Athletics

A's winning streak comes to an end after splitting doubleheader

A's winning streak comes to an end after splitting doubleheader

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Lucas Giolito pitched into the eighth inning before Xavier Cedeno worked out of a jam, and the Chicago White Sox snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating the Oakland Athletics 6-4 Friday night to salvage a doubleheader split.

The White Sox bounced back after getting pounded 11-2 behind a pair of three-run homers by Franklin Barreto. They stopped their worst skid since a nine-game rut last July and ended Oakland's season-high win streak at five.

Chicago was sailing along with a 5-2 lead when Giolito gave up back-to-back singles to Dustin Fowler and Marcus Semiento start the eighth. Jace Fry came in and walked pinch-hitter Stephen Piscotty to load the bases before Chris Volstad gave up a two-run single to Khris Davis, cutting it to 5-4.

Cedeno then got Matt Olson to line to the shortstop and struck out Mark Canha before Chad Pinder grounded into a force.

Tim Anderson led off the bottom half with his 12th homer to make it a two-run game. Omar Narvaez chipped in with three hits and two RBIs for Chicago.

Joakim Soria retired all three batters in the ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

Giolito (5-7) allowed four runs and seven hits in a rare home win. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out eight and walked two after going 1-4 with an 11.05 ERA in his first seven starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Olson went deep for Oakland, giving the Athletics home runs in 23 consecutive road games - one shy of the modern day record set by Baltimore in 1996. But Chris Bassitt (0-3) got tagged for five runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Barreto's big performance in the opener came after he hit a three-run drive in Wednesday's romp at San Diego.

He connected against James Shields to cap a four-run second inning and off Luis Avilan in the eighth . Barreto's first career multihomer game gave him a personal-best six RBIs.

It was quite a display for a player who had just two home runs prior to this run. Both came against the White Sox in 2017, including a drive against Shields (2-9) at Guaranteed Rate Field in his first major league game.

Sean Manaea (7-6) went seven innings, allowing one run and five hits. The 26-year-old left-hander struck out seven without a walk in winning his second straight start.

Shields has dropped back-to-back outings after beating Cleveland for his first victory since opening day. The right-hander gave up eight runs - two earned - and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.

BREAKING IT OPEN

Barreto's drive to left in the second came after a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy. Olson got that burst started with one out when his hard grounder scooted under second baseman Yoan Moncada's glove for an error.

The Athletics took advantage of two more errors and a wild pitch while chasing Shields in a four-run fifth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: The Athletics activated LF Matt Joyce (strained lower back) from the 10-day disabled list and optioned OF Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville. Joyce started the second game after being held out of the opener. ... 3B Matt Chapman (bruised right thumb) received a cortisone injection Tuesday. Manager Bob Melvin said the earliest he will be activated is Monday, when the Athletics open a four-game series at Detroit. ... Melvin also expects LHP Ryan Buchter (strained left shoulder) to be activated during the Detroit series. ... LHP Brett Anderson (strained left shoulder) is scheduled to throw about four innings and 60 pitches in a rehab outing for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday.

White Sox: The White Sox activated RF Avisail Garcia (strained right hamstring) and LF Leury Garcia (sprained left knee). Both players started Game 1 but were not in the lineup for the nightcap.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (6-6, 4.06 ERA) looks to break out of a slump after going 0-2 with a 10.05 ERA in his first three starts this month.

White Sox: RHP Dylan Covey (3-2, 2.90) will try to rebound from a loss at Cleveland on Monday.

Evaluating A's arbitration in 2018 MLB offseason: Blake Treinen

Evaluating A's arbitration in 2018 MLB offseason: Blake Treinen

(Over the next week, we will be examining each of the A's arbitration-eligible players to determine whether they will return in 2019.)

Blake Treinen was nearly perfect in 2018. The A's closer allowed just seven earned runs the entire season. Seven!

Treinen went 9-2 with 38 saves and a league-leading 0.78 ERA, along with a 0.83 WHIP. He notched 100 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings, becoming the first pitcher ever to record 30 saves and 100 strikeouts with an ERA under one.

For his efforts, Treinen was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. He will likely receive votes for the Cy Young Award as well.

Treinen, 30, earned just $2.15 million in 2018 and is projected to get $5.8 million in arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Why he might be a bargain

If $5.8 million does end up being the number, it would be an incredible bargain for the A's. Treinen has established himself as an elite closer, perhaps the best in the game. Not only does he have dominant stuff, but he can pitch multiple innings. The A's were nearly unbeatable when leading after seven innings last season, and Treinen was the primary reason why. His 98 mph sinker is one of the most unhittable pitches in baseball, and at just 30 years of age, the talented right-hander shows no signs of slowing down.

Why he might be too pricey

As with Khris Davis, it's hard to even make a legitimate argument here. Some people in the baseball world believe closers are unnecessary, but even they would probably admit that $5.8 million is a bargain for a pitcher as talented as Treinen. The only question is whether the two sides will agree to terms before arbitration.

Verdict

Treinen will be back in Oakland next season. He will almost certainly be back in 2020 as well, as he will again be under team arbitration control. Treinen was the MVP of the A's bullpen, and probably the entire pitching staff. He figures to be just as valuable moving forward and should have Oakland's pen near the top of baseball again. Oakland may try to lock Treinen up with a long-term deal before he becomes a free agent in 2021.

Report: A's believed Astros were stealing signs during late August game

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USATSI

Report: A's believed Astros were stealing signs during late August game

The Houston Astros reportedly are in hot water over accusations of stolen signs, two months after the A's first noticed a separate suspicious incident. 

Sources told Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan that during a Houston-Oakland game in late August:

A’s players noticed Astros players clapping in the dugout before pitches and believed they were relaying stolen signs to pitchers in the batter’s box, sources said. The A’s called the league, which said it would investigate the matter. It’s unclear what the result of the investigation was or whether it remains ongoing.

On Saturday, Fenway Park security kicked out a man who claimed to be working for the defending World Series champions during the third inning of Game 1 of the ALCS, Boston Metro reported Tuesday. That man was Kyle McLaughlin, according to Yahoo Sports, and the site obtained a picture showing him pointing his cell phone into the Cleveland Indians' dugout during the ALDS. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost to Houston in Game 7 of the World Series a year ago, believed the Astros stole signs during the Fall Classic, according to Passan. Two MLB players said they've seen Houston players hitting a trash can in the dugout during games, and believe it's a method of passing on pitchers' signals, the report said. 

Passan did not identify the A's-Astros game in question, but the A's played the Astros in a three-game set on Aug. 27-29. Houston won two out of three, including an 11-4 rout in the series opener. 

MLB told Metro that "We are aware of the matter, and it will be handled internally."