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Athletics designate Brandon Moss for assignment

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The Athletics designated infielder/outfielder Brandon Moss for assignment, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday. The roster spot was cleared to make room for left-handed reliever Jairo Labourt, whom the A’s claimed off waivers from the Reds.

Moss, 34, returned to Oakland in a trade for Jesse Hahn and Heath Fillmyer back in January, and was hoping to latch onto the Opening Day lineup this spring. He’s coming off of a down year, one in which he batted just .207/.279/.428 with 22 home runs and a .707 OPS in 401 plate appearances for the Royals. That made his $7.25 million price tag all the less appealing to the A’s, who were expected to offload him shortly after finalizing the trade.

Now, Moss tells the Chronicle, he’s seriously considering entering retirement if he can’t find another major league gig this season. “I totally understand the situation here. They had to get me to get a guy they really needed,” he said Sunday. “That’s baseball, that’s the way it works. But if I get cut, I can play by my own rules, I don’t have to do anything, and I won’t. If another team doesn’t pick me up, I’ve had a good career, more of a career than I ever thought I’d have.”

Should Moss decide to hang up his cleats for good, he’ll finish his 11-year career with a lifetime .237/.314/.452 batting line, 160 home runs, and 8.8 fWAR for the Red Sox, Pirates, Phillies, A’s, Indians, Cardinals and Royals.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.