Instant Analysis: A's sweep Rangers in Oakland, win seventh straight
A's finishing on fire
OAKLAND — If the finish line wasn’t approaching so quickly, it’d be interesting to see what the A’s might be capable of.
They rolled to their seventh consecutive win, and their second three-game sweep in a row, with Sunday’s 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers, who had their Wild Card hopes dealt a crushing blow over their three-day stay in the East Bay.
The A’s broke a scoreless game wide open with a five-run fifth, highlighted by Khris Davis’ two-run homer, and cruised from there, outscoring Texas 13-2 over the entire series.
With just seven games left in the regular season, the A’s (72-83) are one of the American League’s most dangerous teams right now. Their own postseason hopes were extinguished by mid-summer. Texas, on the other hand, showed up to the Coliseum having won four straight and pulling to within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota for the AL’s second Wild Card spot. But the Rangers have now dropped eight in a row at the Coliseum and trail the Twins by 5 1/2 games with just seven to play.
This seven-game winning streak is Oakland’s longest since a nine-gamer April 3-12, 2013. And for those counting, the A’s are within three games of escaping the cellar and catching Seattle for fourth place in the AL West. The Mariners arrive Monday for a three-game series at the Coliseum. The A’s current eight-game home winning streak is their longest since they took 11 straight in Oakland bridging May and June, 2013.
Cotton's strong return
After being a late scratch in his previous start for a strained groin, rookie Jharel Cotton (9-10) returned to the mound and turned in five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with six strikeouts and one walk. Television replays showed Cotton holding his elbow in the dugout upon leaving the game, but there was no definitive word immediately after the game whether he left the game for physical reasons.
Davis dials long distance again
Davis hit his 40th homer Saturday night, becoming just the second player in franchise history with back-to-back 40-homer seasons. In the fifth inning Saturday, with the A’s already ahead 3-0, he crushed a 445-foot homer to straightaway center, high up the green facing love the Holy Toledo sign. He’s just one off his career high of 42 homers set last season.