Veteran Colon gets the ball for Game 1 of ALDS

tigers-athletics

By Daniel Dullum

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Forty-year-old veteran Bartolo Colon will get the ball from Oakland Manager Bob Melvin to start Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series Friday at the Coliseum.

Colon was an 18-game winner in 2013, went through a slump in August but bounced back for the pennant run. He’ll face Max Scherzer (21-3), who supplanted Justin Verlander as the Tigers’ ace this season.

The A’s will face Verlander in Game 2 on Saturday, countering with rookie Sonny Gray.

With essentially a no-name lineup, the A’s won 96 games this season, but still find themselves underdogs against Detroit, which won its third consecutive AL Central Division title.

Melvin told the Bay Area media Thursday that there is “a good chance” the Yoenis Cespedes will play left field in the ALDS. If Cespedes can work through the discomfort of his sore right shoulder and play left, Melvin said Brandon Moss would be the designated hitter. However, if Cespedes can’t play in the outfield, he would DH and Daric Barton would play at first.

As far as other lineup moves go, Melvin will start Eric Sogard at second base over Alberto Callaspo. Since Callaspo is a switch-hitter, that gives Melvin a little more flexibility with his bench.

On the Detroit side, third baseman Miguel Cabrera, the reigning AL most valuable player, will play despite a nagging groin pull, among other ailments. But Cabrera insists he will be ready for the ALDS.

“I don’t think the groin will be an issue in the series,” Cabrera told the media. “I feel much better the last couple of days.”

First pitch is slated for 6:37 p.m. TBS will televise all games of the best-of-five series.

A’s ACORNS: Dave Henderson, an outfielder on the 1989 Oakland A’s World Series championship team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday prior to Game 1 of the AL Divisional Series. … Detroit SS Jhonny Peralta is on the Tigers’ 25-man postseason roster. Peralta was suspended for 50 games during the season for his alleged involvement with the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

 

Back to back AL West Champions!

By Emily Zahner

 

OAKLAND, CA—The Oakland Athletics (93-63) didn’t need 9 innings for a reason to celebrate, all it took was three. With their magic number down to one, Oakland needed to either defeat the Minnesota Twins (65-90) this afternoon, or see Texas lose. Halfway through the top of the third, cheers started to erupt throughout the stadium, and yet the out of town scoreboard still read the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals were locked in a 0-0 tie in the 10th. After Sonny Gray surrendered a 3-run homerun by Oswaldo Arcia, the A’s finally got out of the inning. That was when a replay was shown of KC’s Justin Maxwell, with two outs in the 10th, crushing a grand slam that instantly sent the A’s into the post season. Once again, at the expense of the Texas Rangers, the A’s would be crowned the American League West Champions.

Not that the A’s needed the Royals help anyway… Oakland erupted for six runs in the 2nd inning, and then added one more in each of the next five innings. The A’s celebrated their division title on the back of a four-game sweep by means of an 11-7 rout of the Twins. Oakland starter Sonny Gray became the youngest pitcher in A’s history to win a division clinching game at the young age of 23. Gray was elated, “this is the best baseball day of my life… today is a very exciting day.” Even though they all knew their fate in the third, Sonny was determined, saying he knew something had happened in the Texas game, but still had a game to win.  Gray did struggle a bit, giving up four earned runs on seven hits through five innings pitched, but with the offensive tear his team appears to be on lately, it didn’t even matter. Gray isn’t worried about where he will land on the post season roster, just as long as he is a part of the team.

After tonight’s game, the A’s finish off the regular season with a three game series in Anaheim, followed by a three game set in Seattle. From here on out, the A’s will be focused on the post season. A’s manager Bob Melvin is ready, saying “we’ve got some unfinished business going forward… we’re going to enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow”. He has extreme confidence in his squad, “this is an unselfish group that just wants to win.” The players themselves are ready, Australian closer Grant Balfour said “we know how to play and we know how to win”.

Not only did the A’s clinch the West today, but Coco Crisp made history as well. In the 6th inning, after Eric Sogard reached first on a single, Coco walked. The two initiated a double steal, and Coco became only the 10th player in Oakland history to have a 20 homerun-20 stolen base year. Players all through the lineup stepped up huge today. In the 7th spot, Daric Barton went 3-3 with a walk; just a triple short of the cycle. Homeruns were a plenty today, and Oakland saw bombs from Crisp, Barton, and Jed Lowrie. Barton has made a huge impact since being called up from Triple A Sacramento on August 24th, and Melvin is taking notice, “I don’t see how Barton could not be on the post season roster”.

