Athletics

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

MLB issues statement on A's Bruce Maxwell kneeling during national anthem

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell made history Saturday night in Oakland. The 26-year-old became the first player in big-league history to kneel during the national anthem. 

Below is the official statement from Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball has a longstanding tradition of honoring our nation prior to the start of our games. We also respect that each of our players is an individual with his own background, perspectives and opinions. We believe that our game will continue to bring our fans, their communities and our players together.

MLB media services contributed to this report

A's vs. Orioles lineups: Brett Anderson tries to clinch series win

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AP

A's vs. Orioles lineups: Brett Anderson tries to clinch series win

The A's will look to do something they haven't been able to all month when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. 

Oakland has had three opportunities to move two games above .500 in June, but has lost each time. Brett Anderson has a chance to help the A's turn things around, and is coming off one of his best starts of the season. The 31-year-old threw 6 1/3 innings and struck out four in Oakland's 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays his last time out, picking up a no decision. 

Gabriel Ynoa starts for the Orioles. He's still looking for his first win of the season, and will make just the 12th start of his MLB career. Ynoa has never pitched against the A's, but has limited opponents to a .258 batting average away from Camden Yards this season.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Orioles game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.

Oakland A's (37-36)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Khris Davis, DH
Ramón Laureano, CF
Robbie Grossman, LF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Beau Taylor, C

Brett Anderson, LHP (6-4, 3.89 ERA)

[RELATED: How Semien is thriving in leadoff spot for A's]

Baltimore Orioles (21-51)
Hanser Alberto, DH
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, 1B
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Keon Broxton, CF
Rio Ruiz, 3B
Richie Martin, SS

Gabriel Ynoa, RHP (0-3, 5.02 ERA)

How Marcus Semien has thrived as A's everyday leadoff hitter this year

How Marcus Semien has thrived as A's everyday leadoff hitter this year

OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin could probably talk about Marcus Semien forever and still not run out of superlatives.

Oakland's shortstop is one of the hardest workers in all of baseball, as evidenced by his massive improvement defensively over the past few years. This season, Semien has taken his offensive production to another level as well.

The 28-year-old is slashing .280/.365/.443 with 10 home runs, 36 RBI, and 48 runs scored. He's on pace to set career-highs in nearly every major offensive category, including hits, walks, runs, and RBI.

"He's just become a complete player," Melvin praised. "Offensively, defensively, he's got leadership qualities, he's out there every day. There are a lot of things to like about Marcus Semien. He continues to get better and I don't see that slowing down either. He's very aware of what he needs to work on and what it takes to get better.

"Nobody works harder."

It probably seems crazy now, but Oakland actually entered the season without a set leadoff hitter. That changed in a hurry, as Semien grabbed the role and didn't let go.

"I just want to get on base," he said. "That's what I've been trying to do more of this year and just stay in the strike zone. ... I've been walking more too. I'm just trying to get on base for the middle of the order."

Semien has certainly done that. He is currently riding a career-high 14-game hitting streak, batting .390 with three home runs, four doubles, and 11 RBI during that stretch.

"Better direction, better timing with the fastball and then being able to take the pitches out of the zone, those offspeed pitches," Semien explained. "You get in better counts, and when you're catching up to the fastball and hitting in good counts, good things will happen."

Semien's .365 on-base percentage ranks fifth among major league shortstops. Prior to this season, he had never posted an on-base percentage higher than .325.

"I used to lead him off against lefties and not righties," Melvin said. "Now we're comfortable leading him off (against either). ... He sets the table for a lot of guys. You see the RBI through the lineup. A lot of it has to do with him being on base quite a bit."

[RELATED: First-round pick Davidson reminds A's of Dodgers' star]

Semien has also reduced his strikeout rate from a year ago, punching out just 47 times in 296 at-bats (15.9 percent). Last season, he struck out 131 times in 632 at-bats (20.7 percent).

"I can't say enough about what he means to this team," Melvin said. "He hits the ball the other way. If you shift on him, he'll shoot the ball in the hole. He's just very aware of what's going on out there and he shows up on both ends."