OAKLAND -- For the A's, the big news Wednesday was no news. That is, the trade deadline passed with no further activity in the Oakland front office, which made one move Tuesday to bolster their infield depth with Alberto Callaspo but otherwise made the quiet statement that they're confident going into August and beyond with the players already in tow.
"We feel like we've upgraded a team that's done pretty well to this point," manager Bob Melvin said.
The A's are 63-45 and began Wednesday with a five-game lead in the West over the Rangers, who can narrow it to four if they beat the Angels tonight. The Rangers also have a makeup game against the Diamondbacks on Thursday before they arrive in Oakland on Friday for a three-game series that Melvin acknowledged has a little more importance at this point in the year.
The A's have lost two in a row after falling 5-2 to the Blue Jays on Wednesday and are 7-6 since the All-Star Break, but still went into the series finale with Toronto with one win less than league co-leaders Boston and Tampa Bay. They have pitched particularly well and -- despite an 0-for-12 day with runners in scoring position Wednesday -- more often than not scored the runs that they've needed.