This marks the second consecutive and 16th overall AL West Division title for the Oakland Athletics. If the standings hold, the A’s will most likely face the Detroit Tigers once again in the ALDS. With the way this team has been playing, they’re ready for anyone.

 

Game Notes: Josh Donaldson has reached base safely via hit or walk in 27 consecutive games. Oakland has reached a season high of 30 games over .500. Josh Reddick had two outfield assists today, doubling off Brian Dozier in the 7th and Oswaldo Arcia in the 9th.

Manager’s Decisions

By Jerry Feitelberg

One of the most difficult jobs in all of baseball has to be the manager of the club. The manager has many tasks that he has to perform every day. One of those tasks is making out the lineup for each and every game. Some managers like to use a set lineup so that that the players will be hitting in the same spot every day. The Detroit Tigers, for example have Miguel Cabrera hitting third and Prince Fielder hitting fourth. The Tigers do this as it is most beneficial to the especially in the late innings. Other managers like to make changes daily. A’s manager, Bob Melvin, has used, if you can believe this, 132 different lineups in the 152 games the A’s have played so far this year. Some lineup changes are made by necessity as a player may be injured or may have a personal matter that requires him to be away from the club. Melvin, however, is blessed this season with a deep lineup and he can go with a lineup that meets the clubs need on a given day. For instance, if an opposing club is starting a left handed pitcher, Melvin can use the switch hitters and right hand hitters Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes everyday. Melvin can then use right handed hitters at first base, second base, left field and maybe right field. When the A’s are facing a righty, Melvin uses his lefty bats at catcher, DH, second base, first base  and left field. These moves don’t always work but they give him a lot of flexibility so that the A’s can win.

Another task is deciding what roles the pitchers are to have. Who will be the starters. That again depends on the health of the players. Once  the manager establishes the starting rotation, he has to decide which pitcher will be his “long man.” The long relievers come in when the starter has a bad outing and has an early exit from the game. Decisions have to be made on the “set up “ guys. Who will pitch the seventh inning? Who will pitch the eighth? Who will be the closer ? And who will pitch if any of these key pitchers are unavailable due to a heavy workload. The manager has to make decisions all through the game. Do I bring in a lefty to face a lefty? Decisions are made on how well a particular pitcher gets out a certain hitter. For example, Melvin brought in Jerry Blevins to face the Angels’ Josh Hamilton the other night. Hamilton hits from the left side and has a lot of power. Blevins, however has great numbers against Hamilton. Melvin brought him in to pitch in a key situation and Blevins struck Hamilton out. Melvin is a genius. In another game with the A’s leading 4-2, Melvin brought in his closer, Grant Balfour, to face Hamilton. This time Hamilton won the battle as he hit a two run homer to tie the game in the ninth and the Angels eventually won the game. Have to remove the genius tag.

There are so many more decisions that a manager has to make during the game such having the runner steal a base or putting down a sacrifice bunt to move a runner into scoring position. So many more things going on in the manager’s mind as the game moves along and far too many to list at this time.

So, when you go to the game, it’s fun to see if you can guess what the manager is going to do. Also, keep in the mind, the opposing manager is doing the same game and it is this mind game that makes baseball the magical game that it is.

 

¡Vamos Los Athleticos!

By Emily Zahner

Welcome to September baseball in Oakland, where unlikely players step up and prove they belong as the Oakland Athletics (83-60) push forward to the post season. In the finale of season series, the A’s defeated the Houston Astros (47-96) by a score of 7-2. Oakland took the season series 15-4, as the Astros stood no chance after in the beginning of the season the A’s had gone 10-0 against their new division rivals.

Bartolo Colon was on the mound for the A’s this afternoon, and looked like he didn’t have his best stuff. On first pitch, Colon instantly struggled, giving up a leadoff single, followed by an RBI double. Before Colon had thrown five pitches, the A’s were already down 1-0. He regained composure and quickly settled down after the initial shock and fanned the next two batters and got the final out on a ground out. Colon went on to have a great outing, pitching six innings and surrendering five hits and just one earned run with seven strike outs. Manager Bob Melvin was pleased, praising his starter saying “I thought he was really good. After the first two hitters, that got his attention in a hurry. He ramped it up, had really good movement, good location today. A lot of good things came out of Bartolo’s outing today.” Colon improves to 15-6 with his win today.

