A’s manager Bob Melvin had a brief talk with his club after Wednesday’s loss to the Minnesota Twins, and he made it clear that the club needs to find the grit that they had earlier in the season, when Oakland was exceeding expectations.
“We’ve got to continue to play hard,” Melvin said. “We play hard, but we have to fight hard. There’s a difference.”
During the A’s season-high eight-game losing streak, the team is batting .172, and Oakland has scored 12 runs, total.
When the team began the losing streak, Coco Crisp, Brandon Inge, Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon McCarthy all were on the disabled list, but Crisp and Inge have both returned.
Cespedes is scheduled to rejoin the team today and McCarthy on Saturday. Right-hander Tyson Ross, who was 2-6 with a 5.94 ERA in nine starts, was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday, opening up a spot for Cespedes. But a position player will likely be sent down when McCarthy returns.
Melvin said he does not believe his team has been waiting around for its reinforcements, as Manny Ramirez initially was slated to join the team Wednesday, although that has been delayed for an unknown time.
“If that’s what they’re doing, it’s my fault, but I certainly hope that’s not the case,” Melvin said.
The A’s will turn to veteran Bartolo Colon tonight against the Kansas City Royals to try and put an end to the recent misery.
Colon has alternated between great and awful for most of the year, trending toward the latter of late — he allowed 23 runs in 25 innings during the month of May after an excellent April.
The Royals will counter with Felipe Paulino (2-1), who is enjoying what has easily been his most successful season thus far, holding the opposition scoreless in three of his five starts.