catch up with in short left field, driving in Hays.

Maikel Franco singled to left, moving Mancini up a base.

Mancini and Franco moved up another notch on a wild pitch.

Pedro Severino fouled out to the catcher, Aramis García.

Mancini scored on Ryan Mountcastle’s sac fly to right. Franco moved on to third.

Franco scoredon another wild pitch.

Finally, Freddy Galvis flew out to center.

That was all Luzardo would pitch. The line for his three inning stint was six runs, evenly divided between earned and unearned, on five hits, two walks, and two wild pitches. He struck out two, and, of the 64 pitches he threw, 34 were strikes. He eventually was charged with the loss, his third against a lone win,. His ERA now stands at 5.79.

Luzardo was replaced by Deolis Guerra, who pitched two innings, allowing nothing but one walk before J.B. Windelken took his place to pitch the sixth.

Windelken wasn’t as effective as his predecesor. J.B. allowed a single to Freddy Galvis, after which D.J. Stewart deposited an 84 mph change up over the right field fence, 341 feet from home plate.

Down 8-0 with two out in the sixth, Oakland made a comeback of sorts, led by the two players who had committed costly errors in the fatidic third. Chapman singled to right and scored on Brown’s double to the same field, After Cole Sulser relived Harvey, Tony Kemp brought Brown home with the A’s second tally.

Harvey’s line ended up at two runs, both earned, on four hits and a walk in 5-2/3 innings of work. He delivered 90 pitches, 54 for strikes. He ended up getting the win, making him 3-1, 4.06 for the season.

Mark Canha continued the comeback, leading off the home seventh with his fourth home run of the season, this one off a 92 mph four seamer that he drove into the left field seats, just to the right of the foul pole. After Sulser walked Jeff Lowrie and struck out Laureano for the first out, the southpaw Tanner Scott was brought in to face Oakland’s DH, fellow lefty Mitch Moreland. Scott got both Moreland and Chapman out to preserve Baltimore’s 8-3 lead. Sulser’s 2/3 of an inning, in which he gave up a walk, a hit, and a run on 21 pitches, still left him with an enviable ERA of 1.08.

Oakland used two other relievers. Reymin Guduan and Sergio Romo threw a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, with Romo retiring the side in order. Guduan required a pitcher’s best friend after giving up a lead off single.

Laureano gave the A’s a last hurrah by blasting a 420 foot two out homer to left center in the bottom of the ninth, Too little, too late, but nice any way, and it made the final score look almost respectable.

The A’s will try to salvage a win out of this series when they send Sean Manaea (3-1, 2.83) against the Orioles and Bruce Zimmermann (1-3, 5.33) in a 1:07 battle of left handers.

Not enough offense in late innings does in A’s edged by O’s 3-2

The Oakland A’s starter Mike Fiers lasted six innings giving up all three Baltimore Orioles runs at the Oakland Coliseum on Fri Apr 30, 2021 (@athleticsnation photo)

Baltimore 3 – 8 – 0

Oakland 2 – 5 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

Apr 30, 2021 Friday

OAKLAND–The 16-10 A’s escaped from the House of Horrors-a half an hour’s stroll from that celebration of surrealism, the Salvador Dalí Museum, in St. Petersburg-with a split in their hard fought four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays, né Devil Rays.

To achieve this, they had to overcome Tampa Bay’s outstanding starting rotation and none too shabby bulllpen, their own mistakes, and the inexplicable calls of umpires Chad Fairchild and Brian Gorman, not to mention the abrasive imitatation grass that complements the overhead maze of rings and catwalks that make trying to catch fly balls at Tropicana field not just difficult but hazzardous, the incarnation of Dalí’s worst nightmares.

For al ofl that, Oakland went 4-3 on their working tour of the Chesapeake and Tampa Bays, returning to the shores of San Francisco Bay with a lead of two and a half games over the surprising Seattle Mariners for first place in the AL West.

It wasn’t any of the obvious menaces of the Trop’s architecture that inflicted the worst physical damage suffered by the Athletics in St. Pete. Hidden in the bowels of that excreciable edifice are batting cages. Before the final game of the series, Matt Olson, practicing the swing that had improved his offense to a team-leading BA of .296 and home run total of six, slammed a ball off the side of one of those cages.

