The unstoppable Oakland Athletics kept pilling on winnings with their fifth victory in as many attempts and the third consecutive against a Milwaukee Brewers club that could do nothing against the A's falling 8-6 to the visitors on Sunday afternoon.
The win, which became the first of the season for A's starter JP Sears (1-3), clinched the series against the Brewers and earned Oakland a very special right: becoming the hottest team across the MLB landscape. Only the Arizona Diamondbacks have put together as many wins in a row as the A's entering Monday's games.
A four-run fourth inning was pretty much all Oakland needed to get away with the victory after a very uneventful couple of first innings in which only Christian Yelich (handling the DH slot on Sunday) broke the snoozefest bangin a homer off Sears in the bottom of the second.
Freddy Peralta (5-6) retired nine of the first 10 batters he saw through the first three innings of play, not allowing a single hit in that span but rather just a walk to Ryan Noda that ended up vanishing in the smooth Milwaukean air.
Facing a two-run deficit entering the bottom of the fourth (Owen Miller doubled a grounder to score Andruw Monasterios in the top of the inning), the Athletics made a resounding comeback by heavily tattooing Peralta.
Ryan Noda reached base on a single, Ramon Laureano got hit by a pitch, and Seth Brown (three-run HR) was followed by Brent Rooker (solo homer), the latter two folks tasked with bringing the fireworks and setting the place on fire.
After Oakland's run, Milwaukee had a chance but they were denied by ROY-contender Esteury Ruiz, who decided that instead of using his skills for stealing bases on Sunday he'd rather run toward the wall to make a ridiculous catch by the warning track.
Elvis Peguero replaced loser Freddy Peralta after the latter walked Laureano at the start of the sixth inning, and Sam Moll would do the same for the A's getting into the game in exchange for winner JP Sears to start the bottom of the sixth. Sears completed a five-inning outing getting the W by way of allowing six hits and two runs while striking out five batters and walking none of those he faced.
All of Sam Moll, Lucas Erceg, Shintaro Fujinami, and Richard Lovelady helped Oakland retain their lead while getting assigned a Hold on the day. Trevor May can't say the same, as he replaced Lovelady in the bottom of the ninth and nearly screwed all the A's work up by allowing two walks and a single, and then walking Victor Caratini with the bases loaded to help Milwaukee inch closer in the scoreboard, 8-4.
Sam Long entered the game and allowed a two-RBI hit to Abraham Toro but that was it, getting his second save in as many days after already keeping Milwaukee at bay on Saturday. Thank our based god Esteury Ruiz for adding some breathing room half an inning earlier. Kevin Smith also helped the cause with another homer, though he doesn't earn any kudos after breaking Thor's hammer. Cold world, Kev.
The A's will return to Oakland for a series-opener against the best team in the MLB, the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday as things get re-started in Nevada in parallel regarding SB1 with an expected vote taking place through the day. Fingers crossed both affairs go Oakland's way.