Blackburn's dominant start spoiled in loss

Blackburn's dominant start spoiled in loss

TORONTO -- Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales went back-to-back in the bottom of the ninth against Oakland closer Santiago Casilla on Wednesday, giving the Blue Jays a dramatic 3-2 walk-off win over the Athletics.

"I think everything is possible," Morales said after the Blue Jays' third consecutive win. "We're not that far from the Wild Card position. I think we just need to put a good winning streak together, and if we keep playing well, anything can happen."

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dull nearing return, could aid Oakland's 'pen

Dull nearing return, could aid Oakland's 'pen

TORONTO -- The A's are prepared to activate Ryan Dull from the disabled list on Thursday, a move that will bolster the back end of their bullpen.

The right-hander has been missing from action since May 20 with a strained right knee, leaving the A's without one of their primary late-inning relievers. In the meantime, they shipped two more -- Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle -- off to Washington earlier this month, exacerbating the problem.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phegley dealing with left oblique tightness

Phegley dealing with left oblique tightness

TORONTO -- A's catcher Josh Phegley, originally expected to be behind the plate for Wednesday 3-2 loss in Toronto, was scratched from the lineup because of left oblique tightness.

Bruce Maxwell was a late entry into the lineup, catching and batting eighth in place of Phegley, who said he inexplicably suffered the injury during batting practice.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manaea, A's eye win in finale vs. Blue Jays

Manaea, A's eye win in finale vs. Blue Jays

The Blue Jays and Athletics will end their four-game series in Toronto on Thursday with a pair of standout young pitchers on the mound as Marcus Stroman and Sean Manaea begin the finale at 12:37 p.m. ET.

Stroman has been the Blue Jays' best starter this season with an ERA of 2.98, and his ability to work deep into games consistently has been especially valuable. Toronto's bullpen has been asked to carry a heavy load this season due to some short outings from the rotation, but Stroman has pitched at least five innings in 17 of his 20 starts.

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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trade candidate Gray K's 9; final A's start?

Trade candidate Gray K's 9; final A's start?

TORONTO -- Sonny Gray fell victim to his own throwing error Tuesday night in Toronto, marring an otherwise typical Sonny Gray start.

It could very well have been his last in green and gold.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's bats quieted by Valdez, Blue Jays

A's bats quieted by Valdez, Blue Jays

TORONTO -- With trade rumors swirling around Sonny Gray, it was the Blue Jays' offense that took center stage early Tuesday night and a former A's pitcher who carried it the rest of the way.

Toronto scored four runs in the second inning, and that was more than enough for right-hander Cesar Valdez. The 32-year-old began the year with Oakland and got some revenge against his former team by allowing just one run over six-plus innings en route to a 4-1 victory at Rogers Centre over the A's.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Barreto leads 3 A's on Top Prospects list

Barreto leads 3 A's on Top Prospects list

TORONTO -- The A's are riding a youth movement through the remainder of the season and beyond, with a focus on collecting young talent capable of forming a contender when a potential new stadium opens in Oakland.

Already, several of these pieces have emerged from the Minors -- notably infielders Matt Chapman, Ryon Healy and Chad Pinder.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Luzardo looks strong in AZL action

Luzardo looks strong in AZL action

Shane Bieber has passed every test the Indians have thrown his way this season, a trend that continued Tuesday with his scoreless debut for Double-A Akron.

Starting for Akron in game one of a doubleheader against Binghamton, Bieber, the Indians' No. 13 prospect, limited opposing hitters to five hits over 6 2/3 innings. He found the zone with 65 of his 94 pitches, striking out five and walking one, and generated another nine outs on the ground.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chapman cranks third homer in three days

Rookie third baseman shows pop, defensive prowess post-break

Chapman cranks third homer in three days

TORONTO -- Matt Chapman is quickly becoming must-see TV.

The rookie has added entertainment value to a rough A's season, sparking life into a last-place, rebuilding club that's eyeing the future.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's keep quiet in opener loss to Jays

A's keep quiet in opener loss to Jays

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays returned home from a grueling three-city road trip desperately needing a victory, and Russell Martin made sure they got one.

