Oakland A’s lose starting middle infield for rest of season

Sep 25, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Elvis Andrus (right) scores the winning run against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Andrus scored from first on a double by Oakland center fielder Starling Marte, but injured his leg on the play and had to be helped from the field. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Elvis Andrus (right) scores the winning run against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Andrus scored from first on a double by Oakland center fielder Starling Marte, but injured his leg on the play and had to be helped from the field. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sunday was a day of positives and negatives for the Oakland A’s. On the positive side, they finished their sweep of the Houston Astros, keeping their playoff hopes alive for just a bit longer. The Astros were unable to claim the division on the A’s home turf, keeping their champagne on ice for another day.

On the negative side, the A’s have lost their starting middle infield from Opening Day. Both Elvis Andrus and Jed Lowrie were placed on the Injured List, effectively ending their seasons.

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One had to fear the worst when it came to Andrus. He had felt his ankle pop as he rounded third, scoring the game winning run on heart and determination. It turns out that he had run that final 90 feet with a fractured fibula, ignoring the pain as he made certain that the A’s would get that victory.

Andrus may not have had a great season, but that heart shows why he was considered such a valuable part of the team. He ends the year having posted a .243/.294/.320 batting line in his 541 plate appearances, hitting 25 doubles and three homers while stealing 12 bases.

For Lowrie, the fact that he lasted this long without being placed on the IL is amazing. He appeared in 139 games this year after totaling eight plate appearances over the past two years. While he predictably cooled off down the stretch, his .245/.318/.398 batting line with 14 homers and 28 doubles in his 512 plate appearances were far more than anyone could have imagined at the start of the year.

Now the A’s will need to cobble those positions together for the final week of the season. Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp started at second and short on Sunday, and VImael Machin may see more time during this coming week. It may not be the best situation, but the A’s will need to make do.

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Both Elvis Andrus and Jed Lowrie have been placed on the Injured List. The Oakland A’s will need to cobble together their middle infield for one more week.

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