Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND -- The A's are going to have to get used to life without Ramón Laureano in the middle of their lineup. It didn't go well Wednesday night.

Oakland managed just two runs on seven hits in a 4-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, snapping a three-game winning streak.

Before the game, Laureano was placed on the 10-day injured list with a stress reaction in his right shin. The talented center fielder expects to miss about four weeks.

"That one stings," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "This guy is probably playing as well as anybody on our team here the last two months. (He's) a true two-way player who gives you phenomenal defense and the way he swung the bat here recently. ... It will be a group effort to try to augment the production that we get out of him, but it's a tough one for us."

Laureano had been on an absolute tear in the month of July. In 23 games, the 25-year-old slashed a ridiculous .392/.443/.838 with eight home runs, nine doubles, and 18 RBI. For the season, he leads the team with a .284 batting average and ranks third with 21 homers and second with 58 RBI.

As Melvin said, it will have to be a group effort for the A's to overcome his production in the middle of the lineup. Fortunately for Oakland, right fielder Stephen Piscotty appears to be nearing a return from his own IL stint and Mark Canha has performed well when given the opportunity.

 

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Chad Pinder and Robbie Grossman figure to split time in left field. After a terrific June, Grossman has come back to earth a bit in July with a .723 OPS. Still, that tandem should be able to hold its own from a production standpoint.

With Wednesday's loss, Oakland fell to 61-48 on the season and half a game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild-card spot. Homer Bailey will get the start Thursday afternoon as the A's try to win the series against Milwaukee.