For the second time in two nights, the Oakland A's put up a crooked number to take a lead they would not relinquish at Coors Field. Tonight though, the rally came in the ninth inning, as the A's scored three times to defeat the Rockies 10-8. The big hit was Brandon Inge's two run double that plated Seth Smith and pinch-hitter Josh Reddick. Ryan Cook pitched the ninth for his second save in two games.
Early on, it was similar to the opener, as Seth Smith blasted a two run home run in the first, only for Colorado to respond with five in the bottom of the frame. Todd Helton's grand slam was the key in the inning, as starter Tom Milone struggled. After Michael Cuddyer's solo home run in the second, the A's got three of their own in the fourth. Brandon Inge singled, then Brandon Moss hit an opposite field two-run home run to make it 6-5.
However, the deficit was expanded when Cuddyer hit his second homer of the game, a two-run no doubter to right. Milone would make it through the fourth before giving way to the bullpen, having allowed eight runs on seven hits and four walks. The A's bullpen again was fantastic, combining for five shutout innings and giving the offense a chance to come back.
They would start in the sixth, when Jonny Gomes hit a solo home run to left to make it 8-6. Another run in the seventh came courtesy of Collin Cowgill's RBI single. Then, the A's rallied off of Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt in the ninth.
Good: A's offense. The rare air has been fantastic to the A's bats. In particular, Brandon Inge, who is currently on fire at the plate. But seeing Seth Smith, Jonny Gomes, Colin Cowgill and Brandon Moss all contribute was definitely a great thing. There is no telling when the next dry spell will come, but it is definitely a good thing to watch.
Bad: Tom Milone. The splits are not lying. There is a huge drop-off in productivity for Milone once he leaves the friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum. At home, he is 4-1 with an ERA under one. On the road, his ERA flew over seven with his start today. Situational starter? Obviously, that is not going to happen, but the A's definitely benefit more when the youngster is at home.
Ugly: Yoenis Cespedes. Nothing in terms of his play, but the fact he played so briefly. Seeing him leave the game with an aggravation of his left hamstring is frustrating. The fear of another trip to the disabled list is becoming more like a probability at this point. It is too bad because the Cuban Missile was definitely locked in at the plate before the injury.
The A's will attempt to get their first three game sweep of 2012 Thursday afternoon, as Jarrod Parker faces Colorado's Alex White. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m.