O.CO COLISEUM — Coming off a five-game losing streak, the A’s needed a big night. That’s exactly what they got.
Oakland beat the New York Mets 6-2, anchored by the pitching of Scott Kazmir (W, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 Ks), who was backed by a three-run triple from outfielder Coco Crisp.
The bad news, though, was that the Los Angeles Angels knocked off the Red Sox, and will stay a half-game up first place over Oakland.
But that’s nothing the A’s, nor manager Bob Melvin can control. What they can control is their offensive prowess, something that has come alive in recent days.
With a score knotted at 1-1 and the bases loaded, Crisp hit a deep bouncer to right field, sending the Mets’ Curtis Granderson running, as well as plating all Oakland baserunners in the fourth inning to go up 4-1.
Photos by Godofredo Vasquez/SFBay
Crisp and his impressive speed managed to make it a triple, while most ballplayers would have been out of breath at second.
The A’s run that came prior to Crisp’s hit was a sacrifice fly from infielder Alberto Callaspo, which sent Stephen Vogt home and advanced catcher Derek Norris to third base.
Crisp’s triple was his 22nd in an A’s uniform, which is the 8th most in Oakland history, and tying him with Sal Bando and Mark Ellis. While Crisp offered kudos to Gee’s changeup, which he called filthy at least a few times in postgame interviews, the big hit came on a high fastball.
“For me as a hitter, I feel like I’m Kit from ‘A League of Their Own.’ Don’t swing at the high balls at least from the left side. Most left handed hitters like the low ball. I’m more of a high ball hitter. From my left side, I don’t know my success rate, but I like them up there. On my right side, it’s the exact opposite. Which is weird for a switch hitter.”
Crisp hasn’t been as successful as he’d liked to be, and neither have many A’s hitters. But Oakland, at least for a night, regained some steam. Melvin said that Tuesday’s win was more of what A’s fans have become accustomed to:
“The offense was a little bit more like what we’re used to seeing, making pitchers work, making them throw some pitches, drawing some walks, getting some big hits.”
On Kamir’s performance, Melvin added:
“He always mixes pitches, even if he’s not hitting his spots as well as he normally does, he’s pretty unpredictable because he throws all four pitches when he wants to.”
Following Crisp’s big hit there would be little else for runs so long as Kazmir and Mets starter Dillon Gee (L, 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 4 Ks) were hurling, three innings total without any runs.
Mets catcher Anthony Recker doubled to left field in the seventh inning, which scored shortstop Wilmer Flores.
The run was charged to reliever Ryan Cook, only his 15th one in 42-1/3 innings this season. Eric O’Flaherty came in to close out the inning, retiring his sole batter faced on strikes.
Luke Gregerson pitched a perfect eighth inning for the A’s before Josh Reddick stepped up.
Reddick smashed a pitch from Mets reliever Gonzalez Germen so high that it probably would have gotten tied up in the Seattle Kingdome had the A’s been playing in the old Mariners’ ballpark demolished in early 2000.
While it was hit extremely high, the wind carried the ball out to deep right field and exited the park, adding two more Oakland runs with Norris coming around to make it 6-2.
Sean Doolittle, while allowing a hit to New York’s Eric Campbell, shut down the Mets and sealed the win.
Oakland (74-51) now sits in second place in the AL West with the series finale with the Mets Wednesday at 12:35 pm.