Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Oakland Athletics
news

Athletics News

A's power up after clinching 1st berth since '14

Oakland hits four homers to celebrate punching postseason ticket
MLB.com @JaneMLB

SEATTLE -- The A's improbable season will extend to October.

By virtue of a Rays loss on Monday, the A's automatically punched a ticket to the postseason just minutes after first pitch in Seattle. Then they went bonkers and hit four homers to beat the Mariners, 7-3, and put an exclamation point on an extraordinary day, capping it with a champagne-soaked celebration.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- The A's improbable season will extend to October.

By virtue of a Rays loss on Monday, the A's automatically punched a ticket to the postseason just minutes after first pitch in Seattle. Then they went bonkers and hit four homers to beat the Mariners, 7-3, and put an exclamation point on an extraordinary day, capping it with a champagne-soaked celebration.

View Full Game Coverage

They fumbled around empty beer bottles, in search of the next amid a jubilant scene that spelled out months-long perseverance.

Video: OAK@SEA: Treinen on clinching a postseason berth

"We've still got unfinished business, but man we earned this," outfielder Stephen Piscotty said. "Just like our manager, our fearless leader, said, we deserve this. Just kind of the hunger for the game and wanting to win. It's not found everywhere. This team just wants it. I feel like we want it more than other folks. We're gonna give it our best this postseason."

Shop for A's postseason gear

The sneaky A's look set for a date with the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game on Oct. 3 but must make up ground if they want to host the affair at the Coliseum. New York holds a 1 1/2-game lead on the A's with five to play.

"There's still a little time left to digest this and move forward, but these guys have high aspirations and hope this isn't the only celebration that we have," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Even if it doesn't happen where we play at home, these guys haven't been afraid to play on the road."

Video: OAK@SEA: Athletics talk clinching postseason berth

Melvin's A's last made a postseason appearance in 2014, when their season abruptly ended in heartbreak in a theatrical Wild Card tilt with the Royals. The road back has surely been rocky, making the return that much sweeter for these A's, who have sealed four playoff berths in the last seven years and nine in the last 19 under executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and his crew.

Video: SEA@OAK: Athletics GM David Forst on A's clinching

"We had three tough years, and we've been through that before," A's general manager David Forst said. "But when you go through three tough years like that and people kind of count you out, and understandably so in a lot of cases, I'm proud that people throughout the organization stuck with it, that ownership trusted what we were doing, and that Bob gets the credit he does for turning this group into a postseason team."

They were hardly expected to be here; after they stumbled to three consecutive last-place finishes and entered the season with baseball's smallest payroll, they anticipated gradual improvement. On June 15, they were 11 1/2 games out of first place, their record a meager 34-36 and their postseason chances severely slim. Then they won their next five games. And 14 of 17. Then it was 40 of 54, a Cinderella tale in the making.

Video: OAK@SEA: Olson talks A's clinching postseason berth

The front office did its part by augmenting a weakened pitching staff midseason, swinging deals for starter Mike Fiers and relievers Jeurys Familia, Fernando Rodney and Shawn Kelley.

"Probably happened a little quicker than most people thought, but we've got some big-time players in that room," Melvin said. "This group is the best group I've had in all my years in managing. It's about just playing for the guy next to them, and that was kind of a theme we talked about, play for the guy next to you. It's more powerful than playing for yourself. That's what these guys do better than anybody."

Video: OAK@SEA: Athletics crush 4 home runs vs. Mariners

Following their 95th victory on Monday, which featured a go-ahead, two-run homer from Matt Chapman in the seventh inning, they improved to an MLB-best 61-26 since June 15. AL MVP candidate Khris Davis collected his Major League-leading 46th homer and 120th RBI in the game, and Jed Lowrie and Jonathan Lucroy also homered.

"I'm watching my dreams come true right now," said Davis, who has amassed 131 homers in three seasons with Oakland, more than any other MLB player in that span. "I'm just appreciative of the moment right now. It's amazing just to share it with my teammates and give them hugs and tell everybody that I'm proud of them and I'm proud to be with them."

The A's are baseball's best story, readying to take on the game's grandest stage well ahead of even their own schedule despite much adversity. Their rotation has been decimated by injuries, yet they've managed to stay afloat with a makeshift staff while employing a potent offense and a formidable bullpen, along with a steady defense in a wondrous season.

Video: Olson's RBI single in the 8th

"You can't fake talent over the course of 162 games, and we have that," Lowrie said, "and we pull for each other."

Video: OAK@SEA: A's President Dave Kaval on A's clinching

"They've been writing the story all year," Forst said. "There's 25-plus incredible stories out there of guys who contributed who weren't expected to, of guys who came back from injuries, guys who just got here a month ago and played a part. Anytime things come together like this, it's really special. I'm thrilled for Bob and his staff. It's a really special day."

UP NEXT
Lefty Brett Anderson (4-5, 3.96 ERA) will be on the mound for Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. PT tilt with right-hander Mike Leake (10-10, 4.10) and the Mariners at Safeco Field. Anderson has a 1.29 ERA in two starts against Seattle this season.

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

Oakland Athletics

The Top 10 A's moments of 2018

MLB.com @JaneMLB

A most magical A's season began dramatically -- Marcus Semien's walk-off hit sent them to a victory on Opening Day -- and only heightened in theatrics as the season moved along, an improbable run punctuated by their first postseason berth in four years.

Along the way, a bevy of unforgettable moments were bookmarked. History was made, homers were had, and emotions ran high. The playoff-bound A's surely entertained, and they hope the fun has just begun.

A most magical A's season began dramatically -- Marcus Semien's walk-off hit sent them to a victory on Opening Day -- and only heightened in theatrics as the season moved along, an improbable run punctuated by their first postseason berth in four years.

Along the way, a bevy of unforgettable moments were bookmarked. History was made, homers were had, and emotions ran high. The playoff-bound A's surely entertained, and they hope the fun has just begun.

Get A's 2018 postseason gear

Here is a look at the A's Top 10 moments from the 2018 season:

Video: OAK@SEA: Treinen K's Seager, A's celebrate berth

Playoff-bound
The A's hoped to cap a memorable home campaign by clinching on their own turf Sunday, but their magic number remained at one after a loss to the Twins, forcing them to take the party on the road. They didn't have to wait long to celebrate, though, clinching a postseason spot by virtue of a Rays loss only moments after they began play in Seattle on Monday. Perhaps it wasn't the way they envisioned clinching, but there was cause for much celebration nonetheless.

Video: BOS@OAK: Manaea throws the first no-hitter of 2018

Manaea makes history
Lefty Sean Manaea dazzled against a sizzling Red Sox club on April 21, blanking Boston for the game's first no-hitter of 2018. Manaea struck out 10 and walked two, totaling 108 pitches to finish off the franchise's 12th no-hitter and first since Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2010. Battery mate Jonathan Lucroy, a nine-year veteran, would later say it "was the most well-pitched, well-executed game I've ever had behind the plate."

Video: Must C Clips: Piscotty hits emotional HR in return

Piscotty salutes mom
Perhaps the most emotional moment of this regular season unfolded May 15 at Fenway Park, where outfielder Stephen Piscotty hit a towering home run over the Green Monster in his first at-bat following memorial services for mom, Gretchen, who lost a yearlong battle with ALS. Piscotty looked to the sky, tapping his heart as he crossed home plate -- mimicking Gretchen's gesture in her final days. It was her way of saying, "I love you and thank you," Piscotty explained.

