Saturday, August 18, 2018

NFL Game Recap: Oakland Raiders (15) vs. Los Angeles Rams (19) - 8/18/2018

NFL Game Recap: Oakland Raiders (15) vs. Los Angeles Rams (19) - Date: 8/18/2018 Aug 18, 2018 LOS ANGELES The Raiders were back. The Rams were better. Rookie John Kelly rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown, and the Los Angeles Rams welcomed the Raiders back to the Coliseum with a 19-15 preseason victory over Oakland on Saturday. Chris Warren rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders in their return to the venerable stadium that was their home for 13 seasons during their largely successful tenure in Los Angeles. Their still-passionate Southern California fan base turned out in force, filling the 95-year-old arena with black jerseys and loud cheers. World's Best Handicapper. There was more excitement in the stands than on the field for long stretches of a preseason game that was even more meaningless than the usual August affair. Both teams rested nearly a ll of their presumptive starters and used no significant parts of their playbook, thanks in part to a weird NFL scheduling decision that forced these teams to play an exhibition 23 days before they meet in their regular-season opener in Oakland. Although both coaches revealed as little about their teams as possible, Sean McVay still got his first chance to face Jon Gruden, who employed McVay as a 22-year-old assistant wide receivers coach on his final staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. McVay frequently cites Gruden and his brother, Jay, as major influences on his coaching style and mentality. Expert Sports Picks. The Rams' backups dominated the Raiders' reserves in the first half, taking a 13-0 lead while holding Oakland to 58 yards and one first down. Oakland trailed 16-0 before mounting a rally, but the Raiders failed on their second 2-point conversion attempt of the day following Griff Whalen 's 10-yard TD catch with 9:52 to play. Sam Ficken hit his second field goal for the Rams with 5:46 left, and Marcus Martin stopped the Raiders' ensuing drive with a third-down sack of Manuel. Rams backup Sean Mannion rebounded from a rocky preseason debut last week in Baltimore, going 10 of 16 for 84 yards while completing passes to eight receivers. Third-stringer Brandon Allen wasn't as sharp, going 6 for 11 and throwing a terrible interception in the fourth quarter to put Oakland in position for its second TD. Make Money Betting Sports. The Raiders' offense didn't record its second first down of the day until late in the third quarter, but Warren capped the 75-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run. The undrafted free-agent running back from Texas had 86 yards in his preseason debut against Detroit. E. J. Manuel went 10 for 16 for 89 yards and a touchdown, but also fumbled for the second straight week. The Raiders' backup offensive line struggled to keep the Rams' pressure off Manuel and Connor Cook, who went 6 for 12. HOMECOMING DAYAl Davis moved the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982, and their home crowds at the Coliseum quickly developed a reputation for rowdiness and occasional violence. But the Raiders also won the hearts of a generation of Los Angeles football fans with their swagger and success, including a Super Bowl title in their second season in town. The Rams spent the 1980s in Anaheim, further opening the way for the Raiders to become Generation X's favorite team in LA. Both franchises moved after the 1994 season, and the Rams returned home two years ago. The Raiders missed out on the chance to return to LA when the Chargers made their move last year, but the Raiders will be only about 260 miles from Los Angeles when they move to Las Vegas in 2020, making it even easier for LA's silver-and-black fans to back their team. Afte r turning out impressively in Carson on New Year's Eve for a Chargers home game, the Raiders' LA fans showed up in force for this downtown homecoming, filling the Coliseum parking lots and the cavernous stadium. They were vocal during pregame warmups, even booing the Rams' cheerleaders - but the Rams' own sizable fan base wasn't overwhelmed, however. There were relatively few clashes in the stands, with both fan bases likely sensing the unimportance of this particular reunion. MO'S MOMENTRaiders rookie Maurice Hurst got his first NFL sack early in the second half, dropping Brandon Allen. The Michigan All-American dropped to the fifth round of last spring's draft amid concerns about a heart condition. INJURIESRaiders: CB Gareon Conley played after being slowed by injuries this month. Rams: RB Justin Davis didn't play because of a hamstring injury, depriving the USC product of a chance to compete for the backup job. ANTHEM UPDATEThere were no apparent protests during the national anthem. UP NEXTRaiders: Host the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 24. Rams: Host the Houston Texans on Aug. 25. ---More NFL: https://apnews. com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitter. com/-NFL

