Moss, Cespedes Power A’s Past Mariners
The Coliseum was buzzing Sunday afternoon. Not with the traditional ballpark ambiance, but with the vuvuzela-like murmur of a whistle from the 7,500 bracelets turned-to-instruments given away to kids on Little League day.
The bats of A’s sluggers made plenty of noise of their own, as Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes blasted their first home runs of the season in a 6-3 come from behind victory over division-rival Seattle.
After getting off to a lackadaisical start in which shaky defense and mental lapses on the base paths dug the A’s a three-run hole, Moss tied the game with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third that recharged starting pitcher Sonny Gray’s confidence on the mound.
“I made my adjustments, and when Moss hit that shot it gave me an extra boost of energy and got me back into the game,” said Gray.
“We don’t typically play like that, whether it’s the days of no BP or not being out in the field, its no excuse to not have focus early in the game,” said Bob Melvin. “I’m glad we came back and played much better the second half of the game.”
Josh Donaldson broke out of a career-long 0-20 slump in a huge way in the fifth-inning, beating out an infield RBI-single which ended up being the game-winning run.
Gray retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced to earn his first victory of the young season. After a no-decision on opening day, the A’s ace has allowed only one earned run over 12 innings while notching 10 strike outs to start the year.
The reigning AL saves leader Jim Johnson joined the ‘first-of-the-season party,’ recording save number one with his new team after a rocky first week in which the righty took the loss in his first two outings.
“I’ll enjoy it for a brief second,” said Johnson. “Obviously, it took a while — a lot longer than I wanted it to.”
Eric Sogard smacked his first hit of the season, and added two more for his fourth career three-hit game, while continuing to play stellar defense at second base.
With fellow newcomer Craig Gentry set to be activated from the disabled list soon, outfielder Sam Fuld made a strong impression to stay with the big league club, flashing leather with a diving catch and throwing out a runner at third base.
“I try to impact the games in multiple ways. It was nice to get some good hits early on, but obviously I do take pride in my defense… Just trying to make the most of any opportunity that I get,” said Fuld, who recorded two triples and a stolen base in his first two games earlier in the week.
“Whatever the decision is going to be, its going to be a difficult one. We have 26 or 27 guys that we feel like are really part of the team, and some of them aren’t here,” said Melvin on an upcoming 25-man roster move.
Next up for the A’s will be a nine-game road trip starting Monday afternoon in Minnesota. Scott Kazmir (1-0, 0.00) will take the hill against Kevin Correia (0-0, 7.20) at 1:10 PST as the A’s will aim to go over .500 in winning percentage for the first time in 2014.