In the amount of time it takes to play two games, the Oakland Athletics earned one win against the Los Angeles Angels courtesy of a walk off home run from Brandon Moss in the 19th inning to give the A’s a 10-8 win. It was his second homer of the game, although they happened on two different days, indicating just how long it took for the A’s to earn the victory.
Yoenis Cespedes brought the tying run home with a clutch RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to ensure that a four-run rally in the eighth paid off for an A’s team that has played two extra innings games in two days.
Monday night’s outlasted Sunday’s by about 10 innings, and a crowd of roughly 1,000 spectators cheered as loud as 10,000 when Moss hit his second blast of the night to send them home, and the A’s first basemen (he actually finished the game in right field after a couple injuries to Oakland’s outfield) celebrated by giving himself a pie to the face.
Monday night’s/Tuesday morning’s game was the longest in Oakland Athletics history, going six hours and 32 minutes, and Bob Melvin cycled through eight pitchers in the marathon effort.
Dan Straily was looking sharp to start off the game, quickly retiring the first two Angels hitters, but Albert Pujols took him deep to break out of his 19-game stretch with no home runs to give L.A. a 1-0 lead. Mark Trumbo crushed a fastball 475 feet deep to left field to lead off the second to put the Angels up 2-0. Tonight was the first time this season the Angels have scored first against the A’s.
Oakland got on the board in the fourth inning when a grounder from John Jaso bounced off the leg of Howie Kendrick at second base, allowing Josh Donaldson to score from first to make it 2-1.
However, an unfortunate trend reared its head again tonight for Oakland as they allowed four runs in the top of the fifth to immediately negate the progress they made on offense. It’s an all too familiar feeling for the A’s, and tonight it was Straily that fell apart, giving up three singles, a double, a sacrifice fly and hitting a batter to give the Angels a 6-1 lead when it was all said and done, and that would be it for the young right-hander as Pat Neshek would come in to close out the inning.
Angels starter Tommy Hanson kept the A’s off balance throughout the night, effectively mixing off-speed pitches with a four-seam fastball in the high 80′s, although he did give up a solo home run to Moss with two outs in the sixth. He’d leave the game with six strikeouts and one walk, and the Angels were in good shape with a 6-2 lead heading into the seventh.
Pujols then hit his second home run of the night off Neshek to make it 7-2, and after Angels reliever Michael Roth retired the side in the bottom half of the seventh inning, it looked like the final two frames would be a formality as Oakland’s offense had only mustered five hits to that point.
But after yesterday’s extra innings win in which all of the A’s runs were scored after the fifth inning, there was no shortage of believers in the home team’s dugout, and the bats came alive in the eighth inning. Three RBI singles off three different relievers brought the A’s within a run, and Sean Doolittle provided a much-needed shutdown inning in the top of the ninth by striking out Josh Hamilton with two men on to preserve the 7-6 score.
The Coliseum was primed for another walk-off win with the top of the order starting things off in the bottom of the ninth, and Coco Crisp drew a lead off walk to put the tying run on board. Seth Smith pulled a ball to the warning track in the right field corner that was caught by Josh Hamilton, but it was just deep enough to allow Crisp to tag up and slide into second before the tag. After a Jed Lowrie strikeout, it all came down to Cespedes, and he was able to deliver extra innings for the second straight day with a shot off the wall in left-center that looked like it had a chance to go out before it fell a few feet short and bounced into play.
From there on out runs would be at a premium. Chris Young nearly ended the game in the 10th when he ripped a pitch just inside the fence in the left field corner, ending up with a two-out triple that Adam Rosales couldn’t capitalize on in the next at-bat. The umpires would have to look at replays to make sure the ball didn’t hit the a hanging sign, which would’ve ruled the ball out for a game-winning home run.
Brett Anderson came in to pitch in the 13th inning after initially getting scratched to start the game, and he was the victim of a curiously tight strike zone from umpire Kerwin Danley in the 15th inning that resulted in his only earned run on a walk with the bases loaded. Overall he looked sharp, striking out five while walking three over five innings of work, and his ankle held up well until he appeared to tweak it in the 18th, putting his next projected start in question.
The A’s wouldn’t go quietly following the score, however, and Rosales came through with a two-out RBI double that scored Derek Norris from second to keep his team in it and give the fans at the Coliseum another four innings of free baseball.
Jerry Blevins came in for Anderson and pitched one-and-two-thirds innings to earn the win, and there was never any doubt that Moss’s blast would end up in the right field bleachers when he connected with a change-up left over the plate.
Jed Lowrie broke the Athletics record for hits in April — formerly set at 33 by Stan Javier (1994) and Ben Grieve (1998) — when he doubled for his 34th hit of the month in the 11th inning. Crisp strained his left hamstring running to first in the 13th, and Young strained his left quad doing the same in the 15th. Some roster moves may be necessary tomorrow, so we’ll keep you posted on that situation as it develops.
The A’s return to the Coliseum tomorrow night for the second game of their three-game matchup with the Angels, and Jarrod Parker will go up against right-hander Garrett Richards to try to extend Oakland’s win streak to three games.