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (4) vs. Cleveland Indians (2) - 8/18/2018

MLB Game Recap: Baltimore Orioles (4) vs. Cleveland Indians (2) - Date: 8/18/2018 Cobb pitches Orioles past Indians 4-222m ago. 2 min read CLEVELAND Alex Cobb pitched a five-hitter for his first complete game in five years, and the Baltimore Orioles snapped Cleveland's six-game win streak with a 4-2 victory over the Indians on Saturday.Cobb (4-15), the major league leader in losses, struck out three and walked one in his fourth career complete game. Sports Picks. The right-hander threw 100 pitches, 69 for strikes, while going the distance for the first time since Aug. 31, 2013, for Tampa Bay against Oakland.Cobb retired his first nine batters. He made his biggest pitch of the game when Melky Cabrera bounced into an inning-ending double play with the tying run on third in the seventh.Jonathan Villar hit a three-run homer in the third for Baltimore. Rookie Cedric Mul lins hit his first major league home run in the eighth.Francisco Lindor's RBI single and Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly cut the Orioles' lead to 3-2 in the sixth.Cleveland right-hander Adam Plutko (4-3) allowed three hits in seven innings. He was called up from Triple-A Columbus to step into the rotation for Trevor Bauer, who is out with a stress fracture in his right leg.The Orioles jumped in front in the third, taking advantage of a mistake by the Indians. With one out and a runner on first, Mullins pushed a bunt past the mound that was fielded by first baseman Yonder Alonso. He turned to make the throw to first, but no one covered the bag. Mullins beat Jason Kipnis, running from second base, to the bag for the infield hit.Villar then drove a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right for his third homer since coming over in the July 31 trade that sent infielder Jonathan Schoop to Milwaukee.Lindor opened the fourth with an infield hit for Cleveland's first baserunn er, but Jose Ramirez bounced into a double play.Ramirez drew a leadoff in the seventh and took third on Yonder Alonso's one-out single. Cabrera, swinging at the first pitch, then hit a slow roller to the right side that was turned into a quick double play, prompting Cobb to pump his fist as he headed to the dugout.The Indians retired Hall of Famer Jim Thome's No. 25 before the game, drawing a crowd of 35,003 for Cleveland's eighth sellout of the season.TRAINER'S ROOMOrioles: INF Jhan Marinez (strained right hamstring) will begin a minor league rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Orioles on Monday.Indians: OF Tyler Naquin (right hip surgery) might return in late September. He has progressed to riding a stationary bike and could begin running drills soon.UP NEXTOrioles RHP Yefry Ramirez (1-4, 5.40 ERA) makes his ninth start and 10th appearance of the season in Sunday's series finale. RHP Mike Clevinger (8-7, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound for Cleveland.< /p>

