Athletics

Mixed results for A's prospects in Fall Stars Game

Mixed results for A's prospects in Fall Stars Game

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Franklin Barreto stepped into the batter's box Saturday night to start off the 11th annual Fall Stars Game against Rays prospect Brent Honeywell. Three pitches later, Barreto walked back to the dugout. 

Honeywell spotted two perfect fastballs -- one on the inside corner and the next on the outside -- before snapping off a big 12-6 curveball, forcing Barreto to chase a ball in the dirt and whiff to start the game. Barreto's day didn't get much better in his East squad's 12-3 loss to the West. 

In his second and last at-bat of the day, Barreto grounded out to third base, finishing hitless in the game. At shortstop Barreto looked smooth with a quick throwing release, but his attempt of a highlight play wound up as an error and the West's fifth run of the game. 

Looking to spin and hurl a perfect throw across his body on a ball up the middle, Barreto's toss to first base was low and out of reach as it took a bounce into the stands, handing the West a 5-0 lead in the third inning. 

[RELATED: Arizona Fall League roundup: A's arms dominating their competition]

Reliever Sam Bragg entered in the bottom of the fifth for the East and the A's pitching prospect earned all three of his outs in his one inning pitched by virtue of strikeouts. But, that doesn't paint the whole picture for Bragg. 

Bragg also allowed two earned runs off two hits, including a home run off the bat of Willie Calhoun, who went on to win MVP of the game.

For comparison's sake, Bragg has only allowed one earned run in six appearances for the Mesa Solar Sox before Saturday's Fall Stars Game.

A's notes: Oakland earns MLB-leading 11th win when trailing after seven

A's notes: Oakland earns MLB-leading 11th win when trailing after seven

OAKLAND — If it seems like the A's come back to win a lot of games, it's because they do.

Friday's victory over the Astros marked Oakland's 11th win of the season when trailing after seven innings, the most in all of Major League Baseball. On the flip side, the A's are a perfect 50-0 when leading after seven.

Oakland also leads MLB with a 26-10 record in one-run games; the Astros fell to 16-22 in such games.

--- The A's improved to 11-5 in extra inning games. The 11 extra-inning wins are tied with the Seattle Mariners for the most in the bigs.

--- Friday marked Oakland's first home win against Houston this season. The A's are now 1-6 against the Astros at the Coliseum and 5-9 overall.

--- The A's have won 18 of their last 22 games at home and are 36-24 at the Coliseum for the season.

--- Oakland snapped a 21-run scoreless streak after scoring two runs in the fifth inning.

--- Matt Olson hit the first walk-off home run of his MLB career. It was his second career walk-off hit.

--- Jed Lowrie has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games, the first time he has done that since April. He is 9 for his last 21, with two home runs and four doubles.

--- Fernando Rodney has yet to allow an earned run in five appearances with Oakland. Overall, he has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 innings.

--- Khris Davis and Jonathan Lucroy are both 0 for their last 13. Lucroy went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Friday night. Davis was 0-for-4, but did draw a walk.

--- Lucroy threw out his 23rd attempted base stealer of the season to lead Major League Baseball.

Matt Olson keeps A's magic alive with first career walk-off homer

Matt Olson keeps A's magic alive with first career walk-off homer

OAKLAND — Matt Olson doesn't remember a whole lot from his trip around the bases following his first career walk-off home run.

“I blacked out,” he laughed. “I remember chucking my helmet, and just yelling and jumping around with all the guys.”

That type of scene seems to be a nightly occurrence for these Oakland Athletics, now 39-13 in their last 52 games. From record comebacks to late inning histrionics, the A's have become arguably the biggest story in all of baseball.

“We play our best baseball late in games,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Even if we're down, we feel like we have a chance.”

Added Olson: “We've known that we're a very good team all along. We knew going into the year we were going to have a chance to make a run, so we're glad to finally get a little recognition for it. When we go out and win games like this, people will notice a little bit.”

People have certainly noticed, and not just a little bit. The A's have all but erased a 12-game deficit in the last two months, pulling within a single game of the defending World Series champions for first place in the AL West.

Even more incredible than that 39-13 record since mid-June is the way the A's have done it. 21 of those 39 victories have been of the comeback variety, and 15 have seen the winning run scored in the eighth inning or later.

“They're just confident they're always going to come back and have a chance if it's late,” Melvin said. “Success breeds confidence and we've had plenty of both late in games.”

“This team is capable of doing special things like that on a daily basis, and tonight showed that,” added starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. “That was a hell of a game, and I think that's an understatement.”

As Friday's game moved into the later innings, it began to feel like those Oakland heroics might not happen. The A's squandered a golden opportunity to at least tie the game in the eighth inning, failing to score with runners on first and second, and no outs. Olson struck out in a key spot that inning, but ultimately got a chance to redeem himself, and took full advantage.

“Oly's always one swing away from putting you ahead or hitting a home run,” Melvin said. “You saw what he did last year. Maybe he's not on the same pace this year, but he gets big hits for us, and everybody feels good when he's at the plate.”

“Definitely one of the cooler things I've done in my career,” Olson smiled. “It's the most juiced I've gotten on a field, for sure.”