Video: OAK@TOR: Pinder smashes a go-ahead grand slam

Pinder's slam powers A's
The A's had just suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Astros and were a measly 18-19 when they hit the road for a trying trip east that would include stops in New York, Boston and Toronto. They responded by going 7-3 -- a pivotal point in the season -- and capping the tour with a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays. Utility man extraordinaire Chad Pinder dealt the biggest blow; with the A's trailing by four going into the eighth in the third game of the series on May 19, he clocked his first career grand slam to provide the margin of victory in the 5-4 affair.

Video: Must C Clutch: Piscotty, Lowrie's late HRs propel A's

Piscotty, Lowrie team up in San Diego
The A's were one strike from a bleak loss in San Diego on June 19 when they woke from their slumber. Piscotty homered off closer Brad Hand to tie the Padres in the ninth inning, then Jed Lowrie homered to beat them in the 10th, 4-2, for an unlikely comeback win in front of a crowd that featured hundreds of A's fans. Oakland had just four hits before Piscotty's long ball.

Video: OAK@SF: Canha launches a mammoth pinch-hit homer

Bat Flippin' Season
It was a teeny, tiny toss of the bat, but it left an indelible mark on A's fans -- and others miffed by it. Mark Canha's own response following his first career pinch-hit home run, against the cross-Bay rival Giants, no less, for a go-ahead, two-run blast in a July 14 victory provided one of the most entertaining moments of the season. Canha first apologized for the bat flip, then took it back, saying, "You know what, people getting offended by bat flips is so silly. I'm not sorry. I'm not really sorry." Soon after, Canha made shirts for his teammates that read "Bat Flippin' Season."

Video: Must C Comeback: A's score 11 unanswered in comeback

11 unanswered runs
These A's have specialized in the comeback this year, staging one of the most sensational ones yet in Texas on July 24. Striking for 11 unanswered runs, the A's came away with a remarkable 13-10 victory. Piscotty launched a game-tying home run in the ninth to snap Keone Kela's streak of 23 consecutive save conversions, and Khris Davis delivered a three-run homer in the 10th for a most magical win. Not since Aug. 30, 1939, had the A's won a game when trailing after the sixth inning by at least eight runs.

Video: OAK@LAA: Laureano's catch, 321-ft. throw leads to DP

The Throw
It was the throw of the year, an absolute marvel: Ramon Laureano, who has continually wowed with a number of defensive highlights since his promotion eight days earlier, outdid himself with a seemingly impossible feat on Aug. 11 in Anaheim, first racing 76 feet in 4.4 seconds to run down a Justin Upton fly ball, then unleashing a throw from the edge of the warning track in left-center that hit the glove of first baseman Canha to double up Eric Young Jr. for an inning-ending double play. Statcast™ tells us Laureano's throw traveled a whopping 321 feet, at 91.2 mph.

Video: Must C Clutch: Olson's walk-off HR caps wild comeback

Olson ends it
The A's trailed Houston by a run in the ninth inning on Aug. 17 when Laureano was ruled safe at home for the tying run following a lengthy review. One inning later, Matt Olson's first career walk-off homer completed a wild comeback in a season chock-full of them, the A's stunning the Astros and moving within one game of the American League West lead.

Video: TEX@OAK: Davis grants wish, clubs 438-ft home run

Make a wish, watch KD homer
Prior to the A's Aug. 20 game against the Rangers, Davis met with a handful of kids with the Make-A-Wish Foundation -- among them, 10-year-old Anthony Slocumb, who is in remission from a rare cancer called Langerhans cell histiocytosis. Slocumb told Davis that he was his favorite player and asked for an autograph. Davis not only happily obliged but asked for one back. The slugger had Slocumb sign the back of his game jersey, then homered in it with Slocumb in the stands. "I thought about him around the bases," Davis said.

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

Oakland Athletics

Davis extends MLB lead with 46th home run

MLB.com @JaneMLB

SEATTLE -- A's slugger Khris Davis swatted his Major League-leading 46th homer as part of a celebratory 7-3 victory on Monday at Safeco Field.

Davis' sixth-inning homer also upped his RBI total to 120, second-most in the Majors, and he joins Jimmie Foxx (1932, 1933) as the only players in A's history to hit 45-plus home runs with 120-plus RBIs in a single season.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- A's slugger Khris Davis swatted his Major League-leading 46th homer as part of a celebratory 7-3 victory on Monday at Safeco Field.

Davis' sixth-inning homer also upped his RBI total to 120, second-most in the Majors, and he joins Jimmie Foxx (1932, 1933) as the only players in A's history to hit 45-plus home runs with 120-plus RBIs in a single season.

View Full Game Coverage

Davis and the A's clinched their first postseason berth since 2014 before their game even ended, courtesy of a Rays loss. They're preparing to most likely face the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game on Oct. 3, a matchup of heavy hitters.

Video: OAK@SEA: Davis discusses Athletics making postseason

While the Yankees boast the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the A's employ baseball's best home run hitter since the start of the 2016 season. Davis has launched more long balls in that span (131) than any other player.

"I'm just appreciative of the moment right now," Davis said. "I think we're for real. I know we're for real. We're gonna go just attack mode."

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

Oakland Athletics, Khris Davis

Who is Athletics' all-time single-season ace?

Which pitcher should take the hill with everything on the line?
MLB.com @williamfleitch

The thing about baseball is that you can have the best lineup in the history of the game, but if it runs up against a hot pitcher at the wrong time, it's essentially useless. Nothing happens until the pitcher throws the ball; we're all reacting to him. And when you have a truly great one, it doesn't matter how fantastic a hitter you are: He can get you out regardless. A true ace can be unhittable.

Imagine, then, a tournament of the future, one that transcends space, time and death, in which every franchise had to win one game, with its best pitcher ever, for its own survival. That'd be fun, right? Who would you want throwing in that game? This conversation happens a lot this time of year, when we look ahead to the Wild Card Games, where one dominant pitching performance can change everything. (Remember Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and '16?)

The thing about baseball is that you can have the best lineup in the history of the game, but if it runs up against a hot pitcher at the wrong time, it's essentially useless. Nothing happens until the pitcher throws the ball; we're all reacting to him. And when you have a truly great one, it doesn't matter how fantastic a hitter you are: He can get you out regardless. A true ace can be unhittable.

Imagine, then, a tournament of the future, one that transcends space, time and death, in which every franchise had to win one game, with its best pitcher ever, for its own survival. That'd be fun, right? Who would you want throwing in that game? This conversation happens a lot this time of year, when we look ahead to the Wild Card Games, where one dominant pitching performance can change everything. (Remember Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and '16?)

With all of this in mind, we take a look at each franchise's One Game To Live pitcher, the one pitcher, during his one peak season, who you'd put on the mound with it all on the line. You just get to pick one pitcher, and one season, when he was at the height of his game. Who's your pick? Here are mine.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: 1997 Roger Clemens
21-7, 2.05 ERA, 292 K

As tempting as it might be to pick a Dave Stieb or Roy Halladay season, Clemens was unbelievable in 1997; according to bWAR, this was, in fact, the best season of his career. This was the season in which he won the fourth of his seven Cy Young Awards; he won one each of his two seasons in Toronto. (Clemens was really good.)

Orioles: 1975 Jim Palmer
23-11, 2.09 ERA, 10 shutouts, 323 IP

Palmer was never a huge strikeout pitcher, all told, but as many innings as he pitched, he didn't need to be. This was the second of his three Cy Young Award-winning seasons. Palmer somehow threw 25 complete games.

Rays: 2018 Blake Snell
21-5, 1.90 ERA

Yeah, we'll opt for this year. David Price's 2012 was close, but Snell has struck out more batters a game and may end up even winning more games. And he's pretty much the only starting pitcher on his team!