MLB Game Recap: Houston Astros (1) vs. Oakland Athletics (7) - 8/18/2018

MLB Game Recap: Houston Astros (1) vs. Oakland Athletics (7) - Date: 8/18/2018 Cahill sharp, A's beat Astros 7-1 to tie for AL West lead6m ago. 3 min read OAKLAND, Calif. Trevor Cahill pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings and the Oakland Athletics, far behind in the AL West standings earlier this summer, tied Houston for the division lead by beating the Astros 7-1 Saturday.Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Josh Phegley and Stephen Piscotty each hit two of Oakland's team record-tying doubles as the A's won for the sixth time in seven games. Soccer Handicappers. The Athletics trailed the defending World Series champion Astros by 11 1/2 games on June 24 and were still 10 out on July 10.Houston has lost seven of eight and dropped 12 of 19 since owning a six-game lead on July 24. Free Predictions. The next day, reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve went on the disabled list, and the star second baseman is still out.Cahill (5-2) allowed only an infield single by Yuli Gurriel in the second inning. Leading Handicappers. The right-hander struck out seven, walked one and retired 14 straight batters during one stretch.Cahill improved to 4-0 over his last six starts, his longest winning streak in five years. He also has won 10 decisions in a row at the Coliseum.Tony Kemp homered in the ninth for Houston's only other hit.Phegley had three RBIs and Davis drove in twoDallas Keuchel (9-10) gave up five runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. It's the most runs he's allowed since giving up six against Toronto on June 27, a span of nine starts.The A's matched their best record after 123 games since 1992 and are 25 games over .500 for the first time since Aug. 14, 2014. They're now 15-1-2 over their previous 18 series d ating to June 15.Houston's Alex Bregman walked to lead off the seventh inning, extending his on-base streak to 38 consecutive road games, the longest such active streak in the majors.Oakland's Matt Chapman went 0 for 4, ending his 14-game hitting streak and 30-game on-base streak.STREAK REMEMBEREDThe Athletics honored members of the 2002 team that set an American League record 20-game winning streak and was featured in the movie, ''Moneyball.'' Scott Hatteberg, who hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth for the record-setting 20th win on Sept. 4, always felt then-manager Art Howe got a bum deal in the movie. ''The story is seen through Hollywood and they needed a villain. He was not that guy,'' Hatteberg said Saturday. ''He was never too high or too low. That season was chock full of memories and he was not one for speeches. He stayed calm and that helped us play better.'' Howe sent a video message acknowledging th e team and fans.PERPLEXED AND PUZZLEDAstros manager A. J. Hinch is still not convinced that Ramon Laureano was safe at home in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, despite the play being reversed by reply. ''Until I see something with his hand on the plate without the tag I'm not going to like it,'' he said before Saturday's game. ''I don't know fully what they have but we trust they have something because they have to. It feels pretty hollow.'' Laureano scored the tying ruin and the A's won 4-3 on Olson's homer in the 10th.TRAINER'S ROOMAstros: RHP Chris Devenki struck out three and allowed two hits in a scoreless inning at Triple-A Fresno on Friday night in his second rehab appearance . . . C Brian McCann was 1 for 4 in his first rehab appearance with the Grizzlies on Thursday night as the DH . . . Altuve is scheduled to start a rehab assignment on Sunday in Tacoma and is expected to rejoin the team next week in Sea ttle.UP NEXTAstros: RHP Justin Verlander (11-8, 2.52) goes for Houston in the series finale against the A's on Sunday.Athletics: LHP Sean Manea (11-8, 3.44) takes the mound for Oakland in its series finale against the Astros on Sunday.

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (6) vs. New York Yankees (11) - 8/18/2018

MLB Game Recap: Toronto Blue Jays (6) vs. New York Yankees (11) - Date: 8/18/2018 Stanton homers as Yankees beat Blue Jays 11-66m ago. 1 min read NEW YORK Giancarlo Stanton hit one of New York's four homers, Luis Severino struck out eight in five innings and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-6 on Saturday.Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar and Greg Bird also connected as New York moved 31 games over .500, matching a season high. Andujar had three hits and three RBIs, and Gregorius also drove in three runs.Stanton belted a long drive for the second straight day, this time a 412-foot solo shot with two out in the fourth for his 32nd homer of the season. He has seven homers in his last 12 games and is batting .323 (23 for 71) in August.

NFL Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars (14) vs. Minnesota Vikings (10) - 8/18/2018

