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...