Video: BO@NYY: Pedro throws shutout against the Yankees

Red Sox: 2000 Pedro Martinez
18-6, 1.74 ERA, 284 Ks, 2.17 FIP

This was peak Pedro, at the absolute apex of his powers. There may have never been a more viscerally enjoyable pitcher to watch than Martinez at the turn of the century.

Yankees: 1978 Ron Guidry
25-3, 1.74 ERA

Guidry got a relatively late start to his career and battled injuries in his mid-30s, so he never quite had the longevity to be a Hall of Famer. But 1978, at the age of 27, Guidry was as good as any Yankee has ever been.

AL CENTRAL

Indians: 1946 Bob Feller
26-15, 2.18 ERA, 348 K

We'll never know how hard Feller truly threw … but to batters, judging from the numbers, it must have looked about 150 mph.

Video: KC@SEA: Greinke throws a one-hit shutout

Royals: 2009 Zack Greinke
16-8, 2.16 ERA, 242 K

It's close between Greinke and a couple of late-1980s Bret Saberhagen seasons, but Greinke's lone Cy Young Award-winning season is probably the call. His ERA actually jumped two runs the next season.

Tigers: 1968 Denny McLain
31-6, 1.96 ERA

Advanced stats would argue this wasn't even McLain's best year, and there are some great Justin Verlander seasons not here, as well as the great 1976 Mark Fidrych year … but 31 wins are 31 wins.

Twins: 2004 Johan Santana
20-6, 2.61 ERA, 265 K

We're not counting the Washington Senators era here, obviously, or it would be any one of about nine Walter Johnson seasons.

White Sox: 1917 Eddie Cicotte
28-12, 1.53 ERA, 346 2/3 IP

Cicotte should have had 30 wins in 1919, but White Sox owner Charles Comiskey ordered him benched so he wouldn't get a 30-win bonus he would be owed. That led, of course, to Cicotte taking money to fix the 1919 World Series, the scandal that would get Cicotte banned from baseball.

AL WEST

Angels: 1977 Nolan Ryan
19-16, 2.77 ERA, 341 K

An argument could be made that teammate Frank Tanana had an even better year in 1977 than Ryan … but with one game to decide the fate of your franchise, you really would rather face Ryan than Tanana?

Video: SF@HOU: Scott's no-hitter clinches the NL West

Astros: 1986 Mike Scott
18-10, 2.22 ERA, 306 K

Apologies to some wonderful Roy Oswalt years, not to mention a couple of great Clemens ones, but Scott was otherworldly in 1986.

Athletics: 1931 Lefty Grove
31-4, 2.06 ERA

Grove threw 27 complete games in 1931 … and notched five saves to boot.

Mariners: 1995 Randy Johnson
18-2, 2.48 ERA, 294 K

One gets shivers just thinking about having Johnson staring down at you during this era. So much hair!

Rangers: 1974 Ferguson Jenkins
25-12, 2.82 ERA, 225 K

Jenkins has always been underappreciated. This was his first, better stint with the team.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: 1995 Greg Maddux
19-2, 1.63 ERA

Maddux was an absolute magician. It was unfair what he could do while making it look so simple.

Marlins: 1996 Kevin Brown
17-11, 1.89 ERA

Brown's general orneriness had a tendency to mask how dominating a pitcher he could be.

Video: Remembering Gooden's historic achievement in 1985

Mets: 1985 Dwight Gooden
24-4, 1.53 ERA, 268 K

Jacob deGrom is Jacob deGrom, and Tom Seaver was Tom Seaver … but no one was ever better than 1985 Dwight Gooden. At the age of 20!

Nationals: 2017 Max Scherzer
16-6, 2.51 ERA, 268 K

We're -- controversially! -- ignoring the Expos and sticking with the Nats here. It's possible this year has, in fact, been better.

Phillies: 1972 Steve Carlton
27-10, 1.97 ERA, 310 K

This was the year after the Cardinals traded him, by the way. And on a Phils team that had 59 wins. Carlton won 46 percent of their games!

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: 1986 Teddy Higuera
20-11, 2.79 ERA

It is very tempting to go with 2008 CC Sabathia, who, after all, only made 17 starts.

Video: 1968 WS Gm1: Gibson passes Koufax with 16th strikeout

Cardinals: 1968 Bob Gibson
22-9, 1.12 ERA, 268 K

How in the world did Gibson lose nine games?

Cubs: 1992 Greg Maddux
20-11, 2.18 ERA

Sorry John Clarkson, Pete Alexander and Three Finger Brown, but we had to stick with modern era. So it's Maddux again!

Pirates: 1945 Preacher Roe
14-13, 2.87 ERA

For such a storied franchise, the Pirates don't actually have a ton of incredible individual starting pitching seasons.

Reds: 1993 Jose Rijo
14-9, 2.48 ERA, 227 K

Kids, ask your loud uncle: Rijo is the greatest pitcher no one remembers was a great pitcher.

Video: SD@ARI: Big Unit completes Opening Day shutout

NL WEST

D-backs: 2002 Randy Johnson
24-5, 2.32 ERA, 334 K

Somehow, Johnson was 38 when he did this.

Dodgers: 1966 Sandy Koufax
27-9, 1.73 ERA, 317 K

It's probably too late for Clayton Kershaw to ever match this.

Giants: 1908 Christy Mathewson
37-11, 1.43 ERA, 259 K, 42 BB

We make an exception for our "modern era" rule because … jeez, look at the K/BB ratio.

Padres: 1998 Kevin Brown
18-7, 2.38 ERA, 257 K, 49 BB

Bet you didn't imagine seeing Brown on this list twice, did you?

Rockies: 2018 Kyle Freeland
16-7, 2.84 ERA

The only season that's even close is Ubaldo Jimenez's 2010 season … and Freeland may end up having considerably more staying power.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Cahill ineffective as magic number remains at 1

A's head to Seattle looking to secure Wild Card berth
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Unable to clinch on their own grounds Sunday afternoon, the A's will move the party to Seattle.

A 5-1 loss to the Twins in their regular-season home finale, combined with a Rays win, kept their magic number at one as they head north while the champagne remains on ice with six to play.

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- Unable to clinch on their own grounds Sunday afternoon, the A's will move the party to Seattle.

A 5-1 loss to the Twins in their regular-season home finale, combined with a Rays win, kept their magic number at one as they head north while the champagne remains on ice with six to play.

View Full Game Coverage

"It's disappointing we couldn't get it done here, but I like our chances heading on the road," A's third baseman Matt Chapman said. "In a perfect world, we get it done today. That's just the way it goes, and I know we'll be ready to go tomorrow."

That the Yankees also lost proved to be the lone silver lining of the day, keeping the A's within 1 1/2 games of the top American League Wild Card spot, which guarantees home-field advantage. Should the Yankees keep their footing, the A's would only return to the Coliseum this year if they punch a ticket to the AL Division Series with the Red Sox.

The Coliseum has been incredibly kind to Trevor Cahill this year, but the right-hander faltered in front of an anxious crowd in his first start in two weeks, while a mighty offense struggled to score under the watch of Twins starter Kyle Gibson, who scattered seven hits and three walks over 7 1/3 innings yet held the A's to one run.

Video: MIN@OAK: Cahill strikes out Austin to retire the side

Matt Olson was responsible for the A's only run, launching his 28th home run in the second. Oakland left nine on base and finished the series 0-for-21 with runners in scoring position despite taking the first two games.

"That does not happen very often with us," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We're pretty good with runners in scoring position, and we were not in this series. Usually, those things tend to even out. Unfortunately, it didn't even out today. Guys early in the game, they really wanna be the guy that comes up and gets a big hit, but as the game went along, give [Gibson] credit. He was terrific today. He's a pretty good pitcher."