The spheroid bounced back and hit him in the left eye. No bones were broken, but the A’s slick fielding slugger, who also is tied with Jed Lowrie for the team lead in RBI at 17, will be out of action for a while. Mitch Moreland started at first base in Olson’s stead tonight. Lowrie filled the DH spot for Moreland, and Tony Kemp took Lowrie’s usual place at second.

While the team was in Florida, the A’s announced Mike Fiers’ return to the active roster and, at least for the time being, the rotation. The mainstay of the Athletics’ starting mound core since he joined the team in 2018 toed the rubber to open tonight’s contest against the Orioles, the only team besides the Rays to have defeated the green and gold since April 8.

Starting for Baltimore was their ace, John Means, making his first appearance since he held the A’s to one run over 6-1/3 innings last Sunday in the game that snapped Oakland’s 13 game winning streak. That gave him a record of 2-0, 1.50 for the young season.

It wasn’t long before the A’s got another run off him. Sean Murphy, whose heroics behind and at the plate were instrumenetal in gaining the split in St. Petersburg, led off the home second with a wallop that landed in the right field seats, a few feet to the left of the foul line. That was home run number four and RBI number nine for the Oakland catcher.

Cedric Mullins got that back in the top of the third with a two out fly that also fell into the rilght field stands a few feet to the left of the foul pole for his fourth round tripper of the season. Austin Hays followed them with his third, a no doubter that landed between the left field foul line and the stairway over the Ring Central sign. The Birds tacked on another run.

In the fifth after number eight batter Chance Sisco’s lead off single to right was followed by Ramón Urías’s double to left. The top of the Baltimore batting order was able to push only Sisco home, on a grounder to second by Mullins, giving him his second RBI of the night.

Baltimore threatened to take command of the game with a lead off walk to D.J. Stewart, followed by a single to Ryan Montcastle. But the pitcher’s best friend came to Fiers’ aid when Río Ruíz hit a grounder up the middle that was fielded by Andrus in the shift and converted into a U6-3 DP. Pat Valaika ended the frame by flying out to Piscotty in short right field.

Means, all the while, was mowing down Oakland’s batters. Following Murphy’s homer, none of them reached base until Laureano dropped a single into center with two down in the sixth. He was stranded at first when Lowrie grounded out to second.

Six innings were enough work for Fiers. He threw 83 pitches (54 strikes), surrended six hits, two of which left the park, and two walks. He struck out three, and all three of his runs were earned. Deolis Guerra, who had pitched poorly in Baltimore but well in Tampa Bay, took over in the seventh and retired the side in order, striking out two in the process.

It was in the seventh that MItch Moreland broke the spell. With two outs and the bases empty (natch!), he blasted a 92 mph four seamer 406 feet over the fence, slighty to the right of dead center field.

Sergio Romo, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth, kept it a 3-2 game, although Laureano had to race to the warning track to capture Stewart’s drive that followed strike outs to Hays and Mancini.

Means didn’t come out for the eighth, having thrown 93 pitches, of which 63 were strikes. He gave up only two runs, both earned, three hits, two of which were round trippers, and a walk. He struck out nine. HIs replacement, Paul Fry, started off well, getting Andrus out with a bounder back to the mound, but then he walked Kemp, who stole second and then, one pitch later, advanced to third on a passed ball.

Fry struck Canha out, perhaps because the A’s left fielder had taken a strike to allow Kemp to swipe second. In any case, Fry was yanked, replaced by Travis Lakins, Sr., who walked Laureano but got Lowrie out on a fly to medium deep center. The score remained 3-2.

The top of the ninth provided a combination that brought a smile to the faces of the face-masked name freaks in the press box (or at least to one of us). Yusmeiro Petit was brought in to pitch, and calling the balls and strikes behind the plate was umpire Will Little.

It also provided an exciting example of Ramón Laureano’s extraordinary arm. Ryan Mounetcastle reached first on a broken bat Texas League single to right center. After Ruíz flew out to left, Pat Valaika laced a single to right. Mountcasttle tried to advance to third, and Laureano cut him down with a perfect strike to Chapman.

Murphy greeted César Valdéz, who came in to close the game in the bottom of the ninth, with a single to left. Vimael Machín came in to run for him and advanced to second on Chapman’s single to right. This brought Moreland, whose homer in his previous at bat had pulled the A’s to within a run, to the plate with the tying run in scoring position and the potential winning run on first with none out.

