OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics have won so many games in walk-off fashion they almost expect it of themselves when a game is tied in the late innings.
And once again the Athletics saved their best for last on Sunday after falling behind 4-0 early in the game.
The hero of the game was Coco Crisp, whose game-winning single in the bottom of the 12th lifted Oakland to a 4-3 win, completing a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees.
"The confidence level carries over through the previous games into the next game when you're in these types of situations because you've done it before, so you know it's possible," Crisp said. "Everybody's up, everybody's excited. Nobody got down. We always feel like we have a chance now."
With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 12th, Cody Eppley (0-2) came in to pitch for New York with one out. Catcher Derek Norris singled hard off the glove of Derek Jeter. Jemile Weeks sacrificed, advancing Norris to second base. And Crisp singled to right, just over leaping second baseman Robinson Cano for the 11th walk-off win for the A's.
"I thought I made a pretty good pitch to him," said Eppley, who also lost Friday's game by giving up the game-winning hit to Brandon Moss in the ninth inning. "The ball went where I wanted it to go. He's a good hitter, he went down and got it and just got just enough lift on it to get it over Cano's head."
The Athletics went 5-1 on a six-game homestand against the Texas Rangers and Yankees, the teams with the two best records in baseball. Oakland improved to a Major League best 13-2 in July, and 11 of the 29 home wins came in the team's final at-bat.
"It's just terrific," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To keep competing after so many games where you're so drained and then compete as hard we've competed in this game after being down 4-0 is pretty special."
With one out in the bottom of the ninth and the A's trailing by a run, Seth Smith homered to deep center field off Yankees closer Rafael Soriano. Seth's blast tied the game at 4-4 and forced extra innings.
In the 10th inning, A's reliever Grant Balfour gave up singles to Cano and Eric Chavez. With runners on first and second, he managed to strike out Jeter looking to end the inning.
"They pitched well," Jeter said. "Two teams are trying to do jobs, and sometimes the other team's going to be better. It's tough to lose four games regardless of how it looks. They beat us in four games; that's all you can say."
The rare blown save cost CC Sabathia his 12th win. The portly left-hander pitched seven innings, gave up six hits and three runs, walked one, and struck out six.
"(Soriano's) the closer and I know he'll come back out tomorrow and be ready to go," Sabathia said. "(The A's) are tough. Anytime they get in position, I think they feel like they can win or come back. It's tough facing a team like that. These guys did a great job of that all four games. But we're a veteran ballclub. We know it's a long season. We'll go back out tomorrow and try to win a ballgame."
In the top of the 12th, Mark Teixeira hit a high fly ball to right, but Josh Reddick lost the ball in the sun and was unable to catch what should have been a routine fly out. Teixeira slid in safely just before Reddick's throw to second base. Cano flied out to center and Alex Rodriguez was intentionally walked. But both Raul Ibanez and Chavez
popped out, and the Yankees failed to score even though they had a runner on second and nobody out.
The Yankees jumped on A's starter Bartolo Colon in the top of the third with four straight hits. Teixeira knocked in one run with a bloop single. With the bases loaded, Rodriguez doubled to left-center scoring two more runs.
In the top of the 4th, Curtis Granderson homered to right field to make it 4-0.
Colon settled down and retired the next nine batters he faced and would finally leave the game after giving up a single to Teixeira in the seventh inning.
Colon lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowed eight hits, four runs and one walk and had five strikeouts.
Oakland started its comeback in the bottom of the fifth. Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki each hit solo home runs off Sabathia. It was the first home run of the season for Suzuki, who has struggled all season, batting just .211 with 17 RBIs. Be he has four career home runs off Sabathia.
"My average is not good (against him) but when I tend to hit them, usually it's an extra base hit," Suzuki said. "He's tough and I can't explain why I've hit four homers but it's one of those things I guess."
The A's would close the gap to one run in the sixth as Yoenis Cespedes scored on a fielder's choice ground out.
NOTES: This was the first time in Oakland franchise history the A's have swept the Yankees at home in a four-game set. ... Their last four-game sweep of the Yankees was in New York in 1972 ... The Athletics have hit 52 home runs in 34 games since June 12, third most in the majors behind the Yankees (57) and Pirates (56). ... Rodriguez has hit seven doubles in his last 21 games since June 27. ... Sabathia has pitched at least seven innings in 12 of his 17 starts. ... Jeter was not originally in the starting lineup. Jayson Nix started at shortstop batting seventh. Jeter replaced him in the bottom of the eighth inning. ... It was only the second blown save for Soriano and the first home run he allowed this season.
Delivered to your inbox
|Best of Yardbarker||NFL News||MLB News|
Today's Best Stuff