Danny Valencia won’t be the A’s everyday third baseman moving forward, but manager Bob Melvin said Oakland will try to find ways to keep him in the lineup because of his hitting ability.
The A’s find themselves in a familiar position as they ready for the second half of play: several disappointing months have them sitting well below the .500 mark and essentially out of reach of their division leaders. Oakland is positioned to deal some of its best players.
Athletics 2016 first-round pick A.J. Puk is set to make his pro debut for Class A Short Season Vermont.
The Blue Jays and Athletics enter the unofficial second half of the season trending in different directions, but will look to get things started on a positive note when they square off on Friday evening at the Coliseum.
Houston’s Lance McCullers (4-2, 3.57 ERA) is coming off what might have been his best start of the season, while Oakland’s Kendall Graveman (4-6, 4.57) will be looking to keep his winning streak intact when the Astros and A’s face off Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.
Luis Valbuena hit a walk-off, three-run homer against A’s closer Ryan Madson in the ninth inning, propelling the Astros to a dramatic 10-9 victory following a five-run outburst by Oakland in the top half of the frame at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
Athletics prospect Mikey White was among the top prospect performers in the Minors on Tuesday.
Oakland has had a rough trip through its starting rotation, with the A’s starters having recorded a 9.30 ERA over the last four games. They will turn to left-hander Sean Manaea on Tuesday at Target Field to look for some momentum in the second of a three-game series against the Twins.
The A’s and Twins will look to generate some July 4 fireworks of their own when they meet on Monday afternoon at Target Field in the opener of a three-game series, as Minnesota’s surging offense meets a struggling Oakland pitching staff.
Francisco Liriano, who last won on May 24, gets the start in the series finale for the Pirates against the A’s. Daniel Mengden, coming off his first big league win, gets the start for Oakland.
David Freese and Gregory Polanco knocked in runs in the 10th inning and closer Mark Melancon closed out the A’s in the bottom of the inning as the Pirates topped Oakland.