Welcome back Coco Crisp!
Crisp led off his first game in ten days with a home run, Drew would add a two run home run of his own and the A’ broke it open with a four run seventh inning to defeat the Mariners 8-2.
This is what baseball is all about people. With six games to play the A’s showed up big tonight, winning like they have been all year with young rookie arms and big time home runs.
A.J. Griffin started for the Athletics and while he wasn’t at the top of his game, he made it through five 2/3 innings allowing only one run on four hits and two walks, giving the A’s the chance to win the game.
Griffin struggled early, throwing 40 pitches in the first two frames. He settled down nicely however, cruising until the sixth inning when his command got away from him. He was pulled after hitting John Jaso/John Jaso’s bat, loading the bases in the process. Doolittle would come in and get Smoak to fly out to right, ending the last threat the Mariners would mount tonight.
Manager Bob Melvin noted his young starters ability to bounce back. ”It was the first two innings that cost him deeper in the game…But we’ve seen him do that before and seen him recover.” He recovered well enough tonight to earn his seventh win of the year.
But this game was defined by the seventh inning. Any thoughts the Mariners had of playing spoiler were thrown away in the inning. The Mariners had made it a tight 4-2 ball game after a home run from Saunders leading off the top of the seventh. That quickly changed in the bottom of the inning when the A’s loaded the bases via walk, single, walk. Seattle brought in a new pitcher who promptly walked Cespedes to score the first run of the inning and after Moss popped out, Reddick hit a ground ball to the second baseman Ackley who was playing in on the grass. Ackley throws the ball home but the ball is three feet wide of the plate, forcing the catcher off and allowing the run to score. Donaldson was quick to capitalize even more on this error with a two run single, pushing the lead to 8-2 and closing the door on this game for good.
Cespedes would add a highlight reel catch in the 8th to keep things exciting while Blevins pitched the 8th and Miller came in to finish it in the 9th.
The problems that plagued the A’s on the road trip were virtually all missing from tonight’s game. The A’s ended a streak of 6 consecutive games with an error. They also got a starting pitcher through five innings, something they have only been able to do in four of the last eleven games. Hopefully the A’s start a new trend of clean play and long lasting starters for this final stretch.
Tomorrow its Dan Straily (2-1, 3.60) taking on Jason Vargas (14-11, 3.94) who will be making his ridiculous sixth start against the Athletics this year. So far he is only 2-1 against the A’s this year but with a 2.36 ERA he has been tough.
-Anaheim beat Texas 7-4 tonight, putting the A’s 3 back from Texas with 5 to play and maintaining a two game lead over the Angels for the wildcard.
-The Rays lost to the White Sox, pushing them three games behind Oakland.
-The A’s magic number is now 4
-The A’s set the American League record yesterday with most strikeouts in a season at 1340 . By the end of the season they will shatter the previous record of 1324 set by the 2007 Rays. They will (hopefully) fall far short of the Major League record of 1529 set by the 2010 Diamondbacks.
-The leadoff homerun from Coco Crisp was his fourth of the year and eighth of his career.
-Stephen Drew extended his hit streak to eight games tonight. He is batting .429 during that span.
-The A’s are now 74-38 in games when they hit a homerun and 37-14 in games with two or more.