ARLINGTON -- The A's clung to their strengths to pull out another win in Texas on Thursday night. A relentless offense balanced out a subpar outing from Trevor Cahill, and the bullpen took care of the rest.It's a familiar formula for the A's, who finished off a four-game sweep of
ARLINGTON -- The A's clung to their strengths to pull out another win in Texas on Thursday night. A relentless offense balanced out a subpar outing from Trevor Cahill, and the bullpen took care of the rest.
It's a familiar formula for the A's, who finished off a four-game sweep of the Rangers for their sixth straight win, a 7-6 decision at Globe Life Park in steamy weather.
But is it sustainable?
Time will tell. For now, the A's are positively giddy, cruising in their unexpected pursuit of a postseason spot. Their latest victory gave them 27 in their last 34 tries and positioned them one game back of the idle Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot.
• Morning Lineup Podcast on A's hot streak
Also noteworthy: Just six games separate the A's from the first-place Astros in the AL West.
The A's joyride has been fueled by their offense, which took advantage of a pair of Rangers errors in the opening inning to jump out to a two-run lead. The shutdown inning eluded Cahill, however, with the right-hander yielding two runs in the first and another in the second following Matt Chapman's 12th homer of the year, a solo offering.
Chapman wasn't done, though, reaching base in all four plate appearances with two triples. Dustin Fowler and Nick Martini also teamed up for back-to-back triples in a three-run fourth inning that pushed the A's ahead for good, giving them four triples for the first time since Aug. 29, 1967, against Cleveland.
"Chappie's running around, it's four days in this heat, and his energy level never goes down at all," manager Bob Melvin said. "We had some guys that were dragging a little bit tonight, and rightfully so. But Chapman always seems to have that edge to him, and Martini seems to finally be getting his opportunity at the big league level and he's taking advantage of it."
"I'll tell you what, it's hot," Chapman said. "I was getting gassed when I got there, but I'm just trying to get to third base and give us two chances to have a runner on third base with less than two outs."
Cahill was responsible for five runs in as many innings. The club's rotation has been susceptible to injuries and inconsistencies since the season's inception.
Oakland already added reliever Jeurys Familia, who unleashed a wild pitch that led to an eighth-inning run following shutout innings from Emilio Pagan and Lou Trivino. Closer Blake Treinen was summoned in the ninth for his third save in as many days, increasing his season total to 27.
"You add a piece like Jeurys, and the way our offense is swinging it, it just makes it that much more fun," Treinen said. "We're all genuinely pulling for each other, not giving up all the way down to the last pitch. It's just been fun these last few weeks, just been playing good ball and trying to ride that momentum."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After totaling just 10 pitches the night before, Trivino was readily available for another inning Thursday. The rookie reliever appeared gassed through the end of it but grinded out a 30-pitch frame to strand Joey Gallo, who worked him for a walk with two outs. Trivino stuck with the heat to retire Robinson Chirinos, recording an inning-ending strikeout for his 56th in 48 1/3 innings this season. He touched 100 mph twice in the frame.
Chapman is just the eighth hitter since 2000 to have two triples and a home run in the same game. Adam Piatt also did it for Oakland on April 30, 2000.
HE SAID IT
"Every time they come in, we feel confident. We give them the lead, we expect to win." -- Chapman, on the bullpen
The A's will head to Denver for three Interleague games with the Rockies. Lefty Sean Manaea (9-6, 3.38 ERA) will be on the mound for Friday's 5:40 p.m. PT series opener, while the Rockies counter with their own southpaw, Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.28 ERA). Manaea is 4-0 with a 3.09 ERA in his last nine starts.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.