NFL Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars (14) vs. Minnesota Vikings (10) - Date: 8/18/2018 Aug 18, 2018 MINNEOLIS Yannick Ngakoue had an 11-yard sack that helped Jacksonville's defense hold Kirk Cousins and Minnesota's starting offense to three completions and three points, and the Jaguars reserves rallied for a 14-10 victory over the Vikings on Saturday. Cousins was crisp in his only series last week , but the Vikings went three-and-out on two of their four possessions with their new quarterback. Latavius Murray's second fumble, stripped by Malik Jackson, was recovered by Calais Campbell to end another drive. Cousins finished just 3 for 8 for 12 yards. Minnesota's defense was closer to midseason form, though, with an interception by Harrison Smith of Blake Bortles and another sure pick by Mackensie Alexander that was bobbled and dropped. Bortles played the entire first half and went 12 for 20 for 159 yards, produ cing a touchdown run by Leonard Fournette on one of his seven series, the last of three possessions the Vikings starters were still in the game. Winning Sports Picks Who You Should Follow. T. J. Yeldon helped his cause to be Fournette's backup, with five catches for 73 yards and 10 carries for 39 yards. With a 57-yard punt return by Rashad Greene to set up the score just after the two-minute warning, Jacksonville took a late lead on a short run by Brandon Wilds. The Vikings had six sacks, two by Ifeadi Odenigbo. FLAGS FLYThe Jaguars were called for 13 penalties for a whopping 140 yards, including 10 infractions in the first half. Ngakoue celebrated his sack with an incendiary hip-thrusting dance, taking one of the 15-yarders. Cornerback A. J. Bouye was singled out for the NFL's new targeting rule, for lowering his helmet on a tackle attempt. Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams was also flagged for u nnecessary roughness, negating a sack of Cody Kessler for apparently driving him into the turf, another point of emphasis this year for officials on the field. ON THE LINELeft tackle Riley Reiff was the only starter from last year suited up on Minnesota's offensive line, with guards Nick Easton (neck) and Joe Berger (retirement) gone. The new right side, Mike Remmers and Rashod Hill, was held out with ankle injuries. Center Pat Elflein is still recovering from offseason shoulder and ankle surgeries. SPARANO TRIBUTEThe wife (Jeanette), daughter (Ryan) and son (Tony Jr. ) of former Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who died suddenly last month of heart disease, were honored before the game. The entire Vikings offensive line joined the family at midfield for the coin flip. Tony Sparano Jr. is the assistant offensive line coach for the Jaguars. Sparano's other son, Andy, was unable to attend. Berger blew the ceremonial Gjallarhorn kickoff. NATIONAL ANTHEM No players on either team were seen kneeling or sitting on the sideline for the national anthem. Last week , four Jaguars players remained in the locker room during ''The Star-Spangled Banner,'' cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith and running backs Leonard Fournette and T. J. Yeldon. Ramsey was not at this game, left at home like Dante Fowler for disciplinary reasons related to the fight. Fournette and Yeldon were spotted on the sideline during the singing, though Smith was not. INJURY REPORTJaguars: Six starters were among the 12 players listed as inactive: Ramsey, free safety Tashaun Gipson, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, left guard Andrew Norwell, right tackle Jeremy Parnell and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Norwell, the team's premier free agent addition, was held out of the opener because of a calf injury. Parnell sat that one, too, as did rookie defensive end Taven Bryan (abdomen). . . . Center Brandon Linder (knee), str ong safety Don Carey (hamstring) and left guard Chris Reed (knee) were injured during the game. Reed took Norwell's spot. Vikings: Four starters were among the 13 players listed as inactive: defensive end Everson Griffen, Elflein, Remmers, Hill and running back Dalvin Cook, who's being brought along carefully coming off reconstructive knee surgery for a torn left ACL. . . . Alexander, who's competing with rookie Mike Hughes to play the slot position in the nickel package, hurt his ankle on his dropped interception. Five other backups were hurt during the game: defensive end Ade Aruna (right knee), guards Josh Andrews (right ankle) and Cedrick Lang, wide receiver Jeff Badet and fullback Johnny Stanton (left leg). UP NEXTThe Jaguars host Atlanta next Saturday. Sports Handicapping Monitor. The Vikings host Seattle on Friday. ---For more NFL coverage: https://apnews. com/tag/NFLfootball and https://twitt er. com/-NFL

