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Game 153 wrapup: Bad luck compounds Cook’s woes; Straily makes bid for post-season rotation

There’s a tendency to jump on a player when he’s down that pervades all sports. Baseball is no different in that regard.

A’s reliever Ryan Cook is in a bad slump, no doubt about it.

But sometimes it’s not bad pitching as much as it is bad luck.

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Game 148 wrapup: Moss, A’s impressed by Darvish; Magic number at 10; Rangers accomplish none of their goals so far; Balfour says all credit to Bartolo

Brandon Moss homered in the first inning the last time he faced Yu Darvish, a two-run shot that led to what would become an 11-4 A’s win back on Sept. 4.

So perhaps it should have been no surprise that when Moss faced the Rangers’ ace in the first inning Saturday, he’d unload with a run-scoring double.

The difference this time was that there would be no scoring on either side, and the A’s would claim a 1-0 win that would move Oakland to 5½ games in front of Texas in the American League West. The A’s magic number to win the West — any combination of 10 A’s wins or Rangers losses would give Oakland the title.

It never occurred to Moss that his hit would produce the game’s only run.

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Milone’s season not playing out like he’d hoped

This is not the way Tommy Milone envisioned his season winding down.

Just two months ago he was a key member of one of the best young pitching staffs in the Major Leagues, and at 26 he was a left-hander with positive playoff experience and plenty of promise.

The season started out well enough with Milone earning the No. 3 spot in the rotation and winning his first three starts. But then luck started to get rough. Over the course of his next five starts he brought his ERA down from 3.86 to 3.71 but went 0-5. He couldn’t catch a break.

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Game 143 wrapup: A’s offense roars back to life; Colon feeling better each time out; Smith makes contribution at last; Moss due to have tooth pulled

There was a stretch in May and June when it seemed like the A’s offense was first-class.

The A’s got away from that some in July and early August, but in the last few weeks the A’s seem to be back with bats blazing.

Oakland scored seven runs in a 7-2 win over the Astros Sunday, a total that isn’t amazing on its own. But when you consider that all seven runs came home after there were two out in the third inning the picture changes.

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Game 132 wrapup: Anderson gets in, gets save; Moss opens up stance and ball starts jumping; Straily finds comfort zone throwing to Suzuki

Brett Anderson kept jumping up in the bullpen every time the telephone rang.

Anderson, a starter for virtually all of his career, isn’t used to the rhythms of the bullpen.

“Every call, first to last, I figured I’m in the game,’’ Anderson said. But as the game went along and the A’s lead went from 3-1 to 7-1 to 10-1, he began to calm down.

“I thought they might save me to see how Bartolo does,’’ Anderson said.

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Game 123 wrapup: Milone not thinking too much about job status; Donaldson RBI swing on way back; Otero continues to push for more signficant time

No one knows better than Tommy Milone that his spot in the Oakland rotation comes with no guarantees.

Pitch well in the season’s final six weeks and he can figure he’ll keep getting the ball every five days.

Pitch poorly and the A’s have options. Brett Anderson, the A’s opening day starter, is on an injury rehabilitation assignment and is being groomed to return as a starter after a stretch in which the A’s thought the club might be best served with Anderson joining the bullpen.

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Game 112 wrapup: What’s next in A’s rotation?

Twice in the last four games the Oakland starting pitcher hasn’t made it to the fifth inning.

The last time Wednesday’s A’s starter, Bartolo Colon, pitched in Cincinnati, he gave up four home runs.

But there is no kidding that Wednesday’s start for Colon is a big one. He has thrown at least six innings and given up three or fewer runs in each of his last 15 starts. With the A’s offense on the rails, it figures that Colon is going to have to pitch to that standard for the A’s to come out of this series with a split.

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Jays’ Dickey, 38, ready for match with Colon, 40

When Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey steps on the mound for the Blue Jays Wednesday, he says it will be special.

That’s because he’ll be pitching against the A’s Bartolo Colon.

Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner while pitching for the New York Mets, has been pitching in the Major Leagues off and on since 2001, most of that in the American League.

Colon, who has pitched in the big leagues since 1997, also has spent the bulk of his time in the American League.

But for all of that, this will be just the second time they’ve pitched in the same game.

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A’s continue their pursuit of White Sox’s Peavy

The A’s would like to add a starting pitcher before the trade deadline comes around Wednesday, and the A’s have a preference for that pitcher to be Jake Peavy.

Wishing doesn’t make it so, of course, but the club is very much in the hunt for the Chicago White Sox’s right-hander, who cleaned out his locker Sunday morning with all indications a trade is just a day or so, if not an hour or so, away.

The Braves, the Dodgers, the Cardinals and the Red Sox came into Sunday as fellow contenders in the race to get Peavy as the White Sox try to shed salary and add good young prospects.

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A’s hope Colon won’t have to serve any more time

The axe fell in Milwaukee Monday when Ryan Braun reversed course on his previous claims of innocence concerning drug use and accepted a 65-day suspension that will see him play no more for the Brewers this year.

Braun’s name was one of those caught up in Major League Baseball’s pursuit of performance-enhancing drug users centered round the Biogenesis lab in Florida. Another of those named in the original papers was A’s starter Bartolo Colon, but it seems that the 50-day suspension Colon served at the end of the 2012 season and through the first five games of this year is all the time Colon will have to serve.

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