Rookie RHP Paul Clemens was scheduled to start today for Houston, but was scratched at the last minute due to a blister, so the Astros called upon relief pitcher Lucas Harrell to take the mound. Harrell sailed through the first two innings, surrendering one hit and one walk, but he fell apart at the seams when the third rolled around. Stephen Vogt was the first and last batter of the inning as the A’s batted around and scored seven runs. Brandon Moss had a huge two out two-run double, Yoenis Cespedes and Daric Barton each added runs with RBI singles, and then Seth Smith capped it off by crushing a huge 3-run homerun into the right field bleachers.   Smith would be pinch hit for his next at bat, but the skipper was pleased, “That was big for Smitty, it was a key blow in the game”.

Things seemed to be clicking for the A’s lineup today as they tallied 11 hits total. In the 7th spot, Daric Barton went 2-2 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored, highlighted by his two-out RBI single in the big third. Cespedes was swinging the bat well today as well, going 2-4 with a run scored. Melvin gave a lot of credit to his left fielder, saying “we have better energy when he is swinging the bat… he’s as important as everybody knows to us. If this is the time when he’s heating up, it’s certainly a good time for it.”

The A’s close out their second to last homestand going 8-2, a record they will gladly take. Melvin recounted, “It started out good and ended up good. We’ll take it”.

Oakland has an off day tomorrow before beginning a 6-game road trip, starting with a 3-game series against the Twins on Tuesday, a team they have yet to face this year. After Minnesota, the A’s travel to Arlington for an all too important 3-game series against their division rivals Texas Rangers, who defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim today by a score of 4-3. The A’s now hold a 1.5 game lead on the Rangers.

Game Notes—Brandon Moss went 3-for-4 this afternoon with two singles, a double, and two RBIs. The A’s top three hitters, (Coco Crisp, Eric Sogard, Jed Lowrie) combined for 1-14 today with two strike outs. Brett Anderson got the save, pitching three innings and surrendering three hits and one earned run. Anderson struck out three.

Barton’s big blow opens floodgates against the Rangers

By Morris Phillips

Unlikely, and typical at the same time, the signature moment in the A’s 11-4 win over the Rangers Wednesday, of course, involved Daric Barton.

The Coliseum crowd’s reaction said it all as disbelieving cheers pervaded as Barton’s lofty drive approached the right center field wall.

Could the journeyman turn powerful, against Yu Darvish, one of baseball’s best pitchers? Barton’s major league career since 2010 had slowed to a crawl, much due to his inability to integrate extra-base pop into his otherwise solid, overall game. And the odds of Barton changing his portfolio against a top pitcher in one of the biggest moments of the season would have to be astronomical.

Given that backdrop, the home crowd chose to reserve judgment as Barton’s drive took flight. The A’s led 3-2 in a tense, series finale that would decide who would lead the AL West with 23 games remaining. Darvish had struggled to that point, allowing Brandon Moss’ two-run shot in the first inning and walking Albert Callaspo to lead off the sixth. The tall right hander had fussed with catcher A.J. Pierzynski earlier when his pitches started to miss their targets. Darvish’s 2-2 pitch to Barton offered an opening but surely not one that Barton would take advantage of.

“When we face a good pitcher, what were we going to do?” Brandon Moss would say after the game. “Were we going to be shut down, or were we going to do be able to score some runs? That’s been a question mark for us the last couple of years.”

But in recent weeks, the A’s have responded, beating Anibel Sanchez, Justin Verlander and David Price while taking wins leader Max Scherzer to the wire. Barton’s back and forth travels between Oakland and Sacramento removed him from much of the A’s transformation, but in a big spot against Darvish, he got his chance to impact his team’s fortunes in the biggest way.

Barton’s ball did clear the fence. And the A’s enjoyed a six-run sixth inning that blew the game open and tilted the tight divisional race towards Oakland. After winning 24 of 34—the best record in the majors over that span—Texas hasn’t been able to escape the A’s. What’s worse for the Rangers is the A’s have a kinder schedule down the stretch, with three games at Arlington standing as their only remaining games against a winning club.

Barton’s two-run shot gave the A’s 28 homers over the most previous 17 games further proof that Oakland has become the majors’ best at big swinging in the biggest moments. Rangers’ pitching allowed four homers on Wednesday showing that it wasn’t their day. But the A’s hit those Rangers’ pitches coming up big like Barton did in the sixth.

“It shows that we have a pretty good lineup on any given day,” Josh Donaldson said. “No matter who’s on the mound, we can put up some runs. This is a great time right now for our offense to get it going.”

Barton was with the A’s for just 67 games in 2011 and 46 games in 2012. During last season’s playoff push, Barton was relegated to the River Cats. After hitting .143 in May of this season, Barton was designated for assignment. In his seven-year career, Barton’s hit just 28 home runs and he seemed like the last guy manager Bob Melvin would feel comfortable with in a hot playoff race.

But since Josh Reddick went down, Barton has started at first base in seven of 10 games. His defense has been outstanding as always, but also his bat, hitting .320 in 25 at-bats.

On Thursday, the A’s welcome the Astros with a pitching matchup of Sonny Gray and Houston right hander Brad Peacock at 7:05pm.

The A’s win, back in first place

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s, just a game behind the Rangers, opened a three game series with the Division leaders starting on Labor Day. This is going to be a huge series. The A’s will need to win two out three to be even with Texas for the division lead. The last thing either team wants to be is a Wild Card Entry. The Rangers found that out last year when they lost a one game playoff to the Orioles and were eliminated.

The 23,495 people who were here in attendance were not disappointed as the A’s beat the Rangers 4-2 and  the A’s moved into a first place tie with the Rangers. Dan Straily started for the A’s and went five innings getting credit for his eighth win of the year. The Rangers’ starter, Derek Holland, took the loss. Both teams now have an identical record of 79-58 with 25 games left in the season.

The A’s took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo home run for his 21st home run of the year. Alberto Callaspo doubled and scored on a single by Chris Young.  The Rangers tied the game in the top of the fifth. Straily walked Mitch Moreland to start the inning and Moreland scored when David Murphy homered to tie the score.

The A’s came back to take the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Choice reached first on a throwing error by Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre. Coco Crisp followed with a home run that barely made it over the left field wall and the umpires called it a home run but decided to review the play. After a minute or two, the umps came back and ruled in the A’s favor. A’s now lead 4-2.

There was no more scoring. Bob Melvin used four relievers to close out the Rangers. The Rangers did threaten a couple of times. Dan Otero worked out of a jam in the sixth and Grant Balfour had men on second and third with two outs in the ninth. Balfour got Beltre to ground out to end the game and earn his 36th save of the year.

Game notes- The A’s have won four straight and seven of the last eight and are in first place since August 9th. Dan Straily is 3-1 with in ERA of 2.63 during day games. Strailly when asked after the game if there was any extra pressure on him for this game replied “Not really, but you understand the magnitude of the situation.”  Coco Crisp hit his 17th home run of the year which is a career high. Crisp has homered 7 times in his last 12 games. Crisp left the game with when he hit a foul ball off his right shin. Bob Melvin said “it is a right shin contusion and we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”  Michael Choice made his Major League debut and walked his first time up and reached on an error. Melvin said Choice reaching on the error”was a huge play in the game.” Melvin used Brett Anderson in relief.  Melvin said that he would keep him there for a while as the starting rotation is ok. Grant Balfour picked up his 36th save of the year but it was not easy. However, Balfour worked out the jam and Melvin commented that “Balfour had to find a little extra will and would have to make a pitch and get out of the game.”

Game two of the three game series will be Tuesday night at the Coliseum. Game time will be 7pm.

Bartolo Colon(14-5) will start for the A’s and the Rangers’ will send  lefty Martin Perez(8-3) to the mound.

Game time 2 hours and 28 minutes.

A’s are ‘Hitchin’ A Ride’ on the Sonny Gray express, beat Rays 2-0

By Emily Zahner and Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND, CA—“Pay attention to the cracked streets and the broken homes… some call it slums some call it nice. I want to take you through a wasteland I like to call my home… Welcome to Paradise.” Well, it may not be the most modern or high-tech stadium in the world, but many still call the O.Co home. Sure, our sewers back up on occasion, and we’ve tarped off the third deck, but hey, to A’s fans, this place is our own personal paradise. In front of a 35,067 sell-out crowd on Saturday evening, rookie Sonny Gray (2-2) with a little offensive help from Coco Crisp (3-4; 2 1B, HR), reminded us of just that. The crowds may have flocked to the coliseum to see Bay Area natives and Academy Award winning Green Day on their themed fireworks night, but they were treated to quite the show and reminded of the true passion this team exudes.

