A 38-minute power outage delay couldn’t dim down Scott Kazmir on Saturday night, as the lefty pitched lights-out en route to his fifth consecutive quality start.
The A’s used small ball from the not-so-well-known names in the lineup to eek out five runs in front of a sold out crowd at O.co to win the second game of the series from the Yankees, 5-1.
“When you have a few guys that aren’t swinging the bat well in the middle of the order, some of the other guys have to take over,” said Bob Melvin. “Today it was the bottom of the lineup.”
Bunt-hits, walks, past-balls and RBI-ground outs were the tools that the usually-powerful A’s lineup notched their runs with on the evening, with the not-so-usual suspects producing as the sluggers’ bats took a night off.
Nine-hole hitter Eric Sogard led the charge, smacking a two-RBI single in the second-inning that gave Oakland a 2-0 lead, and added an assist at the plate by throwing out the would-be game-tying run in the fifth.
Sogard had just one RBI in his previous 77 at bats, spanning 27 games.
“My teammates put me in position to come through there, and I was able to,” said Sogard. “They’ve been picking me up all year, so its nice to pitch in and do my part.”
The glasses-clad second baseman also sounded off about the ineptitude of the Coliseum, which has had its fair share of blunders over the past few seasons, and remains one of the most outdated facilities in Major League Baseball.
“That’s kind of what you expect from the Coliseum, it’s always something. You never know what you’re going to get,” said Sogard.
After a horrendous (by recent A’s standards) start to the season, Oakland has won twelve of their past 16 home games to match an identical record of the 2013 defending AL-west champion squad after 68 games (41-27).
The slump continues for AL All-star vote-leading third baseman Josh Donaldson, who after an 0-for-4 night was ejected from the game by the home plate umpire after the bottom of the seventh inning, apparently for jawing about the strike zone while walking out to his position before the eighth inning.
Donaldson ran his hitless streak up to 0-for-31, the longest of his career, and most by an Athletic since Adam Rosales went 0-for-34 in 2011.
Oakland will look to stay in the win column, and spoil Yankee legend Derek Jeter’s final regular-season appearance at the Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. Jesse Chavez (5-4, 3.04) will take the hill opposed by Vidal Nuno (1-2, 4.97) with first pitch scheduled at 1:05 PST.