Cahill, back on the mound after missing a pair of starts because of upper back discomfort, was around for just 3 1/3 innings and gave up five runs -- three earned -- and five hits, including a two-run homer to Jake Cave in the opening frame. The veteran pitcher was undone in a game-altering fourth inning that featured a critical throwing error by Chapman.

Video: MIN@OAK: Melvin on Cahill's outing, issues on offense

Chapman had a chance at redemption when he stepped to the plate with one out and two on in the fifth, but he was robbed of a run-scoring hit when third baseman Ehire Adrianza made an incredible diving stop and throw to start an inning-ending double play on the hardest-hit ball of the day. Statcast™ tracked it with an exit velocity of 108.1 mph.

"Great play," Chapman said. "That kind of just describes what happened today. They made the plays they needed to when they needed to, and we didn't."

The A's, readying for their first playoff berth since 2014, finished their home campaign 50-31; a bevy of fans offered their appreciation for a rousing season with a standing ovation as the team departed the field Sunday.

Video: MIN@OAK: Pinder begins 4-6-3 double play in the 7th

"I think it's a little disappointing," Melvin said. "Everybody here wanted to take care of this today at home. It was a big crowd. We just get another baserunner there in the eighth and or ninth, and they're going to be into it pretty big time, and a lot of times we put on our best show late in games. Unfortunately, it didn't happen today."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With one out and the A's trailing by a run in the fourth, the typically trusty Chapman threw away a potential inning-ending double play ball, setting up Max Kepler's RBI single, and Adrianza followed with a run-scoring double to send Cahill out of the game. Right-hander Shawn Kelley was tagged for a sacrifice fly by Chris Gimenez but limited the damage otherwise, as the Twins exited the inning with a 5-1 lead.

"I just think that I was worried about the catch and I didn't hit my target," Chapman said. "I think I had a little more time. I maybe rushed the throw because I wanted to turn a double play, and Chad [Pinder] tried to hang on there for me, but I just kind of knew that was my fault and then three runs score, so it doesn't really feel good, but I kind of took us out of the game right there."

SOUND SMART
Olson played in all 81 home games this season. Should he appear in each of the A's final six games on the road, it will be the 11th time in Oakland history a player appeared in all 162 and first since Miguel Tejada did it in 2003.

HE SAID IT
"All things considered, I think it was a step in the right direction for him. The last time we saw him, he was completely out of whack and hurting a little bit. You could tell within his delivery it just wasn't smooth, but I think that he looked OK today." -- Melvin, who wouldn't yet commit to another start for Cahill

UP NEXT
The A's are set to depart the Coliseum for their final road trip of the regular season. Daniel Mengden (7-6, 4.00 ERA) will be on the mound when the A's open a three-game series in Seattle on Monday. The Mariners will send James Paxton to the hill for the 7:10 p.m. PT matchup. Mengden held opponents to one run over his last 13 2/3 innings.

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

Oakland Athletics

Wild walk-off cuts A's magic number to 1

MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- The A's magic number is down to one.

They practiced celebrating ahead of time following yet another walk-off victory over the Twins on Saturday evening, a 3-2 affair that ended when a bases-loaded wild pitch skipped past Matt Chapman with two outs in the ninth inning, allowing Stephen Piscotty to score under the watch of right-hander Trevor Hildenberger.

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- The A's magic number is down to one.

They practiced celebrating ahead of time following yet another walk-off victory over the Twins on Saturday evening, a 3-2 affair that ended when a bases-loaded wild pitch skipped past Matt Chapman with two outs in the ninth inning, allowing Stephen Piscotty to score under the watch of right-hander Trevor Hildenberger.

View Full Game Coverage

Credit Mark Canha with an assist: Stepping to the plate with one out in the inning, after Piscotty doubled and Marcus Semien reached on an error ahead of an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce, Canha worked an 11-pitch at-bat, ultimately striking out but only after fouling off six pitches.

"Obviously made a good pitch with the breaking ball to strike him out," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "but he had to work hard and the first pitch [to Chapman] gets away from him, so Mark probably had a little something to do with that."

Now, an Oakland win or a Rays loss Sunday would ensure the A's a trip to the American League Wild Card Game for their first postseason berth since 2014.

Video: MIN@OAK: Piscotty discusses walk-off win, fan support

The A's, a remarkable 60-25 since June 16, have strung together four consecutive victories but remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top AL Wild Card spot. New York also holds the tiebreaker for home-field advantage in the winner-takes-all game -- something the A's, who played in front of 36,731, want badly for themselves.

"It was really loud," Semien said. "That at-bat with Canha up there was really loud. The place when it's packed, it can be one of the loudest. Puts pressure on the other team and gets us going. That's why it would be great to host. If we make the playoffs, that's the kind of atmosphere that can get us a win."

Semien, who has endured three consecutive last-place finishes with this team, supported the postseason cause with a go-ahead, two-run homer opposite Twins right-hander Chase De Jong in the fifth.

Video: MIN@OAK: Semien slugs a 2-run homer to left field

One of the newest members, meanwhile, did his part on the mound: Mike Fiers, who latched on in August through a trade with Detroit, held the Twins to one run and four hits over six innings. The right-hander has unequivocally been one of their most vital pieces down the stretch, pitching to a 2.90 ERA in nine starts.

"I'm going out there every start giving it everything I got just like every other guy in this clubhouse," Fiers said. "Everyone leans on each other every night, and I feel like it's always someone different to get it done, big hit, big pitch.

"We played team baseball today, and in a tight game like this where it's tough. These are the type of games that are going to happen in the playoffs, so it's good to see that we can play in these one-run ballgames and close things out and put pressure on 'em."

Video: MIN@OAK: Fiers K's 5 over 6 strong innings vs. Twins

After Fiers delivered a shutdown sixth inning, capping a strong 79-pitch showing with his fifth strikeout, the A's watched a member of their bullpen lose grip of a lead for the second straight night. Right-hander Jeurys Familia surrendered a one-out double to Ehire Adrianza and a run-scoring single to Willians Astudillo to even the score -- temporarily.

Video: MIN@OAK: Astudillo rips an RBI single to tie the game

Closer Blake Treinen picked up his second win in as many days with a scoreless ninth, setting the stage for the first walk-off wild pitch in franchise history since April 26, 1997, against Kansas City.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Semien also starred on defense, ranging back and to his right for a remarkable catch in shallow left field for the second out of the seventh to hold Astudillo at second base -- a critical juncture in the inning. That's when lefty Ryan Buchter entered and got Joe Mauer to fly out to center to keep the game tied.

"Off the bat, it didn't look like he was going to get to it, and he got a great read on it, a great jump and ended up getting to it fairly easily for a huge play," Melvin said.

Video: MIN@OAK: Semien ranges into outfield for running grab

SOUND SMART
Buchter has not allowed an inherited runner to score since July 21, leaving 19 of them out to dry in that span.

HE SAID IT
"We're going to go after it. I'm sure we'll have that game on in the morning just like we always have baseball on. Maybe one TV for NFL. Tampa will be on one of these TVs, and we'll be getting ready." -- Semien, on watching the Rays' 10 a.m. PT matchup with Toronto on Sunday

UP NEXT
Right-hander Trevor Cahill, who has been sidelined for two weeks with an upper back issue, is set to return to the mound in a potential clinching game against the Twins on Sunday. He's 6-3 with a 3.77 ERA, including a 1.49 ERA in 10 home starts. Minnesota, hoping to play the role of spoiler, will counter with right-hander Kyle Gibson (8-13, 3.78 ERA) in the 1:05 p.m. PT tilt.

