Robbie Grossman

A's vs. Royals lineups: Ramón Laureano gets day off, Josh Phegley returns


A's vs. Royals lineups: Ramón Laureano gets day off, Josh Phegley returns

OAKLAND -- After a disappointing 6-5 loss in Monday's series opener, the A's will try to bounce back against the lowly Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

Oakland will be without outfielder Ramón Laureano, as the team tries to give him plenty of games off in his recovery from a stress reaction in his right shin. Robbie Grossman will replace Laureano in right field and bat eighth.

Josh Phegley returns to the lineup in the ninth position and will handle the catching duties. Phegley has already recorded a career-high 12 home runs and 59 RBI this season.

Veteran left-hander Brett Anderson takes the mound for the A's seeking his 13th win of the season, which would extend his career-high. Anderson, 31, is 12-9 with a 4.07 ERA in 29 starts. In three career outings against the Royals, he is 2-1 with an 8.16 ERA.

Kansas City counters with right-hander Jorge López. The 26-year-old is 4-7 with a 6.09 ERA in 36 games this season, including 15 starts. Lopez has only faced the A's once in his career, allowing five runs in just 1 2/3 innings last month. 

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

Kansas City Royals (56-95)
2B Whit Merrifield
SS Adalberto Mondesí
DH Jorge Soler
3B Hunter Dozier
LF Alex Gordon
RF Ryan McBroom
1B Cheslor Cuthbert
CF Bubba Starling
C Nick Dini

RHP Jorge López (4-7, 6.09 ERA)

Oakland A's (90-61)
SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha 
LF Seth Brown
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
RF Robbie Grossman
C Josh Phegley

LHP Brett Anderson (12-9, 4.07 ERA)

A's Robbie Grossman continues pinch-hitting brilliance with clutch triple

A's Robbie Grossman continues pinch-hitting brilliance with clutch triple

OAKLAND -- Most major leaguers will tell you that pinch-hitting is the hardest thing to do in baseball. You've been sitting in the dugout the entire game and now, all of a sudden, you're asked to come off the bench cold and take some hacks, usually in a critical situation.

Robbie Grossman doesn't seem awfully bothered by that challenge. The A's outfielder came through with a tiebreaking two-run triple Thursday afternoon -- capping a seven-run seventh inning -- as the A's rallied back from a 6-1 deficit to earn a thrilling 10-6 win over the Angels.

"We're never out of it," Grossman said after the game. "How many times this season has something like that occurred? This team is full of confidence and we never feel like we're out of it."

With two outs and runners on second and third in a 6-6 tie, Grossman entered the game in place of Chad Pinder. The Angels countered with a pitching change, summoning left-hander Adalberto Mejia to turn Grossman, a switch-hitter, around to the right side.

Grossman wasn't phased, jumping on the very first pitch, a 91 mph fastball, and driving it 407 feet to center field, over the head of a leaping Mike Trout.

"Pinch-hitting, you've got to be aggressive early," Grossman explained. "You're sitting on the bench the whole game and you've got to see where you're at on the first pitch. I put a good swing on it and luckily Mr. Trout didn't catch it."

Added A's manager Bob Melvin: "He was ready for it. He was aggressive coming off the bench with guys on base."

This wasn't Grossman's first clutch pinch-hit this season. Earlier this year, he launched a two-run home run in the eighth inning at Toronto to tie the game at two. For the season, Grossman is now 5-for-16 (.313) as a pinch-hitter with a home run, triple, double, four walks, and seven RBI.

"He's done it before," Melvin said. "Once you have some success with it, like he's had for us this year, then you feel good when you go up there. There's a time to be patient, which he's really good at -- leading off innings and so forth and drawing walks -- and there's a time to go up there and be aggressive, and he has a good feel for that, obviously."

Grossman was more humble about his success, explaining that it's all a learning experience.

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"I've been doing this for a while and I've failed a lot," he said. "(The key is) just staying confident. That's all you can do."

With the win, the A's completed a three-game sweep of the Angels and moved to 81-58 on the season, tied with Tampa Bay for the top AL wild-card spot. Oakland now welcomes the league-worst Detroit Tigers to the Coliseum beginning Friday.

A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty undergoes MRI on sprained right ankle

A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty undergoes MRI on sprained right ankle

OAKLAND -- Just when the A's outfield appeared to be nearing a return to full health, Oakland manager Bob Melvin announced on Sunday that starting right fielder Stephen Piscotty had aggravated his sprained right ankle and had to undergo an MRI.

Piscotty initially sprained the ankle last Saturday on an awkward slide back into second base on a pickoff attempt. He has played through the ailment since then but was seen in a walking boot Sunday morning.

"It got a little better, a little worse, and then last night he took a swing where it really bothered him," Melvin said. "He had an MRI this morning. We're waiting on the results of that. I don't have a great feeling about it at this point, but we'll see what the doctors have to say and then proceed accordingly."

Piscotty, 28, missed all of July with a sprained right knee but returned from the injured list in early August. Unfortunately, center fielder Ramón Laureano then went on the IL with a stress reaction in his right shin. Now with Laureano nearing a return, it appears Piscotty might miss some time again.

The good news for the A's is that they have plenty of outfield depth. Mark Canha filled in for Piscotty when he was out with the knee sprain and figures to take over right field again when Laureano returns to center. Robbie Grossman and Chad Pinder should continue to split time in left.

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Piscotty is slashing .252/.312/.416 with 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 92 games this year. He's in the third season of his six-year, $33.5 million contract, originally signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.