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Non-surprise of the day: Sony Gray gets opening night start; Vogt adds bunt to repertoire; Doubront shines; Chapman, Lambo homer again and other assorted notes

It's official that Sonny Gray will be the A's opening day starter, the third consecutive year for him.

It’s official that Sonny Gray will be the A’s opening day starter, the third consecutive year for him.

Opening Day in Oakland will see Chris Sale pitching for the White Sox and Sonny Gray for the A’s.

Sale is assumed; the White Sox have not made a call on that. But in the wake of Gray’s three one-run innings in a 12-3 win over Chicago Wednesday, A’s manager Bob Melvin told the world that Gray was his starter April 6.

The world, minus one.

“I still haven’t told Sonny,’’ Melvin said after making the announcement. “I just assume he knows.’’

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A’s powering down as their season is winding down

Josh Donaldson has struggled along with the rest of the A's hitters.

Josh Donaldson has struggled along with the rest of the A’s hitters.

There are only so many ways to ask the A’s about their frustration level and if their supply of moxie evaporated at the end of July.

Oakland is simply not the same team it was six weeks ago.

For four months, Oakland had the best record in the game, the best run differential, the most runs scored and ranked in the top five in the fewest runs allowed.

The pitch has remained relatively constant, but all the other numbers have fallen off a cliff, mostly because the offense has gone from awesome to awful.

“We were one team for the better part of four months,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “Then for the last month and a half it’s been different.’’

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Colon may yet be ready to pitch an inning as an All-Star; if not, will closer Grant Balfour be his sub?

UPDATING EARLY FILE

Once he’d been named to the American League All-Star team, it seemed clear that Bartolo Colon would not pitch in next Tuesday game in New York.

That’s because he’s scheduled to start for the A’s on Sunday, which under rules precludes him from pitching from more than one inning on Tuesday. Colon could theoretically choose to make himself available to pitch one inning, but he wasn’t expected to do that.

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Game 88 wrapup: All-Star snub of Oakland suggests contributing to winning isn’t a valued commodity

Maybe it’s that West Coast night games don’t get much play back East.

Maybe it’s that ESPN doesn’t show enough highlights of the Oakland A’s.

Maybe it’s that other teams have a couple of great players and the A’s only have a whole bunch of good players.

Whatever the reason, the American League All-Star team announced Saturday is a slap in the face. Not just to the A’s or to the East Bay. But it’s a slap in the face to putting winning teams on the field

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