A's back Fiers with balanced offense, beat Yankees 8-2

September 06, 2018 - 5:00 am

© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


 OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Whether playing 20 straight games without a break, 
bouncing back from a tough loss or pulling off a late-game rally, manager Bob 
Melvin sure appreciates his resilient Oakland Athletics.
 Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run single, Matt Chapman and Matt Olson each doubled 
in a run, and the A's jumped on the New York Yankees early for an 8-2 win 
Wednesday night.
 Jed Lowrie added a run-scoring single as the A's backed righty Mike Fiers 
(11-6), who escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first after Giancarlo Stanton's 
one-out double and a pair of two-out walks. Fiers is 4-0 in six starts since 
joining Oakland, and the A's have won all his outings.
 The A's moved within 3 1/2 games of the Yankees for the top AL wild card, also 
remaining 3 1/2 back of the AL West-leading Astros.
 ``These guys play hard,'' Fiers said. ``I love playing for this team. They back 
me up no matter what. Long first inning, then we come up and put together good 
at-bats and put up four. You can't ask for anything more and I think that kind 
of settled me down as well.''
 Fiers struck out the side in order in the sixth, and the lone hit he allowed 
after the first was Aaron Hicks' leadoff single in the fourth before Gary 
Sanchez's two-run homer in the seventh chased the Oakland starter. 
 Fiers fanned five in six innings, giving up three hits as the A's concluded a 
grueling stretch of 20 games without an off day.
 ``Grinding through the 20 days, it's finally over, in the middle of August, 
against the teams we were matched up against, pretty impressive,'' Melvin said. 
``I told them that after the game. They play with the same pace every day.''
 New York right-hander Luis Severino (17-7) reached 200 strikeouts for the 
second consecutive season but was done with two outs in the third for his 
shortest outing of the season. He allowed six runs _ five earned _ on six hits. 
 Severino threw two wild pitches that scored separate runs in the first, when 
Sanchez also had a pair of passed balls.
 ``A couple misunderstandings at the plate. A leadoff double, then another 
double. A bunch of stuff. A couple of cross-ups with the signs. It was a mess,'' 
Severino said. ``I need to do a better job. I need to communicate more with 
Gary. I have to try to make it better.''
 Sanchez's 13 passed balls matched the Angels' Martin Maldonado for most in 
majors. Sanchez tied for the big league high with 16 last year. He also has been 
behind the plate for 37 wild pitches after being part of 53 in 2017.
     The home run was Sanchez's first since June 20 against Seattle.
 The first class in the Athletics Hall of Fame was enshrined during a pregame 
 Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson and the late 
Jim ``Catfish'' Hunter, along with Reggie Jackson and 1989 World Series MVP Dave 
Stewart were part of the class. So was late A's owner Charlie Finley. 
 Yankees: RF Aaron Judge took soft-toss swings and hit off a tee. He also did 
baserunning and outfield work as he works back from breaking his right wrist 
July 26. He will continue a similar rehab regimen through the weekend. ``Another 
positive step forward,'' manager Aaron Boone said. ``He's building a little bit 
of momentum.'' ... SS Didi Gregorius, sidelined with a bruised left heel he hurt 
Aug. 19 in a collision with Toronto's Kendrys Morales beating out an infield 
single, had another good day of baseball activity and the plan is to activate 
him Friday at Seattle. ``In a lot of ways he's one of the heartbeats of this 
club,'' Boone said. ... OF Clint Frazier is unlikely to play again this season 
as he continues to deal with concussion symptoms. He was examined by renowned 
specialist Dr. Micky Collins at the University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday and 
Frazier returned to Tampa, Florida. ... 3B Miguel Andujar had the night off to 
give him a two-day break with no game Thursday.
 Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (strained forearm) threw off a mound and will 
throw an extended bullpen Saturday during which he gets up and sits down three 
times while throwing about 15 pitches each session. If all goes well he could be 
activated to make a start on the next road trip beginning Tuesday at Baltimore.
     UP NEXT
 Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (10-5, 3.83 ERA) takes the mound in Friday's 
series opener at Seattle with an extra day of rest. He is 6-0 with a 2.34 ERA in 
seven career starts against the Mariners and 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in four outings 
at Safeco Field. 
 Athletics: Following Thursday's off day, RHP Chris Bassitt (2-3, 3.19) pitches 
the opener of a weekend series at home against Texas.