A partial power outage cut out a bank of lights in left-center and delayed Saturday’s game for more than a half-hour. It made for a surreal evening at the Coliseum, but when it was all said and done, the A’s had bagged a 5-1 victory over the New York Yankees that featured assorted nuttiness even after the lights returned.
Oakland dropped two bunt singles to help spark scoring rallies. They benefited from two passed balls in the same inning. Of all things, they even got a bit of timely hitting from an offense that had been held to one run in four of the previous eight games.
To add a little spice, struggling third baseman Josh Donaldson even got ejected after the seventh inning, which initiated some lineup shuffling that resulted in the A’s losing the designated hitter and reliever Dan Otero entering the batting order in the third spot (he never had to grab a bat).
Perhaps some normalcy will return under the sun for Sunday’s series finale. The A’s were just happy to square up this three-game series after dropping the opener 7-0 on Friday.
Starting pitching report
A 38-minute delay ensued after the top of the fourth when the lights went out in left field due to a circuit breaker outage. The breaker had to be reset manually in the left field light tower.
One of the main questions over the long delay was whether A’s starter Scott Kazmir (8-2) would be able to stay in the game and be effective. The lefty dealt with it just fine, tacking on two innings after the layoff and earning the victory. He went six innings total, allowing just three hits and an unearned run. He lowered his ERA to 2.05. Toss out the outing where Kazmir was ejected in the second inning, and he’s thrown “quality” starts in 11 of 13 outings. In five of his last seven starts, Kazmir has held opponents to one run or less.
All-Star worthy stuff from the lefty .
Dan Otero tossed two scoreless innings and Sean Doolittle came on to shut the door in the ninth.
At the plate
Who was it that finally broke through with a big hit for the A’s on this goofy night? No. 9 hitter Eric Sogard, of course. The second baseman returned from an ankle injury and delivered a two-out two-run single in the second to put the A’s ahead. He came in hitting just .197.
Sogard also walked to lead off a two-run rally in the fifth, a sequence that included Coco Crisp’s bunt single and two passed balls from Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy. Those runs put Oakland ahead 4-1.
The struggles continue for Donaldson, who went 0-for-4 to run his hitless streak to 31 at-bats. He was not happy with a called third strike by home plate umpire Hal Gibson in the fifth and let him know it. Then Donaldson argued after the seventh and was joined in the discussion by manager Bob Melvin before getting the thumb from Gibson.
Craig Gentry entered the game in the sixth and added two hits (including a bunt single) and scored a run.
In the field
The only run off Kazmir came as a result of shortstop Andy Parrino’s throwing error in the third, but Parrino helped make amends with an RBI double in the sixth.
A sellout crowd of 36,067 showed up for the second night in a row.
The series finale is on tap at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, with Jesse Chavez (5-4, 3.04) matching up against Vidal Nuno (1-2, 4.97).