^By BEN WALKER=
^AP Sports Writer=
NEW YORK (AP) _ For Oakland rookies Matt Chapman and Daniel Gossett, these are the days to learn and grow. For Jay Bruce and several Mets veterans, they’ll soon discover if it’s time to stay or go.
Chapman quickly atoned for a baserunning blunder by hitting a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning Sunday that sent the Athletics to a 3-2 victory, ending New York’s four-game winning streak.
Picked off third base with no outs in the fifth, Chapman connected his next time up for the last-place A’s.
“It’s definitely nice to make up for what you feel like is a crucial error,” Chapman said.
With the July 31 trade deadline nearing and far back in the NL wild-card race, the Mets now start a 10-game trip. There’s no telling whether Bruce, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed and others will remain on the team when it returns to Citi Field.
Bruce singled and scored, and is hitting .263 with 25 home runs and 65 RBIs. The Mets got the outfielder from Cincinnati last year on the trade deadline day.
“Obviously, the fact that this could be the last home game for a lot of us here is something that’s a bit odd, but nothing happens until it happens and we don’t know for sure and we’ll just see how it goes,” Bruce said.
Mets manager Terry Collins didn’t try to predict the future for his players.
“It all depends on who may not be here, I guess,” he said. “Certainly the next week is going to be hard. I will do the best I can to try and keep their mind on the game and away from who the trading talks (are) about.”
Michael Conforto hit his 19th homer of the season and fifth of the Mets’ 6-4 homestand that came after the All-Star break.
Marcus Semien and Khris Davis also homered for Oakland, helping Bob Melvin post his 999th victory as a big league manager. Semien connected on the sixth pitch of the game, and Davis hit his 28th home run in the fourth.
Oakland led 2-1 when Chapman opened the fifth with a double and moved up on a wild pitch by Rafael Montero (1-7). But with no outs, Chapman wandered too far and was picked off by catcher Rene Rivera.
After the Mets tied it on an RBI grounder by Jose Reyes, Chapman launched a drive with two outs in the seventh.
Chapman showed pop in the minors, and homered for the second straight day. He made his major league debut last month and has four home runs, all since the All-Star break.
“That’s what he does,” Melvin said. “He’s always one swing away from putting the ball in the seats.”
Gossett (2-5) gave up two runs and five hits in six innings. He’s 24, like Chapman, and said he felt as if he was competing hard, rather than merely “surviving” on the mound.
He also withstood a line drive by Granderson, snagging the ball just above his head to end the fifth with runners at the corners. The right-handed Gossett took off his glove, rotated his left shoulder to work out a kink, spit, tilted his hat and shook his head as he slowly walked off.
Back on bench, Gossett asked how hard the ball was hit. He was told 85 mph.
“I could’ve swore it was 120,” he said, adding, “I think if it was 5 mph faster, you wouldn’t have seen me for the rest of the season.”
Santiago Casilla, a possible trade target, worked the ninth for his 16th save in 21 chances. After Wilmer Flores singled with one out, pinch-hitter Yoenis Cespedes hit a flyball that got fans hollering it might leave the park, but it was caught way short of the warning track.
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