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A’s shutout as awful August rolls on

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Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Andrew Triggs, seen here pitching against the Texas Rangers last week, gave up just four hits in six scoreless innings in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Monday. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

OAKLAND — Khris Davis fell over while trying to check his swing on the final strike of the Oakland Athletics’ 1-0 loss on Monday night.

It was a fitting end for a team that has gone 6-14 in what has been an ugly August. The defeat to the Cleveland Indians dropped the A’s to 53-72 — the club’s worst record after 125 games since 1997.

Before the shutout, Oakland placed designated hitter Billy Butler on the seven-day concussion disabled list due to an injury he sustained during a clubhouse dustup with Danny Valencia.

“When you have losing seasons and you’re not playing well, it’s not going to go as well as when you’re winning,” explained manager Bob Melvin. “In that respect, you don’t expect everything to be warm and fuzzy all the time.”

The altercation between the veterans was the latest in a string of off-the-field distractions.

Last week, Coco Crisp blasted the front office for allegedly manipulating his playing time in order to avoid paying out a $13 million vesting option. Before that, the team suspended its strength and conditioning coach for setting up a spy cam in the Coliseum weight room.

In Monday night’s loss, the difference was an eighth-inning solo shot that Ryan Dull served up to Carlos Santana.

Limited to four hits, the A’s wasted the best start of Andrew Triggs brief big league career. The right-hander worked six scoreless innings and retired 17 of the first 19 batters he faced.

After allowing just four runs in his last three starts, Melvin said Triggs will remain in the rotation the rest of the season. In his eighth stint with the club of 2016, Triggs is simply glad he’s getting a chance to stick in the majors.

“I’m happy with whatever the opportunity is,” Triggs said. “It’s been a lot of fun to go out there and pitch the beginning of games rather than at the middle or the end.”

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