Martin homered and threw out Rajai Davis in a key situation as the Blue Jays escaped with a 4-2 victory over the A's on Monday night at Rogers Centre. Martin finished 2-for-4 while Ezequiel Carrera also chipped in with a pair of hits as Toronto snapped its losing streak at three games.

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Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's option Olson, bolster bullpen with J. Smith

A's option Olson, bolster bullpen with J. Smith

TORONTO -- Frequent flier Matt Olson was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Monday, just three days after being summoned for National League play in New York, as the A's moved north of the border with an extra reliever in tow.

With the A's resuming American League play in Toronto, they opted for an eighth reliever over an extra bench player -- although Josh Smith, recalled from Nashville, was technically the seventh man in Oakland's bullpen on Monday, with righty Frankie Montas delayed by visa issues in New York.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holmes throws seven strong for Midland

Holmes throws seven strong for Midland

In many ways, Monday belonged to Ronald Acuna.

Acuna made the largest jump of any player in MLB Pipeline's freshly revamped Top 100 Prospects list, going from No. 86 all the way up to No. 8, as well as from No. 7 to No. 1 on the Braves' new Top 30 list.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CespedesBBQ on whether Yonder is on move

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CespedesBBQ on whether Yonder is on move

Many baseball teams have been over Yonder. The Twins, who drafted him originally, the Reds, and then the Padres. But now that Alonso has suddenly morphed into a big power threat, the Athletics might be over Yonder for a good reason: to trade him for prospects.

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A's edge Mets in finale with trio of solo shots

A's edge Mets in finale with trio of solo shots

NEW YORK -- This time, there would be no comeback for the Mets, as the A's held them off for a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Citi Field to foil New York's attempt at a sweep.

The A's cracked three home runs -- solo shots from Marcus Semien, Khris Davis and Matt Chapman -- off Mets starter Rafael Montero, who pitched seven innings and notched his first Major League hit but took the loss.

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Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Schrock makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Schrock makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous seven days. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

This week's Prospect Team of the Week contains some familiar faces and some new faces in new places.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Melvin applauds Smith's performance, 'moxie'

Journeyman pitcher earns third start in first big league stint since 2010

Melvin applauds Smith's performance, 'moxie'

NEW YORK -- Chris Smith isn't going anywhere just yet.

The 36-year-old journeyman pitcher, who earlier this month got the surprise nod for a spot start, has been awarded a third start Monday in Toronto, after the A's opted to keep right-hander Jharel Cotton at Triple-A Nashville for another rehab outing.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schrock comes up big for Midland

Schrock comes up big for Midland

Max Schrock took full advantage of Double-A Midland's doubleheader, collecting a total of five hits and six RBIs in the two wins over Corpus Christi on Sunday.

The Athletics No. 18 prospect got off to a fast start in the first game, a 12-2 Midland win, as he doubled in the first, singled in the third and fifth and capped his perfect day with a two-run homer in the sixth.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With loss of veterans, 'pen working out kinks

With loss of veterans, 'pen working out kinks

NEW YORK -- Though the A's simultaneous trade of veteran relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals was sensible for both sides, there's no denying the present consequences of last week's deal in Oakland.

The A's bullpen is hurting without their complementary setup men. The club was reminded of this for the second straight night Saturday, when the team came out on the wrong end of a six-run comeback in a 6-5 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's jump out to early lead, falter late vs. Mets

A's jump out to early lead, falter late vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores had fastball on the brain as he strode to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Facing Simon Castro, he had a feeling he'd see a healthy diet of fastballs during the at-bat. And he was right.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rosales, Bruce team up for sandlot event

Rosales, Bruce team up for sandlot event

NEW YORK -- Adam Rosales made a promise to himself when he was younger, a pact the A's veteran continues to protect.

"[I said] that if I made it to the Major Leagues, I would continue to play like I was 12 years old," Rosales explained. "It's kind of a tribute to myself, my 12-year-old self, to keep playing the game the right way."

