The Oakland A's finally had that laugher they were looking for. Toronto Blue Jays' starter Esmil Rogers, who actually had a respectable 3.74 ERA coming into this game, got walloped. The A's jumped on right in the first inning. Coco Crisp walked to lead off. Eric Sogard, enjoying his first ever entry in the 2 hole (ball SO GARD) reached on an E5 error (at 1st base). And then came Jed Lowrie, hitting in the 3 spot due to Josh Donaldson's recent struggles. All he did was single past Bautista on a tough slider from Rogers, and the A's were rolling. Cespedes continued to be white-hot, striking a sharp groundball triple that spooned the foul line all the way to the outfield wall, driving in two. Nice to see Cespedes flash his speed, power, and hit tool in one AB. Josh Reddick lauched a medium depth sacrifice fly that was enough to score Cespedes to cap off the scoring. 4-0 A's, and we were just going to the second inning.
Unlike the Angels, the A's know how to win a game when they are leading by four.
In the third inning, Brandon Moss singled, and Seth Smith broke his 0fer streak with a solid double, scoring Moss and lifting that monkey off his back. Lots of monkeys being abused this past week. 5-0 A's.
Meanwhile, A.J. Griffin had been working efficiently, rolling with a perfect game through four innings. And then of course dude had to come up with this genius move:
Of course, instant Adam Lind home run. 5-1 A's. Unclear why A.J. Griffin threw three straight fastballs on that; I'm chalking that up to Vogt's inexperience.
The A's didn't rest on their laurels, though, and that was a good thing. Moss singled, Donaldson singled, Reddick Doubled, Smith singled, and Vogt singled, and it was 8-1 A's.
The Blue Jays can hit, though. And Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie would not be denied. Both prolific home run hitters went deep, and it was 8-4 A's. Ken Korach tried to convince us that they had now made it a game. But really, they didn't.
Just for fun, Cespedes finally broke his homerless streak with a solid line drive homer to left field off All-Star Brett Cecil to kick off the 8th inning.
Griffin ended up going seven innings, allowing just four hits and two walks; unfortunately three of the hits were of the longball variety. I believe that part of that was due to Griffin pitching with a big lead; he wasn't afraid to just let it go with that margin of error. Doolittle and Blevins finished it off (Blevins with a 1-2-3 ninth, which is encouraging). Also it was at that point that I realized Mark DeRosa was still in the league.
The A's remain six games ahead of the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and move to a whopping 20 games over .500.
Cespedes in his postgame interview said that "This is a team that you have to get 27 outs against." Good to know he's finally acclimating to the American postgame cliche speak.
Other notes from the Cuban demigod: "To hit a home run today was really important, I feel so good about it." (It was his first home run in the Coliseum since May 19). He also said that last year's team was very good, but he thinks that this year's team is better and more complete.
I think he's right.