It was a big day for Brandon Allen, and he didn't even play. More on that later. First, on the field the A's got their first Cactus League win on a day when they fired on all cylinders.
On the mound, Jarrod Parker followed a shaky 1st inning by Tyson Ross (33 pitches, 2 BBs, a hit and a run) and opened eyes by going 6 up and 6 down with 4 strikeouts. At the plate, Jonny Gomes' 2-run HR broke a 1-1 tie in the 3rd and soon after, Jemile Weeks crushed a long 2-run HR. Oakland then scored in 4 of the last 5 innings to pull away, with Eric Sogard and Wes Timmons adding 2 hits a piece in what turned out to be a 16-hit attack.
Perhaps the A's offense was buoyed during the game by news that Yoenis Cespedes passed his physical and his 4 year, 36M deal was made official. At least today, they didn't need him.
Why was it a big day for Brandon Allen? Susan Slusser reports that Daric Barton has soreness in his right shoulder that will delay his return, meaning that the opportunity for Allen to get the first, and perhaps a longer, look at 1B is getting better. And while he did add two hits to the party, Kila Ki'aihue clanked a routine ground ball in his first chance at 1B. Ka'aihue is already a long shot, and if he looks clanky at 1B he's not likely to pass Allen on the Opening Day depth chart.
All in all a good day for the A's, with solid pitching, ample hitting, and the signing of Cespedes all pointing to hope for the future. And it's always great to get that first win on the board, even on March 3rd.