A’s hot streak should last a little longer, but a major question remainsJosh Reddick and the A’s have won 14 of their past 16 games to move into a playoff spot. (AP)
Don’t look now, but the Oakland A’s are the hottest team in baseball. On Sunday they snapped White Sox ace Chris Sale’s streak of 28 consecutive scoreless innings with a 2-0 victory, thus completing a three-game sweep and winning their 14th game out of their last 16. Thanks to that run, they’re positioned for another return to the postseason; at 34-24, Oakland leads the AL wild-card race and is second in the AL West behind the Rangers, just two games back.
What’s at least somewhat surprising — and yet so characteristic of general manager Billy Beane’s club — is that the A’s are getting it done while being led by a different cast of characters than last year. Of their five top hitters (in terms of OPS+) from the 2012 division winners, both Jonny Gomes and Chris Carter are now playing elsewhere, while Yoenis Cespedes (.224/.299/.448) and Josh Reddick (.165/.273/.262) have been slowed by injuries; the former missed the latter half of April with a left thumb injury, while the latter lost most of May to a right wrist sprain. Despite those setbacks, the team still ranks sixth in the league in scoring (4.67 runs per game) while playing in pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum.http://mlb.si.com/2013/06/03/oakland-athletics-bob-melvin-yoenis-cespedes/?sct=uk_t11_a4