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers - 8/18/2018 - 8:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers - Date: 8/18/2018 StubHubStubHubRangers will be without DeShields against Angels 9h ago. 2 min read The Texas Rangers will be without outfielder Delino DeShields for the foreseeable future after he landed on the disabled list for the third time this season on Friday.On Thursday, he was hit by a pitch on the tip of the middle finger of his right hand while trying to bunt, and the finger was broken in three places.Having DeShields absent from the lineup didn't seem to affect the Rangers much on Friday as Texas defeated the Los Angeles Angels 6-4 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. It was the second straight win for Texas, which took the first two games of this four-game series versus its American League West rivals.The Angels will send left-hander Andrew Heaney (7-7, 3.88 ERA) to the mound on Saturday evening in the third game of the series. Winning Sports Handicappers. Texas has not yet announced its starting pitcher, and may go with an "opener" and use its bullpen by committee as Los Angeles did on Thursday.DeShields has had health problems all season. He broke the hamate bone in his left hand on a swing in which he did not make contact in the second game of the season. He also has some neck stiffness and an occasional low-grade headache from a concussion he suffered driving for a fly ball in Boston in July.No one knows how long his latest injury will sideline DeShields, but he is keeping a positive attitude about the situation and is looking ahead."I'm going to finish strong and go into the offseason with a great mind and address the things I need to address," DeShields said Friday after the team announced that he would be placed on the 10-day disabled list."Just get back to doing what I was doing before my first injury. Up until now, everything got sidetracked. I don't know if I'm overcompensating. I have some time to address those things and get back to being me." Heaney's start on Saturday will come on the one-year anniversary of his return from Tommy John surgery. He has already set career highs in wins, starts (22) and innings pitched (134 2/3) in his first full post-surgery campaign."Physically, I feel good," Heaney told on Friday. "I feel normal for the middle of August. Like any pitcher, you always have your ups and downs throughout the season. I'm just trying to avoid the really rough ones and appreciate the good ones."I feel like I'm completely out of thinking about health or anything like that. You kind of shift your focus back to competing." Heaney will be making 23rd start of the season and his first start of 2018 against Texas. He did not factor in the decision in his most recent start on Monday at San Diego after tossing 7 1/3 innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits.Heaney has started 11 games on the road this year and is 0-5 with a 4.97 ERA compared with a 7-2 record and 2.90 ERA at home. In four career starts against the Rangers, he is 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA.


MLB Game Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres - 8/18/2018 - 8:40 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres - Date: 8/18/2018 StubHubStubHubDiamondbacks aim to stay perfect in San Diego 7m ago. 2 min read SAN DIEGO -- Padres left-hander Clayton Richard has pitched 1,230 2/3 innings in his career with a 4.41 earned run average and a 68-78 record.But the 34-year-old veteran is a bit of a different beast when he's pitching at Petco Park in San Diego.Richard has a 32-29 career record at Petco Park with a 3.28 ERA in 513 1/3 innings. Free Soccer Picks. This season, Richard is 2-3 on the Padres' home turf with a 3.59 ERA in 11 starts. Opposing batters have hit .242 against Richard at Petco Park compared to .258 on the road. And he has a 1.18 WHIP at Petco Park compared to a 1.46 WHIP on the road, where his ERA is 6.28.Saturday night Richard will be testing his prowess at Petco Park against another eleme nt that is performing very well in San Diego -- the Arizona Diamondbacks.In fact, Arizona hasn't lost yet this season at Petco Park, winning a fifth straight game at that venue Friday night with five more to play on the 2018 schedule.Overall, the Diamondbacks are 9-3 against the Padres this season and halfway to a sweep of a four-game series the Padres set aside last winter to celebrate Trevor Hoffman's induction into baseball's Hall of Fame. Before Saturday night's game, the Padres will unveil a statue of the first closer to reach the 500- and 600-save plateaus.Enter Richard, who is 7-10 with a 4.98 ERA for the season. He's the best bet to stop the Padres' latest five-game losing streak.The 6-foot-5 left-hander will be making his third start of the season against Arizona as he faces right-hander Zack Godley, who has a 13-6 record and a 4.20 ERA.Thus far, Richard has struggled against the Diamondbacks in 2018, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. In each of tho se starts, Richard gave up three runs on five hits in five innings. But each of those starts was made in Arizona.When Richard faced the Diamondbacks in San Diego last year, he went 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA -- giving up two earned runs in 15 2/3 innings. During his career, Richard has a 10-6 record with a 4.20 ERA in 19 starts against the Diamondbacks. Sports Handicapper Leaderboard. The Padres are 12-7 in those games.Meanwhile, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Godley is 2-0 against the Padres in three games (two starts) this season. He has allowed three runs on 11 hits and three walks with 17 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. But all three of those outings were in Arizona. Saturday will be his first appearance of the season at Petco Park.Overall, the 28-year-old has a career 3-3 record against the Padres with a 4.66 ERA in 12 games (eight starts). He has given up 25 runs on 52 hits and 16 walks with 49 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings.G odley is tied for second in the National League in wins and has allowed 72 runs (64 earned) on 133 hits and 61 walks with 143 strikeouts in 137 innings for a .254 opponents' batting average and a 1.42 WHIP. He ranks 10th among National League pitchers in strikeouts.Godley is 7-4 on the road in 13 starts this season despite a 5.06 ERA, a .270 opponents' batting average and a 1.60 WHIP.


