On a night when the A's commemorated the 20 game win streak from 2002, the game was perhaps just a tad too reminiscent of the night Oakland saw an 11-0 lead slip away before Scott Hatteberg salvaged a night that was "Crazy! Just plain crazy!"
Bartolo Colon was outstanding, tossing 8 innings of 5 hits, 1 run ball and when he left the mound the A's had a comfortable 8-1 lead. In the bottom of the 3rd of a 0-0 game, Asdrubal Cabrera's throwing error opened the door for the A's to put up a crooked number against starter Corey Kluber. A Jemile Weeks walk and a double steal put runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out, and Josh Donaldson -- at this point 5 for 5 in the series -- finally made an out but it was a productive one, a bouncer to SS that plated the game's first run. Josh Reddick then delivered an RBI double, followed by a booming HR by Yoenis Cespedes to make it 4-0.
George Kattaras added an RBI single in the 6th, Cespedes an RBI single in the 7th, and Coco Crisp a two-run triple in the 8th, and with Oakland comfortably ahead 8-1 Bob Melvin gauged that the A's had gotten the lead into The Scribner Zone. That would be a lead so safe even Evan Scribner could manage it. Oops.
Scribner was, to put it charitably, awful. Mixing in a straight fastball with the occasional hanging curve, Scribner allowed 3 hits, all smoked, one of them a long HR by Shin-Soo Choo, and 3 ER. Even the first out was a laser shot to CF.
Called upon to stop the bleeding, Jerry Blevins apparently forgot his band-aids opting instead for a blunt knife. With two outs, Blevins surrendered a HR, on an 0-2 pitch to the fearsome Brent Lillibridge, and with the score now 8-5 allowed a line drive single to Jason Donald.
Suddenly we had a "save situation" and Bob Melvin wasn't messing around. He went to Grant Balfour, pitching for the third day in a row, and Balfour struck out Ezekiel Carrera to put the A's in the win column.
Holding an 8-1 lead for an inning is easy, right? Tell 'em, Wash.
"It's incredibly hard."