Bullpen and doughnuts power A's to 12th walk-off win


Bullpen and doughnuts power A's to 12th walk-off win

OAKLAND -- It was a night that saw the Mayor of Oakland Jean Quan learning the Bernie in the right field bleachers, the A's bullpen performing "Call Me Maybe" and a guy that was 0-for-7 getting the game-winning RBI.Jemile Weeks stroked a fly ball just deep enough to score the game winning run and give the A's a 4-3 victory in 15 innings. It was the A's MLB-leading 12th walk-off win. They now have three walk-off wins in their last four home games, seven in the last 12, and nine in the last 17."It felt great. I kind of was beating myself up before because I've had some chances and not getting it done," Weeks said. "Stuff doesn't go your way, and you don't get it done, but another opportunity came, and it worked out." Brandon Inge, who hit an opposite field leadoff single to start the 15th, did everything in his power to insure Weeks' fly ball would end the game. "You try to get a good jump and at that point run like you stole something," Inge said with a chuckle. "15th inning, I don't care if I got thrown out by 15 feet, I'm taking a chance on that one." This game was so long that they did two Dot Races, a 7th and 14th inning stretch, and played "Call Me Maybe" twice. They even had to announce that the last BART train was leaving at 12:20 as the A's batted in the bottom of the 15th. The game ended up being five hours and nine minutes long. The A's had a chance to make it that deep into the game because of a herculean effort from the bullpen. They pitched eight shutout innings to give the offense numerous opportunities to walk-off with the win. "My goodness, they showed me up today," said starting pitcher A.J. Griffin, who went a career-high seven innings. "It was outstanding. They just went out there and threw strikes, it's all you can ask. They've been doing it all year."At one point the relievers had gone six hitless innings. That streak was snapped by Jerry Blevins, but he made up for it by throwing two and two-thirds scoreless innings and offering up some sugary sweets to keep the rest of the relievers full of energy. "We had a fan today that gave me a box of doughnuts because apparently I tweet about doughnuts a lot," Blevins said. "She gave me 13 doughnuts, so going into the 13th inning we were like we need a rally somehow, so everyone ate a doughnut. It worked." He showed me the box of doughnuts as proof. I can confirm major damage was done to the pastries. With the 15 inning win, the A's are now 19-4 this month, clinching the best July in franchise history. Oakland is now 8-2 in extra inning games. It wasn't all good though, as the A's struck out 21 times, which is the most in a single game in franchise history.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's first road sweep of 2017


The A’s sprung to life offensively in the late innings Sunday and polished off their first road sweep of 2017.

They scored all five of their runs over the final three innings to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3, continuing an odd stretch of streakiness. The A’s swept the New York Yankees in four at the Coliseum, then turned around and dropped four in a row to the Houston Astros before arriving in Chicago and taking all three from the Sox. It’s their first sweep on the road since they won four in Kansas City from Sept. 12-15 of last season.

The weekend’s events provided a morale boost for a team that began the series an American League-worst 9-25 away from home. The sweep also featured numerous contributions from a pack of recently promoted young players fresh from the minors.

The A’s had no answer for left-hander Derek Holland through six-plus innings, mustering just four hits off the veteran. But trailing 2-0, they got on the board with Jed Lowrie’s pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh. The next inning, Khris Davis singled home the tying run and Yonder Alonso followed with a go-ahead single down the left-field line to put the A’s up 3-2.

They tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth on back-to-back homers from Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce.

Sonny rebounds: Sonny Gray (3-3) avoided the early trouble that plagued his last start, working seven innings and being rewarded with a victory thanks to the A’s eighth-inning rally. He struck out seven and walked just one. That was a key as Gray had issued seven free passes combined in his previous two starts. Adam Engel hit a 2-1 fastball for a homer in the third, then Jose Abreu scored on a passed ball in the fourth to give Chicago a 2-0 lead. But Gray held the Sox to just four hits over his seven innings.

Sign of things to come? Franklin Barreto got a look as the No. 2 hitter in the order Sunday, a spot that some scouts feel he’ll be well suited for as his career unfolds. He singled to the opposite field in his first at-bat, then struck out looking in his next two trips to the plate. In the eighth, his broken-bat single to left jumpstarted Oakland’s two-run go-ahead rally. Barreto is 4-for-10 in his first two games with the big club.

Joyce provides a lift off the bench: Joyce entered as a pinch runner in the seventh and connected for his 10th homer, right after Rosales had gone deep himself. Joyce became the fourth Athletic to crack double figures in homers, and the A’s improved to 31-26 when they hit at least one home run (they’re 3-16 when they don’t).

Doo does it again: Lefty reliever Sean Doolittle continued to deal since coming off the disabled list. He threw a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts and has allowed just one hit over five innings in six appearances since his return.

An unwanted milestone: The Sox scored their second run on a passed ball by Josh Phegley, which accounted for Oakland’s 50th unearned run, most in the majors. They had just 43 unearned runs all of last season.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt claimed by NL Central team

A new team believes in Stephen Vogt.

The former A's catcher, who was designated for assignment on Thursday, was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

The A's announced the transaction shortly before their game against the White Sox.

News of the Brewers making the waiver claim was first reported by ESPN.

The Brewers were the only team to place a waiver claim on Vogt, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogt, a clubhouse leader and one of the longest tenured A's, hit just .217 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games this season.