It had been more than a year since the last time it happened, but the Oakland Athletics won their fourth consecutive game this season and for the first time since 2021 thanks to a 10-inning 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
The A's entered the second game of their series against the Brew Crew having won two against Pittsburgh earlier this week and one at Milwaukee on Friday. Saturday's win also clinched the second consecutive series for a surging A's ballclub that, all of a sudden, has turned into an unstoppable winning machine.
Oakland's skipper Mark Kotsay sent Paul Blackburn (0-0) to the mound to get things started opposing veteran Julio Teheran (1-2) on the Brewers side. Turns out none of those two would factor in the final decision, with no starter earning the W or the L on the second meeting of this three-game matchup.
The A's couldn't get any runs in the first falling on the 1-2-3 trap offered by Teheran. The Brewers weren't much better, and although they bagged a couple of singles that's all they did before giving way to the A's to kickstart the second frame.
The scoreboard wouldn't move until the top of the fifth when your superheroes decided enough was enough. Made sense, considering the Brewers had a ridiculous play as early as in the second inning when they completed a miraculous relay to keep the A's at bay.
After catching Victor Caratini's groundball in the second with an extraordinary dive, Jace Peterson ran the bases in the fifth to put the Athletics 1-0 on top.
Peterson put the ball in play with a flyball single followed by Aledmys Diaz's groundball single advancing the vet to third base. That's all JJ Bleday needed to know he needed to do something at the plate with Peterson in scoring position and the game looking tight as hell.
So Bleday proceeded to hit the ball well enough to force Milwaukee's into what could have been a double play that didn't quite end that way. Diaz was out at second but the throw to first was late, Bleday was safe, and the Brew Crew completely forgot about the scoring men in Peterson who came home to put the first run of the day up in the scoreboard.
Blackburn left the game after six full innings allowing four hits but earning no runs at all. He stroke out five and walked just one man through 95 pitches. Not bad! Austin Pruitt, Richard Lovelady, Shintaro Fujinami, and Sam Long would come to the mound in the following frames to wrap up the game with a win for the A's.
William Contreras' monster homer (440ft projection, the longest of the season coming off a Brewers' bat) tied the game at one apiece late, already in the eighth inning, with the run blamed on reliever Lovelady.
The game remained tied through the regular nine frames with the Brewers deploying Elvis Peguero and Devin Williams in the final two innings before the 10th.
Already into extra-frames and after a sublime short relief by multi-role Shintaro Fujinami (15 pitches, nine strikes, one strikeout on Saturday), the A's threw Sam Long to the mound to close a game they were already leading 2-1 after the top of the 10th was completed.
The A's took the lead in the first extra stanza with pinch-runner Tony Kemp getting home courtesy of a single by Aledmys Diaz (3-of-4 on the day), putting the A's ahead 2-1. It wasn't pretty, but it was enough.
The Brewers thought they had finished the 10th by striking out Esteury Ruiz with a slider by Joel Payamps but the play went to replay and was ruled catcher interference, putting Ruiz in first. Not that Oakland would take any advantage, though, as Ryan Noda grounded out next and the game went to the bottom of the 10th.
By then, though, Ruiz had already bagged his MLB-leading 31st steal of the season, which is something I can't be happier about as the rookie is well on his way to getting crowned as the best theft across the full ballpark landscape this season.
Fujinami (3-6) got the win, Payamps ate the loss, and Sam Long got himself a fancy save keeping the Brewers from scoring in the 10th.
It's been four wins in a row for the A's, and the second series victory in as many attempts with the rubber game against the Brew Crew taking place early on Sunday. Don't miss it.