Oakland starter Tommy Milone settled down to pitch 3.2 innings after surrendering a lead-off home run to Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, and the Athletics rallied to score two runs in the eighth inning to give them a 6-3 win over a Royals team that has the best record in the league in spring training.
Following the home run to Gordon, Milone didn’t allow any more damage until the Royals staged a two-out rally in the top of the fourth and scored two runs to make it 3-0 Kansas City. The A’s answered back with a three-run bottom half of the inning against Kansas City starter James Shields. Coco Crisp was the first Oakland batter to record a hit with an infield single to lead off the charge, and Jed Lowrie advanced him to second on a single of his own after a strikeout by Scott Sizemore. Yoenis Cespedes brought Crisp home on a ground-rule to left field, and Brandon Moss cleaned up the basepaths with a single to center to tie the game before Chris Young struck out to end the inning.
The A’s took the lead when Eric Sogard doubled off of Shields to score Derek Norris, prompting a pitching change in the bottom of the fifth. Oakland’s bullpen would only allow two hits the rest of the way, and behind some timely hitting and good baserunning in the eighth from Sogard, Adam Rosales and Andy Parrino, the A’s left Phoenix Municipal Stadium with a quality win.
The lineups are starting to look more like what you’re going to see in the regular season, and they whittled the roster down to 47 players over the weekend. You could even say the win today was reminiscent of the 2012 campaign, where the A’s used a similar recipe to capture the AL West title and take the eventual AL champion Detroit Tigers to five games in the divisional round.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that this is a sign that we’re in store for another wild ride of a season, one that hopefully ends with the A’s in the playoffs behind a few more games like this one.
Oakland is off tomorrow, and they’ll be taking on the Texas Rangers at 1:05 PDT Thursday. We’ll be here to keep you posted on how it all went down.