Athletics sweep the Rangers out of town by winning 8-1 on Sunday in Oakland

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Jed Lowrie loads up to hit a two-run double Photo Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

by Charlie O. Mallonee and Jordan Chapin

Oakland – The Athletics have now won seven games in a row after sweeping a three-game series from the Wild Card contending Texas Rangers. The A’s completed the sweep with an 8-1 win on Sunday in front of 18,706 fans at the Coliseum on “Hecho en Oakland” Day.

This was also the second consecutive series sweep for the Athletics who took a three-game series from the Tigers in Detroit to wrap up a nine-game road trip. Oakland has now won seven consecutive games. That is their longest winning streak of the season.

The Athletics (72-83) have won 14 games in September – the most in any month this year.

Warning!

Many experts will tell you not to fall in love with “September baseball”. There is some great wisdom in that statement. Rosters have been expanded. Players may be playing over their heads as they try to impress the front offices. Some veterans are just going through the motions. It is not a true barometer of what is going to happen in the future.

In the case of the Athletics, two very important things have happened in September that are worth noting for the future:

  • This young Oakland roster has learned to win on the road. The A’s have been tough at home all season but have been terrible away from the Coliseum. This newly constituted roster of “young guns” has taken on the challenge from Bob Melvin and learned how to win on the road. That is a lesson that can carry over into April of next year.
  • The Athletics also became a team that plays their division opponents tough. The A’s swept a four-game series from the Astros in September. Now they have swept the Rangers. Taking care of business with the teams in your division is the key to becoming competitive and moving toward becoming a playoff contender.

Pitching was a real key for the A’s

Jharel Cotton started the game for Oakland. He had to be scratched from his scheduled started start in Detroit due a strained groin. He showed no signs of having any problems with that issue during the game on Sunday.

Cotton threw his fastball at speeds of up to 95 mph and then would stop-down the change-up by as much as 15 mph. The Rangers hitters were just completely off-balance.

Cotton worked 5.0 – innings allowing no runs on just one hit. He walked one Texas batter while striking out six. Cotton threw 77 pitches (51 strikes).

Cotton set the side down in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

After the game, Cotton had nothing but compliments for the way his teammates played in the game.

Cotton is now 9-10 on the season and has the most wins for any rookie pitcher in the American League.

It was revealed after the game that Cotton experienced some tightness in his throwing elbow and that is why he did not continue after the fifth inning. He appeared to be fine in the clubhouse after the game.

Oakland exploded for five runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and added one in the eighth

The Athletics insured the win for Cotton by posting five runs off Texas starter Martin Perez (12-12) in the home half of the fifth inning. Catcher Josh Phegley led the inning off with a base hit and eventually eight batters would come to the plate.

The big hit of the inning came off the bat of Khris – yes you can call me “Krush” – Davis who hit his 41st home run of the year off Perez. It was a two-run shot that hit off the concrete wall just under the windows of the suites in straightaway center field.

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Khris Davis at the plate against the Rangers Photo by Jordan Chapin Sports Radio Service

Athletics in the batter’s box

  • As a team: 8 runs on 10 hits, six men left on base, 5-for-13 with Runners In Scoring Position
  • Phegley 2-for-3 with a double (11) and an RBI (10)
  • Chapman 2-for-5 including two doubles (21) and two RBI (36)
  • Khris Davis also recorded his 105th RBI

Oakland relief pitching

The relievers did not have a perfect outing as all four were not able to post “Goose Eggs” in the run column. Simon Castro – who worked 1.2-innings of relief – did give up one run on a solo home run to Normar Mazara (20). That was the only run the Rangers would score.

Daniel Coulombe, Santiago Casilla and Liam Hendriks combined to work 2.1-innings of scoreless relief for the A’s and preserve the victory.

A’s manager Bob Melvin was pleased with his team after the game

Melvin also spoke about team goals, the health of Matt Olson and Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling.

