Oakland couldn’t have asked for a better Tuesday night. The Indians were pummeled by the Mets, the Rays lost their second straight to the Mariners, and the A’s squared off against the Yankees with a chance to pick up a game on both Cleveland and Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race; the boys in green certainly looked like a playoff team as they cruised to a 6-2 victory over MLB’s best team to this point in the season.
A Quick Rebuttal
Gary Sánchez homered in the 1st inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but Oakland wasted no time in charging back. After a Robbie Grossman walk in the bottom half of the 1st, Matt Olson and Mark Canha launched back-to-back home runs off New York’s starter Domingo Germán to put the A’s up 3-1.
Three runs usually aren’t enough to beat these Yankees who’ve averaged over eight runs a game in Germán’s starts this year. With New York’s recent hot streak and with a Sánchez long ball in the bag after just one inning, it looked like the A’s were in for a slugfest; Homer Bailey had other plans.
Brilliant Bailey Bullies Bombers
Much has been said about Homer Bailey’s uncanny resemblance to Christian Bale. While Bale spent years playing the hero to a fictionalized version of New York City, Bailey spent Tuesday playing the villain to the real Big Apple’s sluggers.
Bailey had his best start with Oakland so far, walking nobody and stranding all baserunners after the Sanchez homer. He came up with a big strikeout every time he needed one, using his splitter effectively and finishing with eight Ks – tying his season-high mark set all the way back on April 3.
A high pitch count forced Bob Melvin to yank Bailey with two outs in the 6th, but he received a standing ovation from the Coliseum crowd.
Bailey’s dominance didn’t stop the A’s offense from wanting more. Marcus Semien doubled in a run in the 3rd and Stephen Piscotty singled in a run in the 6th, with another run scoring on an error by Cameron Maybin.
The A’s were able to mix home runs with walks and base hits in a way that has eluded them for much of the season, scoring six runs total, with three of those coming on two home runs.
The Gavel Slams
Before the contest could be officially adjourned, Aaron Judge made his presence felt with a mammoth solo homer off Joakim Soria that bounced into the luxury suites in left field. However, that was all the bullpen gave up in more than three innings of work. Yusmeiro Petit recorded a four-out hold, Soria struck out three straight after the dinger, and Liam Hendriks closed the door with a scoreless inning.
Tuesday was the fourth entry in a collection of huge wins for Oakland in the last week. The A’s came into this homestand hoping to claw their way back into the Wild Card race despite a tough stretch on the schedule. The A’s managed to take three of four against the Astros and have started off the Yankees series with a win. They have also managed to tie the Rays for the second Wild Card spot. Oakland’s schedule lightens up considerably after Thursday, so snagging a series win against the Bombers would be huge.