Moreland smacked a vicious line drive that was speared at third by Ruíz, who rifled a throw to shortstop Urías, covering second in the shift. Umpire Junior Valentine called Machín out for a rallly-killing double play. But a replay showed that the A’s pinch runner had gotten back in time, and so Oakland’s hopes remained alive. Seth Brown pinch hit for PIscotty and flew out to Mullins in right center, allowing Machín to move up to third. Valdéz and Andrus went to 3-2 before the A’s hopes died in Mullins glove in center field.

The win went to Means, who now is 3-0, 1.70. The loss was charged to Fiers, who stands and 0-1, 4.50. Valdéz got the save, his sixth out of seven opportunities.

The two teams will face off tomorrow afternoon at 1:07. The Birds will send right hander Matt Harvey (1-2,4.26) to the mound while the White Elephants will entrust their fate to lefty Jesús Luzardo (1-2, 5.40).

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: A’s just ran into O’s Means that ended 13 game win streak

Oakland A’s starter Jesus Luzardo pitched into the seventh inning on Sun Apr 25, 2021 against the Baltimore Orioles. Luzardo is seen here in an undated file photo. (file photo The Mercury News)

#1 Amaury the ride ended on Sunday, the A’s winning streak ended at 13 straight wins with a convincing loss to the Baltimore Orioles 8-1 but the ride was pretty incredible for Oakland.

#2 The A’s faced a tough competitor in Baltimore pitcher John Means and they just couldn’t figure him out. Means threw for 6 plus, giving up only two hits and a run against the Oakland line up.

#3 The A’s started the season with a slow start losing their first six games and A’s third baseman Matt Chapman is having a tough time getting around on the ball hitting only .159 and said it’s not how he wants to starts the season.

#4 A’s pitcher Sergio Romo replaced starter Jesus Luzardo in the seventh inning and pitched to one hitter the Orioles Tony Mancini who popped out and was lifted after facing Mancini. Romo who has a 12.79 ERA has struggled of late and A’s manager Bob Melvin said getting Romo out there gave him some confidence.

#5 Tuesday night tonight the A’s will start Frankie Montas (2-1 ERA 6.75) and for the Tampa Bay Rays Michael Wacha (1-1 ERA 4.35) the Rays always have been a tough competitor for Oakland set game two of this four game series for us up Amaury?

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s lead Spanish play by play announcer on flagship station 1010 KIQI LaGrande San Francisco and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast Tue Apr 27, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason: A’s open four game series in Tampa Bay tonight

Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manaea talks with a teammate before their game against the Baltimore Orioles on Sat Apr 24. 2021 at Camden Yards in Baltimore (photo from @Athletics)

On the A’s podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara during the streak the Oakland A’s (14-8) had been getting not only the starting pitching but the bullpen in threes and fours per game were sometimes were able to keep a shutout going.

#2 In the Minnesota Twins (7-13) series in Oakland last week the A’s pitched two shutouts both ends of a doubleheader 7-0 and 1-0.

#3 Barbara in that doubleheader against the Twins in the front game A’s starter Sean Manaea went the distance going seven innings and surrendering just six hits and in the night cap A’s starter Jesus Luzardo threw for 5.1 and gave up two hits and had Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman close the game.

#4 In the just completed Baltimore (9-12) series the A’s got some great starting pitching from Cole Irvin on Friday throwing for 5.1 innings, eight hits and one run. On Saturday Chris Bassitt threw for six innings, eight hits and two earned runs both for wins.

#5 The A’s will are in Tampa Bay to open a four game series starting tonight. The A’s and Rays (11-11) have not announced starting pitchers for tonight’s contest. The Rays have won six of their last ten games and are second in the AL East just 1.5 behind the Boston Red Sox. The Rays have always been a competitor against the A’s in season and post season.

Join Barbara for complete coverage of A’s baseball each Monday morning at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Oakland A’s podcast with Barbara Mason Mon Apr 26, 2021 by Sports Radio Service | Free Listening on SoundCloud

The Number Thirteen Proves Lucky For Oakland; A’s beat O’s at Camden 7-2

Oakland A’s starter Chris Bassitt and the A’s bullpen does it again with fine pitching in helping get Oakland their 13th straight win this time against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore on Sat Apr 24, 2021 (@Athletics photo)

By Barbara Mason

Those Green and Gold Surfers continue to ride the wave and it seems like that wave has in no way crested. These guys just continue to win in every way possible. They out-slug opponents, they win with great performances on the mound, they win the close the ones and the walk offs. It’s just been a wild ride for these guys ever since they turned the early season slump around and have not looked back.

