So perhaps what the A’s are doing is making sure they savor the full experience of playing in Coors Field since they most likely won’t return for a number of years. In a game that was very good at first, and very very bad right after that, the A’s managed to grab the lead for the second time when it truly mattered. In classic mile high fashion, the A’s had the long ball working with 3 more homeruns to add to their tally, and a few key hits in the deciding 9th inning rally.
TURNING POINT: The Brandons changed the course of this game in the top of the 4th from a potential rout at the hands of the Rockies to yet another slugfest in Denver. After Jonny Gomes doubled with 1 out in his first at bat since replacing the newly oft injured Yoenis Cespedes (Who reaggravated his hamstring injury), Brandon Inge saw fit to inject a little bit of “Ingesanity” into this game with an RBI single. After Josh Donaldson erased Inge with a fielder’s choice, Brandon Moss served a homerun ball out to left center field to make it a 1 run game. The Rockies would open it up again with a second Michael Cuddyer homer, but the A’s proved they were going to fight for this game.
ON THE HILL: Tommy Milone continued in dramatic fashion his struggles on the road this season. The Rockies blasted Milone with a grand slam off the bat of Todd Helton in the 1st inning, and added a 5th run on an RBI single by Josh Outman of all people. Milone only lasted 4 innings and gave up all 8 runs on 7 hits with 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. The bullpen, just like last night was essential to the A’s victory combining for 5 shutout innings. Jim Miller pitched the 5th and 6th innings, he did allow 2 hits and 2 walks but managed to avoid any runs crossing the plate. Jerry Blevins took the reigns from Miller and pitched 2 innings of his own while allowing just 2 hits. Ryan Cook came on for the save and allowed a leadoff single to Michael Cuddyer, but induced a double play ball from Todd Helton to neutralize any budding threat and ultimately record his second save.
AT THE PLATE: The A’s offense was again powered by the homerun ball, with Seth Smith hurting his former club, Brandon Moss maintaining his power stroke, and Jonny Gomes practically hitting a ball through the left field bleachers. Brandon Inge continued to be the A’s big RBI man as of late, driving in 3 runs including the 2 go ahead runs in the 9th inning. Collin Cowgill reached base 3 times and drove in Coco Crisp to tie the game in the 9th. Speaking of Crisp, he came off the bench to hit for Jim Miller and reached base both times he came to the plate, and sparked the 9th inning rally with a single, and a steal of 3rd base for his 32nd in a row without being thrown out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The A’s showed the kind of grit and determination tonight that kept them around the .500 mark for the first month and a half of the season. No doubt the offense first Coors Field has demonstrated exactly why it has that kind of reputation in these two games. But the A’s have guaranteed themselves a series win in an alien environment and that’s a good feeling after a rough weekend in the desert. The A’s will try to sweep the Rockies tomorrow afternoon as Jarrod Parker (2-3, 3.19 ERA) tries to rebound from his loss in Arizona against Alex White (2-4, 5.66 ERA). They have a tendency to come up short in situations like this, so it would be nice for once to see the A’s go for the knockout blow tomorrow.
Tags: Alex White Brandon Moss Branon Inge Coco Crisp Collin Cowgill Jarrod Parker Jerry Blevins Jim Miller Josh Donaldson Josh Outman Michael Cuddyer Oakland Athletics Ryan Cook Seth Smith Todd Helton Tommy Milone Yoenis Cespedes