A’s rookie Jharel Cotton was a late scratch from Monday’s start in Detroit after suffering a strained right groin.
Cotton began his typical pregame throwing routine at Comerica Park. Then cameras caught him grabbing at his leg. Shortly after, he walked off the field and long reliever Raul Alcantara went out to warm up. Alcantara made the start in the opener of a three-game series against the Tigers.
Though there was no indication from the A’s about the severity of the strain, with less than two weeks left in the regular season, it brings up the possibility of Cotton simply being shut down for the season. More detail likely will be given to reporters by manager Bob Melvin after the game.
Cotton is 8-10 with a 5.81 ERA in 23 starts this season.
What a difference a month makes.
On June 15, the A's lost to the Angels to fall to 34-36 on the season, 11 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Fast forward to July 15, and Oakland owns the sixth-best record in all of baseball at 55-42, just three games behind the Mariners.
The A's enter the All-Star break winners of 21 of their last 27 games, and as serious playoff contenders. The question of whether Oakland would be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline has been answered, emphatically. The A's are buyers.
"This group deserves a chance to stay together,” general manager David Forst told Jim Rome on his radio show. “They deserve a chance to play this thing out."
“I prefer to be a buyer and that’s what (we) are preparing to do,” Billy Beane said to The Athletic.
Don't expect the A's to make any huge additions - perhaps they'll add a starting pitcher or possibly another reliever - but simply holding on to veterans like Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, and Blake Treinen is better than most fans expected at the start of the season. The current roster has already proven it doesn't need a ton of help.
“I think we're playing really confident baseball and making a charge here,” said outfielder Stephen Piscotty. “We're right there, so we're excited to keep going.”
“It's starting to get that feeling, that playoff vibe,” added Sunday's winning pitcher Sean Manaea.
So buckle up, A's fans. Your team is right in the middle of a playoff chase. It's time to start believing.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Stephen Piscotty homered for the fifth time in nine games, and the Oakland Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Sunday.
Sean Manaea allowed two runs in six innings for his fourth consecutive win. All-Star second baseman Jed Lowrie walked and scored in his return to the lineup following a scary collision in right field two nights earlier for Oakland. Matt Chapman added two hits.
The surging A's have won nine of 12 and are 21-6 since June 16, the best record in the majors during that stretch.
All-Star shortstop Brandon Crawford had two hits for the Giants, who lost a home series for the first time since dropping two of three at AT&T Park to Arizona from April 8-10.
Piscotty singled in Jed Lowrie in the fourth against starter Andrew Suarez (3-6) then homered off Reyes Moronta in the sixth. It is Piscotty's 12th this season and fifth this month, all of them coming since July 7.
Piscotty's hit in the fourth was the first of three consecutive RBI singles off Suarez. Matt Olson and Matt Chapman also drove in runs while Jonathan Lucroy added a sacrifice fly to put Oakland up 4-1.
Manaea (9-6) gave up five hits, including Chase d'Arnaud's second home run this season in the sixth. Manaea retired seven of the final eight he faced.
Ryan Buchter struck out the side in the seventh. Lou Trivino and All-Star closer Blake Treinen retired three batters apiece to complete the five-hitter.
Suarez allowed four runs in five innings.
Athletics: Lowrie had been nursing a bruised bone and calf bruise in his left leg after colliding with Piscotty in right field. . OF Matt Joyce (lumbar strain) received an epidural shot for his sore back. RHP Daniel Gossett (strained right elbow) began a throwing program.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija was placed on the 10-day disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation. It's Samardzija's third stint on the DL this season. IF Kelby Tomlinson was called up from Triple-A Sacramento and started at second base.
Athletics: Return to the Coliseum to host the San Francisco in a three-game series beginning Friday. It's the first time since 1986 that the A's have played six consecutive games against the same team.
Giants: Head across the Bay to play three games in Oakland. No rotation has been announced for the series.