The A’s took on the Baltimore Orioles in the second game of their series this afternoon and took no time getting up on the scoreboard. In the first inning the red-hot Matt Olson singled to shallow right scoring Mark Canha who was on base. After one full inning the A’s led early by the score of 1-0.

The second inning was another good one for Oakland. Canha singled to left allowing runners Moreland and Andrus to score. The A’s now led 3-0. They did not let their foot off the pedal. Olson doubled to deep left and Canha scored extending their lead to 4-0 The importance of an early lead was due to the forecast of rain which did materialize later in this game.

The Orioles got up on the scoreboard in the second inning but it was Jed Lowrie who blew this game apart for Baltimore in the fourth inning. He homered to right with two runners on base and just like that the score was 7-1.

The Orioles scored in the bottom of the fifth inning but that was all the stingy A’s would allow. The final score was 7-2.

It was a great outing for pitcher Chris Bassitt. The pitching was great throughout this game with Bassitt, relief from Kolarek and closing work from Guerra. So the A’s had their 13th win in a row playing better ball than they did in Game One.

Can they extend this winning streak tomorrow? First pitch will be at 10:05 as the A’s go for another sweep. Be sure to tune in, join the fun and see if Oakland can continue to ride the wave.

It’s 12 In A Row For the A’s; Oakland’s pitching holds off Baltimore 3-1

The Oakland A’s Ramon Laureano (22) gets congratulations from Matt Olson (28) after hitting a home run and returning back to the dugout in Baltimore on Fri Apr 23, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Barbara Mason

Could Friday night reveal the Oakland A’s (13-7) 12th straight win? It’s a burning question that the team will answer in Game One of their series with the Baltimore Orioles (8-11). The Orioles in the American East sit in third place. The A’s are atop the American West along with the Seattle Mariners at 13-7. The A’s are now eight short of their franchise setting record of 20 straight wins as they defeated the Orioles 3-1 at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The players are having the time of their lives adopting the new mantra “ride the wave”. Considering the way the team started the season, this streak is a most welcome turnaround. It’s seems that it all came together at the same time; pitching, hitting and defense. A winning combination as is evident.

It was a quiet first inning although the Orioles had two men on base that were unable to score. Cole Irvin was on the mound for the A’s and Baltimore had Jorge Lopez pitching.

The bats came alive for Oakland in the second inning. Moreland and Murphy both walked. They would score to take the early lead 2-0. Stephen Piscotty and Elvis Andrus had hits in the inning. It was three up and three down for Irvin in not only the second inning but the third as well. He was having a great outing through three innings.

After five innings the score remained 2-0 in favor of the A’s. Irvin had 5 strikeouts to his credit through five.

Ramon Laureano would hit his second home run of the season in the fifth inning to extend the A’s lead to 3-0. That was all she wrote for Baltimore’s Lopez. Travis Lakins Sr. would take over on the mound. Dillon Tate would relieve Lakins to start the sixth inning for Baltimore.

Irvin got into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded Severino would single to left and one run would score. With the score now 3-1 Irvin would leave the game and Yusmeiro Petit would take over in a very tough situation. Petit would put out the fire and the A’s got out of the inning giving up only one run.

Neither team threatened in the seventh, eighth or ninth innings and the A’s would go onto their 12th consecutive win. Wendelken would pitch the eighth inning and Diekman would finish off the ninth inning.

It was a slow start for the A’s but Oakland got some help from Baltimore when Lopez walked Moreland and Murphy. In the first game of the series Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty, Sean Murphy and Andrus had hits. Ramon Laureano had the only home run in this game. With that home run the A’s are tied with the Angels for most home runs this season.

First pitch in Game Two is slated for 4:00 PM tomorrow.

