Brian McCann big again with bases loaded

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Brian McCann didn’t start Wednesday’s game against the Astros, but he did finish it, delivering a grand slam in the top of the 10th inning to expand Atlanta’s lead from two runs to six runs in the Braves’ 8-2 win.
It was the seventh career slam for McCann, who is one of the best in baseball with the sacks jacked. He’s one of eight active major leaguers to slug at least .700 with the bases loaded (minimum 50 plate appearances):
Jason Kubel – .403/.387/.839, 7 HR, 77 RBI in 62 AB
Albert Pujols – .395/.382/.798, 11 HR, 152 RBI in 114 AB
Travis Hafner – .289/.354/.776, 10 HR, 90 RBI in 76 AB
Alex Rodriguez – .353/.402/.720, 21 HR, 242 RBI in 207 AB
Brian McCann – .360/.389/.709, 7 HR, 97 RBI in 86 AB
Matt Holliday – .386/.418/.705, 4 HR, 93 RBI in 88 AB
Matt Stairs – .345/.401/.703, 12 HR, 162 RBI in 145 AB
Manny Ramirez – .332/.379/.702, 21 HR, 252 RBI in 235 AB
David Ortiz – .359/.374/.697, 9 HR, 163 RBI in 145 AB
Ryan Braun – .354/.365/.688, 3 HR, 49 RBI in 48 AB
Carlos Pena – .326/.426/.686, 7 HR, 107 RBI in 86 AB
OK, so he’s no Jason Kubel. Kubel’s slugging percentage ranks third over the 37 years of data provided by baseballmusings.com. Tops on that list are John Milner (.875 in 48 AB) and Chris Hoiles (.842 in 57 AB).

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.