Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Indians 4

Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 6, Indians 4
August 18, 2012, 5:08 am
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OAKLAND -- As the A's opened up the homestand honoring the 10th anniversary of the 20-game record streak of the 2002 team, the 2012 team might be beginning a streak of their own. Oakland overcame a 4-0 deficit to win the game 6-4. The A's have won two games in a row. It's not 20, but it will do for now.At the PlateDerek Norris was drilled in the face mask by the follow through of Carlos Santana's bat in the first inning. He was rattled for a moment but staid in the game. Norris later stepped to the plate and took out his aggression on a Zach McAllister pitch. He might have hit the ball too hard, as it rocketed off his bat smashing into the very top of the wall in left field. It ended up being a long single.The A's fell behind by four runs in the top half of the fourth inning. They came to the plate and immediately chipped away at the lead. Chris Carter lead off by smoking a single to right field. After Brandon Moss reached with on a walk, Josh Donaldson clobbered a double to the left field wall scoring Carter and moving Moss to third. Norris hit a soft ground ball to third scoring Moss and cutting the lead in half. Then Cliff Pennington stroked an RBI single to right field to score Donaldson.The A's put a rally together in the eighth inning with a surprise cameo. Carter led off with a walk, and Moss singled to right. Josh Reddick then stepped to the plate to an applause. Reddick who wasn't in the lineup after having another procedure at the dentist this afternoon, smacked a bloop single. Donaldson then stroked a hard-hit single to left field scoring the go-ahead run. Pennington added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right field.Josh Donaldson was locked in at the plate. His double was smoked to left. He also collected two singles to right, and a single to left. He ended the night a career-high 4 for 4.Starting Pitching ReportThe A's skipped Tommy Milone's previous start to get the rookie pitcher some extra rest. A refreshed Milone looked good out of the gate. Joe West's strike zone however, didn't.West called several close pitches balls that looked like and showed up as strikes on the MLB pitch FX.Milone got into trouble in the fourth inning. Carlos Santana drew a leadoff walk. The next batter Michael Brantley reached on an error charged to Yoenis Cespedes. Brantley hit a high fly ball to left field that Cespedes and Pennington let fall between them. Jason Donald followed with another single to load the bases with no outs. Shelley Duncan then struck the big blow, driving a 3-2 fastball into the left field bleachers for a Grand Slam.To Milone's credit he settled down after the homer. He retired five of the next six batters he faced, striking out three of them. He ended up allowing three earned runs, on six hits, and six strikeouts.Bullpen ReportPat Neshek pitched faced four batters retiring them all in order. He struck out half of them. Jordan Norberto faced five batters, also striking out two of them.He hit Shin-soo Choo with a pitch on an 0-2 count. Choo was the only base runner he allowed. Norberto has gone more than one inning in five of his last six outings. He is extremely versatile and is having a big year out of the A's bullpen.Grant Bafour entered in the ninth inning for the save opportunity. He struck out Duncan looking to start the inning. Then retired the next two batters with ease to earn his 10th save.Balfour hasn't allowed a run in 15 of his last 16 outings. Before the game A's manager Bob Melvin said that Balfour is a good fit for the team in the ninth inning at this time.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 13,967.Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race. Red knocked White and Blue off the track in the second lap but they got back on and rallied.Up NextThe steady Bartolo Colon (9-9, 3.55 ERA) takes the hill for Oakland. Colon's three-game winning streak was snapped in Chicago after a rough five-run inning.He will be opposed by Corey Kluber (0-1, 8.56 ERA). Kluber is winless in his three starts for the Indians this season. He allowed six runs in his last start.

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