Athletics

Matt Chapman scores, Liam Hendriks strikes out side in MLB All-Star Game

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AP

Matt Chapman scores, Liam Hendriks strikes out side in MLB All-Star Game

Liam Hendriks would have had a clean inning if not for Charlie Blackmon.

The A's closer came on in the top of the sixth inning of the 2019 MLB All-Star Game at Progressive Field on Tuesday night and struck out the side. The only problem being, he allowed a home run in between.

Hendriks struck out Chicago's Kris Bryant and Colorado's Trevor Story to start off the inning, but on a 1-0 pitch, Blackmon took Hendriks deep and deposited a solo home run in the right-field bleachers for the National League's first run of the evening.

The long ball didn't seem to throw Hendriks off his game, however, as he followed it up by striking out Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso on four pitches. He then departed the game, with the American League holding a 2-1 lead.

That remained the score until the bottom of the seventh, when Oakland's other All-Star representative came around to score. A's third baseman Matt Chapman replaced Houston's Alex Bregman when Hendriks came on to pitch, and he got his first at-bat in the bottom of the seventh against Milwaukee's Brandon Woodruff, earning a walk after seven pitches.

[RELATED: Chapman loses to Vlad Jr. in first-round of 2019 HR Derby]

Chapman went first-to-third on James McCann's single in the next at-bat, after which Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play, scoring Chapman from third. Following a pitching change, Texas' Joey Votto clobbered a solo home run to provide the decisive run of the night, as the American League held on through the final innings for a 4-3 victory.

A's gain hope as City of Oakland drops lawsuit against Alameda County

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AP

A's gain hope as City of Oakland drops lawsuit against Alameda County

There's still a long way to go, but the A's are one step closer to getting a new stadium built in Oakland.

On Wednesday, the Oakland City Council directed the City Attorney to immediately drop Oakland's lawsuit against Alameda County, paving the way for the sale of the Coliseum.

"We are pleased that the Oakland City Council has directed the City Attorney to immediately drop this lawsuit," A's President Dave Kaval said in a team statement. "We are committed to the long-term success of East Oakland and the Coliseum site. We look forward to finalizing our agreement with Alameda County, and creating a mutually beneficial partnership with the City of Oakland."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred previously had warned Oakland officials in October to drop the lawsuit for fear of losing the team to relocation.

With the lawsuit dropped, the City of Oakland and the A's can move forward on the sale of the Coliseum land, on which the A's intend to develop housing, shops, restaurants and a park that will help fund the Howard Terminal site.

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

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AP

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

The AL powerhouse Houston Astros have long been suspected of stealing signs, but new information came to light Tuesday.

In a feature from The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported that the Astros used a camera in center field during their 2017 World Series run to help steal signs electronically.

Yankees star Aaron Judge summed up the report succinctly.

A's pitcher Mike Fiers was on that Astros team, and earned a World Series ring of his own. Now with Oakland, he not only confirmed the setup of technology but also commented on how it was affecting the game. 

“I don’t know if we really had any hard proof, but I’m sure there was (some evidence of other teams’ conduct),” Fiers told The Athletic. “Going into the playoffs, we had veterans like Brian McCann -- we went straight to multiple signs (with our pitchers). We weren’t going to mess around. We were sure there were teams out there that were trying certain things to get an edge and win ballgames. I wouldn’t say there was hard evidence. But it’s hard to catch teams at home. There are so many things you can use to win at home.”

Fiers then added how there were some players who didn't like it, as they would prefer not to know what was coming. But clearly, there were guys that benefitted as well.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said. 

After the story was released, the Astros released the following statement:

A former player told NBC Sports California on Tuesday most teams participate in stealing signs in some fashion, but the Astros flirt with the line of what is legal and what is not.

"The Astros are super talented," the player said. "But ... they will do whatever they need to do to get an edge."

[RELATED: Daniel Hudson potential trade target for A's]

"In my honest opinion, they got beat by their old bench coach Alex Cora," he continued. "He knew all the Astros secrets, weaknesses, everything. Then, this year it seemed like the Astros only hit well when pitchers were tipping pitches. It happened with [Stephen] Strasburg the first two innings of Game 6. He cleaned it up in between innings and Houston couldn't hit him."

"Teams steal signs, it's been happening for years," the former player added. "Astros take it to another level."

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