The 2012 Oakland A's sustained a nine-game losing streak in late May and were 22-30 on June 1. As recently as June 30th they were still only 37-42.

Since then they have surged, going 23-9. At 60-51, the A's are playoff contenders, despite carrying only a $53 million payroll, down from $67 million a year ago.

Featured columnist Mark Reynolds recentl...

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