Before the game began on Tuesday night the Athletics knew they would receive no help from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Texas Rangers beat the Rays 7-1. So in order for the Athletics to reduce the magic number they would have to take matters into their own hands. This is not always an easy task against the Angels. Athletics/Angels games are always competitive. The two teams seem to rise to the occasion and Tuesday night was no exception.
Sonny Gray (3-3, 2.50 ERA) took the mound for the Athletics facing off against Garrett Richards (7-6, 3.77 ERA). The Angels would strike first as Mike Trout yet again shows why he is an elite player taking an 0-1 fastball over the center field wall in the 1st inning for his 25th home run of the season and his 2nd in 2 nights. It wouldn’t take long for the Athletics to respond. In the bottom of the 1st Coco Crisp drew a walk and 3 batters later Brandon Moss would drive Coco in with his 19th double of the season tying the game at 1.
This is how the game would stand until the bottom of the 9th inning. Both Sonny Gray and Garrett Richards were dominant. Sonny allowed only the 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 5 in 6 innings pitched. Garrett would give up just 1 run in 7 innings.
In the 9th inning Alberto Callaspo hit a single to left. The Athletics would send out Jemile Weeks to pinch run for Alberto. Weeks would advance to 2nd on a fly ball to left by Stephen Vogt. This would set up the intentional walk to pinch hitter Jed Lowrie. Coco Crisp would then draw his 2nd walk of the evening loading the bases. After Daric Barton struck out the fate of the inning was left to the Athletics’s best hitter Josh Donaldson. On an 0-2 fastball Josh drove the ball to the left center field gap easily scoring Jemile and securing yet another walkoff by the Athletics.
Grant Balfour who came in to pitch the top of the 9th earned his 1st win of the season moving his record to 1-3. Michael Kohn takes the loss reducing his record to 1-3. With the victory the Athletics’s Magic Number is now 6.
The series continues on Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. as the Athletics and Angels finish up the 3 game series. A.J. Griffin (14-9, 3.81 ERA) gets the ball for the Athletics. He will be opposed by Jason Vargas (8-7, 4.20 ERA).