Athletics

A's top pick Kyler Murray always envisioned himself as a two-sport star

A's top pick Kyler Murray always envisioned himself as a two-sport star

Kyler Murray started this sensational run as the A's top pick in June, selected No. 9 overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. Since then, he's turned to football field, leading the Oklahoma Sooners to championship hopes while he finds himself at the top of Heisman hopefuls. 

None of this surprises the two-sport star. 

When asked by ESPN's Maria Taylor if he ever saw himself as a Heisman candidate with championship contention all while already being a MLB Draft pick, Murray made his mindset clear: "I'd be lying if I said no," Murray said. "My whole life has been surrounded by sports, so for me, I've never not envisioned success."

The two walked around the University of Oklahoma baseball team, and while everyone is watching run around tacklers right now, it's clear how much America's pastime means to him. 

"I grew up playing on the diamond as well as the gridiron. I've been doing it my whole life, so it brings back a lot of memories," Murray said. "Hitting home runs, catching fly balls, stealing bases, it's something that I've always loved to do." 

Murray, at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, is to no college football fan's surprise, speedy on the bases and in center field, but he also packs a punch at the plate. This past college baseball season, Murray hit 10 home runs, 13 doubles, and three triples to go with his .296 batting average. He also stole bags.

On the football field, Murray's quickness and escapability are on full display. In the batter's box, it's a whole different challenge. 

"Being in the box is a totally different beast trying to hit this little ball that's moving at 90 miles per hour," Murray said. "It's tough to do. And this is probably one of the toughest sports ever created." 

The past two years, Murray has learned from Heisman trophy winner and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Baker Mayfield. Murray says he learned greatly from Mayfield, but when it comes to being compared against fellow great Texas high school quarterbacks like Mayfield, Drew Brees, Vince Young and Johnny Manziel, Murray doesn't shy away. 

"Not to be cocky or anything, but I think I have to be at the top of the list. I mean those guys are obviously in the NFL, so it's kind of hard to speak on that. Winning three back-to-back-to-back state championships, is something that's never been done I think in Texas high school football," Murray said.

For his athleticism and potential, it's no surprise the A's front office loved him. And you have to love that confidence, too. 

A's vs. Mariners lineups: Mark Canha fills in for the injured Khris Davis

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A's vs. Mariners lineups: Mark Canha fills in for the injured Khris Davis

OAKLAND — After a successful road trip, the A's return home Friday night to open a three-game series with the last-place Seattle Mariners.

Oakland has won a season-high six straight games to even its record at 25-25. Seattle, meanwhile, has lost three in a row and six of its last seven.

Prior to Friday's game, the A's officially placed slugger Khris Davis on the 10-day IL with a left hip/oblique contusion. Mark Canha will fill in as Oakland's designated hitter and bat sixth in the lineup. Canha has hit five home runs in his last eight games since returning from a sprained wrist.

Chad Pinder will start in left field and bat second against Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc. Right-fielder Stephen Piscotty moves up to the cleanup spot and Nick Hundley will give Josh Phegley a day off behind the plate and bat ninth.

LeBlanc is 3-0 with a 3.31 ERA in seven career appearances against the A's, including five starts. Oakland will counter with right-hander Daniel Mengden, who is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts this season. Mengden has struggled against the Mariners in his career, going 0-2 with a 5.89 ERA in four games, including three starts.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Mariners 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.

Seattle Mariners (23-29)

Mitch Haniger, CF
Daniel Vogelbach, DH
Edwin Encarnación, 1B 
Omar Narváez, C
Domingo Santana, LF
J.P. Crawford, SS
Tim Beckham, 3B
Shed Long, 2B
Mallex Smith, CF

Wade LeBlanc, LHP (2-1, 7.36 ERA)

Oakland A's (25-25)

Marcus Semien, SS
Chad Pinder, LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, DH
Jurickson Profar, 2B 
Ramón Laureano, CF 
Nick Hundley, C

Daniel Mengden, RHP (1-1, 3.65 ERA)

A's announce Khris Davis has been placed on 10-day IL, recall Skye Bolt

A's announce Khris Davis has been placed on 10-day IL, recall Skye Bolt

The A's placed designated hitter Khris Davis on the 10-day injured list Friday with a left hip/oblique contusion, retroactive to May 22.

The 31-year-old appeared to continuously grimace swinging regularly in games following a catch in the outfield at the beginning of the month at PNC Park.

The A's recalled outfielder Skye Bolt from Triple-A Las Vegas in a corresponding move. This will be his second time joining the Green and Gold this season after going 1-for-4 with a double in three games at Pittsburgh. He's hitting .311 with six home runs and 30 RBI in 34 games with the Aviators this season. 

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Prior to this year, Davis has only been on the injured list one other time in his three-plus seasons in Oakland. Last year, he missed nine games with a strained right groin, but still ended up playing in 151 games.