Athletics

Dee Gordon's unlikely homer in extra innings ends A's four-game win streak

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AP

Dee Gordon's unlikely homer in extra innings ends A's four-game win streak

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OAKLAND — Dee Gordon -- yes, Dee Gordon -- belted a 2-run home run off Yusmeiro Petit to break a scoreless tie in the 12th inning, as the Mariners snapped the A's four-game winning streak, 2-0. It was just Gordon's second home run of the season, and the 13th of his eight-year career.

The A's bats went quiet, mustering just six hits in 12 innings. Oakland fell to 72-49 on the season, 1 1/2 games behind first-place Houston, pending the result of Wednesday night's Astros-Rockies game. The A's still lead Seattle by 2 1/2 games for the second AL wild card spot.

James Pazos earned the win and improved to 3-1. Petit took the loss and fell to 5-3. Edwin Diaz picked up his MLB-leading 47th save.

Here's what else you need to know from Wednesday's loss ...

--- Brett Anderson tossed a masterful 7 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits and no walks, while striking out two. He recorded 16 ground ball outs and threw first pitch strikes to 21 of the 27 batters he faced. In his last three starts, Anderson has given up just two runs in 19 2/3 innings, for an ERA of 0.92. His season ERA is down to 3.90.

--- Mariners starter Mike Leake matched Anderson zero for zero. Leake pitched eight shutout innings, surrendering just two hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 3.90 for the season.

--- Matt Chapman extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the sixth inning. He is batting .340 (18-for-53) during the streak and has raised his season average to .279. Chapman has reached base safely in 29 straight games, the longest active streak in the American League.

--- Nick Martini had another impressive game in the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5. The 28-year-old rookie leads the Athletics with a .302 batting average and .416 on-base percentage.

Kyler Murray recreates iconic Bo Jackson photo, and A's properly react

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Kyler Murray / Twitter

Kyler Murray recreates iconic Bo Jackson photo, and A's properly react

Imagine being compared to Bo Jackson.

Yes -- the Bo Jackson.

The legend who dominated in both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. He was selected by the Royals in the 1986 MLB Draft and in the same year was the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. No big deal.

Bo played for the Royals, White Sox and Angels across eight seasons, earning All-Star honors in 1989, and he even was in MVP talks. In the NFL, he spent four seasons on the Raiders and even led the league three different times in longest rushing attempts.

How can you mimic that? Well, you can't, but you can pose like Bo. Just ask Kyler Murray.

He was the ninth overall pick by the A’s in this year’s MLB Draft and now is the starting quarterback at Oklahoma after backing up Baker Mayfield last year. So, the correlation is rather similar, but check out the young dual athlete pose like the legendary Jackson to mirror an iconic photo:

It's like looking at a reflection, right?

The A's had some fun with it, too, bringing recently crowned AL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin into the conversation about their young prospect.

Because, after all, BoMel knows ...

Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?

Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?

No free agent made himself more money this postseason than right-hander Nathan Eovaldi.

The 28-year-old had a respectable regular season, going 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP between the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox. His career numbers also are just decent: 44-53, 4.16 ERA, 1.35 WHIP.

But in 22 1/3 innings this postseason, Eovaldi allowed just four earned runs for an ERA of 1.61, helping the Red Sox win a World Series title.

Eovaldi's playoff heroics turned him into one of the hottest commodities of the offseason. He earned just $2 million in each of the last two seasons, but he's now projected to land a multiyear contract at around $15 million per season.

The A's obviously need starting pitching help -- executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane already has said as much. But spending big bucks on a sexy free agent target isn't exactly their MO.

Eovaldi would have been a shrewd signing for around $8 million per year, but $15 million is a pretty steep price to pay off one great month. Before this season, Eovaldi hadn't recorded an ERA under 4 since 2013. His high WHIP and low swing-and-miss rate also are concerns.

For the type of money Eovaldi is expected to get, the A's would be better off pursuing top-end starters such as Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel, both of whom are expected to earn around $20 million per year. And really, what's an extra $5 million at that point?

Otherwise, Oakland probably should use that $15 million to sign multiple pitchers, including their own free agents.

Editor's note: This week across the NBC Sports Regional Networks, we'll be taking an in-depth look at some of the top free agents in baseball. Thursday is dedicated to free agent pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.

Will Phillies be in the mix for Nate Eovaldi?
How Eovaldi set himself up for big payday
How does Eovaldi fit the White Sox?
Will Giants take risk with Eovaldi?