Brandon Inge blasts A's past Blue Jays
Welcome to the Bay Area, Brandon Inge. The A's rallied for five runs off of Toronto reliever Francisco Cordero—the last four coming on Inge's ninth-inning grand slam—and the A's defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3. Grant Balfour gets the win, although he struggled in the ninth again, giving up the lead in the top of the inning. Jarrod Parker, pitching for injured Brandon McCarthy, went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits, but he did walk five batters.
The A's fell behind in the third when Toronto's Kelly Johnson hit an opposite field, two-run home run off of Parker. That 2-0 scored remained until the fifth inning. After a Jemile Weeks walk and stolen base, Josh Reddick slammed a game-tying home run to right center field. Balfour entered in the ninth and promptly allowed a leadoff triple to Eric Thames. With two outs and runners on the corners, Balfour hung a curveball that Johnson lined into right field, scoring pinch runner Rajai Davis. He was then able to retire Yunel Escobar without further damage.
Oakland's rally off of Cordero began with Michael Taylor doubling just fair down the left field line. After Weeks sacrificed him to third, Cliff Pennington drove in the tying run with a single to right and then stole second. Reddick and Jonny Gomes were both intentionally walked before Inge's grand slam to left to win the game.
Good: Jemile Weeks. I could have chosen Reddick, Inge or Parker, but it was really encouraging to see shades of the Weeks that had such a great 2011 season. He went 2-3 with a sacrifice and a stolen base. That is precisely the type of line he needs to deliver more consistently to spark the A's offense.
Bad: Grant Balfour. The offense bailed him out, but this is becoming a bad habit to see Balfour struggle at best and implode at worst.
At 16-14, the A's are two games above .500 for the first time all season. They will try to win the finale of the short series Wednesday afternoon as Tyson Ross faces Toronto's Brandon Morrow. First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m.