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

Oakland Athletics, Mike Fiers, Stephen Piscotty, Marcus Semien

These are the 2018 second-half All-Star teams

MLB.com @castrovince

Baseball's All-Star Game is our annual opportunity to pause the hustle and bustle of the 162-game schedule and appreciate those who have defined the season, to date. But that date, of course, comes at a point in which so much of the season story is still unwritten. And even though the 2018 Midsummer Classic came especially late (teams had played nearly 100 games by that point), there are plenty of players whose performance since the break is worth appreciating, too.

So let's pretend there's such a thing as the Second-Half All-Star Game, in which the only numbers that matter are the ones accrued since July 19.

Baseball's All-Star Game is our annual opportunity to pause the hustle and bustle of the 162-game schedule and appreciate those who have defined the season, to date. But that date, of course, comes at a point in which so much of the season story is still unwritten. And even though the 2018 Midsummer Classic came especially late (teams had played nearly 100 games by that point), there are plenty of players whose performance since the break is worth appreciating, too.

So let's pretend there's such a thing as the Second-Half All-Star Game, in which the only numbers that matter are the ones accrued since July 19.

Here are my personal picks for the starting squads for this imaginary tilt. And note that in situations where there are multiple players in a relative "tie," I'm going to lean toward the guy who wasn't an actual All-Star this season or who had a rough first half, if only to accentuate second-half surges.

All stats are through Saturday's games.

First base
American League:
Luke Voit, Yankees (.314/.385/.648, 11 HR, 2 2B, 25 RBIs)
There are first-base options with larger sample sizes than Voit's 130 plate appearances, including other guys who have taken advantage of unexpected opportunity, like the Astros' Tyler White and the Royals' Ryan O'Hearn, But Voit, acquired in a low-profile trade with the Cardinals, is the perfect example of the kind of player who rises from obscurity, puts on the pinstripes, rips a bunch of big hits and just generally makes people hate the New York Yankees.

Video: Must C Crushed: Voit hits HR to set Yankees, MLB mark

National League: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (.319/.424/.552, 12 HR, 10 2B, 1 3B, 34 RBIs, 2 SB)
I went into this exercise with Matt Carpenter's name penciled in at first, but his statistical surge began well before the break, and Rizzo actually has better numbers when you look strictly at the second half (Carp has slashed .260/.386/.534). Paul Goldschmidt would also qualify after rebounding from a poor start, but he recovered in time to make it as a reserve in the All-Star Game. So Rizzo is the best fit for what we're looking for on this squad. He also gets bonus points for his late July pitching appearance and his marathon 17-pitch first-inning at-bat vs. the D-backs earlier this week.

Second base
AL:
Joey Wendle, Rays (.325/.384/.495, 3 HR, 20 2B, 2 3B, 27 RBIs, 8 SB)
Don't you just love it when rookies rise up to make an unexpectedly awesome impact?

NL: Jeff McNeil, Mets (.328/.382/.410, 3 HR, 10 2B, 6 3B, 18 RBIs, 5 SB)
Like I said, don't you just love it when rookies rise up to make an unexpectedly awesome impact? Wendle and McNeil are both older by rookie standards (McNeil is 26, Wendle is 28). Both had to take their lumps (Wendle struggled to get real opportunity with the A's, while McNeil was limited by injury to just 51 games in the Minors in 2016 and '17) to get here. But here they are.

Shortstop
AL:
Didi Gregorius, Yankees (.280/.357/.547, 10 HR, 5 2B, 3 3B, 34 RBIs)
At this stacked position, there just wasn't enough room on the real AL All-Star roster to recognize Gregorius' absurd (and unsustainable) April. In fact, he's never been an All-Star. But Gregorius has worked around a heel injury to post the best wRC+ mark (144) of any Major League shortstop with at least 100 plate appearances in the second half, so we'll give him the love he deserves. Boston's Xander Bogaerts would be just as worthy a selection, and Kansas City's Adalberto Mondesi is developing into something special.

NL: Trevor Story, Rockies (.281/.326/.537, 13 HR, 13 2B, 34 RBIs, 14 SB)
Yes, Story did make the real NL squad, but as a reserve. Brandon Crawford was a perfectly valid selection for the starting nod by the fans at the time, but if we had to recast our votes today, Story would be the clear starter here. He's the first shortstop in history with 40 doubles, 30 homers and 25 steals in a season.

Video: ARI@COL: Story sets new club record on 471-ft. homer

Third base
AL:
Matt Chapman, A's (.321/.379/.616, 13 HR, 25 2B, 3 3B, 37 RBIs)
Again, we'll go with the non-All-Star wherever possible on this list, so Alex Bregman, despite vaulting himself into the AL MVP Award conversation in the second half, takes a backseat here. And even the absurd second half of Yankees rookie Miguel Andujar falls short of what Chapman continues to mean to the A's. His defense is always extraordinary, and his offensive uptick (from a first-half slash of .250/.342/.434) has been dramatic.

NL: Justin Turner, Dodgers (.376/.470/.653, 8 HR, 21 2B, 1 3B, 30 RBIs, 1 SB)
In the first half, Turner dealt with the lingering effects from the fractured wrist he sustained this spring. In the second half, once he recovered from a groin strain, he's been the red-bearded monster we expect him to be.

Outfield
AL:
Mike Trout, Angels (.331/.481/.719, 13 HR, 6 2B, 1 3B, 27 RBIs, 9 SB)
Again, we'll break any perceived ties by going with non-All-Stars, but there's no tying Trout. He's simply having one of the best halves of his extraordinary career and again mounting an AL MVP Award argument in a lost Angels season.

Tommy Pham, Rays (.331/.421/.567, 7 HR, 7 2B, 5 3B, 22 RBIs, 3 SB)
Pham has rediscovered himself with the Rays after the Cardinals' decision to move him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. All the underlying stats insisted he was the victim of bad luck in an average first half (.243 average, .722 OPS), and they were right.

Stephen Piscotty, A's (.275/.336/.546, 14 HR, 17 2B, 39 RBIs, 1 SB)
What a joy it's been to see Piscotty put it back together on the big stage after the emotional upheaval of losing his mother. He makes this list really because of the way he's surged in September, with a 1.160 OPS, seven homers and four doubles through 17 games. The Rangers' Joey Gallo, who has mixed in a better OBP to go with his usual power prowess, would also be a good fit here.

NL: Christian Yelich, Brewers (.358/.420/.724, 20 HR, 17 2B, 4 3B, 50 RBIs, 8 SB)
Though Yelich was an actual All-Star, what reasonable person could leave him off this list? He was a reserve in the Midsummer Classic, but now he might be the NL MVP Award favorite. Yelich's 20 homers since the break are one shy of his previous career high for a full season. He even kind of helped the Cleveland Browns win a game for the first time in forever.

Video: Yelich makes history with 2nd cycle of '18 vs. Reds

Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves (.319/.406/.647, 19 HR, 14 2B, 4 3B, 39 RBIs, 13 SB)
Acuna is the epitome of what we're looking for on this list, as his ascension to the leadoff spot directly out of the All-Star break broke him loose and arguably put the Braves over the top in the NL East.

Juan Soto, Nationals (.287/.401/.505, 11 HR, 12 2B, 1 3B, 37 RBIs, 3 SB)
Soto's specific second-half case isn't quite as stark as Acuna's, but, again, here's an opportunity to highlight a guy whose timing just didn't align with the selection of the regular All-Star rosters, but is nonetheless one of the stars of the season. Alas, selecting him meant bumping Bryce Harper in the midst of his monster second half (after some people criticized Harper's All-Star starting selection in the midst of a frustrating first half). It's also tough to leave off the Mets' Brandon Nimmo, the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, the D-backs' David Peralta and the Padres' Franmil Reyes, among other deserving candidates.

