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A’s scrambling in rotation with Sonny Gray sidelined

Sonny Gray landed on the disabled list Sunday with a forearm strain, leaving the A's scrambling for starting pitching.

Sonny Gray landed on the disabled list Sunday with a forearm strain, leaving the A’s scrambling for starting pitching.

The A’s have lost another starting pitcher to the disabled list, ace Sonny Gray landing there Sunday morning with the A’s calling up right-handed pitcher Chris Smith from Triple-A Nashville.

Gray came out of Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the Cubs after five innings in which he’d allowed two runs on five hits with what was diagnosed as a strained right forearm. It’s the second time on the disabled list this year for the right-hander, who had a flexor injury earlier in what has been his worst season – 5-11 with a Major League-worst 5.74 ERA.

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Coco Crisp shows he can do a little bit of everything

Coco Crisp turned in a complete game Thursday, throwing out a runner, stealing a homer and clubbing a tie-breaking double.

Coco Crisp turned in a complete game Thursday, throwing out a runner, stealing a homer and clubbing a tie-breaking double.

A year ago, Coco Crisp was in the midst of losing his job as a starter with the A’s, a neck injury making him just a fraction of the player he had been.

2016 has been something of a redemption for Crisp. And Thursday’s game in Anaheim had him showing that all his facets are in play.

He singlehandedly shut down the Angels offense in the fifth inning, then put the A’s ahead in the seventh. Although the Angels would rally to force extra innings on an error later, the A’s 8-6 10-inning win wouldn’t have been Oakland’s without Crisp, a player that first baseman Yonder Alonso called “The Natural.’’

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Have the A’s seen the last of starter Rich Hill?

Have the A's seen the last of Rich Hill in the rotation? Maybe. Maybe not.

Have the A’s seen the last of Rich Hill in the rotation? Maybe. Maybe not.

Rich Hill will be making his first start as a Dodger this weekend in Los Angeles, so what he does has no impact on the A’s, his former team.

Except that it might. The left-handed starter is a free agent at the end of the year, and he said Thursday he expects the A’s will be one of the teams calling on him come autumn.

More than that, he will be listening. He and his family enjoyed living in the Bay Area and could see living there again.

“You look at the record there and maybe you don’t see what I see and a lot of people in the game see,’’ Hill said. “The A’s are a team that has a lot of good young talent. I like what they have there. I think they’re going to be good real soon if they can stay healthy.

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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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Khris Davis reaches coveted milestone with 27th homer

Khris Davis has been congratulated 27 times after homers by A's third base coach Ron Washington, and there are still two months left in the season.

Khris Davis has been congratulated 27 times after homers by A’s third base coach Ron Washington, and there are still two months left in the season.

A’s slugger Khris Davis has hit four homers in his last six games.

He’s hit eight homers since the All-Star break, one less than Major League-leader Mike Napoli of the Indians, who went deep Wednesday night for the ninth time since the break.

In the process, Davis has reached the 27-homer mark, matching his career-best long ball total of last year with still two months left in the season.

Before Wednesday’s 8-6 loss to the Angels in which he went 1-for-3 with a couple of walks, Davis talked about the personal significance of the accomplishment. Getting to 27 homers and beyond was one of the goals he’d set for himself at the beginning of the season.

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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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Hill-Reddick trade gets decent support in Twitter poll

A's executive VP Billy Beane (above) and GM David Forst got considerable support in an online poll for the trades of Josh Reddick and (in particular) Rich Hill.

A’s executive VP Billy Beane (above) and GM David Forst got considerable support in an online poll for the trades of Josh Reddick and (in particular) Rich Hill.

The A’s in general and executive vice president Billy Beane in particular always will catch flak at any trade deadline move that sees Major League talent leaving and minor league talent coming in.

And so it was Monday and Tuesday in the wake of the decision by Beane and general manager David Forst to trade away right fielder Josh Reddick and starting pitcher Rich Hill for three minor league pitchers from the Dodgers organization that most A’s fans had never heard of – Jharel Cotton, Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes. All three are right-handed and all three could wind up in the A’s rotation if the Beane/Forst calculations are correct.

When (if) those calculations are proved out, all will be forgiven, presumably. In the immediate aftermath of the deal, however, there were any number of suggestions on Twitter that Beane and Forst are the ones who should be traded, and more than a few willing to package managing owner Lew Wolff with them.

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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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Could Rich Hill get contract extension in lieu of a trade?

Rich Hill, who may start for the A's Friday if he's not traded, could wind up with a contract extension from Oakland.

Rich Hill, who may start for the A’s Friday if he’s not traded, could wind up with a contract extension from Oakland.

The A’s are working on a contract extension with left-handed pitcher Rich Hill even as the club is fielding offers about trading their most successful starting pitcher.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted of the A’s interest in an extension with Hill, which followed up a Thursday comment from Oakland general manager David Forst that suggested keeping the 36-year-old long term was well within the realm of possibility.

The Major League trade deadline is Monday at 1 p.m. PT, and Hill is very much a hot commodity. He was highly coveted by at least half a dozen contenders already, and then on Sunday, the Dodgers’ Bud Norris came out of a start for Los Angeles with back problems.

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Rich Hill scratched from Sunday start because of blister; moderate chance exists A’s could trade him by Monday

 Rich Hill won't start Sunday because of his blister, and there is still a chance he could be traded by Monday.

Rich Hill won’t start Sunday because of his blister, and there is still a chance he could be traded by Monday.

The A’s will hold off on having Rich Hill start for them Sunday, one day ahead of the trade deadline, but Hill’s blistered left middle finger won’t keep the club from trading him if they get the right deal.

Oakland general manager David Forst said on a conference call that while no deal was close, Hill’s health status wouldn’t be a barrier to trading him if the club likes what it is being offered in return.

And manager Bob Melvin said the club might have a yes-or-no decision on Hill going to the disabled list as soon as Saturday.

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