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Daniel Mengden will get Saturday’s start for A’s, who will spend weekend playing on turf cut up by two NFL games

Daniel Mengden will get called up by the A's to start Saturday vs. the Red Sox.

Daniel Mengden will get called up by the A’s to start Saturday vs. the Red Sox.

Daniel Mengden made the trip from Nashville to Oakland will make Saturday’s start against the Red sox.

Manager Bob Melvin said Mengden, who will be activated before the game, has pitched better that his 1-5 record and 5.73 ERA with Oakland would suggest.

The club likes his assortment of pitches and when they sent him down the last time, it was because they saw signs of midseason weariness in him. He was 8-2 with a 1.67 in his time with Triple-A Nashville.

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Kendall Graveman moves in as ace of A’s rotation

Kendall Graveman served up a 5-1 win over the Indians Wednesday.

Kendall Graveman served up a 5-1 win over the Indians Wednesday.

How does a pitcher who began the season with a 1-6 record and 5.48 ERA morph into becoming the ace of his team’s rotation?

The answer, if you are Kendall Graveman, is to rediscover the best qualities of his sinker while pitching for an A’s team that lost one starter, Rich Hill, to a trade while seeing another ace, Sonny Gray, on and off the disabled list in the midst of his worst big league season.

Graveman stretched his record to 10-8 Wednesday with his ninth win in his last 11 decisions. He threw a shutout his last time out against the White Sox and had Cleveland, the team with the American League’s best record, blanked for 6.2 innings of a 5-1 Oakland win.

He is, in fact, the A’s ace.

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Journeyman Andrew Triggs pitching his way into A’s rotation even if club can’t score for him

Andrew Triggs has caught the eye of his catcher, Stephen Vogt, these last two starts.

Andrew Triggs has caught the eye of his catcher, Stephen Vogt, these last two starts.

The A’s have all but gone out begging for quality starting pitching this year. When they’ve gotten it, they haven’t always supported it.

While Andrew Triggs threw six scoreless innings Monday, the A’s offense was busy being shut down by Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, and Oakland came up on the short end of a 1-0 game when the Indians’ Carlos Santana delivered a one-out homer in the eighth off reliever Ryan Dull.

The loss was the A’s third in a row, eighth in the last nine games and 17th in the last 23 as 55-72 Oakland has fallen a season-high 19 games under .500 and 20 games out of first place in the American League West for the first time.

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Relay play pays huge dividends for A’s in 1-0 win

Max Muncy turned in a relay play that helped save the day for the A's in the first inning Wednesday.

Max Muncy turned in a relay play that helped save the day for the A’s in the first inning Wednesday.

It was the kind of play you’d expect established veterans to have a chance of making. The tight fielder gets quickly to the ball, throws to the second baseman, who relays the throw to the plate for the out.

Except for the “established veterans’’ part, the A’s first inning was scripted just like that. The right fielder was Danny Valencia, who has spent most of his season as Oakland’s starting third baseman. Then there was Max Muncy, who’d been trying to learn to play third base when the A’s need for a second baseman came up.

And the catcher was Bruce Maxwell, the backup who gets only occasionally opportunities to play behind starter Stephen Vogt.

For all their inexperience at their positions Wednesday, those three pulled off the play that saved the A’s in a 1-0 win over the Orioles.

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Ross Detwiler, Andrew Triggs get this week’s starts for A’s; Oakland opts to wait a while on going younger in rotation

 

Lefty Ross Detwiler, who began the season with Cleveland, will start for the A's Wednesday.

Lefty Ross Detwiler, who began the season with Cleveland, will start for the A’s Wednesday.

While the A’s were awaiting word on the status of ace Sonny Gray’s right arm, they filled the open spots in this week’s rotation, saying left-hander Ross Detwiler and reliever Andrew Triggs will get the starts Wednesday and Thursday against the Orioles.

Gray and second baseman Jed Lowrie (left foot) both had MRIs taken Monday morning and the club is waiting for their doctors’ analysis of the pictures before deciding what comes next.

