Athletics

A's tie up Bay Bridge Series with win at AT&T Park

A's tie up Bay Bridge Series with win at AT&T Park

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pinch-hitter Mark Canha hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and the Oakland Athletics continued their late-game success, rallying to beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Saturday night.

Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien had two hits apiece. Khris Davis added a sacrifice fly to help the A's improve to 20-6 since June 16, tied with Boston for the best record in the majors during that stretch.

Buster Posey, Steven Duggar and Chase d'Arnaud had two hits apiece for the Giants.

One night after being limited to three hits in a 7-1 loss, Oakland again struggled early until breaking out in the seventh.

Josh Phegley hit a leadoff single against Tony Watson (2-3). Canha followed with his 12th home run, a towering two-run blast, and emphatically flipped his bat and stared into the A's dugout before trotting around the bases.

It's Canha's first career pinch-hit home run and helped the A's avoid their first back-to-back losses since a season-high, four-game skid June 12-15.

Oakland has scored 173 runs in the seventh inning or later this season, tied with Houston for second-most in the majors.

Yusmeiro Petit (4-2) retired eight batters to win. All-Star closer Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

The Giants led 3-2 after Gorkys Hernandez hit an RBI double and scored on pinch-hitter Austin Slater's single off Oakland starter Brett Anderson in the fourth.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was ejected after the bottom of the fourth inning and had to be physically restrained from going after third base umpire Greg Gibson. Belt was upset over being called out on a checked swing and argued with Gibson as he took the field between innings. Gibson immediately ejected Belt, who angrily slammed his glove to the ground and began walking toward the umpire before teammates intervened.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: All-Star 2B Jed Lowrie struck out looking as a pinch hitter in the ninth after being held out of the lineup with a bone bruise and calf bruise in his left leg following a scary collision with Piscotty in right field Friday. . Reliever Santiago Casilla was designated for assignment. . 2B Franklin Barreto was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. RHP Ryan Dull was optioned down. RHP Daniel Mengden was sent to Nashville to begin a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Oakland LHP Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.44 ERA) goes for his fourth consecutive win on Sunday. Manaea is holding opponents to a .217 average over his last seven starts. LHP Andrew Suarez (3-5 3.75), who has allowed two runs or fewer in his previous six starts, pitches for San Francisco.

 

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

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AP

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

The AL powerhouse Houston Astros have long been suspected of stealing signs, but new information came to light Tuesday.

In a feature from The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported that the Astros used a camera in center field during their 2017 World Series run to help steal signs electronically.

Yankees star Aaron Judge summed up the report succinctly.

A's pitcher Mike Fiers was on that Astros team, and earned a World Series ring of his own. Now with Oakland, he not only confirmed the setup of technology but also commented on how it was affecting the game. 

“I don’t know if we really had any hard proof, but I’m sure there was (some evidence of other teams’ conduct),” Fiers told The Athletic. “Going into the playoffs, we had veterans like Brian McCann -- we went straight to multiple signs (with our pitchers). We weren’t going to mess around. We were sure there were teams out there that were trying certain things to get an edge and win ballgames. I wouldn’t say there was hard evidence. But it’s hard to catch teams at home. There are so many things you can use to win at home.”

Fiers then added how there were some players who didn't like it, as they would prefer not to know what was coming. But clearly, there were guys that benefitted as well.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said. 

After the story was released, the Astros released the following statement:

A former player told NBC Sports California on Tuesday most teams participate in stealing signs in some fashion, but the Astros flirt with the line of what is legal and what is not.

"The Astros are super talented," the player said. "But ... they will do whatever they need to do to get an edge."

[RELATED: Daniel Hudson potential trade target for A's]

"In my honest opinion, they got beat by their old bench coach Alex Cora," he continued. "He knew all the Astros secrets, weaknesses, everything. Then, this year it seemed like the Astros only hit well when pitchers were tipping pitches. It happened with [Stephen] Strasburg the first two innings of Game 6. He cleaned it up in between innings and Houston couldn't hit him."

"Teams steal signs, it's been happening for years," the former player added. "Astros take it to another level."

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MLB rumors: A's in talks with Stephen Vogt's agent during free agency

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USATSI

MLB rumors: A's in talks with Stephen Vogt's agent during free agency

Stephen Vogt could be staying in the Bay Area after all. But the catcher might choose a reunion over the option to continue wearing a Giants jersey.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Monday morning that the A's have contacted the agent for the free-agent catcher.

Vogt, 35, proved to be fully healthy after what was once seen as potentially career-threatening shoulder surgery. After missing the entire 2018 season, Vogt was one of the Giants' most reliable bats this past season. 

The veteran catcher signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February, and went on to be a steal for San Francisco. He played in 99 games, hitting .263 with 10 homers and 40 RBI as a spot starter and backup to Buster Posey. Vogt also played seven games in left field last season. 

Vogt became somewhat of a cult hero over his four-and-a-half seasons in Oakland. He broke through as a 30-year-old for the A's in 2015 when he made his first of back-to-back All-Star Game appearances. 

The left-handed hitting catcher had a .255 batting average with 49 homers in 458 games with the A's. Even as someone who turned 35 on Nov. 1, he could be the perfect fit for an Oakland reunion. 

Adding Vogt likely would be the end of the Josh Phegley era. The A's have one of the best young catchers in the game in Sean Murphy, and could pair the 25-year-old right-handed hitter with Vogt, a veteran lefty. 

[RELATED: Vogt's championship desires might hinder Giants return in 2020]

Vogt could start games here and there behind the dish, as well as at DH, play left field and even first base, while being an incredibly serviceable bat off the bench. He hit .325 with two homers in 43 games off the bench for the Giants last season.

At this stage of his career, Vogt has one thing on his mind: A World Series ring. The A's could fit his desires while keeping him in the Bay Area on the team that truly gave him his first chance.