It was strongly believed by many that the A’s were on the verge of acquiring the services of one Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins, but the Los Angeles Dodgers had other ideas. Their willingness to absorb the entire contract owed to Ramirez netted them the attitudinal shortstop. The A’s though didn’t seem to care that their GM struck out on adding another bat. They took on lefty Ricky Romero who had previously had success against the A’s in his career, but he hadn’t faced an A’s team quite like this one. Not only was the final score lopsided (The worst shutout in Blue Jays history), the game was really over before it got going.
TURNING POINT: The A’s scored in the top of the 1st inning against Romero on a Yoenis Cespedes RBI double, but little did he know what awaited him in the 2nd inning. Derek Norris led off the inning by working a walk, and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, after Brandon Hicks struck out, Jemile Weeks worked a walk of his own. Romero was all over the place, and the A’s were ready to pounce. A Coco Crisp single, a Jonny Gomes single, and a Josh Reddick double in succession made it 4-0, then Romero’s best move of the game was walking Yoenis Cespedes intentionally to load the bases. That is until he walked Chris Carter with those bases loaded. That was the last we’d see of Ricky Romero tonight, but Chad Beck didn’t fare much better. A Brandon Inge double, a Derek Norris single, and an RBI groundout from Brandon Hicks made it 9-0 before the Blue Jays even took their 2nd at bat. Now all the A’s had to do was cruise the final 8 at bats for the Blue Jays for the victory. But they kept speeding up, and it was beautiful.
ON THE HILL: Surely overshadowed next to the offensive uprising was the stellar start of AJ Griffin. In each of his starts so far in the bigs he has pitched exactly 6 innings, and tonight was no different. But these 6 were the most dominant he’s had so far. He didn’t allow a hit until the 4th inning, and only allowed 3 total along with 2 walks and 9 strikeouts in his 6 scoreless innings to earn his 3rd win. Jerry Blevins followed suit by pitching a 1-2-3 7th inning with 2 K’s. Jim Miller took the reigns for the final mop up duty in the last 2 innings, got into a little trouble in the 8th but worked his way out of it all, overall he allowed 2 hits and a walk with 2 K’s.
AT THE PLATE: Where do I begin? This was an all out assault by the A’s, led by Coco Crisp’s 3-6 night with 2 HR’s and 3 runs scored. Yoenis Cespedes was 2-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI to continue his torrid month, and Chris Carter was 1-3 with a homer and 3 RBI. Jonny Gomes and Derek Norris each had multi hit games with 2 runs scored and an RBI. Only Jemile Weeks went hitless tonight, but did reach on a walk.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Again after the high intensity series in Oakland this weekend against the Yankees it’s nice to have a couple comfortable wins in a row. Not that the A’s are going to think about letting up one bit. Not much seems to be able to stop this team right now. The A’s will go for the sweep tomorrow as Tommy Milone (9-6, 3.34 ERA) takes on Aaron Laffey (2-1, 2.77 ERA). The A’s have fared well so far against the first two lefties that the Jays have thrown at them, no need to change anything. Just be aggressive, be relentless, and things will continue to go their way.