In their final game of August, the Oakland Athletics (77-58) and Tampa Bay Rays (75-59) engaged in a pitchers’ duel that saw a total of 2 runs scored on 12 hits. Sonny Gray had another spectacular outing, pitching 6 2/3 innings, only giving up five hits and striking out seven. After a tough outing his last time out in Baltimore, Gray returned to form and handed the Rays their sixth loss in seven days with a 2-0 dominating pitching performance. Gray appeared to be in control of every pitch and knew exactly where to place it. He started out strong to start the game as he struck out five batters in the first two innings. A’s manager Bob Melvin was impressed with his rookie starter. When asked about his performance, Melvin said he was “Great again, in a game like that, both guys are pitching pretty well and runs might be tough to come by and that was the case. And we got just enough and boy he did his job.”

Rays starter Alex Cobb was equally as impressive. Pitching a complete game loss, Cobb only gave up five hits, striking out seven in the process. Melvin knew what he was up against before the game even started, “Cobb has been tough on us. We did well then he started to settle down on us. He pitches backwards. He’ll get ahead of you and it’s hard to think ahead of him. He’s a tough guy to face.”

It wasn’t until the 6th inning that the A’s were able to solve Cobb. After a leadoff triple by Stephen Vogt, Coco Crisp singled up the middle for the first run of the game. Coco added another run to the tally when he homered off Cobb in the 8th to bring the lead to 2-0. Grant Balfour came in to pitch in the ninth, and made things a little interesting. The Rays tried to make a ball game when after a Myers double and walk off of Grant Balfour in the ninth, Desmond Jennings hit a single to center field that scored Myers but Balfour was able to calm down and get pinch hitting Kelly Johnson to ground out to first to end the game.

The A’s are feeling good after tonight’s win, Gray can feel the energy changing, “I feel like we’re playing great all around. Great defense, great hitting, this is a fun locker room to be in right now”.

Oakland looks to keep the good vibes going when they finish off the three game series with the Rays tomorrow afternoon before facing AL West leading Texas in a three game series starting Monday.

Sonny Gray’s gem spoiled in A’s 7-4 loss to Seattle

By Emily Zahner & Gabe Schapiro

On the mound for the Oakland Athletics in just his third Major League start, Sonny Gray (1-1, 1.00 ERA) shined bright and glowed with confidence. In the second of this three game series against the Mariners, Gray, facing off against Joe Saunders (10-12, 4.86 ERA), had the look of a veteran as the A’s were defeated by the Seattle Mariners 7-4 on Tuesday evening. The A’s fall to a record of 71-54, 1-½ games back of the first place Texas Rangers who picked up a victory tonight. The Mariners improve to 58-67, and remain in a distant third place.

The 23 year old from Smyrna, Tennessee lead off the game by shutting down the Mariners’ hitters 1-2-3. If run support was something he was worried about, the A’s offense took care of that in their half. Mariners starter Joe Saunders was hit hard early, as the A’s batted around and were a double away from hitting for the cycle against him in a 40-pitch first inning. Jed Lowrie, hitting lead-off for the fourth time this season, started off the game with a triple down the right field line. Homeruns by Josh Donaldson and Nate Frieman gave the A’s an early 4-0 lead in the first, giving Sonny some early run support. Gray cruised through two, then hit some trouble in the third. He started the inning with a four-pitch walk to Michael Saunders, and as lead-off walks so often do, it came back to bite him. Three batters later Nick Franklin got a hold of a change-up that was meant for the outside half and drifted in, sending it into the right field bleachers, making the score 4-2.

The A’s scattered a few hits through seven innings, but neither team was able to get on the board again through seven. Gray finished his night after seven strong innings, holding the Mariners to just two hits, two runs (both earned), and striking out seven on 94 pitches. Of his outing tonight, Manager Bob Melvin was pleased, saying “he was great… he’s got some presence out there, he certainly has the stuff and he continues to give us impressive outings.” In Sonny’s last outing, he fanned nine over eight innings. Gray is establishing himself as a competent and reliable started for the A’s, which with Bartolo Colon going to the DL and Brett Anderson still on rehab assignment, is arguably something Oakland needs the most. The A’s bullpen might be another topic of serious discussion.

