It turns out that when you pitch, hit, and play defense better than your opponent, good things happen. Yes the A's infielders committed a flurry (3) of errors late, but when it mattered it was "all systems go" for Oakland ... and not so much for Baltimore.
Kevin Gausman has great stuff and unleashed a 97 MPH fastball and impressive splitters and changeups, yet the A's relentless attack still knocked him out in 4+ innings for 9 hits and 5 ER. The attack began early with a Coco Crisp single and John Jaso triple, with Jaso scoring on a wild pitch to give the A's a 2-0 lead after an inning. On the triple, CFer Adam Jones failed to cut the ball on the warning track allowing Crisp to score and Jaso to motor all the way to third. It was actually not even close to one of Jones' worst plays of the day.
The A's added a run in the 3rd to take a 3-0 lead as Yoenis Cespedes singled with one out (keep track of the outs -- you might be the only one) and then Brandon Moss followed with a line drive single to CF. I thought Jones played the hit with a strange lack of urgency. Rather than charging the ball he laid back and conceded Cespedes going from 1B to 3B.
I don't know that Jones could have thrown Cespedes out at 3B, but considering how hard the ball was hit you would have thought he would at least try to get to it quickly. Jones' head just didn't seem to be in the game. That became especially apparent when Josh Donaldson lined a fly ball to CF that Jones came in a step to catch. Cespedes tagged and Jones put his head down, jogging back towards the infield. It took about 15 steps for Jones to realize that he had caught the second out, not the third. I have long thought Jones was the most overrated gold glover in the history of non Derek Jeters and today did nothing to dissuade me.
A Jaso RBI single in the 4th made it 4-0 before the A's put the game away with 3 in the 5th and 3 more in the 6th. Meanwhile, Sonny Gray was on his game firing no-hit ball for 4 innings until J.J. Hardy broke up the no-hitter, and the shutout, by following a BB to Chris Davis with a double to left-center field. It was smoked, but if Crisp gets a good read and starts back on the ball immediately he might catch it. No matter, as the 4-1 score lasted only until Oakland could bat in the bottom of the inning, chase Gausman, and take a 7-1 lead that soon expanded to 10-1.
Offensive heroes today? Stephen Vogt 3 for 4 with an RBI double, Donaldson 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Jaso 2 for 4 with a triple and 2 RBI, Craig Gentry pitched in with a 2-run single and Eric Sogard added 2 hits and an RBI. All in all, 15 hits for the A's, 8 Ks in 6⅔ IP of 2 hit ball for Gray as he runs his record to 11-3.
Good times for Oakland, which remarkably has not lost a home series since the first week of May. (!!!) Fernando Rodney can take that, and his stupid arrow, and shove it right up his so the A's have a day off tomorrow before taking on the Houston Astros Tuesday night with Scott Kazmir against Brett Oberholtzer.