ANAHEIM -- Shortly after the Yankees clinched home-field advantage for the American League Wild Card Game, the A's went through the motions of a mostly meaningless game in Anaheim.It would seem easy to shrug off an 8-5 loss that came without consequence, except they couldn't. Not really. Not when Mike
ANAHEIM -- Shortly after the Yankees clinched home-field advantage for the American League Wild Card Game, the A's went through the motions of a mostly meaningless game in Anaheim.
It would seem easy to shrug off an 8-5 loss that came without consequence, except they couldn't. Not really. Not when Mike Fiers, a candidate to start Wednesday's winner-take-all game at Yankee Stadium, stumbled in the quasi-audition.
The right-handed Fiers, who took over in the second inning following Lou Trivino's debut as an opener, was responsible for a season-high six earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits, two of them two-run homers to Taylor Ward and Michael Trout, and a couple of doubles that were seemingly would-be homers over the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
"You treat it as, you gotta go out there and pitch and do whatever this team asks from me," Fiers said. "Maybe a little different obviously than the first 30 games, but I gotta get used to it. If that's the way we're gonna do it, then we're gonna do it that way, and I just gotta be better."
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The uninspiring performance might have further muddled Oakland's postseason pitching plans, but Fiers sure sounded like a man who expects to be part of the Wild Card Game -- in this new role, no less. The A's, though, have yet to officialize any plans, insisting they're still considering multiple options.
"There's been talk of it, and it might happen, so I gotta get used to it," Fiers said. "I think this is one of the games where it was kind of a feeler and kind of, this is what we're going to do. I gotta be ready for it on Wednesday."
Should the A's go through with the experiment, they at least have to be encouraged by Trivino, who worked a clean first inning after being unused for six days following a string of struggles, partly because of a sore neck that kept him sidelined recently.
The right-hander, who began his professional career as a starter, used 11 pitches to dispatch the top of the Angels' order, and was animated when asked about the prospect of reenacting the production in a playoff atmosphere at Yankee Stadium.
"Yeah, I mean, if they want me to be a batboy, I'll do whatever it takes for this team to win," Trivino said. "Whatever role that is, I'm down.
"The place is going to be electric, no doubt about that. There's going to be a lot of fans. I think it's going to be a fun game. I think we're very confident in the guys that we have. I think we have a really good shot, and I'm really excited."
Oakland's offense mustered only one hit through the first seven innings -- Jed Lowrie opened the sixth with a single to thwart a combined no-hitter effort -- before striking for three in a five-run eighth that was helped along by a pair of Angels errors. Marcus Semien delivered the biggest hit of the inning, notching a two-run double.
Third baseman Matt Chapman scored his 99th run of the season in the eighth and needs one more to become the first A's player to score 100 runs in a season since Nick Swisher had 106 in 2006. Teammate Khris Davis isn't far behind, with 97.
HE SAID IT
"I want it just as bad as anybody else in here. I think no matter who gets the ball, everyone is going to give everything they got for this team. This team's been working hard all year. It's really hard to get to this point, so we're going to go out there and play the game just like any other and compete and get after it." -- Fiers
Right-hander Trevor Cahill (6-4, 3.91 ERA) will make his final start of the regular season on Saturday in opposition of lefty Tyler Skaggs (8-9, 3.91) and the Angels. First pitch at Angel Stadium is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. PT.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.