The momentum drastically shifted to the Mariners in the eighth. Sean Doolittle was the first man out of the bullpen, and the Mariners bats, seemingly relieved to no longer be facing Gray, came alive again. Four consecutive hits later and the game was all tied at 4-4. Ryan Cook was summoned to stop the bleeding, but he couldn’t find his control and the runs kept on coming. After two wild pitches, two walks, and a fielders’ choice play at the plate that injured catcher Derek Norris, the Mariners had built up their first lead of the game, 7-4. Jesse Chavez, the third pitcher of the inning, stabilized the chaos and mercifully ended the inning. Bob Melvin later confirmed the Norris had fractured his left big toe.

The disastrous five-run eighth would prove to be too much to come back from, even for a never-say-die club like the Athletics. The back end of the Mariners bullpen kept the comeback kids at bay, closing down the ninth 1-2-3, clinching the 7-4 win. The A’s and Mariners complete their three game series tomorrow at 12:35pm.

Parker brings the funk to Oakland

Saturday, August 03, 2013

O.Co Coliseum

By Emily Zahner

OAKLAND, CA—Saturday morning, Jarrod Parker tweeted to his fans that he would not be showering before the game today. Whether this was an act of superstition, or he just ran out of time, Parker definitely brought the funk to the mound this afternoon. Coincidentally, the A’s had a ticket promotion today, giving fans that purchased special tickets a pair of Oakland “Zubaz” pants, a funky zebra print with green and gold coloring. Whatever Parker’s reasoning might have been, it obviously worked, and Parker might not be showering before starts ever again.

In front of 28,304 Oakland faithful with some Texas red and blue sprinkled in, the A’s (64-46) defeated the Rangers (61-50) 4-2 on the back of Jarrod Parker. Parker threw 107 pitched through six innings, giving up just six hits and two earned runs. Texas newcomer Matt Garza pitched a complete game, throwing 114 pitches, surrendering eight hits and four runs, all earned. With the win this afternoon, the A’s snapped their three game losing streak, the Rangers snap their five game winning streak, and the gap between these two teams in the division increased to three and a half games.

Matt Garza, who normally performs tremendously against the A’s, was out of sorts. The A’s jumped on him quick in the first, becoming the only team to ever score a run against Garza in the first inning. After a smattering of hits by the A’s, Garza added a new pitch to his repertoire when he threw a temper tantrum after two consecutive bunts by A’s hitters in the 7th. Coco Crisp reached first on a bunt and Eric Sogard extended his hit streak to 11 games with a bunt single as well. Garza had some colorful words to say so Sogard, to which Sogard smiled and took it as being “in the heat of the moment”. A’s Manager Bob Melvin said sometimes you have to “create a little havoc… sometimes it’s the right thing to do”. Garza, from the dugout, also had some choice words to say about A’s relief pitcher Ryan Cook pausing the game to have the mound attended to. Melvin laughed, saying the mound took a beating today and he could see his pitchers struggling with it. Commenting on what needed to be attended to on the mound, Melvin explained “some pitchers are just more violent than others”.

Starting in his first game at second for the green and gold, Alberto Callaspo continued to hit the ball well. Although he has yet to put up any numbers, currently 0-for-13, Callaspo has been having great atbats and putting good wood on the ball. This afternoon, he went 0-2 with a walk and a run scored. Crisp and Brandon Moss each connected for two hits, and Yoenis Cespedes crushed his 17th homerun of the season.

Prior to today’s game, the A’s announced they had optioned LHP Tommy Milone to Sacramento, and recalled RHP Evan Scribner. Milone was told he was sent down because off upcoming off days and no need for a fifth starter; he hopes to work on location and keeping the ball down while down in AAA.

The A’s and Rangers complete their three game series tomorrow, Sunday August 4th at 1:05pm PST. Probable starters are AJ Griffin (10-7 3.90 ERA) and Derek Holland (8-6 3.18 ERA)

Game Notes:

Yoenis Cespedes hit his 17th Homerun of the season. Ian Kinsler hit his 10th, the first homerun that Parker has allowed in four games. During the game, the A’s announced the acquisition of RHP Fernando Nieve, whom their acquired from Cleveland for cash. The Venezuela native has a 9.0 ERA and a 0-1 record with 6 innings pitched. Eric Sogard extends his hit streak to 11 games.