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Late rally falls short after Blackburn chased

Late rally falls short after Blackburn chased

NEW YORK -- Michael Conforto may have limped into the All-Star Game earlier this month, slumping and recovering from a hand injury. Since returning from Miami, however, he has proven that his first career selection was no fluke.

Conforto homered twice in the Mets' 7-5 win over the A's on Friday at Citi Field, matching his career high with four RBIs in his fourth career multi-homer game.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healy exits with head contusion, passes tests

First baseman struck by high hop, expects to be back Saturday

Healy exits with head contusion, passes tests

NEW YORK -- First baseman Ryon Healy took a sharp grounder to his face in the middle of an all-around ugly sixth inning for the A's in a 7-5 series-opening loss to the Mets on Friday evening at Citi Field.

Healy was forced out of the game with what was later deemed a head contusion. He passed a concussion test and said after the game he believes he'll be good to go Saturday.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Olson, Montas provide depth for bench, 'pen

Olson, Montas provide depth for bench, 'pen

NEW YORK -- The A's added two players to their roster ahead of Friday's series opener at Citi Field, bringing in first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson and reliever Frankie Montas for Interleague play against the Mets.

They take the roster spots of relievers Michael Brady and Zach Neal, who were optioned to Triple-A Nashville following Wednesday's game.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's reunite with slugger Carter

Power-hitting first baseman played with club from 2010-12, will be assigned to Triple-A

A's reunite with slugger Carter

Free agent first baseman Chris Carter signed a deal to rejoin the A's, whom he played for from 2010-12. The club confirmed the signing on Friday.

Carter, who was released by the Yankees on July 11, will begin his second stint with Oakland at Triple-A Nashville. The Rangers were also among the teams reported to have interest in the 30-year-old slugger.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After struggling in DC, Treinen gets fresh start

Oakland hoping reliever returns to form with his trademark sinker

After struggling in DC, Treinen gets fresh start

Blake Treinen was just learning how to walk when he almost lost his right thumb.

When he was about 2 years old, Treinen cut that thumb on glass, and his uncle held it together on the way to the hospital before he underwent extensive surgery. Treinen saved his thumb, but it had limited range of motion after the procedure. However, that injury turned into a blessing when he started playing baseball.

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Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's secure finale behind Gray, 11-hit attack

A's secure finale behind Gray, 11-hit attack

OAKLAND -- The A's knocked around Rays rookie starter Jacob Faria in a four-run fifth inning and got another quality start from Sonny Gray to avoid a sweep with a 7-2 win Wednesday afternoon at the Coliseum.

With two on and one out in the fifth, Rajai Davis hit an opposite-field ground-rule double and moved to third on a Matt Joyce sacrifice fly. Davis then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch with Marcus Semien at the plate, who singled and scored on a Yonder Alonso single.

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Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the A's on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray subdues Rays with untouchable fastball

Gray subdues Rays with untouchable fastball

OAKLAND -- With his four-seam fastball causing all sorts of headaches for Tampa Bay during Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Rays, Athletics ace Sonny Gray put together yet another solid outing that should enhance his value as a potential trade target.

Pitching in what may be his final game in Oakland -- a statement that will be made after every Gray start until a deal actually does or does not materialize -- Gray (6-4) was once again masterful. The Oakland right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings, the seventh time in his last eight starts that he has gone six or longer.

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Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the A's on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pinder hopes to return by end of month

A's envision Zobrist-like role for versatile player; Graveman allows 4 ER in rehab start

Pinder hopes to return by end of month

OAKLAND -- Chad Pinder took the next step in his rehab assignment Wednesday, and Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin sounds confident that Pinder will be back with the big league club by the end of the month.

Pinder has been on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring since June 24. He was unable to run for a few days and was limited in his activities before being cleared to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville earlier this week.

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Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the A's on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith upbeat despite missing first W since '08

A's pitcher goes 7 strong in 'terrific' spot start

Smith upbeat despite missing first W since '08

OAKLAND -- One out separated Chris Smith from his first Major League victory since 2008.

Then misfortune struck under the watch of closer Santiago Casilla, and Smith and the A's were denied a win, instead shocked by a 4-3 loss to the Rays on Tuesday night.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.