How three clutch hits turned tide in A's bounce-back win vs. Twins

How three clutch hits turned tide in A's bounce-back win vs. Twins

Entering Friday's game in Minnesota, the A's were only batting .243 with two outs and runners in scoring position. They were tied for 16th in MLB, but that position and their average will go up following Oakland's 3-for-7 performance in such situations during their 5-3 win over the Twins.

Matt Olson, Khris Davis, and Chad Pinder all came through with clutch RBI singles, two of them with two outs, to help the A's rally back and even the series at a game apiece.

Olson came to the plate in the top of the fifth with two outs and the tying run on second base. The A's first baseman took three straight fastballs, two for balls and one for a strike, to inch ahead in the count 2-1.

Twins starter Jake Odorizzi then executed a well-placed splitter low and away, but Olson was able to reach out and stroke it into center field for a base hit to score Marcus Semien and tie the game at three.

The single extended Olson's career-high hitting streak to 14 games and revealed his tremendous growth as an all-around hitter. The 26-year-old can obviously still hit for plenty of power, as his 20 home runs in just 238 at-bats would suggest, but he also knows how and when to put the ball in play for a base hit.

The next inning, with the game still tied at three, Ramón Laureano led off with a double. That brought up Davis, whose recent struggles have been well-documented. However, the A's slugger displayed a terrific piece of hitting, waiting back on a 2-1 curveball and ripping it into left field for his second RBI single of the night to give the A's a 4-3 lead. 

Davis still hasn't homered in more than a month, but he put together three solid at-bats on Friday. In addition two his two RBI singles, he torched a ball at 107 mph in the fourth inning for a lineout to center. Davis appears to at least be making small strides at the plate.

Later in the sixth inning, with two outs and a runner on second, Pinder came to the plate with a chance to provide some insurance. He would fall behind in the count 1-2 before sitting back on a curveball and blistering it into left field for an RBI base hit to make it 5-3.

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The A's finished the night 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position, good for a .364 average. When Oakland can manufacture runs with situational hitting on top of launching home runs (which Marcus Semien did on the third pitch of the night), it's a potent combination.

With the win, the A's improved to 56-42 on the season, a full game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild-card spot. Oakland hasn't lost consecutive games since June 8.

Watch A's Prize Patrol surprise lucky fan Jason Maddy with $5,000

Watch A's Prize Patrol surprise lucky fan Jason Maddy with $5,000

For Jason Maddy, it literally paid off to watch Wednesday's A's broadcast on NBC Sports California.

Maddy is the second winner of the A's Prize Patrol contest and won $5,000, which was presented to him on Thursday evening.

Additionally, the A's will match the $5,000 prize and donate it to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area.

So what did Maddy have to do in order to win the $5,000 grand prize? On Wednesday, he tuned in to A's-Yankees game, and when a secret code was revealed, he went to  and filled out the form.

Five random finalists were selected on Thursday, and each was asked to write 50 words on what makes them such big A's fans.

“We’re a family of true Oakland A’s fans. I’ve started teaching my 4-year old to bat and he insists he’ll play for the A’s someday. And, I kid you not, my wife and I even watched the A’s games from our hospital delivery room for both of our children!”

A's In-Stadium host Kara Tsuboi, mascot Stomper, A's Prize Patrol and NBC Sports California surprised Maddy at his home on Thursday night.

If you want the chance to follow in Maddy's footsteps and win $5,000 for yourself and a charity, you have two more chances this season.

Watch these two upcoming game broadcasts for the secret code:

Sept. 3 vs. Los Angeles Angels
Sept. 6 vs. Detroit Tigers

Once the secret code is revealed, you can enter the contest here.

The A's Prize Patrol was created as a way for the team and NBC Sports California to reward fans for tuning in to A's broadcasts. Watch the A’s to win and support your community.

Yankees vs. A's lineups: Tanner Roark looks to lead Oakland to sweep


Yankees vs. A's lineups: Tanner Roark looks to lead Oakland to sweep

The A's look to sweep the AL-best Yankees and have Tanner Roark on the hill to help them do it.

Oakland wants to continue its success against the team that cut last season short in the AL Wild Card Game, as the A's staff has done a good job containing Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and the mighty Yankees sluggers thus far. 

Masahiro Tanaka gets the ball for the Yankees and is riding a strong last couple of starts against the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians. He's taken the loss in just one of his last 12 starts. 

Khris Davis will be batting seventh in the lineup as he hopes to build off his slump-busting home run last night.

Here are how the lineups look to shape up as the A's play host the Yankees in the series finale. You can follow the action on NBC Sports California or by downloading and streaming on the MyTeams app

New York Yankees (83-45)

DJ LeMahieu, 3B
Aaron Judge, RF
Didi Gregorius, SS
Gio Urshela, DH
Gary Sanchez, C
Brett Gardner, CF
Gleyber Torres, 2B
Mike Tauchman, LF
Mike Ford, 1B
Masahiro Tanaka, P (9-6, 4.56 ERA)

Oakland A's (73-53)

Marcus Semien, SS
Robbie Grossman, LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, CF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Khris Davis, DH
Corban Joseph, 2B
Josh Phegley, C
Tanner Roark, P (7-8, 4.01 ERA)