A's 10th walk-off win defeats Yankees

July 21, 2012, 6:47 am
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OAKLAND -- When Ryan Cook gave up the game-tying home run in the ninth inning to Robinson Cano, in the back of Josh Reddick's mind he must have been thinking about getting the whipped cream ready. That is how confident this bunch of A's players have become.The A's 10 walk-off wins lead Major League Baseball. If that figure isn't absurd enough, the fact that it is a different A's player each time out that ends up the walk-off hero is. "It means we are not relying on one person in the lineup," Josh Reddick said. "I enjoy it, I get to pie somebody different every night."This time it was Brandon Moss on the receiving end of two pies. He smacked a game winning single to drive in Yoenis Cespedes in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Yankees 3-2. "That's the way we're built," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We have to get contributions from a lot of people. Certainly Reddick and Cespedes always seem to be in the middle of everything Is this Moss' first walk-off too? Is this 10? There you have it." When the manager is even in disbelief, you know you have something interesting going on. Defeating the Yankees is no small feat for the A's. They had a nine-game losing streak to New York entering this series. This time around the A's have guaranteed at worst a series split. "We may not have the name and we may not make the money but we're all at the same level," Moss said with dried whipped cream still on his undershirt. "Once you start believing, you show up at the ballpark with a different attitude." The A's wouldn't have been in position for the late-inning heroics without the pitching performance of rookie starting pitcher Tommy Milone. He threw first pitch strikes to 23 of the 26 batters he faced and struck out a career-high 10 batters. "It's pretty exciting. It's not something I go out there and try to do," Milone said. "I don't try to strike people out, when I go out there I just try to make quality pitches and I felt like from pitch number one I was in the zone."Milone's changeup had Yankees hitters so out of sorts that his fastball would paralyze them at the plate. His 10 strikeouts matched the best mark by an A's rookie pitcher against the Yankees since Bobby Witt did in in 1993. For the second night in a row the A's threw a rookie starting pitcher out there against the vaunted Bronx Bombers, and for the second night in a row the A's starting pitchers didn't allow a single walk. The pitching and offense are clicking for the A's."It means we are playing well and confident at this point," Melvin said. "Coming in we knew this was going to be a good challenge."Cespedes went 4 for 5 extending his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. He is now batting .304 this season. Reddick went three for five with two doubles. He was also a difference maker in the field. He threw out Mark Teixeira easily as he tried to advance from first to third on a single in the fourth inning. It was his American League-tying ninth outfield assist -- all of which have come while playing in right field.The A's are now 12-2 in July which is the best in the majors and are five games over .500 for the first time since April 17, 2010. NOTES: On all 10 walk-offs Josh Reddick has been ready with the post game pie. He divulged a little secret to the us after the game."We have them stocked up downstairs," Reddick said. "The concession guys really kicked in and and jumped on board with it. And they have it out ready when the ninth inning rolls around." As part of the "Walk-off Hero" program Budweiser is donating 5,000 to Folds of Honor for every A's walk-off win this season. I am not sure Budweiser knows what they got themselves into. They are already in the hole 50,000. The Folds of Honor Foundation provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our country.