OAKLAND -- The A's lost their ace pitcher and arguably their hottest hitter to the disabled list during a stretch in which they were swept at home by the Yankees, the first four-game sweep of Oakland at the Coliseum since 1999, and now have a league-high 13 players on the
OAKLAND -- The A's lost their ace pitcher and arguably their hottest hitter to the disabled list during a stretch in which they were swept at home by the Yankees, the first four-game sweep of Oakland at the Coliseum since 1999, and now have a league-high 13 players on the disabled list.
While they're willing to concede the injuries are frustrating, they weren't willing to blame them for this weekend's results.
"You're frustrated for the team. You're frustrated for the individuals on the DL," Stephen Vogt said. "It's unbelievable how many guys are on the DL."
Oakland placed ace Sonny Gray on the 15-day DL Sunday, lost outfielder Josh Reddick to a fractured thumb Thursday, and manager Bob Melvin juggled his lineup throughout the weekend. Even so, he said the A's still had opportunities to win, especially Sunday.
"We battled again today," Melvin said. "No one's saying 'Look, we're not going to win games because we have guys out.' Other guys get opportunities and it's their chance to perform. We have guys who are still in there and expect to win. I don't know that we could have fought much harder at the end of the game."
Billy Burns and Vogt reached base on a pair of Yankees errors to begin the eighth, putting runners on the corners with no outs and trailing, 5-3. Danny Valencia struck out, but pinch-hitter Billy Butler plated a run on a groundout to third, bringing Khris Davis to the plate. Davis, who exited the Saturday's game early with a tight right forearm, couldn't complete the comeback as he grounded out.
Vogt brought the A's back in the fifth as well, driving in two runs on a two-out double to take a 3-2 lead. Oakland gave it back in the top of the sixth, as John Axford inherited two base runners and allowed back-to-back RBI singles to give New York a 4-3 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"Obviously we're frustrated with losing four to the Yankees," said Vogt, who was asked about the team's psyche following the sweep. "We have a lot of things that can bring us down. Right now, I think we're doing alright … It was a tough four-day stretch for us overall. We still have a lot of things to be positive about, we did a lot of good things today."
The team's lineup, which scored nine total runs in these last four games, has reinforcements on the horizon. "We're about to get two big pieces back," said Vogt, commenting on the impending return of Jed Lowrie and Josh Phegley, both of whom are expected to return within a week.
"But it's frustrating," Vogt said. "You don't ever want to point to it and say 'Oh, well this is why.' And you can't say that because we still have guys here who can get the job done. But to say that we're not missing any of those guys would be a false statement."
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.