Athletics

A's lineup: Healy moves into three spot, LaMarre gets first start

A's lineup: Healy moves into three spot, LaMarre gets first start

Bob Melvin has issued his lineup as the A's try to snap a five-game losing streak in Game 2 of a series against the Astros.

Oakland A's (10-13)

1. Jaff Decker (L) RF
2. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
3. Ryon Healy (R) DH
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Chad Pinder (R) SS
9. Ryan LaMarre (R) CF
Andrew Triggs -- RHP 


Houston Astros (15-8)

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. Josh Reddick (L) RF
3. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
4. Carlos Correa (R) SS
5. Carlos Beltran (S) LF
6. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
7. Brian McCann (L) C
8. Evan Gattis (R) DH
9. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
Joe Musgrove -- RHP

A's manager Bob Melvin says slugger Khris Davis deserves MVP talk

A's manager Bob Melvin says slugger Khris Davis deserves MVP talk

OAKLAND — A small crowd watched the Oakland A's shut out the Texas Rangers Tuesday night, but the chant came through loud and clear.

“MVP! MVP! MVP!”

Khris Davis is proving every day that he belongs in that discussion. The A's slugger crushed his 38th home run of the season Tuesday, a two-run opposite field shot, to tie Boston's J.D. Martinez for the MLB lead. Davis drove in three runs on the night, giving him 102 RBI for the season, just four behind Martinez for the league lead.

“Pretty special,” Davis said of the “MVP” chant. “[I'm] just appreciative.”

Davis continued to dominate the Rangers, and upped his season batting average against them to .311. But it's not just Texas he's owned lately, as the 30-year-old has mashed against almost everyone else, too. 

Since July 1, Davis is slashing .317/.370/.720 with 18 home runs and 47 RBI. Only Matt Carpenter has more homers (19), and nobody has more RBI. 

“Why wouldn't you [chant]?” Bob Melvin asked reporters postgame. “I've been hearing some talk on some of these national broadcasts about MVP, and his name is not even brought up. I mean, how can you not? It's ridiculous that he's not part of that conversation.”

On Tuesday, Davis became just the fifth Oakland A's player to record 100 or more RBI in three straight seasons, and the first since Miguel Tejada and Erich Chavez. He's also within two home runs of his third consecutive 40-homer season.

“He's a joke,” said Brett Anderson, who tossed seven shutout innings Tuesday night to earn the win. “He hits balls that left-handed pull hitters don't hit to right field. The ball comes off his bat different than pretty much everybody I've ever seen. He should definitely be in the [MVP] equation.”

Shortstop Marcus Semien added: “It's impressive, considering this ballpark has been one of the least offensive parks in the league. It doesn't matter with him. He can hit the ball out to all fields, even on cold nights like this.”

Since 2016, Davis leads all of baseball with 123 home runs. Yet he is constantly overlooked when it comes to awards and national recognition. That doesn't bother Davis, who continues to quietly go about his business, allowing his bat do the talking.

“I'm just trying to do my job,” he said. “I've just got to continue working hard and help this team win ballgames. That's probably my main focus, just getting to the playoffs.”

For the second consecutive season, Davis is on pace to improve upon his output from the prior year. He needs six more homers to surpass his total from last season (43), and only nine more RBI. The A's have 36 games left in the campaign.

“Every year he's gotten better with us,” Melvin added. “Just as impressive is the deep count at-bat with the RBI single to center field. That club really wasn't in his bag for awhile, and now he has that too, where he's knocking in big runs without the homer, so he just continues to get better.”

Khris Davis powers A's to second straight shutout against Rangers

Khris Davis powers A's to second straight shutout against Rangers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — Following his seventh inning home run, Khris Davis was showered with chants of “MVP” by the Coliseum crowd. They have a pretty good case.

The A's slugger belted his 38th home run of the season, tied for the most in MLB, as Oakland shut out the Texas Rangers for the second straight night, 6-0. Davis went 2-for-4, driving in three runs to go over the 100 RBI mark for the third straight season. His 102 RBI this year are second most in MLB.

Davis continued to dominate against Rangers pitching. He has now hit 27 home runs in 52 career games against Texas, including nine this season.

With the win, the A's improved to 76-50, and kept pace with the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West. Houston beat the Mariners in Seattle, 3-2. 

Here's what else you need to know...

--- Brett Anderson continued a brilliant August, pitching seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit, and striking out six. In four starts this month, the A's left-hander has allowed just two earned runs in 26 2/3 innings, for an ERA of 0.68. Anderson also extended his scoreless innings streak to 16. For the season, he is 3-3 with a 3.47 ERA.

--- Jed Lowrie had a productive night. He reached base all four times, singling twice and walking twice. He also notched his 77th RBI of the season in the first inning, driving in Nick Martini on a base hit to center. Lowrie has recorded multiple hits in five of his last nine games, raising his batting average to .272.

--- Nick Martini just keeps getting on base. The rookie outfielder went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, and now has a .409 on-base percentage for the season. Martini has turned into a terrific leadoff option when the A's face right-handed pitching.

--- Fellow rookie outfielder Ramon Laureano also stayed hot, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, upping his batting average to .314. He also stole his second base of the season. Laureano has made an instant impact with his bat, glove, and legs.