“The results aren’t back yet,’’ Melvin said of Gray, who came out of Sunday’s start after five innings with pain in his right forearm. The manager said it was too soon to know if the pain Gray felt was abating any.

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A’s Jed Lowrie trying to play through left foot pain

Jed Lowrie is having a tough time walking and running while dealing with left foot problems.

Jed Lowrie is having a tough time walking and running while dealing with left foot problems.

Jed Lowrie isn’t going to ask for a day off, because that’s foreign to the way he plays.

Even so, the A’s second baseman needs something to help him with a chronically sore left foot. With a bunion doing him in, the veteran is hoping that some yet-to-arrive orthotics for his shoes will help keeping him going.

“I’ve been better,’’ Lowrie said wincing at the thought of the pain playing nine innings was likely to bring. “I want to be in there. I’m trying to get through it.’’

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Home runs are cutting both ways for the A’s

 

Sean Manaea is going to have to learn to keep the ball inside the fences if he's going to have success with A's.

Sean Manaea is going to have to learn to keep the ball inside the fences if he’s going to have success with A’s.

It’s easy to look at the A’s and their hitters’ home run production since the All-Star break – 26 homers in 17 games – and think the power game is going Oakland’s way.

It’s not.

That’s because the A’s pitcher are being entirely too liberal with the gopher ball themselves.

Two homers off lefty Sean Manaea Tuesday in a 5-4 loss accounted for all the Angels’ runs. And while the A’s hitters have been blasting balls at a 50 percent higher rate post-All-Star break (1.53) than they had been before (1.01), the pitchers are picking up the pace, too.

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Bob Melvin, A’s deal with baseball after Reddick/Hill trade

Bob Melvin was sad to see Josh Reddick and Rich Hill be traded, but he said the A's played themselves into this kind of move.

Bob Melvin was sad to see Josh Reddick and Rich Hill be traded, but he said the A’s played themselves into this kind of move.

Josh Reddick was the A’s best overall player this season, which made it tough for manager Bob Melvin to see the club trade him Monday to Los Angeles.

Rich Hill was the A’s best starting pitcher, and Melvin saw him go, too, packaged with Reddick for minor league pitchers Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes.

Suffice it to say Monday wasn’t a great day for Melvin who was able to talk to Reddick but could only exchange texts with Hill as the two men scrambled to join the Dodgers for a flight to Colorado.

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Hill likely back on Sunday, but A’s still a starter short with Daniel Mengden sent down; Dillon Overton could go Saturday

Rich Hill is optimistic he will start Sunday, but with Daniel Mengden sent down, A's still need Saturday starter.

Rich Hill is optimistic he will start Sunday, but with Daniel Mengden sent down, A’s still need Saturday starter.

The A’s have sent their scheduled starter for Saturday, Daniel Mengden, to the minor leagues, leaving couple of open spots in the rotation for this weekend in Cleveland.

Rich Hill, Oakland’s winningest pitcher at 9-3, 2.25, hopes he’ll start Sunday against the Indians. After making 20 throws from 60 feet without a bandage covering his blistered left middle finger and 50 throws in a regular bullpen session with the blister covered, Hill said “I do think it’s real possible I can pitch on Sunday.’’

There is, always, the chance that Hill could be traded between now and then, but he doesn’t want to go and the A’s don’t seem in any hurry to pull the trigger on a deal. Sunday could be big, because it’s the day before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.

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Jesse Hahn’s return to Triple-A just a matter of A’s schedule while Oakland doesn’t know when Rich Hill will pitch again

Jesse Hahn had a pretty good idea he was only coming up for one start, thanks to a schedule quirk.

Jesse Hahn had a pretty good idea he was only coming up for one start, thanks to a schedule quirk.

Jesse Hahn, brought up from Triple-A to start Sunday, left the game having not allowed a run in 7.2 innings.

When his teammates left after the game for Arlington, Texas, Hahn remained behind and will fly Tuesday to a different destination. He will be heading back to Nashville to rejoin the Triple-A Sounds.

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