Athletics

Khris Davis still feeling effects of hip injury, leaves game vs. Indians

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Khris Davis still feeling effects of hip injury, leaves game vs. Indians

After missing Monday's game with lingering hip discomfort, Khris Davis only lasted one at-bat on Tuesday.

The A's designated hitter noticeably grimaced on a foul ball in the second inning and then grounded out weakly to shortstop on a tentative swing.

Davis suffered a left hip contusion more than two weeks ago in Pittsburgh when he collided with the left field side wall while making a catch.

Davis has been in and out of the lineup since suffering the injury. Both he and A's manager Bob Melvin have said they don't expect him to need a stint on the 10-day injured list, but clearly, he isn't right at the plate.

[RELATED: Profar finally finding his rhythm]

With a day off Thursday, Davis seems unlikely to play in Wednesday's series finale, and it remains to be seen if he'll be back on Friday when Oakland opens a nine-game homestand.

There was a silver lining for the A's in Tuesday's game, as Mark Canha hit a pinch-hit two-run home run in Davis' place in the third inning.
 

Daniel Mengden proves more effective as starter than follower in A's win

Daniel Mengden proves more effective as starter than follower in A's win

Daniel Mengden never would come right out and say it, but he's clearly much more comfortable starting a game than following an opener.

After two subpar outings as a follower, the right-hander was spectacular Wednesday night in a start, leading the A's to a 2-0 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis.

"It was all about executing," Mengden told NBC Sports California. "Me and Beau [Taylor] had a great game plan going in. The cutter ended up being really good tonight. We utilized that a lot tonight against a lot of the righties and even backdoor to the lefties. But overall, just getting ahead, staying ahead, and going from there."

Mengden tossed six shutout innings, allowing just four hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He threw 64 of his 93 pitches for strikes, including first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 23 batters he faced.

  

"It was terrific," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters. "We've been talking to him about this for a while. [When] he finds a rhythm in his timing, stick with it.

“He was quick to the plate every time there was somebody on base. He had the same delivery, the same times, and he was throwing the ball where he wanted to throw it. He was getting ahead, he was throwing strikes. ... Hopefully, he takes that into the next start because that was an impressive start, as we've seen him do in the past."

Mengden's last two outings with Oakland came in follower roles, and they did not go well. The 26-year-old allowed seven total earned runs on 10 hits and four walks in just 6 2/3 innings, both A's losses.

On Wednesday, Mengden didn't have to worry about an opener, and he looked like a completely different pitcher.

"Routine," he stressed. "It's just something us starters do every time we go out there. We have our routine. I'm very routine-oriented.

“It's just a great feeling ... having kind of a rhythm going into the game rather than having to time it and have to kind of wiggle your way into getting loose [after] an opener."

Mengden has shown this capability in the past, throwing complete-game shutouts in each of the last two seasons. For him, the issue always has been consistency.

"I thought he did a really good job with his pace," A's catcher Beau Taylor told reporters. "I kind of feel like sometimes he lulls a little bit. That was one of the biggest points we were trying to get before the game."

After multiple stints in Triple-A this year, Mengden knew he had to make a good impression Wednesday. With Frankie Montas serving an 80-game PED suspension, Mengden has a golden opportunity to earn a full-time spot in the A's rotation for the rest of the season.

"I've been called up and down so many times, so I knew the time was going to come eventually to come back," he said. "I was always ready and hungry for the opportunity."

A's vs. Cardinals lineups: Khris Davis in left field, Mark Canha to center

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A's vs. Cardinals lineups: Khris Davis in left field, Mark Canha to center

Khris Davis returns to the lineup in the cleanup spot as the A's take aim at a two-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Davis, normally Oakland's designated hitter, will start in left field for the first time since May 5 at Pittsburgh. He suffered a left hip/oblique injury in that game when he collided with the left field side wall while making a catch in foul territory.

Davis still had an impact in Tuesday night's win, despite not starting. He came through with a pinch-hit two-run double in the fifth inning, helping the A's to a 7-3 victory.

Meanwhile, Mark Canha will give Ramón Laureano a night off in center field. Canha is slashing .227/.365/.508 with 10 home runs in 128 at-bats this season. He will bat fifth.

Beau Taylor will get the start at catcher and hit eighth, giving Josh Phegley a game off. Since being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this month, Taylor is 3-for-13 with a home run and three walks.

Right-hander Daniel Mengden will be on the mound for Oakland. The 26-year-old right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier Wednesday to take Frankie Montas' spot in the rotation, following Montas' PED suspension. In five major league outings this year, Mengden is 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA.

The Cardinals will counter with veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright. The 37-year-old is 5-6 with a 4.50 ERA in 14 starts.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Cardinals game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 4:15.

Oakland A's (42-38)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Khris Davis, LF
Mark Canha, CF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Beau Taylor, C
Daniel Mengden, RHP (1-1, 5.09 ERA)

St. Louis Cardinals (40-38)
Tommy Edman, 3B
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Paul DeJong, SS
Marcell Ozuna, LF
José Martínez, RF
Yadier Molina, C
Dexter Fowler, CF
Kolten Wong, 2B
Adam Wainwright, RHP (5-6, 4.50 ERA)