Catcher
AL:
Salvador Perez, Royals (.249/.291/.513, 14 HR, 10 2B, 36 RBIs)
Perez, with a .653 OPS at the break, was objectively undeserving of his spot on the AL roster this year (he filled the Royals' quota), much less the starting spot he received when Wilson Ramos got hurt. So we'll give him credit for an improved second half in the power department, including a walk-off grand slam last week. Shout-out, too, to Omar Narvaez for making the most of his limited playing time with the White Sox (.858 OPS).

NL: Austin Hedges, Padres (.247/.297/.500, 10 HR, 7 2B, 2 3B, 20 RBIs, 2 SB)
Hedges' job is in jeopardy with the recent acquisition of Francisco Mejia (who has already had some big hits for the Friars), and he had a miserable, injury-plagued first half. But Hedges made some changes to his swing and stance and has had a solid second half.

Designated hitter
AL:
Shohei Ohtani, Angels (.288/.370/.606, 13 HR, 10 2B, 1 3B, 33 RBIs, 7 SB)
The two-way Ohtani's elbow injury, which had him completely sidelined at the time the All-Star rosters were being put together, is one of the biggest bummers of 2018. His continued offensive explosion, even while nursing a UCL tear, is one of the biggest stunners of the season. The A's Khris Davis (who has never been an All-Star despite three straight 40-homer seasons) and the Rays' Ji-Man Choi also would have fit the bill here, and of course J.D. Martinez remains incredible.

Video: SEA@LAA: Ohtani goes back-to-back with Trout for 20th

NL: Yasiel Puig (.285/.347/.577, 11 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 27 RBIs, 8 SB)
You might have noticed the NL doesn't use the DH rule, but since we billed this as a "Second-Half All-Star Game roster," let's just put the aforementioned Puig here and hope we catch him on a good night.

Starting pitcher
AL:
David Price, Red Sox (5-1, 2.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 63 IP, 4.77 K/BB)
Even after yet another Bronx bummer earlier this week, Price is still carrying the best second-half ERA and WHIP among AL starters. He's repositioned himself on the rubber, changed his pitch patterns, adjusted his windup and shaken off a first half in which he posted a 4.42 ERA.

NL: Zack Wheeler, Mets (9-1, 1.68 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 75 IP, 4.87 K/BB)
Were we to play the All-Star Game today, I would hope Jacob deGrom would get the starting nod for the NL (and I would hope the NL All-Stars could give him more run support than the Mets typically do). But looking strictly at post-break performance, Wheeler has the better ERA and has somehow proven that a Mets pitcher can fare well in the win-loss column. Wheeler was shut down this week because of workload concerns, but the changes he's made to shorten his delivery have paid big dividends and provided plenty of hope for his future.

Apologies to the Pirates' Trevor Williams, who has also been outstanding (1.08 ERA in 11 starts), but to date has thrown nine fewer second-half innings than Wheeler and didn't have that fun "Look who's the best pitcher on the Mets!" angle to work with.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Khrush's walk-off HR cuts A's magic number to 3

Davis goes yard twice to extend MLB home run lead to 45
MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Moments after connecting for his second home run of the night, an opposite-field beauty that mirrored the first, Khris Davis downplayed a stream of questions about himself -- as the A's mighty slugger tends to do -- and offered this reminder: "We have some work to do."

"There's not a better feeling in the world," Davis would also say, after ending the game with his Major League-leading 45th homer. Yet the man yearns for more, and his team is within grasp of just that.

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- Moments after connecting for his second home run of the night, an opposite-field beauty that mirrored the first, Khris Davis downplayed a stream of questions about himself -- as the A's mighty slugger tends to do -- and offered this reminder: "We have some work to do."

"There's not a better feeling in the world," Davis would also say, after ending the game with his Major League-leading 45th homer. Yet the man yearns for more, and his team is within grasp of just that.

View Full Game Coverage

Not even a bullpen meltdown could mute these resilient A's, who inched that much closer to a postseason berth with a late push at the Coliseum. It was Mark Canha who belted a pinch-hit, two-run homer that tied the game in the sixth, and Davis who delivered the final blow, a walk-off solo shot for a 7-6 series-opening win over the Twins on Friday night.

"M-V-P!" chants were heard 'round the Coliseum as Davis rounded third base, removed his helmet and sent off his signature jump shot before landing on home plate, his giddy teammates pouncing on him.

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis crushes walk-off HR in the 10th

There is no shortage of boppers on this team, but Davis, his power so prodigious, undoubtedly tops them all. His 119 RBIs are second-most in the Majors, and no other player has as many home runs since the start of 2016 (130).

"He's our guy," Canha said. "I don't know how many walk-off home runs he's hit since he's been here, but I think we all felt on the bench he was gonna do that. Somebody mentioned, like, 'I got a good feeling about this.'

"Obviously he's awesome for us on the field, and he's an awesome teammate. We love the heck out of him. Gosh, what do you say? I'm at a loss for words. He does that, though. He does things that just leave you speechless. It's crazy."

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis on dramatic walk-off home run

The A's magic number dropped to three with their third straight win, though they remained 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the top American League Wild Card spot following New York's win against the Orioles. They also sit 3 1/2 back of the first-place Astros in the AL West with eight to play.

Davis ignited the A's to an early two-run lead with home run No. 44 to top his previous career best, padded by a pair of sacrifice flies from Jonathan Lucroy and Marcus Semien.

Video: MIN@OAK: Davis hits career-high 44th homer in the 1st

A four-run lead typically signifies riches for a sturdy Oakland bullpen, yet it vanished under the watch of Lou Trivino and Shawn Kelley in a damaging sixth -- negating a fine four-inning effort from Chris Bassitt following opener Liam Hendriks' scoreless stint.

The A's, though, quickly emerged from a 6-4 hole on Canha's career-high 17th home run in the home half of the inning to break even, allowing for the dramatics that unfolded in extras following important work from Ryan Buchter, Jeurys Familia and closer Blake Treinen, who picked up the win with two scoreless innings while lowering his ERA to an MLB-best 0.83.

"I love those moments," Canha said. "I wasn't thinking about hitting a home run. I was just trying to have a good at-bat, but when something like that happens it just gets the blood flowing a little bit. It's a lot of fun."

Video: MIN@OAK: Canha crushes pinch-hit, 2-run homer to left

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trivino, at times working without his typically devastating movement this month, appeared off yet again, yielding four consecutive hits and departing without recording a out. Jake Cave greeted him with a resounding double, and Robbie Grossman smacked the next pitch for a two-run homer. Trivino was offered two more batters, each collecting singles to force him out of the game.

Kelley's first batter, Ehire Adrianza, laced a two-run, game-tying double to right, and the right-hander, still eying runners on second and third, nearly pivoted around further disaster by getting each of his next two batters to weakly fly out. That's when the A's opted to intentionally walk Joe Mauer, despite the first baseman striking out in each of his first three at-bats, and Jorge Polanco made them pay with a go-ahead, bases-clearing double.

Video: MIN@OAK: Polanco's clutch hit highlights 6-run 6th

Trivino has allowed a combined eight runs over his last four outings, a troubling trend for a reliever these A's have come to rely on so heavily.

"He's just having a little tough time right now," manager Bob Melvin said. "Just looked like the ball was pretty straight today. He's struggled a little bit, and it's going to happen over a course of a season and we have a lot of faith in him."

SOUND SMART
Davis has 22 career multi-homer games, including seven this year.

HE SAID IT
"You look at his numbers and what he's meant to this team, he definitely needs to be in the conversation." -- Melvin, on Davis' AL MVP candidacy

UP NEXT
The A's will have right-hander Mike Fiers (12-7, 3.38 ERA) on the mound for Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT tilt with righty Chase De Jong (0-1, 3.68) and the Twins at the Coliseum. The A's have won all but one of Fiers' eight starts since he joined them in August.

