Amazingly, Group Of Non All-Stars Pounds Royals 10-4

Jamie Squire

On the mound, A.J. Griffin did not have his best game going, needing 105 pitches -- 2 of them hit out of the ballpark -- to get through 5 IP. However, Jesse Chavez earned his first major league save with 4 shutout innings in relief of Jerry Blevins, and even though the A's don't have a single position player worthy of the All-Star team, somehow they put up 10 runs in support of Griffin.

Half of the A's total came in the 2nd inning when they knocked out starter Luis Mendoza after just 1.2 IP. In that frame, Yoenis Cespedes opened with a single and after a Moss flyout John Jaso walked, and Josh Reddick began a 4-RBI day with a 2-run double to left-center field. Eric Sogard, much maligned for his lack of power, then doubled home Reddick (Sogard would later HR for the first time this season), and Coco "No All-Star game for you!!!" Crisp singled Sogard home, taking 2B on the throw home. That's when Jed Lowrie -- clearly unworthy of an All-Star berth -- knocked Mendoza out with an RBI single to make it 5-0. Lowrie also HRed in the 6th, highlighting a 3-hit day that ties him for the league lead with 12 games of at least 3 hits.

Following a George Kottaras solo HR, Reddick's 2-run HR in the 3rd gave Oakland a 7-1 cushion. Alex Gordon's solo HR in the 5th off of Griffin made it 7-2 until Lowrie's HR, his first as a RH batter this year, made it 8-2 in the 6th.

In the bottom of the 6th, the Royals made it far too interesting, pushing across 2 runs charged to Jerry Blevins and then loading the bases. Blevins allowed a single to Lorenzo Cain, an RBI double to Mike Moustakas, and a BB to Kottaras, and did not retire a batter.

Chavez took over and did a great job, but with the bases loaded and 2 outs and the score 8-3, Miguel Tejada hit a bouncer to 1B that took Moss to his right, his feed to Chavez resulted in a bang-bang play at 1B, and a diving Tejada was ruled safe. Suddenly it was 8-4 and Eric Hosmer came up representing the tying run. Hosmer bounced to 2B, and the A's bounced right back with 2 insurance runs on a tax deductible, chocolate chip flavored, Elf-centered 2-run HR off the bat of Sogard.

Chavez gets the save because he finished the game with 4 innings (3 hits, 0 ER), and as much as anyone he is the star of this game. Not All-Star, obviously, because the A's already have their allotted 1, but star. Oh, and how did Josh Donaldson do? Not bad for a plebeian: A single, a double, a walk, and a sparkling play at 3B.

Despite having a motley crew of unworthy nobodies, the A's now have 52 wins as they travel to Pittsburgh for a 3-game series beginning tomorrow night. Bartolo Colon will start for the A's tomorrow, and hopefully he can go the distance because the A's certainly don't have an All-Star closer to support Colon!

Or do they...? Colon is also scheduled to start next Sunday, meaning his spot on the All-Star team will likely be replaced -- possibly by Grant Balfour, whose next save chance will give him an opportunity to set a new Oakland record with 41 consecutive saves converted. Stay tuned...

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