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Tanner Roark leads the athletics



OAKLAND – The question of A's entry into their current nine-game stand was how they could survive in the playoff race with such a discouraging game track. Surely they would be happy if they only stayed afloat against the Astros and Yankees who are at the top.

OAKLAND – The question of whether the A & # 39; s enter their current home stand with nine games was how they would be able to keep up with playoff races with such a daunting play range. They would be happy to stay afloat against the Astros and Yankees, who hold the first two records of the American League. But the A & # 39; s made a statement: They can work with the elite of baseball.

The A & R's jumped early on Masahiro Tanaka to provide Tanner Roark a beautiful cushion that continued his strong run since joining the A & # 39; s before Closed the Yankees in a 5: 3 win on Thursday at the Coliseum on just two runs over 6 1

/3 innings. After stripping three out of four opponents from the Astros this weekend, Oakland took a three-way win in New York and prevailed against the Americans in the American League Wild Card standings.

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"Keep It Looking on the scoreboard, the beams continue to win. It only tells you that we know we have to play well for another five weeks, "said A outfielder Mark Canha. We will have to do this for five weeks, we will not be able to get into the Wild Card and play a Wild Card game and we are in the process of winning the World Series win. "

" What we've been doing at this homestead so far is very impressive, "Roark said. "It shows what these guys in the clubhouse and the coaches are about. We are fighters and will not give in. We will have fun and play together, doing the little things right.

The A & # 39; s are now the best 21 games of the season over .500. and they did not make it by beating the smaller teams. Their win against the Yankees now puts them 26-19 down against teams that currently have at least one share in a playoff point.

Although the A & # 39; s relied on the long ball for most of the year, Thursday's performance showed they could win in a variety of ways. For the fourth time this season, the A have won a game without winning a home run. The offensive breakout came instead from their ability to perform first-class duels in the opening game against Tanaka, starting with a leadoff double from Marcus Semien that sparked a triple inning crowned by a two-time single from Canha, the stretched his strike to seven games and beats at .354 this month.

"Once you let him settle in, it's difficult to deal with," A manager Bob Melvin said of Tanaka, who has dropped 33 pitches, the first. "You know you will not get any predictable fastballs from him, he probably throws 30% fastballs, tops, in 2-1 sometimes 20% counts, Marcus is up there trying to hit the ball in the other direction The next thing you know is that we have a big inning. "

The early score enabled Roark to open with more confidence than he often got in the count and the Strike zone struck, with 60 of its 95 pitches thrown out for strikes, it was not hard to figure out Roark's attack plan – he threw 65 fastballs – but the ability to work him up and down in the zone resulted in seven strikes, all on The only real mistake came in the seventh when Gleyber Torres' solo attack knocked Roark out of play.

When the Yankees came into the night, the majors led with 6.36 runs per spi el on the road Before the series started, the coaching team sent a clear message: "Do not go with people".

The starters reacted and allowed only three free passes in 17 1/3 innings, including none from Roark on Thursday.

"It's important against these guys," Melvin said. [If] They beat solo homers, beating solo homers. But if you start to run people, and they make you throw more boxes and wear you down, you make the mistake and there are three runs.

The message was music in Roark's ears, he considers himself an aggressive pitcher and could focus his fastball with two seams of sinking action to hit the inside against the left as he quadruples in the zone to the right Increased what most of the hits scored his strikes.

"Walks will kill you, limit them and challenge people to what I think is good," Roark said. "Just call and attack. move in and out, up and down, keep them on their toes. "

Roark continued the strong run of A & # 39; s starters over most of a month, posting a 3.11 ERA over the year The Last 22 Games.

With an ERA of 2.63 after four starts at his new club, Roark has settled in fairly quickly, even being the recipient of the solemn free throw: the challenge to the player of the game A was awarded after every win attempting to throw a shot into a miniature basketball basket placed over one of the lockers.

"It's a lot of fun," Roark said. "All of these guys love playing around and I'm right there with them and talking to them about the garbage, no matter what, there is always some kind of game or competition to keep it loose, it's a tight clubhouse in which you can get to know each other and become better teammates. "

Bullpen locks it
Roark's quality work was completed by Jake Diekman Lou Trivino and Joakim Soria on the last 2 2/3 innings.

The Bullpen of the A was heavily denigrated this season and went into the night with 22 blown parades, but during these three games against the Yankees the reliefs hit From Oakland in the late innings, the door is always closed, taking Liam Hendriks saved the last two nights. "We're starting to pitch better all over the bullpen, Lou has been great the last three times, we really have the ability to have a really deep bullpen, Blake Treinen and Trivino are doing much better and we now have [A.J.] Puk Here in a series that relies on a few guys, as we did [Yusmeiro]Petit and Hendriks will need some other types, they came through for us. "

Martin Gallegos covers the A & # 39 ; s for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos .


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