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

Oakland Athletics, Khris Davis

A's amaze with 21-run eruption in rout of Angels

MLB.com @JaneMLB

OAKLAND -- Cue the "We control our own destiny" mantra.

It's been heard from every corner of the A's clubhouse down the stretch, but on Thursday they simply let their bats do the talking in another rout of the Angels that brought their magic number down to four with nine games to play.

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- Cue the "We control our own destiny" mantra.

It's been heard from every corner of the A's clubhouse down the stretch, but on Thursday they simply let their bats do the talking in another rout of the Angels that brought their magic number down to four with nine games to play.

View Full Game Coverage

Oakland's 21-3 series-winning victory at the Coliseum moved them within 1.5 games of the Yankees for the top American League Wild Card spot.

Video: LAA@OAK: Chapman, Piscotty combine for a 5-run 5th

The A's have a 6 1/2-game lead on the Rays, who lost to Toronto, for the second Wild Card berth, while 3 1/2 games separate them from the first-place Astros in the AL West after they improved to an MLB-best 58-25 since June 16.

"We just keep grinding and try to win every game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We know there are limited games left."

Video: LAA@OAK: Melvin on offensive excellence in 21-3 win

Their second straight win, coming on the heels of an atypical three-game losing streak, featured a familiar formula, a sneak attack of sorts. Less than 24 hours after breaking out for six runs in the fourth inning, the A's used a five-run third to break away.

Video: LAA@OAK: Martini drills his 1st big league home run

That would have been plenty, but they struck for seven more runs -- all with two outs -- in the fourth and, just for fun, six in the sixth. It got downright silly in the seventh, when the Angels turned to position player Francisco Arcia on the mound and watched him surrender back-to-back homers to Nick Martini, the first of his career, and Chad Pinder to punctuate the season-high 21-run day and hand the Angels their worst loss in franchise history.

Video: LAA@OAK: Pinder goes back-to-back with Martini in 7th

"You know, down the road maybe I'll tell people that guy was throwing 98 [mph] with a nasty slider," Martini said, grinning. "No, I mean I was definitely happy to get that for sure. It was definitely an exciting feeling."

Stephen Piscotty also homered, a three-run blast against starter Matt Shoemaker -- who was around for just 2 2/3 innings -- for his second in as many days, seventh in 17 games this month and 26th on the season.

Video: LAA@OAK: Piscotty cranks a 3-run homer to left

"That was special, a lot of fun," Piscotty said. "Honestly, when I saw the score on the board, it was like a football score. It doesn't happen all that often. It's a crazy game."

Tweet from @joe_sheehan: Despite it being the home of the Raiders for 46 seasons, the A���s win today was the first 21-3 game in Coliseum history.

Right-hander Edwin Jackson held the Angels to two earned runs and compiled seven strikeouts across 5 1/3 innings for the A's, who are 13-3 when the veteran toes the rubber.

Video: LAA@OAK: Jackson K's Francisco, strikes out the side

They outscored the Angels, 31-3, in the final two games of the series to pad their AL-leading run total for the month (118), getting a career-high five RBIs from Marcus Semien. The team finished 12-for-17 with runners in scoring position, totaling 22 hits -- including at least two apiece from all but one of their starting nine. Moreover, eight of their players scored two or more runs for the first time since July 25, 1929, as they fell two runs shy of the Oakland single-game record.

Video: LAA@OAK: Semien drives in 5 runs on 3 hits in A's win

"When you're getting runs like, that it's always fun," Jackson said. "The main thing you want to do is go out and continue to pitch and get back into the dugout so they can continue hitting."

Video: LAA@OAK: Piscotty discusses the offense after A's win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A's pounce after miscue: There were two outs in the fourth inning when Martini reached base on a throwing error by Andrelton Simmons, opening the floodgates once again. The A's responded with seven straight hits before Josh Phegley -- responsible for the first two outs of the inning on a double play -- flied out for the third out. All seven runs in the inning were unearned.

"Obviously, we have the ability to score some runs, and we've been doing a really good job of it at home here recently," Melvin said. "Our lineup is deep all the way through. We feel like we have a chance to score every inning. We find different ways to do it, and we did again today."

SOUND SMART
This was the third time in Oakland history the A's scored five or more runs in an inning three times in one game. They also did it Sept. 30, 2000, against the Rangers, and June 14, 1969, opposite Boston.

HE SAID IT
"Everyone on this team has a chance to shine. It's not necessarily one person hogging all the shine. Every day it's a different hero, and everyone is cheering everyone on and everyone is happy for everyone. It's a bunch of go-getters. They aren't afraid of a challenge, and they're up for whatever the task may be."
-- Jackson

UP NEXT
Right-hander Liam Hendriks will make his seventh start of the month Friday, acting as an opener for the first of a three-game series with the Twins at the Coliseum. Hendriks, who will likely be limited to one inning, has not allowed a run in the first inning in any of his starts. Minnesota will counter with right-hander Jose Berrios (11-11, 3.81 ERA) in the 7:05 p.m. PT tilt.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Stephen Piscotty

30 best games of '18 -- 1 player from each team

MLB.com @RichardJustice

We went in search of magic. That is, players rising up and doing something they may remember forever. Every team, all 30 of them, has moments like this.

From bunches of home runs to bunches of strikeouts, from household names to players you may not have heard of before, these are players that become part of the fabric of a season.

We went in search of magic. That is, players rising up and doing something they may remember forever. Every team, all 30 of them, has moments like this.

From bunches of home runs to bunches of strikeouts, from household names to players you may not have heard of before, these are players that become part of the fabric of a season.

Here we go: 30 special individual performances for 30 teams:

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Yangervis Solarte
Date: May 3 vs. CLE
The infielder collected five hits, including a decisive 11th-inning grand slam, in a 13-11 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field. Solarte became the second player in the live-ball era with at least five hits, including an extra-inning grand slam. The other was Jim Rice in 1984.

Orioles: Manny Machado
Date: 
May 11 vs. TB
Machado hit two home runs, including a seventh-inning grand slam, and drove in six as the Orioles beat the Rays, 9-4, at Camden Yards. At 25, he became the youngest O's player to hit 150 home runs. "Words can't even describe how exciting that it is, reaching that milestone," Machado said.

Rays: Ji-Man Choi
Date: 
Sept. 10 vs. CLE
Choi's two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning produced a 6-5 victory over the Indians. In one swing, he kept Tampa Bay's postseason hopes alive and extended its home winning streak to 12 games.

Video: NYY@BOS: Betts his slam, collects four hits vs. Yanks

Red Sox: Mookie Betts
Date: 
April 10 vs. NYY
Betts scored five runs and collected four hits, including two doubles and a grand slam, in a 14-1 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.

Yankees: Luis Severino
Date:
May 2 at HOU
Severino struck out 10 Astros in the first complete game of his career, a 4-0 victory at Minute Maid Park. "I wouldn't want to be in the box facing him," teammate Giancarlo Stanton said. "He's going to pound the zone at 100 mph, and if you look on time for that, you're going to get that 90-mph slider. It's exactly what we needed tonight and another par-for-the-course outing for him."

AL CENTRAL

Video: Must C Clutch: Lindor homers twice to hold off Twins

Indians: Francisco Lindor
Date:
May 31 at MIN
Lindor had two doubles, two homers and four RBIs in a 9-8 win over the Twins at Target Field. He joined Adrian Beltre, Jim Edmonds and Rafael Palmeiro as the only players since 1908 to have two such games in the same season.

