Athletics

Jed Lowrie thrilled to be an All-Star after 'emotional roller coaster'

Jed Lowrie thrilled to be an All-Star after 'emotional roller coaster'

After 11 years (and a couple of extra days), Jed Lowrie is finally an All-Star.

The A's second baseman was officially named to the American League roster Tuesday as an injury replacement for Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres.

"It's very exciting," Lowrie said. "Let's just say the last few days have been an emotional roller coaster. I think I was a little surprised that I didn't get it at first, and then just happy to be a part of it now."

"I think it's great," A's manager Bob Melvin added. "That was a very rewarding phone call I got to make today because we all know he should have been on the team."

It probably shouldn't have even come to this. Lowrie leads all qualified American League second basemen with 16 home runs, 62 RBI, 42 extra base hits, and a .504 slugging percentage. He ranks second with 25 doubles and 3.4 WAR, and third with a .288 batting average, .358 on-base percentage, and 100 hits.

"I put a lot of time and effort into my craft," Lowrie said. "I've said this a lot - getting the chance to go to an All-Star Game would kind of be the icing on the cake, and it looks like I get to eat some icing on my cake."

Added Melvin: "He's playing his best baseball. Last year was probably his best year, and this year is even better. It's a credit to him, the condition that he keeps himself in. He's certainly a smart guy, has a great understanding each and every year how to get better, what his strengths and weaknesses are, and how he's going to be pitched It's fun to watch and it's a great resource for our younger guys too."

Lowrie will become the first A's middle infielder to play in an All-Star Game since Miguel Tejada in 2002. At the age of 34, he truly cherishes the opportunity.

"I showed some perseverance and worked hard to get to this point," Lowrie said. "I think any All-Star Game would have a lot of meeting, but I think for the first time as a 34-year-old, it's pretty special.

"I'm going to have my daughter and son there. Those are moments that I'll never forget."

A's hope Khris Davis extension marks beginning of new era in Oakland

A's hope Khris Davis extension marks beginning of new era in Oakland

OAKLAND -- For far too long, A's fans have grown accustomed to watching their favorite players end up in opposing uniforms.

They've endured taunts from rival fans, even when their young stars display their incredible talent. "Who cares? He'll be on the Yankees soon."

Perhaps Friday marked the beginning of a new era in Oakland. The A's held a press conference to announce a two-year contract extension for Khris Davis, one of baseball's elite power hitters and the face of the franchise.

"This is an incredibly exciting day for the Oakland A's and the city of Oakland," general manager David Forst proclaimed. "I think we all know how important (Khris) is to this team in the clubhouse. It was something that was a huge reason why we wanted to make sure he stayed here."

The A's pulled out all the stops. Darn near the entire organization showed up for the celebration, from Davis' family and friends to players and coaches, to front office members and sales staff.

"It feels amazing. It's incredible," Davis said, before joking, "(My teammates) are going to make fun of me all day."

This was truly a rare occasion for an A's franchise that has been hesitant to hand out multi-year contracts over the years. Forst admitted as much.

"I haven't done a lot of these," he told reporters after the press conference. "It's not a secret that a lot of players have left. You have to go back to Eric Chávez basically for players we've been able to keep into free agency. This is special. I think we picked a special guy to do it with."

The question now is whether this is simply an aberration or a sign of a new mentality in Oakland, where the team commits to building a World Series contender and keeping that squad together. Forst hopes it's the latter.

"All the work that's going into staying in the city of Oakland, (getting) a new ballpark, from my end and from Billy's (Beane) end, the reason to do that is to keep our team together," he said. "It's what we've never been able to do. ... This is an important first step, hopefully to what will be a number of other players staying in Oakland."

[RELATED: Braden calls Khrush extension 'massive']

Either way, the Davis contract extension was a no-brainer. The 31-year-old has hit 143 home runs since the start of 2016, 19 more than any other player in Major League Baseball. But most importantly, he loves Oakland and wants to be an A.

"There's a lot about the city," Davis said. "Good food. I just love coming to the ballpark. ... Just the players I get to play with. ... There's just a drive that I want to be a part of. I think we can get to the playoffs again and again. No doubt in my mind."
 

A's vs. Blue Jays lineups: Mark Canha, Chad Pinder out vs. Toronto

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USATSI

A's vs. Blue Jays lineups: Mark Canha, Chad Pinder out vs. Toronto

The A's climbed back over the .500 mark on Wednesday, and now they'll try to start a winning streak Friday as the Blue Jays come to town.

Aaron Brooks will take the ball for Oakland (11-10), while Marcus Stroman will go for Toronto (8-12).

Khris Davis will play in his first game since signing a two-year contract extension with the A's.

Coverage of A's-Blue Jays begins at 6:30 p.m. PT with A's Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming on the MyTeams app.

Here are the lineups for the two teams:

Toronto Blue Jays:

1. Eric Sogard (L) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Randal Grichuk (R) DH
4. Justin Smoak (S) 1B
5. Teoscar Hernandez (R) LF
6. Billy McKinney (L) RF
7. Brandon Drury (R) 3B
8. Socrates Brito (L) CF
9. Danny Jansen (R) C

[RELATED: Braden reacts to Davis extension]

Oakland A's:

1. Robbie Grossman (S) LF
2. Marcus Semien (R) SS
3. Matt Chapman (R) 3B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Kendrys Morales (S) 1B
6. Stephen Piscotty (R) RF
7. Jurickson Profar (S) 2B
8. Ramon Laureano (R) CF
9. Josh Phegley (R) C