Athletics

A's pound Bartolo Colon while Mike Fiers one-hits Rangers in win

A's pound Bartolo Colon while Mike Fiers one-hits Rangers in win

OAKLAND -- Cold reception. The A's jumped all over 45-year-old Bartolo Colon Monday evening at the Coliseum, tagging the 45-year-old starter for seven earned runs on 10 hits over five innings. They kept the pressure on from start to finish, coming away with a 9-0 win over the Texas Rangers and moving back into a tie for first place in the AL West, thanks to the Seattle Mariners' win against the Houston Astros.  

With Colon struggling, newcomer Mike Fiers threw seven innings of shutout ball in his third start for Oakland. The former Tiger allowed just one hit while striking out eight before yielding to the bullpen. 

Fiers retired the final 18 batters he faced to improve to 2-0 in an A's uniform. Ryan Buchter and Shawn Kelley finished off the shutout win.

Rookie Ramon Laureano led the way for Oakland, hitting his first career home run in the third off of Colon. He crushed a second shot in the sixth inning to chase the 21-year MLB veteran to finish with a career-best five RBI on the night.

Khris Davis added a tape-measure shot in the third inning for his 37th homer of the season and Stephen Piscotty hit a bomb to deep center in the seventh to finish off the scoring.

The bottom-four hitters in the A’s lineup combined to hit 11-for-17, score seven runs and knock in seven RBI as Oakland improve to 75-40 on the season.

Texas finished the evening with just three hits. Nomar Mazara hit the lone extra-base knock for the Rangers, a double off of Fiers in the second inning. 

Reinforcements on the way

The A’s are four games into a 20-day stretch without a break. It’s a brutal streak of games, spanning Aug. 17 through Sept. 5, but help is on the way. 

As of Sept. 1, teams can expand their roster to include anyone on the organizations 40-man squad. Oakland won’t bring up 15 extra bodies, but there is already a plan in place to add players at positions of need. 

“You try to err on the side of too many, as opposed to too little,” manager Bob Melvin said during his pregame media session. “We’ll have a good complement of guys coming.”

With the A’s relying heavily on their bullpen throughout the season, you can expect the front office to add plenty of arms to the mix. 

“We’re going to make sure we cover our bases on what we potentially may need, whether it’s injury, whether it’s we’re down a few guys in the bullpen, whether it’s a little bit more length than what we have down there right now,” Melvin added. “And then some guys that have been part of this thing too.”

In addition to the extra arms, there’s a good chance that Dustin Fowler and Franklin Barreto return from Triple-A Nashville. An extra catcher might be in the cards as well for maximum lineup flexibility down the stretch. 

What’s Next

Fresh off another quality start, veteran Brett Anderson takes the ball for the A's Tuesday evening as they look for a second straight win against the Rangers. Anderson posted 7.2 innings of sparkling shutout ball against Seattle, but failed to register a decision in Oakland's 2-0 loss. Texas has yet to name a starter for Tuesday’s 7:05 start.  

A's award-winning run this offseason 'really special' to organization

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USATSI

A's award-winning run this offseason 'really special' to organization

The hardware just keeps rolling in for the Oakland A's.

Just look at the list of awards the A's have claimed over the past two weeks:
• AL Manager of the Year -- Bob Melvin
• Sporting News AL Manager of the Year -- Melvin
• MLB Executive of the Year -- Billy Beane
• Two Gold Gloves -- Matt Chapman and Matt Olson (plus two more finalists in Jed Lowrie and Marcus Semien)
• AL Platinum Glove -- Chapman
• Wilson Defensive Player of the Year -- Chapman

"It's really special," A's general manager David Forst said. "Seeing the individual awards has been great. It means a lot to everybody in the organization."

That list doesn't even include Edwin Jackson, who was named a finalist for the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award. The winner will be announced Monday.

The A's also were represented in the AL Cy Young Award and MVP voting -- Blake Treinen tied for sixth in the Cy Young race, and four A's finished in the top 20 of the MVP voting: Chapman (seventh), Khris Davis (eighth), Treinen (tied for 15th), and Jed Lowrie (tied for 20th).

"When it was announced on the network that Bob (Melvin) had won (AL Manager of the Year), you could hear the applause from all corners of our new office in Jack London Square," Forst said. "That was the case for both Gold Glove Awards, and really everything this offseason that has kind of energized the organization. It has been really special the last month."

Quite the momentum to take into an important offseason, as the A's search for starting pitching and other components that can help return them to the playoffs.

MLB rumors: A's, Yankees talked Sonny Gray deal, but no trade imminent

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AP

MLB rumors: A's, Yankees talked Sonny Gray deal, but no trade imminent

It could be Sonny again in Oakland, but there's reportedly still a long way to go. 

The A's reached out to the Yankees about acquiring right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray, "but there is no present momentum in talks," MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Friday. 

Last week, Fancred's Jon Heyman reported the A's were interested in re-acquiring Gray, who pitched in Oakland from 2013 to 2017 before being traded to New York. As Morosi noted, they've had no problem bringing back former pitchers, and there's good reason that a return to Oakland could bring the best out of Gray.

For one thing, he was a much better pitcher away from Yankee Stadium since the Bronx Bombers acquired him at the trade deadline in 2017. Gray went 6-7 with a 6.55 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 88.0 innings in the Bronx. By contrast, he was 9-9 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.18 WHIP on the road. In 386.0 innings at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the A's, Gray was 25-20 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

Injuries to promising young starters such as Sean Manaea and A.J. Puk forced the A's to use a patchwork starting rotation down the stretch last season, and the team relied on a bullpenning strategy en route to its first playoff appearance in four years. As a result, A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane identified starting pitching as the team's top priority this offseason.

[ROSS: How Patrick Corbin's contract could affect A's starting pitching market]

[MORE: Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?]

Re-acquiring Gray would maintain the approach that kept the rotation afloat last season but offer the A's much more upside than bringing back Cahill and Anderson. With the Yankees actively looking to trade Gray, it makes a lot of sense for both teams.

Based on Morosi's report, it sounds like they'll have to start picking up the phone, though.