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Kouz Klears Bases; A's Win Wild One in Baltimore

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I guess this is the blog gods' way of getting back at me after all those early-season blowouts where the recaps were written by the sixth inning.

Thanks to an inning-prolonging, bad-hop grounder the A's stunned the O's with a five-run eighth and went on to a wacky and wild win by a 7-5 score at Camden Yards, in a game that Mother Nature threatened to cancel.

I bet even she is glad she let them play.

Think what we would have missed: Jack Cust seeing four pitches in the span of three at-bats, Kurt Kouzmanoff earning a base-on-balls, and Gabe Gross hitting a home run.

And that's the tame stuff.

Indeed, until the A’s rallied, Baltimore was set to walk away with a victory in which its winning run scored on a bases-full, 65-foot squibbler.

 

Nick was unappreciative:

 

This is very, very annoying.

Lots of little bleeders and bloop hits tonight.

 

There was nothing bleed-y or bloop-y about Gross’ blast to center off Baltimore starter Brad Bergesen in the second inning that gave the A’s a quick 2-0 lead.

 

Oakland lost a chance for more scores after Rajai Davis and Daric Barton drew back-to-back walks leading off the third.  Ryan Sweeney’s ground ball to second resulted in your ordinary 4-3-6-2 double play, as Barton froze between first and second, and Davis was (barely) thrown out at the plate.

 

Having escaped that predicament, Bergesen retired the next 14 A’s in order.

 

Gio Gonzalez labored all evening, and the O’s knotted the game in the third with the help of a walk, a bad-hop, and a well-placed single by Matt Wieters.

 

Came the sixth, and the Orioles broke the tie amid a lightning-and-thunder show.   A hit batsman, a bloop single, and a walk loaded the bases, paving the way for the aforementioned nubber off the lumber of Lou Montanez.  Clearly the thunder made more noise than the Orioles’ bats.

 

Gio gave way to Tyson Ross in the seventh, and the rookie right-hander faced four batters without retiring one: single, walk, single, walk.  So he was consistent. The first hit scored a run, the second walk sent him to the showers.  Michael Wuertz entered and sandwiched a base-loaded free pass around two outs to make it 5-2.

 

The comeback began innocently enough with the A’s getting their fair share of shallow hits.  A two-out single by Ryan Sweeney scored Adam Rosales, and then Jake Fox- pinch-hitting for Cust- hit a groundball that looked to be the final out of the inning.  But a bad bounce corralled César Izturis at short, and all runners were safe.

 

All runners were home after Kouzmanoff hit a double up the alley to left-center, and when Andrew Bailey struck out Garrett Atkins to end the game, the A’s had a most improbable win heading into a four-game series with the Tigers starting tomorrow night.

 

Whew.