The win today put the Oakland Athletics within a half game of the division lead and the lead wild card position in the American League. Tommy Milone was named the starting pitcher after being called up to replace injured pitcher Bartolo Colon and he did not disappoint. He gave up 3 earned runs in 4 2/3 innings and came out one out away from earning the win as the A’s took the lead in the bottom of the 5th and never looked back thanks in large part to the outstanding relievers.
Oakland’s four relief pitchers combined to allow only 2 base runners in 4 1/3 innings never allowing Cleveland any room to breathe. Dan Otero followed up Milone cleaning up nicely and setting up Doolittle to set up the 1-2 punch of Cook and Balfour that has dominated thus far in the season. Oakland’s last 2 all-star closers struck out 2 batters each and controlled the last 2 innings reassuring the starters and the team that they can handle the end as long as they take care of business in the beginning.
Chris Young made a statement today as he not only drove in 2 runs, including a go-ahead solo shot in the 5th, he also prevented an extra base hit in the top of the 8th and possibly a run from scoring. His home run smacked right off of a sign in left field saying to “Respect Oakland Baseball” and that is exactly what the league is going to have to do.
Jarrod Parker takes the mound tomorrow for the first time since he pitched into the 9th against the Astros and came away empty handed due to the lack of run support. The Mariners just took 2 out of 3 from the Rangers so the A’s will have to be sharp if they want to take the division lead especially because the Rangers are taking on the lowly Astros.