MLB Game Preview: Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics - 8/18/2018 - 4:05 PM EST

MLB Game Preview: Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics - Date: 8/18/2018 StubHubStubHubA's would tie for first with win over Astros 14m ago. 2 min read OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Houston Astros will turn to their hottest pitcher, left-hander Dallas Keuchel, when the Oakland Athletics make a bid to move into a tie for first place in the American League West on Saturday afternoon.On Friday night, Oakland's Nick Martini tied the game with a ninth-inning double and Matt Olson won it with a leadoff home run in the 10th, allowing the A's (73-49) to move within one game of the Astros (74-48) atop the West with a 4-3 triumph.Keuchel (9-9, 3.43 ERA) was a 16-2 winner the last time he pitched in Oakland in May, and that was before he really got rolling.The 30-year-old went 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA in five starts in July, and has yet to lose in August, going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three outings.He suffered an 8-1 shellacking at home in Ap ril in a game in which Oakland's Matt Chapman, Chad Pinder and Mark Canha homered.He is 6-5 with a 2.78 ERA in his career against the A's, and Saturday's start will be his 21st meeting with Oakland, his 19th as a starter. Keuchel is 1-1 with 4.20 ERA in two starts against the A's this season.Keuchel will have to deal with the knowledge that no matter how well he does, the A's might still prevail against the Houston bullpen.Olson's homer in the series opener was Oakland's eighth walk-off hit of the season. Free Sports Handicappers. The A's lead the majors in runs scored in the eighth inning, and Friday's ninth-inning run was their 54th of the season, tops in the AL.Oakland is 11-5 in extra-inning games and a major-league-best 26-10 in one-run decisions. Each of the A's last four wins has been by one run.A's closer Blake Treinen has helped close the door on most of Oakland 9;s close wins this season. He was the winner in Friday's contest, holding the Astros scoreless in the top of the 10th before Olson's homer in the bottom of the inning.The win was his sixth of the season. He's also recorded 32 saves.The A's will counter Keuchel with right-hander Trevor Cahill (4-2, 3.39), who has struggled in two earlier meetings with the Astros this season.Houston ran up an 8-4 home win over the A's in April when Cahill allowed four runs in six innings.He later had to be pulled in the fourth inning of an eventual 6-4 A's win at Houston in July.Cahill has gone 1-1 with a 5.82 ERA in four career games, including three starts, against the Astros.Astros center fielder George Springer, who homered off Cahill in the April meeting, returned from a stint on the disabled list to go 1-for-5 in Friday's loss.The Astros have held solo leadership in the AL West since June 14. Free Sports Pic ks Daily. Their biggest lead in the past two months was six games.The A's, meanwhile, were 10 games out after a 6-5 loss at Houston on July 10. Sports Handicapper Records. They have gone 22-8 since that date, while the Astros have struggled to a 12-16 mark.Not counting the first month of the season, the A's haven't held or shared first place in the AL West since Aug. 25, 2014.