Athletics

Manaea pitches into the eighth, Lowrie drives in four as A's hold off Mariners

Manaea pitches into the eighth, Lowrie drives in four as A's hold off Mariners

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- With a 7-6 win over the Mariners Monday evening at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Athletics extended their lead in the wild-card race to 2.5 games over Seattle and moved to within just two games of the idle Houston Astros for the best record in the West. 

Jed Lowrie fueled the A’s offense, driving in the game’s first three runs and then added his fourth RBI of the game in the sixth with a double down the line. 

Matt Chapman put on a show with his glove, including a run saving diving stop in the hole in the fourth inning. He tied a team record for the second time this season with three doubles and also scored three runs batting in front of Lowrie in the two spot. 

Sean Manaea shut the Mariners down for much of the night, yielding just two run on five hits over 7.2 innings of work. With the win, Manaea improved to 11-8 on the season for Oakland and has now allowed three runs or fewer in 13 consecutive starts. 

The Athletics tagged Mariners starter, Marco Gonzales, for eight hits and four runs over five innings. Oakland jumped all over Casey Lawrence in the sixth, scoring three times in the frame and appeared to put the game out reach.  

Kyle Seager drove in the first run for Seattle with a single in the fourth that scored Mitch Haniger. The Mariners scored two runs in the eighth and then added three more in the ninth to cut the A’s lead to one. 

With Haniger at first, Blake Treinen struck out Cameron Maybin for the second out of the ninth. Jean Segura picked up an infield single to put the tying run at second, but the A’s closer sealed the deal by striking out Nelson Cruz to pick up his 31st save of the season. 

Oakland improved to a season-best 23 games over .500 with the victory and sit at 71-48 on the year. They have now won three straight and they are 37-12 over their last 49 games. 

Baby Steps
During his pregame meeting with the media, Bob Melvin updated the status of three of the A’s many injured pitchers sitting on the disabled list. Paul Blackburn, Andrew Triggs and Jharel Cotton have started throwing programs.

There is an outside chance that both Blackburn and Triggs can make it back to Oakland before the season ends. 

“We hold out hope for that,” Melvin said. “With September and extended rosters, I think there is the potential for that.”

Cotton underwent Tommy John surgery in March and is out for the season. Beginning a throwing program is a big step for the 26-year-old pitcher. 

“I think everything is on schedule, but I think for him it’s a big day because it’s a lot of hard work coming off of Tommy John, that’s a lot tough thing to rehab from,” Melvin said. “It can be a lonely existence when you’re doing that.”

What’s Next
Mike Fiers takes the bump for his second start as a member of the A’s staff Tuesday evening at 7:05. He lasted 5.1 innings in his first game for Oakland, giving up four hits and a run while striking out eight in the Athletics 3-2 win over Anaheim on last Wednesday. Fiers will faceoff against left hander veteran, James Paxton, who is 10-5 with 3.63 era for the Mariners this season.

Orioles vs. A's lineups: Stephen Piscotty starting after melanoma scare

Orioles vs. A's lineups: Stephen Piscotty starting after melanoma scare

On Friday, A's right fielder Stephen Piscotty had surgery to remove a melanoma from his right ear. Three days later, he's back in the starting lineup as Oakland opens a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at the Coliseum Monday night.

The A's lost two of the three games Piscotty missed, so his return will be a welcome sight for the club.

[RELATED: Piscotty addresses melanoma surgery]

With Piscotty back in the lineup, Mark Canha is on the bench.

Mike Fiers will get the start for the A's. In his last start against Tampa Bay, the veteran right-hander allowed three hits and two earned runs over six innings.

Baltimore Orioles (21-50):
1. Jonathan Villar (S) SS
2. Anthony Santander (S) LF
3. Trey Mancini (R) RF
4. Chance Sisco (L) C
5. Pedro Severino (R) DH
6. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
7. Hanser Alberto (R) 2B
8. Chris Davis (L) 1B
9. Stevie Wilkerson (S) CF

RHP -- Andrew Cashner (6-2, 4.73 ERA)

Oakland A's (36-36):
1. Marcus Semien (R) SS
2. Matt Chapman (R) 3B
3. Matt Olson (L) 1B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Ramon Laureano (R) CF
6. Robbie Grossman (S) LF
7. Stephen Piscotty (R) RF
8. Jurickson Profar (S) 2B
9. Josh Phegley (R) C

RHP -- Mike Fiers (6-3, 4.63 ERA)

A's reliever Liam Hendriks stands up against cyberbullying on social media

A's reliever Liam Hendriks stands up against cyberbullying on social media

OAKLAND -- A few weeks ago, after a rare poor outing, A's reliever Liam Hendriks did something he hardly ever does. He went on social media and checked his mentions.
 
As he expected, the comments weren't pretty -- everything from generic insults and taunts to wishes for injury, ill will toward his family, and even death threats. Hendriks chose to share a couple of these messages on his Instagram story in order to make a point.
 
"I stayed off social media for years," he said. "This is the first year I've had social media. That was by choice and for a reason because of the cyberbullying that goes on. It's something that affects everybody, not just kids at school."
 
That's something Hendriks wants to make clear, especially for the many children who are victims of bullying.
 
"I want them to know that they're not alone, that this doesn't just happen to them," he explained. "No matter who you are, you're going to get those people who are out there just to hate. ... It's an issue that affects everybody, especially with how much kids are on social media these days."
 
This year, Hendriks and his wife Kristi decided to fight back against cyberbullying, an issue that has affected both of them personally. Kristi runs an online clothing store and has faced harassment, particularly when people find out who she is.
 
"We've wanted to do something," Hendriks said. "We've always spoken out against cyberbullying, but I think this year was one where we really decided to focus on it. It's something that has affected both my wife and me, and we decided to take a stand against it and do what we can to try to prevent the cause."
 
Hendriks has teamed up with Major League Baseball's Shred Hate campaign, which seeks to "eliminate bullying by encouraging kids to choose kindness." ESPN and X Games are also involved with Shred Hate.
 
"MLB's mission with Shred Hate is huge because it shows kids that all of these athletes are behind you," Hendriks said. "They get the same thing. It doesn't matter what someone says online. It just matters who you are."
 
Last year, Kristi and Liam Hendriks participated in Canada's Pink Shirt Day, which aimed to get Canadians to stand up against bullying. Hendriks even got several of his A's teammates to join him.
 
Hendriks says he and his wife would like to be even more active in the community moving forward. They hope to speak at schools about cyberbullying.
 
"That's definitely our plan, to try to speak to groups and just go over the fact that they're not alone. If they need an ear, just shoot me a message."