Texas Rangers

There has not been much mention of the Rangers in this article because for all intensive purposes their season came to an end today. They came into this weekend series still contending for a potential spot as a Wild Card team in the American League Playoffs. After the loss on Sunday, the Rangers are 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot with seven games remaining to play.

The Rangers final seven games are all home games. They have a three-game series with the Astros that begins on Monday and a four-game series with the A’s that begins on Thursday.

The Twins are on a four-game winning streak.

Up next

The A’s begin their final three-game home series of the season on Monday night with Seattle Mariners. RHP Daniel Gossett (4-9,5.38) will start for Oakland while Seattle will send “King” Felix Hernandez (5-5,4.57) to the hill.

Flores hits a walk-off home run to give the Mets a 6-5 win over the Athletics

by Charlie O. Mallonee

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The Oakland Athletics have the worst road record (15-31) in the major leagues. It is one of the main reasons they are mired in last place in the American League West and are about to dismantle their team to begin a major rebuilding process.

On Saturday night after jumping out to a 5-0 lead over the New York Mets, the A’s allowed the Metropolitans to claw their way back into the game. The Mets tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning when Lucas Duda hit a single off Daniel Coulombe that drove Travis d’Arnaud home from second base.

In the bottom of the ninth with two out and the bases empty, Wilmer Flores hit the 1-0 pitch from A’s reliever Simon Castro into the first row of seats in left field to give the Mets a 6-5 win. It was the ninth home run of the season for Flores and the second consecutive win for the Mets (45-50) over the Athletics (43-54).

In the batter’s box

Oakland

  • Matt Joyce put the A’s on the board in the first inning when he hit the 0-1 pitch from Zack Wheeler over the center field fence for his 13th home run of the year. Joyce now has 39 RBI for the season.
  • Matt Chapman showed off his power hitting by putting a Wheeler pitch into the second deck in left field for his third home run of the year. Chapman also had a sacrifice fly in the game to give him two RBI. He has seven RBI since joining the A’s.
  • Catcher Bruce Maxwell hit an RBI-double.
  • The A’s scored five runs on 10 hits and left nine runners on base. They were 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

NYM

  • Flores — who is one of the Mets that does not appear to be on the trading block — went 2-for-5 including that game winning walk-off home run. Flores also hit his 13th double of the year in the game and scored two runs.
  • Jose Reyes hit his sixth triple of the season and also scored a run while going 2-for-4 for New York.
  • Jay Bruce hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning. It was his 25th home run and it raised his RBI total to 65. Bruce is one the Mets who is expected to be with another team by the July 31 trade deadline.
  • Travis d’Arnaud made it safely to base four times in the game. He went 3-for-3 with a walk. d’Arnaud scored a run and added an RBI.
  • The Mets scored six runs on 14 hits. They left eight men on base and were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

On the hill

Athletics

  • Starter Sean Manaea pitched well through the first five innings but ran into some real problems in the sixth inning when he gave up four earned-runs. Manaea worked 5.2-innings giving up four runs (all earned) on 10 hits. He struck out two and walked one while allowing one home run. Manaea did not figure in the final decision.
  • The A’s relief corps was roughed up in the game. Hendriks gave up two runs, Coulombe was charged with a blown save and Simon Castro took the loss for giving up the game winning home run to Flores.
  • Newcomer Blake Treinen was credited with a hold.

Mets

  • Starter Zack Wheeler gave up five runs (all earned) on seven hits in 5.0-innings of work. He struck out six and walked four batters while giving up two home runs. He did not figure into the final decision.
  • The trio of Mets relievers — Smoker, Edgin and Robles — did not give up a run to the A’s in the final four innings of the game.
  • Hansel Robles (6-1) was the pitcher of record when Flores hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth and he was credited with the win.

Up next

The A’s and Mets will meet on Sunday for the third and final game of the series. Oakland will send RHP Daniel Gossett (1-5, 5.79 ERA) to the mound to face RHP Rafael Montero (1-6, 5.40 ERA) who will start for the Mets. Game time is 10:10 a.m. PDT.