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    August 10, 2018 11:42 PM PDT
    The Oakland Athletics were down to their last strike when Stephen Piscotty hit a tying home run off closer Brad Hand Darius Leonard Jersey , who was San Diego’s only All-Star last year.

    Jed Lowie then hit a two-run shot with two outs in the 10th to lift the Athletics to a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

    Hand was trying for his 22nd save when Piscotty drove a 2-2 fastball into the second deck, his fifth.

    ”That’s a guy you don’t typically think you’re going to string some hits together against and you’re down to your last pitch and the next thing it’s a homer,” manager Bob Melvin said. ”That’s about as big a momentum shift as you’re going to get, when you’re a strike away from losing and all of a sudden now you potentially have got their closer out of the game and bullpen-wise maybe we’re a little better set.”

    Against a pitcher like Hand, ”you’re probably only going to get one pitch to hit and you don’t want to miss it,” Piscotty said. ”He did a good job of getting ahead but in my mind I was just waiting for that one, and luckily I got it and didn’t miss it.”

    Piscotty took a 1-2 slider to even the count before homering.

    ”I saw that one really good and felt confident. Sometimes when you have a good take like that it locks you in,” he said.

    ”We were one out away from winning the ballgame. I made a mistake Josh Allen Jersey , they came back and hit a home run and then the tenth inning didn’t go our way,” Hand said. ”It was down, it was just inner third. A little more in would have been better, but it wasn’t necessarily a terrible pitch, but he made a good swing on it.”

    Said manager Andy Green: ”I’m sure if he had it back, he’d throw a slider instead of a fastball. I also think he wouldn’t mean to throw the fastball right where he threw it. Brad’s been good all year. I’m not the least bit worried about him. He’s resilient as anybody, and it’s one of those days, it’s a tough loss. It one of those that stings late because we did have it. One strike away Rashaad Penny Jersey , and those games sting.”

    Adam Cimber (3-3) allowed Marcus Semien’s one-out single in the 10th and retired Chad Pinder on a fly to right before Lowrie connected for his 10th homer.

    ”I was just looking for something over the plate that I could square up and he made a mistake right down the middle,” Lowrie said.

    Rookie Lou Trivino (4-1) pitched two innings for the win. Blake Treinen pitched the 10th for his 16th save.

    Padres rookie left-hander hander Eric Lauer had been in line for the victory after pitching six strong innings. He settled down after allowing an unearned run in the second and held the A’s to one run and three hits while matching his strikeout high with seven. He walked two.

    The Padres had given Lauer just enough support in the first two innings against Paul Blackburn. Jose Pirela brought in a run in the first on a grounder and Raffy Lopez doubled with one out in the second to bring in rookie Franmil Reyes, who was aboard on a leadoff double.

    Blackburn allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, struck out four and walked two.

    The A’s scored in the second with some help from replay. Khris Davis drew a leadoff walk and was originally called out on a force play on Matt Olson’s ground ball. The A’s challenged and the call was overturned, with shortstop Freddy Galvis given an error because his foot wasn’t on second base when he took the throw. Davis advanced on Mark Canha’s single and scored when Piscotty grounded into a double play.


    The Padres are in a stretch in which they will play just five of 28 games at home. After going 5-5 on a trip through Miami, St. Louis and Atlanta, the Padres are home for just two games before heading out for a seven-game trip to San Francisco and Texas. Then they’re home for three games against Pittsburgh before a six-game trip to Oakland and Arizona.


    Padres: Have cut short OF Franchy Cordero’s rehab assignment after he felt something in his right elbow. Manager Andy Green said it’s ”highly unlikely” Cordero is back soon.


    Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.67 ERA) is scheduled to start the finale of the two-game series.

    Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2 Cheap Hayden Hurst Jersey , 3.23) is scheduled to return from more than a month on the DL with a strained right hip.

    John Paxson insisted the Chicago Bulls are in a good position. And the Bulls’ top executive hopes they are never in this spot again.

    ”We did this year what we felt was in the long-term best interests of the Bulls,” Paxson said Thursday. ”It’s not a situation that any of us want to ever be in again. It goes against everything as a competitive person that you believe in, but it’s the way the system is set up. To be very honest, we believe we’ve done it the right way.”

    The Bulls went 27-55, their worst record since the 2003-04 season, and missed the playoffs for the second time in three years. But they are staying the course after going all-in on rebuilding.

    Paxson, Chicago’s executive vice president of basketball operations, praised coach Fred Hoiberg and said he will ”absolutely” return for a fourth season. He said most of the roster will be back ”because we’re headed in the right direction” and called this ”as important a summer as we’ve had in a very long time.”

    Here are some things to know heading into the offseason:


    The Bulls believe they set themselves up for long-term success when they traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine Roquan Smith Bears Jersey , Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen on draft night last year. All three players they landed showed promise, with Markkanen emerging as one of the league’s top rookies. Throw in a lottery pick as well as another first-rounder this year and the Bulls believe they are positioning themselves to make a jump in the Eastern Conference.


    The Bulls didn’t give up Butler only to let LaVine go as a restricted free agent. But there could be some interesting negotiations. Paxson said general manager Gar Forman will talk to LaVine’s agent ”at the appropriate time.”

    ”I think the market has tightened up a little bit the last couple years,” Paxson said. ”But we obviously value Zach a lot. We think he’s a part of our future, but he has the opportunity to explore things.

    The two-time slam dunk champion missed the first 42 games while recovering from a torn ACL in the left knee that he suffered with Minnesota and sat out the final 14 because of tendinitis in the knee. LaVine flashed his explosiveness but clearly had some rust to knock off when he was available, averaging 16.7 points in 24 games. For now, he’s looking forward to a summer without rehab.

    ”I missed the whole last offseason and that’s where I make a lot of my jumps in the summer,” LaVine said.


    From struggling rookie to solid NBA player in his second season, Dunn made quite a jump. But he remains far from a finished product. Though he averaged 13.4 points in 52 games and tied for fourth in the league in steals (2 per game) Vontaze Burfict Jersey , Dunn averaged 2.9 turnovers. Paxson said he’s comfortable with him as the No. 1 point guard next season and Cameron Payne as the backup. But did Dunn do enough to establish himself as the Bulls’ long-term starter?

    ”What we saw from Kris Dunn this year was really encouraging,” said Paxson, who would like to see Dunn become a stronger finisher. ”When he was healthy, he showed some real competitiveness.”


    Paxson had strong praise for Hoiberg, saying he and his staff ”set the culture correctly in the summer” and held the team together despite all the losses. Hoiberg is 110-136 in three seasons with the Bulls. But he finally had a roster suited to his pace and space style.

    ”Fred and our guys set the tone when our guys came back and they just had the everyday attitude of working,” Paxson said. ”That needs to carry over and it will. Our guys need to continue to buy in which we believe they will.”


    With the sixth or seventh slot in the lottery and a pick from New Orleans in the 20 to 23 range, the Bulls need to hit in the draft this year if they’re going to accelerate the rebuild. Paxson indicated the Bulls will look to add more size and versatility on the wing. Mikal Bridges of Villanova could be a possibility with their higher pick.