Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 5, Blue Jays 4 (15)

Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 5, Blue Jays 4 (15)
August 4, 2012, 4:40 am
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OAKLAND -- It seems nothing can rattle the A's anymore. Prior to the game the team made five roster moves, shocking the clubhouse -- the big move was a trade that sent veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki to the Nationals. They didn't have much time to sulk or feel sorry for themselves. They had a game to play. The A's played their second 15-inning game this week. And for the 13th time this season they won it in walk-off fashion. This time it took a leadoff triple from Jemile Weeks who scored on a Coco Crisp sacrifice fly to win the game 5-4. It's his third walk-off hit this year. He was treated with a two cooler cold shower. Then Spiderman emerged and pied Crisp with two pies. The A's win came at a cost. Yoenis Cespedes left the game with a right wrist sprain. He had two infield singles on Friday -- he has nine this season. He swiped second base for his ninth stolen base, but then got thrown out trying to steal third. He then left the game. He likely injured his wrist when he got caught stealing third. Starting Pitching ReportProfessional baseball's strikeout leader Dan Straily wasted no time getting his first major league strikeout. He struck out the first batter he faced, Brett Lawrie, looking on a 3-2 fastball. Straily, 23, used all four of his pitches effectively. His arsenal included a 92-mph fastball, a 82-mph change-up, a 73-mph curveball, and an 82-mph slider. He struck out five batters -- three with fastballs, one with the change-up, and one on the slider. Straily attacked the strike zone, throwing 13 first-pitch strikes over 24 batters faced. He only walked one batter. The only run he allowed came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. He worked through his debut jitters and settled into a groove in the fifth and sixth innings and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced. Straily was in line for his first career win but will have to settle for an impressive no decision after the A's gave up the lead in the bottom of the ninth. At the PlateThe A's got two on in the second after Cespedes legged out an infield single and Chris Carter worked an 0-2 count into a walk. Brandon Inge stepped to the plate next and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games with an RBI-single giving the A's a 1-0 lead. Jonny Gomes swung and missed on Brett Cecil's first two offerings before driving an 0-2 pitch into the left field bleachers. Gomes now has 11 homers this season and his blast gave the A's a 2-0 lead. Carter hit a hanging slider so hard in the fourth inning that it landed about 30 stairs deep in the left field stairwell. It was his ninth homer of the season and it gave the A's a 3-1 lead. At this point it would be wise to put Carter in the lineup daily. Gomes hit the hardest single of his life in the the fifth. It was a screaming line drive that smashed into the very top of the wall in left field. The ball was hit so hard that he had to stop at first. Gomes' single moved Coco Crisp to third base. He ended up scoring on a Josh Reddick sacrifice fly to right field. In the 10th inning Jemile Weeks hit a leadoff single up the middle past the outstretched glove of Kelly Johnson as he dove for the ball. Coco Crisp drew a six-pitch walk and then Weeks and Crisp advanced on a wild pitch thrown by Brad Lincoln. Gomes drew a walk of his own to load the bases for Reddick with one out. Reddick struck out looking on a 2-2 curveball. Brandon Moss stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter but grounded out to short. Weeks led off with a triple in the 15th. This time, Crisp drove him home with a sacrifice fly.Bullpen ReportGrant Balfour brought rage to the right field bleachers and to the Jays hitters. He pitched two flawless innings striking out three batters. Ryan Cook blew the save after allowing a two-out, three-run game-tying homer. He struck out the first two batters he faced but let the Jays rally to tie the game. Cook has allowed six runs in his last six appearances. His six blown saves are tied for the most in the American League. Jerry Blevins started the 10th. He allowed two runners to reach base after hitting Colby Rasmus and walking Edwin Encarnacion. He then got Kelly Johnson to fly out for the second out. Pat Neshek entered in relief of Blevins. He threw two pitches and ended the Blue Jays threat in the 10th. He came back out in the 11th and struck out the side. Not bad for a guy that was pitching in Triple-A all season. Sean Doolittle pitched the 12th inning and got bailed out by some solid defense (read below). Travis Blackley entered the game in the 13th. Having just been moved to the bullpen, he can serve as a very effective long reliever. Blackley flashed his pickoff move, nailing Rajai Davis at first base. He has now picked off seven runners. He ended up throwing three scoreless innings and got the win. In the FieldIn the 12th inning Brandon Moss, who doesn't usually play left field, slightly misplayed a ball hit to left off the bat of Colby Rasmus. Omar Vizquel, attempting to score from first, rounded third as Moss' throw hit the cutoff man Inge who fired the ball home to Norris to get the 45-year-old at the plate. The play preserved the 4-4 tie. In the 15th inning Eric Sogard made a ridiculous play to save a run. He ranged far to the right backhanding the ball and flipping it to third base for the force out to end the inning. AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 30,169. Straily Italian Heritage night Fireworks = attendance. Dot RaceWhite wins the dot race.Up NextStraily's Double-A roommate A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.51 ERA) will take the hill for the A's on Saturday. According to the A's game notes Griffin is the first pitcher since at least 1918 to begin his career by tossing six or more innings while allowing three runs or less in each of his first seven starts. Ricky Romero (8-8, 5.69 ERA) will get a chance to redeem himself against the A's after allowing eight runs in one and a third innings last time he faced them. Rehabbing A'sCliff Pennington went 1-for-2 with two walks and one RBI for the River Cats. He also stole a base. This is his first rehab start since hitting the disabled list with left elbow tendonitis on July 20.

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