Preview of A’s vs. Orioles in Baltimore; Three game series opens Friday

The Oakland A’s Ramon Lureano (22) swings for a base hit in the bottom of the tenth inning on Wed Apr 21, 2021 at the Oakland Coliseum against the Minnesota Twins (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s head East to start a six-game road trip. The A’s will play three against the Baltimore Oriole’s and finish the trip against the Tampa Bay Rays. The A’s currently reside in the American League Western Division with a 12-7 record. The A’s started the season 1-7 but have won 11 in a row. No team in Major League history has ever started the season with an 0-6 record and then had an 11-game winning streak at any time during the same season.

The Orioles have been a franchise in the American League since 1903. They were known as the St.Louis Browns for 51 seasons. Their last year in St. Louis was 1953. The Browns were doormats in the AL for many, many years. Their only appearance in the World Series came in 1944 during World War II.

They lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Browns featured a one-armed centerfielder, Pete Gray. Bill Veeck owned the team, and he sold it to people who promptly moved the team to Baltimore and named them the Orioles. Since 1954, the Orioles have won three World Series.

They swept the LA Dodgers in 1966 to win their first crown. The Orioles right-fielder was Frank Robinson. The Cincinnati Reds traded Robinson to the O’s as they thought Robinson was an old 30-year-old player. All Robinson did that year was win the AL MVP>They beat the Big Red Machine in 1970. Third baseman Brooks Robinson put on a defensive show in that series that people still remember 51 years later.

The Orioles won their last championship in 1983, downing the Philadelphia Phillies. Shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. led his team that season. Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, and Cal Ripken, Jr. are all Baseball’s Hall of Fame members.

Things have not gone well for the Orioles in recent years. Their last appearance in a World Series was in 1983, 38 years ago. The last time they made the playoffs was in 2016. The Toronto Blue Jays met them in the Wild Card game. The Jays sent the O’s home.

The A’s have not played the Orioles since the 2019 season. There are many new faces on the team. The Orioles traded their superstar third baseman, Manny Machado, to the Dodgers in 2018 as Manny was going to be a free agent at the end of the season. Manny signed with the San Diego Padres in 2019.

Buck Showalter was gone as the Orioles manager. Brandon Hyde replaced him and was tasked with bringing the club back to respectability. Hyde replaced Showalter before the start of the 2019 season. Showalter was the last manager to take the O’s to the playoffs.

The Orioles finished last in 2017 with a record of 75-87. In Showalter’s last year as manager, Baltimore fell to the bottom of the barrel posting a record of 47-115. In Hyde’s first year, Baltimore finished last again. They improved to 54-108.

They had a new young player, Trey Mancini, to lead them out of the wilderness. Fate wasn’t kind to Mancini. Trey had to miss the 2020 season due to cancer treatment. Mancini has recovered, and he will see playing time this weekend. The Orioles finished fourth in the AL East last year with a record of 25-35.

Oakland A’s fans don’t know too much about the Orioles’ roster. They have some new players and some oldies, too. As mentioned above, Baltimore wants to move up in the Eastern Division. They shocked the baseball world by sweeping the Red Sox at Fenway Park by winning all three games. However, they have faltered since then to enter the game against Oakland with a record of 8-10.

The A’s will send lefty Cole Irvin to the mound to start Friday night. Irvin will be making his fourth start as an Oakland Athletic. He did not fare well in his first two outings. In his last game against the Detroit Tigers, Irvin pitched six shutout innings. His overall record ia 1-2 with an ERA of 4.60.

Baltimore will counter with righty Jorge Lopez. Lopez will also be making his fourth start of the season. Lopez was hammered in his first two starts. He pitched well against Texas to earn the win. For the season, Lopez is 1-2 with an ERA of 8.56.

Chris Bassitt will go for Oakland on Saturday. The Orioles have not announced their starter for the Saturday game. Righty Matt Harvey may get the call. Other pitchers that could start are lefties John Means and Bruce Zimmerman.

The A’s enter the series scoring an average of 4.74 runs per game. The A’s have players up and down the lineup that can send the baseball into the stratosphere. Their big first baseman, Matt Olson, has been scorching hot. Olson had three home runs in the last two games of the series with the Minnesota Twins.

Olson has hit six homers and has 15 RBIs so far this year. Mark, Canha, Ramon Laureano, Stephen Piscotty, Jed Lowrie, Sean Murphy, and Seth Brown have all hit home runs to help the A’s to the current 11-game winning streak.

