Athletics

MLB rumors: A's, Giants interested in starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez

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USATSI

MLB rumors: A's, Giants interested in starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez

Could Gio Gonzalez be heading back to the Bay Area?

Well, possibly -- but that possibility is just one of many so far.

In addition to the Giants and the A's, the starting pitcher reportedly is receiving interest from the Milwaukee Brewers and the San Diego Padres. 

Gio to the Green and Gold would be a huge reunion for the 33-year-old, who spent four seasons with the team and made an All-Star Game.  He was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2011, where he thrived. He made his second All-Star team in 2012, finishing third in NL Cy Young Award voting and entering the MVP discussion that season.

Across seven seasons with the Nats, Gio posted a 3.62 ERA with a 1.283 WHIP.

The Brewers could make sense simply because that's the last team he played for in 2018 after the Nationals traded him. But, it appears the free agent has quite a few options -- and good ones.

In five total games with Milwaukee last season, he boasted a 2.13 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 25.1 innings. 

[RELATED: It's February and these big names remain free agents]

Both Bay Area teams are starving for starting pitching, to say the least, and the addition of Gonzalez could fit the themes they're sticking to: One-year contracts. 

We remain waiting ... 

A's vs. Tigers lineup: Khris Davis returns in series finale at Comerica

A's vs. Tigers lineup: Khris Davis returns in series finale at Comerica

Entering the series against the Detroit Tigers, the A's were looking for something to jump-start them and they found a team they've owned of late.

After Saturday's 4-1 win at Comerica Park, Oakland now has won 15 straight games against the Tigers and they'll go for the sweep Sunday behind right-hander Mike Fiers. 

Bob Melvin gets an important member of his lineup back for the afternoon series finale. Khris Davis, who missed Saturday's game to rest a hip ailment, is back in Sunday's lineup. He will bat cleanup and be the designated hitter.

Here are the lineups for Sunday's game between the A's and Tigers. Coverage starts at 9:30 a.m. on NBC Sports California and streaming live on the My Teams app. 

Oakland Athletics (22-25)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Chad Pinder, LF
Khris Davis, DH
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Matt Olson, 1B
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Ramon Laureano, CF
Josh Phegley, C

Mike Fiers, RHP (3-3, 5.12 ERA)

[RELATED: Is Phegley worthy of All-Star nod?]

Detroit Tigers (18-26)
Niko Goodrum, 1B
Dawel Lugo, 3B
Nicholas Castellanos, RF
Miguel Cabrera, DH
Ronny Rodriguez, SS
Christin Stewart, LF
Josh Harrison, 2B
Grayson Greiner, C
JaCoby Jones, CF

Gregory Soto, LHP (0-2, 13.50 ERA)

A's starting pitchers taming Tigers, rest of American League in May

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AP

A's starting pitchers taming Tigers, rest of American League in May

The A's weakness this season was supposed to be their rotation. Recently, they've bucked that notion.

Daniel Mengden is the latest A's starting pitcher to have a dominant outing. He went seven innings Saturday in Oakland's 4-1 win in Detroit, and only allowed one earned run while striking out five. 

"He's got good stuff, he can mix his pitches really well," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Mengden after the win. "He's a true four-pitch guy."

In the last month, the A's five-man mix of Mengden, Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, Chris Bassitt and Brett Anderson has been among the best in the American League. 

Mengden followed a career first for Montas. On Friday, Montas pitched into the ninth inning for the first time in his career and struck out a career-high 10 batters. 

"We knew he had a lot of talent in him, but he's taking it to another level right now," Melvin told reporters Friday when asked about Montas' start.

Coming into their four-game road series with the Tigers, the A's had lost three in a row. They're now riding a three-game win streak, thanks to their starting arms. The trio of Bassitt, Montas and Mengden combined to throw 23 2/3 innings while allowing only three earned runs. They also struck out 22 batters and only walked four.

And the A's soon could have more help on the way.

[RELATED: Melvin raves about Montas after longest outing of his career]

Jharel Cotton pitched in his first rehab assignment in Class A for the Stockton Ports on Thursday. Sean Manaea quietly has been throwing bullpens, and top prospect Jesus Luzardo threw his first bullpen Tuesday, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

Oakland's starting pitchers' ERA now is just outside the top five in the American League. Though they're still in the bottom of the AL West, the A's are trending up, with reinforcements coming down the road.