Athletics

Stephen Piscotty's MRI on knee reveals no tear as A's catch huge break

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Stephen Piscotty's MRI on knee reveals no tear as A's catch huge break

OAKLAND -- When Stephen Piscotty slid awkwardly into second base Saturday in Anaheim, the A's feared the worst. Fortunately, Piscotty's MRI revealed no tear and the diagnosis remains a sprained right knee.

"We caught a serious break, I think," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Seeing the slide and seeing his face on the field and taking him off, I have to admit it crossed my mind that he might be out for the season. But it's not going to be that."

Melvin still expects Piscotty to be out for about a month, although he noted that was probably getting ahead of himself.

"Certain guys respond differently," Melvin said. "You never really know how severe it is in there. But we know there's no tear and that's a good thing. It's just all about getting him through the process of strengthening and rehabbing, and then hopefully get him back out on the field sooner than later."

Piscotty is in his second season with the A's after starting his career with the Cardinals. The 28-year-old is slashing .242/.306/.391 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 76 games this season.

[RELATED: A's sign No. 2 international prospect]

In Piscotty's absence, Mark Canha figures to see the bulk of the action in right field, with Robbie Grossman and Chad Pinder likely sharing time in left. Canha is slashing .236/.378/.514 with 11 home runs and 21 RBI in 53 games, while Grossman and Pinder have also been productive in stretches.

Canha will start in right field Tuesday night against the Twins, while Grossman gets the nod in left.

Tanner Roark pitching his way out of A's potential MLB playoff rotation

Tanner Roark pitching his way out of A's potential MLB playoff rotation

OAKLAND -- Tanner Roark got off to a great start with the A's after coming over from Cincinnati in a July 31 trade. The right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in his first six starts with Oakland.

Unfortunately for Roark, his last three starts have been a completely different story. The 32-year-old has allowed 14 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings for an ERA of 8.79.

Sunday's outing against the Rangers was Roark's worst of the season. He surrendered a career-high four home runs and gave up five earned runs in just three innings, as Texas breezed to an 8-3 win.

"(This loss) is on me," Roark said after the game. "It was a rough outing altogether. (They were) putting good swings on bad pitches. I left the ball over the plate a lot of times and when you do that in this league, they get hit hard and they get hit far."

A's manager Bob Melvin offered insight into what happened to Roark.

"They were just on him early," Melvin said. "A lot of times, when you have a chance (against) a good starter, it's early in the game. They got him before he could get into his rhythm and hit some balls out of the ballpark. ... It doesn't minimize our feeling about Tanner. He's been great for us."

While that may have been true last month, it's not quite the case anymore. In nine starts with the A's, Roark has a 4.50 ERA. At this point, he seems unlikely to be in the starting rotation if Oakland reaches the American League Division Series, especially considering how well the team's other starters have pitched.

Sean Manaea and Mike Fiers have been excellent, while Homer Bailey has looked phenomenal in his last seven starts. That likely leaves Roark, Brett Anderson, and Chris Bassitt battling for the No. 4 job.

[RELATED: How Melvin will utilize bullpen down stretch]

Even if the A's elect to keep Bassitt in the bullpen, Anderson has been far more consistent than Roark, allowing three earned runs or fewer in six straight starts.

The A's still have six games remaining in the regular season, which means Roark might get one more chance to make a better statement. But as of now, he has to be the odd man out.

Why Rangers manager Chris Woodward likes A's chances in MLB playoffs

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Why Rangers manager Chris Woodward likes A's chances in MLB playoffs

OAKLAND -- Count Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward among those who believe in the Oakland A's this postseason.

Woodward had plenty of compliments for the Green and Gold ahead of Sunday's series finale, as reported by MLB.com's Martín Gallegos.

It certainly makes sense that Woodward is impressed by the A's. After all, Oakland has won 13 of 18 games against the Rangers this season, including the last seven. Through two games this weekend, the A's have outscored Texas 20-3.

Oakland is also playing its best baseball of the season at the right time. The A's have won 10 of their last 11 games and 15 of their last 18.

[RELATED: How A's will use bullpen down stretch]

Still, Oakland's path to a potential World Series will be treacherous. If they can get past the wild-card round, the A's will likely have to beat the Astros, Yankees, and Dodgers in succession.

But it's nice to know that Chris Woodward has faith.