Josh Hamilton probably still has nightmares thinking about game No. 162 last season, when he dropped an easy fly ball that propelled the A’s to a division-winning victory over the Rangers.
Now with the Angels, those nightmares came back to haunt him again, as the Oakland Athletics erased an early 5-0 deficit to beat the Angels 10-6 thanks to some miscues in the outfield and hits that came in bunches.
It was a five-running sixth inning that did the major damage. Down by a run with a man on first, Stephen Vogt lifted a high fly ball to left that got caught in the Coliseum sun. Hamilton and Mike Trout collided and the ball rolled behind them, allowing Seth Smith to score all the way from first to tie the game.
That opened up the floodgates. Eric Sogard singled in Vogt to give the A’s the lead, then three more RBI hits by Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss, and Yoenis Cespedes propelled the A’s to reach the 10-run plateau.
For Cespedes, that was his fourth RBI of the afternoon, surely a sight for sore eyes as the Cuban sensation has been struggling ever since the All Star break. Like Vogt, he too caught a break when he hit a high pop fly in the fifth inning that bewildered all the outfielders and dropped behind Trout, scoring a run. His other RBIs came in the third frame thanks to a line drive to center with the bases loaded, plating two and cutting the Angels lead to 5-3 at that point.
The game didn’t begin easy for the A’s, however. Jarrod Parker gave up a four-spot in the first inning on three consecutive two-out hits. However, he held down the fort after allowing another run in the second, going five innings with six earned runs and a career-high seven walks.
With the wild comeback win, the A’s are now a full six games ahead of the Rangers in the AL West.