Oakland Athletics Win 15-Inning Marathon for 2nd Time in 5 Games
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It was if they were waiting for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to sound last call before winning. Either way, the Oakland A's won their second 15-inning game this week, using a Coco Crisp sacrifice fly to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 at the Coliseum. The win moved the A's to 58-48, a game-and-a-half ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the first AL Wild Card.
The game went on for so long that many had long since forgot about the solid debut of super prospect Dan Straily, who went six innings allowing only one run on five hits and striking out five. The A's used single runs in the second through fifth innings to give Straily a 4-1 lead. That score would remain the same through the seventh and eighth thanks to a fantastic appearance by Grant Balfour, who struck out three in two perfect innings.
But Ryan Cook could not hold the lead in the ninth. After two quick strikeouts, Cook allowed singles to David Cooper and Rajai Davis. Against Jeff Mathis, Cook jumped to an 0-2 count before throwing a tailing fastball that Mathis hit just over the jagged wall in left center field to tie the score at four. Cook did finish the ninth without allowing any more runs, but the damage had been done.
From the 10th inning on, both teams had opportunities to score. In the bottom of the 10th, Oakland loaded the bases with one out, but Josh Reddick struck out looking on an inside curveball and Brandon Moss grounded out to end the threat.
Toronto's best chance to score was in the 12th. After a one out single by Omar Vizquel, Colby Rasmus hit an opposite-field double into the left field corner. Moss appeared to have a little trouble with it, but threw a bullet that Brandon Inge relayed to home plate gunning down Vizquel at the plate.
In the top of the 15th, the Blue Jays put runners on first and second with two outs. Yan Gomes hit a ball that looked like an infield single at worst, but Eric Sogard made a great ranging play to snare the ball and then force out Edwin Encarnacion at third, setting the stage for Crisp's heroics.
Each team will have to bounce back quickly as Saturday afternoon's game has a 1:05 p.m. local start. The A's will send A.J. Griffin to the mound to face Toronto's Ricky Romero.
Notes: Brandon Inge extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single in the second inning. Yoenis Cespedes left the game after the top of the eighth inning with a sprained right wrist. Newly acquired reliever Pat Neshek made his Oakland debut, going 1.1 scoreless innings and striking out three.
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