Royals: Jorge Lopez
Date:
Sept. 8 at MIN
Lopez took a perfect game into the ninth inning in the seventh start of his career. The 25-year-old right-hander walked the leadoff hitter in the ninth, then allowed a hit before departing in what would be a 4-1 win over the Twins at Target Field.

Tigers: Nicholas Castellanos
Date:
Aug. 13 vs. CWS
Castellanos went 5-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs in a 9-5 victory over the White Sox. Among the hits was a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning off Jeanmar Gomez.

Twins: Eddie Rosario
Date:
June 3 vs. CLE
With his father sitting a few feet from home plate, Rosario homered three times, including a two-run walk-off shot that gave the Twins a 7-5 victory over the Indians at Target Field. "It was Rosie's day," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I've seen a lot of good days in the big leagues. But I don't know if I've seen one that was more dramatic than that as far as the first inning all the way through the end."

White Sox: Matt Davidson
Date: 
March 29 at KC
Davidson became the fourth player to hit three home runs on Opening Day as the White Sox rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Royals, 14-7, at Kauffman Stadium. "What an incredible day he had," teammate James Shields said. "Really happy for him. He works his butt off every day, and to have a day like that is pretty special."

AL WEST

Video: LAA@NYY: Trout goes 5-for-5 with career-high 4 XBHs

Angels: Mike Trout
Date:
May 26 at NYY
Trout had a home run, three doubles and an infield single in an 11-4 victory at Yankee Stadium. "He's an unbelievable player and I think he showed that tonight," Yankees starter Sonny Gray said. "He put some good swings on the ball and in the fourth, he hit that homer. That was ultimately the icing on the cake for me."

Astros: Gerrit Cole
Date:
 May 4 at ARI
Cole struck out 16 D-backs in a one-hit complete game, an 8-0 victory at Chase Field. He finished it with a 99-mph fastball to strike out Jarrod Dyson. "Wow," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "It's hard to describe. It's an incredible display of pitching."

Athletics: Sean Manaea
Date:
April 21 vs. BOS
Manaea threw the seventh no-hitter in Oakland A's history in a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox at the Coliseum. "I've caught a lot of great pitchers in this game," A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy said, "and that was the most well-pitched, well-executed game I've ever had behind the plate."

Video: Paxton tosses sixth no-hitter in Mariners history

Mariners: James Paxton
Date:
May 8 at TOR
Paxton returned to his native Canada to no-hit the Blue Jays, 5-0, at Rogers Centre. It was the first complete game of his career. "To have it happen in Canada. What are the odds?" Paxton said. "Just very special."

Rangers: Rougned Odor
Date:
July 28 at HOU
Odor hit two home runs, a double and two singles in a 7-3 victory at Minute Maid Park. "We talked about finding his swagger, getting his swagger back, getting that confidence back," then-Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Know that you're a really good player and just go show it and stay focused on every single pitch."

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Video: Must C Classic: Acuna's 2 homers make history

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr.
Date:
Aug. 14 vs. MIA
Acuna homered twice and added a single in a 10-6 victory over the Marlins at SunTrust Park. The 20-year-old hit the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning to become the youngest player to homer in five consecutive games. "He's the best player I've ever seen," Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte said. "He's just unbelievable."

Marlins: Jose Urena
Date:
Aug. 19 at WSH
Urena retired the final 16 Nationals in a complete-game 12-1 victory at Nationals Park. "You can just see the fire in his eyes every time he's out there," Marlins shortstop JT Riddle said.

Video: NYM@CHC: deGrom K's 10, notches 2 hits vs. Cubs

Mets: Jacob deGrom
Date:
Aug. 28 at CHC
deGrom struck out 10 Cubs and allowed one run in an eight-inning masterpiece of a loss at Wrigley Field. "The guy is as advertised," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "That's different. That's another level of stuff."

Nationals: Max Scherzer
Date:
May 6 vs. PHI
Scherzer struck out 15 Phillies in 6 1/3 innings in a 5-4 victory at Nationals Park. He was the first pitcher in history to get 15 strikeouts in 6 1/3 (or fewer) innings. "He doesn't slow," Nationals manager Davey Martinez said. "I watch him in the gym. I watch him watch video. His mind is constantly going and constantly learning."

Phillies: Odubel Herrera
Date:
June 22 at WSH
Herrera scored four runs and had four hits, including a homer, in a 12-2 victory at Nationals Park. "It's simply incredible what he can do," teammate Zach Eflin said. "The thing with Odubel is that he can shake off anything at any given time. He can look like he's struggling and next pitch he sends it 440 feet."

NL CENTRAL

Video: MIL@CIN: Yelich records cycle with 6 hits, shows arm

Brewers: Christian Yelich
Date:
Aug. 29 at CIN
Yelich hit for the cycle -- the first of his two cycles this season -- and had six hits in all in a 13-12, 10-inning victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. "I've never seen a game like that," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's coming up there and you're thinking he can't do it again, and he does it again."

Cardinals: Matt Carpenter
Date:
July 20 at CHC
Carpenter became the second player in MLB history to hit three homers and two doubles in a game. He did it all in in six innings in an 18-5 victory at Wrigley Field. "I'm having a hard time coming up with words to describe a day like this," Carpenter said.

Cubs: David Bote
Date:
Aug. 12 vs. WSH
Bote delivered a pinch-hit grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning at Wrigley Field to turn a 3-0 loss into a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Nationals. He became the first Cubs player to hit a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam since Earl Averill in 1959.

Pirates: Jameson Taillon
Date:
April 8 vs. CIN
Taillon tossed a one-hitter and drove in the Bucs' first run in a 5-0 victory over over the Reds at PNC Park. It was Pittsburgh's first complete-game one-hitter since A.J. Burnett shut out the Cubs in 2012. "This guy, he's special," Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli said.

Reds: Scooter Gennett
Date:
May 26 at COL
Gennett collected five hits -- a first-inning home run and four singles -- and was part of a game-ending defensive play to close out a 6-5 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.

NL WEST

D-Backs: A.J. Pollock
Date:
April 30 vs. LAD
Pollock hit three home runs in an 8-5 win at Chase Field. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now," he said. "I don't know. Some days it just works."

Video: Must C Classic: Puig crushes 3 homers vs. Cardinals

Dodgers: Yasiel Puig
Date:
Sept. 15 at STL
Puig launched three home runs and drove in seven runs in a 17-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. He explained his power surge as only he can: Puig said the grasshoppers that have swarmed Busch Stadium have gotten him going. He said he considered eating one or two. Manager Dave Roberts had a better explanation. "He's focused and he understands the importance of every pitch," he said. "And when he does that, he's as good as anybody in baseball."

Giants: Andrew McCutchen
Date:
April 7 vs. LAD
McCutchen went 6-for-7 with four RBIs, including a walk-off home run, in a 14-inning 7-5 victory over the Dodgers at AT&T Park. Giants manager Bruce Bochy called the victory "epic" and added, "It's one of those Giants-Dodgers games that will be talked about."

Padres: Christian Villanueva
Date:
April 3 vs. COL
Villanueva belted three home runs in his 14th career game in an 8-4 victory over the Rockies at Petco Park. "I have a lot of dreams, I have a lot of goals, and I think, little by little, I'm starting to reach them," Villanueva said.

Rockies: DJ LeMahieu
Date:
June 28 at SF
LeMahieu's go-ahead home run at AT&T Park probably did more than give the Rockies a 9-8 victory. It came at a time when they were in fourth place in the NL West and had fallen eight games off the pace. There was speculation they might sell at the Trade Deadline. Colorado won 44 of its next 69 games. Only the Cubs did better in that time.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.