The A’s starting rotation has done the job since the 1-7 start. The team ERA is 4.71, ranking 26th in MLB. The reason for the high ERA was the poor start in the first games of the year. The A’s beat the Twins Wednesday in a wild one 13-12. Before the Wednesday game, the A’s pitching staff recorded four shutouts in five games. A’s starters Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas, and Jesus Luzardo have all done well recently.

The A’s Mike Fiers will be available shortly. Fiers won 15 games last season. The A’s will have to figure out who Fiers will replace. The A’s bullpen has done well, too. A’s manager Bob Melvin has used righty Lou Trivino and lefty Jake Diekman as the closer.

The Orioles will probably put these guys on the field Friday night. Trey Mancini will be at first base. Rio Ruiz will be at second, Freddy Galvis at shortstop, and Maikel Franco, the former Philadelphia Phillie, will be at third. DJ Stewart will be in left field, Cedric Mullins in center, and Austin Hays in right. Paul Severino will handle the catching chores for the Orioles.

The Las Vegas oddsmakers probably would favor the A’s to win the series. The magic of baseball, as players well know, you never know what’s going to happen. Even the lowest of teams can upset the applecart of the favored team. Jorge Lopez could pitch his best game of the year. The A’s could send him to an early shower. No one knows. That’s the beauty of baseball. That’s why they play the games.

Jerry Feitelberg is an Oakland A’s beat writer for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

MLB The Show podcast with Matt Harrington: A’s split two from the Tigers and continue to carry in the AL Wild Card

Photo credit: @Athletics

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 The Oakland A’s made easy work of the Detroit Tigers on Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum in a make game from a rain out from May 29th the A’s played visiting team in Oakland and picked up the game from where it was left off in the seventh inning Chad Pinder in the top of the ninth hit a two run home to help the A’s cap a 7-3 winner.

#2 In the regular game, the A’s got four runs on the board against the Tigers starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull in the bottom of the second inning and there was no looking back from that point as the A’s carried the win improving their wild card record to just a 1/2 game back of the Tampa Bay Rays.

#3 Speaking of the Rays Tampa Bay got a 5-0 shutout over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays. The win helps the Rays hold a 1/2 lead over the A’s in the AL wild card. The Rays have won seven of their last 10 games and are in second in the AL East.

#4 Former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer and current Orioles TV analyst was diagnosed with shingles in his spinal column. Palmer did not work Friday night’s game. Palmer said that team doctors have told him to get an MRI, which he plans to do. Palmer is the only surviving starter from the 1971 Baltimore Orioles starting staff, of Dave McNally, Pat Dobson, and Mike Cuellar.

#5 The Boston Red Sox got a win over the New York Yankees 6-1 on Friday night at Fenway Park. It doesn’t lessen the Yankees’ position in the standings, but it was an important win for the Sox anytime they could beat their rival and show a fighting spirit in what’s left in the final weeks of the season. The Sox will take it.

Matt Harrington does the MLB The Show podcast each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.


MLB The Show Podcast with Matt Harrington: Giants need to sweep a lot of series to get wild card in their sights; Cervelli hooks up with Braves, feels no concussion issues; plus more

photo from sfgate.com:  Scooter Gennett #14 of the San Francisco Giants turns a double play in the fourth inning against Nicholas Castellanos #6 of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

On the MLB podcast with Matt:

#1 Last chance for the San Francisco Giants, who open a two-game road trip to Oakland and face the A’s. The A’s are rolling they have won eight out of their last ten games and are tied for second for a wild card spot with Cleveland.

#2 The Giants’ wild card chances are becoming distant they got swept in Chicago and are six games back of second for a shot at the wild card.

#3 The Atlanta Braves in need of catching after Brian McCann was injured with a sprained left knee and picked up former Pittsburgh Pirate Francisco Cervelli at the pro-rated minimum MLB salary at the pro-rated amount of $119,000. Cervelli, who had concussion issues, caught six games with Pittsburgh Triple-A affiliate Indianapolis without any signs recurring problems.

#4 In Los Angeles on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and comedian Larry David both took in the Dodgers-Yankees game. It’s not too often you’ll see the two New Yorkers in the same place in LA, but they were the talk of the game.

#5 Can the Atlanta Brave Ronald Acuna Jr. get to 40-40? Right now, he has 30 homers and 30 steals with a month and a week left in the season. September could be an exciting month for Acuna Jr chasing down 40-40.

Matt does the MLB podcast each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com