Athletics

Instant Replay: A's beat Astros on Reddick's walk-off hit in 10th

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Instant Replay: A's beat Astros on Reddick's walk-off hit in 10th

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — After being denied a potential game-winning rally in bizarre fashion, the A’s wound up winning on a crazy play anyway.

Josh Reddick tapped a single through the left side in the bottom of the 10th, and Marcus Semien motored around third and scored ahead of the throw home from Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, giving the A’s a 4-3 walk-off victory over Houston.

Correa fielded the ball in very shallow left field, and it seemed there would be a close play on Semien, but Correa’s throw wasn’t strong enough and off-line, and the A’s won for the fourth time in five games since the All-Star break.

That all played out after a strange sequence in the bottom of the ninth when the A’s tied the game. Coco Crisp’s game-tying double off Will Harris became one of the A’s most bizarre plays of the season. Stephen Vogt came around to score on Crisp’s drive that ricocheted off the right field wall. For reasons unknown, Crisp broke into a trot, rounded second as if he didn’t know the ball was still in play and got tagged out in a rundown. So the A’s knotted the score, but missed out on having the potential winning run on second.

Did Crisp think it was a walk-off homer? Was he not aware of the score? Whatever the case, the score remained 3-3 and wound up going to extras.

Starting pitching report:
The 6 1/3 innings turned in by Dillon Overton were his most in three major league starts. He gave up three runs on nine hits, striking out six without a walk. Overall, a solid outing for the lefty, and he should get another start next time through the rotation as Rich Hill is unlikely to be ready.

Bullpen report:
Daniel Coulombe, Liam Hendriks and Marc Rzepczynski held the Astros off the scoreboard over the final 3 2/3 innings.

At the plate:
The A’s mustered just three hits in the first six innings off Keuchel. They at least succeeded in driving his pitch count up and broke through after the reigning AL Cy Young winner left in the seventh. Billy Butler singled off Keuchel and Jake Smolinski doubled. Then Ken Giles relieved Keuchel and Ryon Healy greeted him with a two-run double to right-center that brought the A’s to within 3-2. The rookie has knocked in six runs through his first five big league games, and he’s shown a nice ability to drive the ball to the opposite field.

The A’s threatened in the second but Semien was thrown out trying to score from second on Healy’s single to left. Astros left fielder Colby Rasmus, among the league leaders in outfield assists, fielded the ball in shallow territory and fired off an accurate throw to the plate that was in plenty of time to get Semien.

In the field:
Overton was aided by a diving catch in left by Khris Davis, who robbed Evan Gattis on his sinking liner.

Attendance:
A crowd of 15,143 was on hand. Before the game, the A’s raised $38,460 through their annual Root Beer Float Day that benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Up next:
This three-game series wraps with Wednesday’s 12:35 p.m. matchup, as Daniel Mengden (1-4, 5.54) squares off against Doug Fister (9-6, 3.64)

A's top prospect ranking: Why Nick Allen comes in at No. 10 overall

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USATSI

A's top prospect ranking: Why Nick Allen comes in at No. 10 overall

Editor's note: Over the next two weeks, we will examine the top 10 prospects in the A's organization. For each player, we will provide a scouting report and a realistic timetable for reaching the major leagues, as well as what he needs to do to stay there.

No. 10 - Nick Allen, SS/2B

The A's selected Allen out of high school in the third round of the 2017 MLB Draft and he is beginning to develop into the shortstop they hoped he would be. At just 5-foot-9, the 21-year-old is far from imposing physically, but he is a defensive wizard.

Allen has tremendous range and a cannon for an arm, with MLB Pipeline assigning him a 65 fielding rating on the 20-80 scale and an arm grade of 60. There has never been any question about his defensive ability, which is already MLB quality. Now he's beginning to show improvement at the plate as well.

Allen struggled in 2018 at Class-A Beloit, slashing just .239/.301/.302 in 121 games. But this past season at High-A Stockton, that slash line shot up to .292/.363/.434, with improved power numbers across the board.

Allen also has above-average speed, with a 60 rating from MLB Pipeline. He stole 37 bases in 193 games over the past two seasons.

Allen can play shortstop and second base, both potential positions of need for the A's in the near future. Marcus Semien is set to become a free agent after the 2020 season and Jurickson Profar is far from a sure thing to return. Youngsters Jorge Mateo, Franklin Barreto, and Sheldon Neuse could also be options at the middle infield positions, but Allen has a great chance to earn a spot down the road.

Realistically, Allen doesn't figure to join the A's until at least 2021, with 2022 seeming more realistic. He just turned 21 earlier this month and has yet to play a single game above High-A.

Allen will likely start the 2020 season at Double-A Midland, with an opportunity to move up to Triple-A Las Vegas, based on his performance. If he continues to progress offensively, he could certainly earn a major league call-up at some point in 2021.

[RELATED: Why A's should move on from Grossman]

Allen has already added some strength, which has been reflected in his increased productivity at the plate. He will need to continue his work in the weight room, without losing his speed, which should be his biggest weapon offensively.

While Allen will never be a power-hitter, he can use his speed to wreak havoc on the basepaths. If he maintains his magical defensive prowess, he has an opportunity to develop into a solid major leaguer for Oakland.

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

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USATSI

A's closer Liam Hendriks a finalist for AL Reliever of the Year award

A's closer Liam Hendriks is one of three finalists for the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

Hendriks is joined by Astros closer Roberto Osuna and Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman. The NL finalists are Josh Hader, Will Smith, and Kirby Yates.

Hendriks, 30, enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, recording a 1.80 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. The right-hander notched 124 strikeouts in 85 innings, an A's franchise record for relievers, compared to just 21 walks.

Hendriks took over closing duties from Blake Treinen in the middle of the season and finished with 25 saves, along with eight holds. His 124 punchouts led AL relief pitchers and his 1.80 ERA ranked second among AL relievers with at least 40 innings.

Osuna posted a 2.63 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, with 73 strikeouts in 65 innings. Chapman finished with a 2.21 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, striking out 85 in 57 innings.

[RELATED: Hendriks' energy a big part of A's success]

The voting will be conducted by a panel of eight all-time great relief pitchers: Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, John Franco, and Billy Wagner. Both the AL and NL awards will be presented on October 26, before Game 4 of the World Series.