Oakland, CA – There’s no place like home! After a seven game road trip across the Bay bridge and down south. The Oakland A’s return home where they play their best baseball. Splitting the series in Anaheim, the A’s continue to find their offense against the Baltimore Orioles.
All nine starters got at least one hit in the game and this is the second day in a row that the offense has come alive. The A’s dominated the Orioles 6-2 on night where their manager Bob Geren got ejected top of the sixth by home plate umpire Angel Campos. He watched his team from the clubhouse take control of the game at a confident level.
“You can’t expect double-digit hits every night, but back-to-back games are a good start,” Geren said. ”Guys are feeling a little bit more confident with themselves offensively and just rolling with it, I like what I’m seeing.”
Ryan Sweeney got things off to a good start in the first with a double and Hideki Matsui hit a RBI single giving Oakland an early 1-0 lead. But Baltimore responded in the second when both Vladimir Guerrero and Nolan Reimold singled, followed by two walks from Gio Gonzalez which tied the game 1-1. With the bases still loaded Gonzalez got himself out of a jam by striking out the next batter and it helped that Jake Fox grounded into a double play to end the inning.
“It’s big for us to come up with the hits, this was a big win,” said Sweeney. “To come out and swing the bat the way we did is a huge confidence builder for us to fall on.”
The hits continued in the second when Mark Ellis singled on a line drive to right field and stole second. David Dejesus singled bringing in Ellis for the 2-1 lead. But the southpaw gave the crowd a scare when he ran to first base for the out but the ball was overthrown by shortstop Cliff Pennington. He came up limping but he finished the inning with the game tied 2-2. Gonzalez had a hot start striking out the side in the first but struggled through the rest of his five innings. He allowed two runs (one earned), walked five and fanned seven.
Oakland’s defense backed him from preventing four inning double plays into additional runs for the birds. One of those moments was when Gio found himself with the bases loaded on back-to-back singles but a double up the middle was quickly thrown into an out.
“I burned all my energy out in the first inning,” Gonzalez said. ”After that I was just tying to scare everybody and put them on the edge of their seat. I definitely put myself through a roller-coaster ride!”
For the remaining of the game the A’s sailed along with the offense who looks to get back to .500. Bottom of the sixth Sweeney comes up big again with a single RBI to give the A’s the lead, his fifth RBI of the season. Than Josh Willingham gets his 29th RBI of the year when he doubled on a line drive to field bringing in another run for a 4-2 lead. Baltimore struggled at the mound and on defense.
Chris Tillman walked two batters back-to-back loading the bases which brought a pitching change bottom of the fifth. Alfredo Simon replaced him doing a good job by striking out two leaving scores in position but that didn’t last long. Willingham lead of the eighth with a solo home run off the Orioles third pitcher Mike Gonzalez. This is the second night Oakland has produced double digit hits in a game. Scoring four or more runs in three of their last four games winning all three. Which gives them an 18-4 record this season when they’ve hit more than four runs.
“Gio had a little battle with his command but his stuff was electric and you really thought this could be a special night,” explained Geren. “He kinda fought his self tonight but you have to give credit to the defense. They picked him up, a good night night for us, three out of the last four is pretty good for us.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino