Athletics

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Athletics

If you thought a 4-3 loss to Seattle would stop the A's from enjoying their second straight playoff berth, think again.

Oakland put Friday night's disappointment behind them in a hurry and celebrated another terrific season that will again carry into October.

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"We would like to have done it on the winning end of that thing," A's manager Bob Melvin told NBC Sports California. "It takes a little bit to let it digest. But at the end of the day, we've got 96 wins. We followed up what we did last year and that is this team setting themselves up, not only last year, following it up this year, and for the future. I think there are a lot of bright things to look forward to. So we'll celebrate this, but these guys will come back tomorrow looking to secure home (field advantage)."

Added Friday's starting pitcher Mike Fiers: "This is what it's all about. Helping your team get to a postseason -- anything can happen once you get in the postseason, especially with these guys. We play all-around good baseball. We have our chance. It's all about going out there and showing it."

After starting the season 19-25, Oakland caught fire and went 77-39, reaching 96 wins with two games remaining. That follows last season when the A's went 97-65 after a 34-46 start.

"The feeling that's going through me right now is unbelievable," said starting pitcher Sean Manaea. "I can't even describe it."

 

Added outfielder Robbie Grossman: "When you play with this special of a group of guys for the last seven months, you grind it out every single day and you have hopes and dreams of doing this at the end of the year. It doesn't get better than this."

The A's will play the Tampa Bay Rays in Wednesday's Wild Card Game -- we just don't know which team will host yet. Each squad is 96-64, but Oakland owns the tiebreaker, having won four of the seven regular-season meetings. That means the A's can clinch home-field advantage with two wins over the weekend.

"It's something that we all dream of," said outfielder Ramon Laureano. "I'm looking forward to this challenge. I've been preparing for it, so let's go."

Added pitcher Jesus Luzardo: "It feels amazing. I'm just happy to be here. It's a great group of guys. Hopefully, we keep going and make a long run."

Of course, last season ended in the Wild Card Game with a 7-2 loss to the Yankees. This year's A's believe they have what it takes to play deeper into October.

"We are in in a position to make a run at this thing," said third baseman Matt Chapman. "That's all you can ask for."