Athletics

A's vs. Indians lineups: Daniel Mengden makes season debut in Oakland

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A's vs. Indians lineups: Daniel Mengden makes season debut in Oakland

Daniel Mengden and his mustache are back in Oakland. 

The A's recalled Mengden from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, and optioned reliever J.B. Wendelken in a corresponding move. Mengden, 26, was 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA for the Aviators this season. 

The right-hander has three years of major league ball under his belt. He went 7-6 with a 4.05 ERA last season. 

Back in the lineup as well is A's slugger Khris Davis. The DH missed three games with a left hip contusion, but is back to batting fourth. 

Davis is batting just .227 this year, 20 points off his usual mark, but does have 10 home runs.

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Here are the full lineups for the Indians-A's game, with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. PT. Coverage can be seen on NBC Sports California and streaming on the MyTeams App.

Cleveland Indians (20-18)
Francisco Lindor, SS
Mike Freeman, 2B
José Ramírez, 3B
Carlos Santana, 1B
Carlos Gonzalez, LF
Jordan Luplow, RF
Jake Bauers, DH
Roberto Pérez, C
Leonys Martin, CF

Jefry Rodriguez, RHP (0-2, 2.41 ERA)

Oakland A's (19-22)
Marcus Semien, SS
Jurickson Profar, 2B 
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Khris Davis, DH
Matt Olson, 1B 
Chad Pinder, 3B
Robbie Grossman, LF
Ramón Laureano, CF
Josh Phegley, C

Daniel Mengden, RHP (season debut)

A's struggles against Mariners, last-place teams could prove costly

A's struggles against Mariners, last-place teams could prove costly

OAKLAND -- One of the most impressive parts of last year's A's team was the way they beat up on bad teams. This season has been a completely different story.

Following their 9-2 loss to the last-place Mariners on Friday night, Oakland fell to 3-5 against Seattle on the season and just 9-9 against last-place teams in baseball. And that doesn't even include the A's 0-6 mark against lowly Toronto, currently 25-44 on the season and only out of last place thanks to the horrific Baltimore Orioles.

If the A's end up missing the postseason by a game or two, some of these losses could prove to be their undoing.

"We're chasing some good, good teams," said Friday's starter Chris Bassitt. "We just can't give any games away, and unfortunately, I kind of feel like I did tonight."

At 35-35, the A's are fortunate to still be well in the mix for a wild-card berth, just 2 1/2 games behind Texas for the second spot in the American League. But these types of uninspired losses against poor competition have to stop.

For whatever reason, the A's have really struggled to play good baseball against the Mariners this season. After losing the first two games of the season in Tokyo, Oakland dropped two more in Seattle last month. The A's did bounce back to sweep the Mariners later in May, but once again looked shaky in Friday's blowout loss.

"Everybody in the big leagues is going to give you a challenge and we just didn't play well enough to win the game tonight," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "(Seattle) won the first four games (against us) -- two in Tokyo and two at their place -- and then we ended up sweeping them (last series). Coming off a road trip with a day off, we'd expect to do a little better today. We just didn't. So come back out with a little better effort."

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The A's still have a chance to win this series against the Mariners, but now there's no margin for error. Right-hander Frankie Montas will get the ball Saturday, followed by Tanner Anderson on Sunday. Oakland could really use two wins.

A's prospect Austin Beck showing all five tools, impressing Oakland brass

A's prospect Austin Beck showing all five tools, impressing Oakland brass

STOCKTON – Just over two years ago, Austin Beck became the A's highest draft pick to come straight out of high school since the club selected Ben Grieve No. 2 overall in 1994. Oakland drafted Beck with the No. 6 pick of the 2017 MLB Draft at the young age of 18.

"It was an awesome day," Beck told NBC Sports California. "I remember I got a call about a week before the draft from (MLB Network analyst) Harold Reynolds. He asked, 'Hey, do you want to come up to the draft studio and do the draft here?' I was like, 'Unless you've got 100 plane tickets, I can't go. I've got to have my family and friends by my side.' So I had a huge party at my house. It was a very stressful day, needless to say, but it was a very fun experience."

During his senior season at North Davidson High School in North Carolina, Beck hit a ridiculous .590 with 12 home runs while playing center field. He blew the A's away with his combination of speed and athleticism, not to mention his raw power.

"The talent is there," said A's assistant general manager/director of player personnel Billy Owens. "He definitely can defend center field, he's got a powerful throwing arm, he's got a swing that can manipulate the baseball and go to all fields, and the raw power is definitely in there. So he's got a chance to be a five-tool player."

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the A's No. 5 prospect, Beck spent last season with the Class-A Beloit Snappers of the Midwest League, slashing .296/.335/.383 and leading the league with 146 hits. While he only hit two home runs, he notched 29 doubles, four triples, and 60 RBI.

"He's got the ability to make contact to all fields," Owens said. "He's got power that's going to come to prominence as he rises through the organization and gets to the higher levels. And he's a really good defender in center field. So it's just more about him getting that experience under his belt and going forward."

Beck began this season in High-A with the Stockton Ports of the California League. After a slow start, the 20-year-old has hit .409 over his last 12 games to raise his slash line to .258/.309/.461, and he has already belted six homers.

"I got to the Cal League knowing that the ball flew really well, better than Beloit, so my swing was a little too big," Beck explained. "I got in the habit of trying to hit homers. So I slowed everything down and fixed everything. I started swinging the bat really well the past month. I saw the ball, wouldn't swing at pitches out of the zone, just kind of stayed with my approach and stayed up the middle and started hitting the ball well."

A's general manager David Forst has been pleased with Beck's adjustments and subsequent improvements over the past two years.

"I think we continue to see a lot of progress from Austin," Forst told NBC Sports California. "He held his own in his first full season last year and went into Stockton this year and we saw some power numbers right away, which was nice. ... The reports continue to be good."

Beck raves about the A's organization and says he has already developed great relationships with members of the current big league squad.

"It's great," he said. "(The organization) is very laid-back, which I like. I've hung out with some of the big league guys in spring training. I've texted back and forth, just trying to pick their brains about baseball in general and the mental side of the game. ... It's been great."

Beck has received plenty of advice since turning pro, but he says the best advice came from Khris Davis.

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"I talked to KD during the (preseason) Bay Bridge series and we were talking about how the mental side is one of the biggest parts of the game. If you're not mentally strong, this game is going to eat you alive. He told me to take it one day at a time, one at-bat at a time, and just flush it.

"That's kind of been my motto ever since I came out of high school -- just flush things. Baseball is 70 percent failure. It's a hard game as it is. So if you just flush every bad at-bat and move on, then you'll be fine."