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A's blank Rangers again, stay tied atop AL West

Anderson tosses 7 scoreless innings; Oakland surpasses 2017 win total
August 21, 2018

OAKLAND -- The A's prolonged success can be traced to a powerful offense and a bullish bullpen. It's about time their starters were given their due, too.Once a weak link, Oakland's rotation is suddenly a strength. Add it to a long list of them.Left-hander Brett Anderson did his part Tuesday

OAKLAND -- The A's prolonged success can be traced to a powerful offense and a bullish bullpen. It's about time their starters were given their due, too.
Once a weak link, Oakland's rotation is suddenly a strength. Add it to a long list of them.
Left-hander Brett Anderson did his part Tuesday night against the Rangers at the Coliseum, following Mike Fiers' excellent Monday performance with seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Meanwhile, the A's offense kept rolling in a 6-0 victory that featured Khris Davis' 38th home run of the season, tying him with Boston's J.D. Martinez for the Major League lead.
Winners of 42 of their last 56 games, the A's remained tied atop the American League West with the Astros, who beat the Mariners, 3-2. Oakland has started the three-game series against Texas with two straight shutout victories.
Anderson, who spent much of the first half on the disabled list and struggled to find consistency when he was healthy, has looked like an ace in August. The veteran lefty, who latched on with the A's in Spring Training essentially because they needed depth, has a 0.68 ERA this month, holding opponents to two runs across 26 2/3 innings.

"Our bullpen is always going to be our strength, but with 20 straight games, we have to do our part and try to get us deep in the ballgames, because guys are going to need days off here and there," Anderson said. "You just don't want to be that weak link. You want to pass the baton to the next guy. Lately here, it's been pretty special to be part of. "
Anderson has done it with an evolving approach, bringing guesswork to his game by mixing up his pitches, most recently relying on a steady supply of breaking balls, rather than his typical fastball-changeup combination.
"Just adapt or die," Anderson said.
A's starters have not allowed a run in eight of the past 19 games, yielding no more than two runs in 16 of them and aiding a bullpen that had been routinely overworked.

"Those things kind of get contagious," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "As a group, whether it's the bullpen, whether it's the position players, whether it's the starters, there's always competition among them.
"The numbers are absolutely fantastic. We have this bullpen we put together to be able to shorten games, and all our starters are doing is going out there and not allowing the bullpen guys to pitch."

The A's offense pounced on Rangers right-hander Ariel Jurado in the first inning, courtesy of an RBI single from Jed Lowrie, who collected two hits. Davis had an RBI single in the fifth for his 100th RBI of the year, before adding to his total with a two-run, opposite-field blast in the seventh.
SOUND SMART
The A's won their 76th game of the season, surpassing their win total from 2017, when they went 75-87. They haven't had this many victories since 2014 (88).
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Davis continues to thrill with the long ball, his latest traveling to the right-field corner and showcasing his dynamic opposite-field power, while also igniting chants of "MVP!" from the Coliseum crowd.
"Pretty special," Davis said.

HE SAID IT
"He's a joke. He hits balls that left-handed pull hitters don't hit to right field. The ball comes off his bat different than pretty much everyone I've ever seen." -- Anderson, on Davis
UP NEXT
Veteran right-hander Edwin Jackson (4-2, 2.58 ERA) will be on the mound when the A's close out the three-game series vs. the Rangers at the Coliseum on Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. PT. Texas will counter with lefty Mike Minor (9-6, 4.61). The game can be watched exclusively on Facebook.

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