Found July 23, 2012 on Fox Sports:
The AL's top pitching staff has helped carry the Oakland Athletics and their league-low payroll into the postseason picture. Now it will be responsible for attempting to shut down a lineup that's thriving even without its best slugger. Oakland seeks a season-high sixth consecutive victory when it visits the Toronto Blue Jays for the opener of a three-game set Tuesday night. The surging Athletics (51-44), with a roughly $55 million payroll that is slightly more than San Diego's, are among the AL's wild-card leaders with a 14-2 record this month following Sunday's 5-4, 12-inning victory that capped a four-game sweep of the AL East-leading Yankees. Seth Smith's homer tied the score in the ninth before Coco Crisp's RBI single in the 12th completed a comeback from four runs down. "I don't think there was anybody in the dugout or in the stands who didn't think we were going to win,'' Smith said. That confidence continues resonating within a team that has swept large-market teams like Boston, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Yankees this season. "It definitely feels good to battle and be victorious against the best teams, on paper, in the game," Crisp told the team's official website. "You can look up and down a lot of lineups like Detroit, or the Angels, the teams with high payrolls. When we battle against those guys and come out with wins, it's definitely a great feeling." Oakland's solid pitching has been a major reason for its success, posting a 2.53 ERA in July and a 3.37 ERA overall - both the best marks in the AL. Travis Blackley (2-2, 2.86 ERA) will continue his surprising run in the starting rotation after allowing three runs in 5 1-3 innings of the A's 4-3 win over Texas on Wednesday. The left-hander, who played in Korea last season and was claimed off waivers from San Francisco in May, continues to impress manager Bob Melvin. "I think each and every time he goes out there and does well, it builds confidence for him," Melvin said. "He probably didn't forecast going into this season being in the position. I would have to say it's a little bit of a surprise." Toronto's success without Jose Bautista, who went on the disabled list last Tuesday with a sore left wrist, has been pretty startling as well. The Blue Jays outscored Boston 28-11 and completed a three-game sweep at Fenway Park with the help of a season high-tying 18 hits in Sunday's 15-7 victory. Brett Lawrie hit the first pitch of the game for a homer and J.P. Arencibia, Rajai Davis and Travis Snider also went deep for Toronto (48-47), which was coming off being swept by the Yankees. "It was just a very good offensive day and a very good weekend, considering what we came out of in New York and the loss of Jose,'' said manager John Farrell, whose team set a season high for runs. "The guys bounced back." The Blue Jays can match a season high with a fourth straight victory - done three previous times - when Brett Cecil takes the hill Tuesday. Cecil (2-2, 6.34) allowed three runs in six innings of a 6-1 loss to the Yankees last Tuesday. The left-hander has been solid against the A's, going 2-2 with a 2.79 ERA in four career starts. These teams split a two-game set May 8-9 in Oakland.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Oakland bullpen is keeping up with surging rotation

Oakland's starters, particularly rookies Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone, have been getting plenty of ink lately, but the A's bullpen has been just as impressive. The relief corps is also very young. Setup man Grant Balfour is the lone veteran, with lefty Jerry Blevins the second-most experienced member of the unit, with under three years' service time. Oakland'...

Athletics 5, Yankees 4(12)

Seth Smith hit a tying homer in the ninth inning, Coco Crisp singled home the winning run in the 12th and the surging Oakland Athletics rallied from four runs down to stun the New York Yankees 5-4 on Sunday and complete a four-game sweep. Smith homered to center with one out in the ninth off closer Rafael Soriano to help the A's sweep the Yankees in a four-game series at the...

Oakland A's playing 'Moneyball' again

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By ANTONIO GONZALEZ AP Sports Writer Moneyball, take two? Exactly a decade since the Oakland Athletics inspired the book that became a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt last summer, baseball's most frugal franchise is becoming a must-see attraction again. The A's are a majors-best 14-2 in July and coming off a stunning...

New York Yankees got Moneyballed

Coco Crisp (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The team with the best record in baseball, the New York Yankees didn’t just get swept by the Oakland Athletics, they got beat. A very real and determined Athletics burned the Bombers over the weekend winning four one-run games. Billy Beane might have his best Moneyball team yet, as this group is made up of a bunch of other ball clubs leftovers...

Athletics 7, Blue Jays 2

Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run single and the streaking Oakland Athletics beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Tuesday night for their season-best sixth win in a row. Derek Norris hit a two-run homer and Travis Blackley won his third straight decision as the A's improved to 15-2 in July. Oakland (52-44) is eight games over .500 for the first time since July 12, 2008. Travis Snider...

2012 MLB Pennant Races: A to Z

A A’s A’s, as in the Oakland Athletics, are in a pennant race for the first time since 2006. We have the second wild card to thank for this, but...

A's win in 12 to complete four-game sweep of Yankees

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...

A's 5, Yankees 4 (12)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Once again the Oakland Athletics saved their best for last on Sunday. Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 12th, catcher Derek Norris singled hard off the glove of Derek Jeter. Jemile Weeks sacrificed, advancing Norris to second base. And Coco Crisp singled to right, just over the leap of second baseman Robinson Cano for the 11th walk-off win for the A's as...

Guerrero delivers the heat at Oakland A’s game Sunday

Former Three-Division World Champion Robert Guerrero threw out the first pitch at the Oakland A's July 22, 2012 game against the New York Yankees in Oakland, California in advance of his July 28, 2012 fight against undefeated number one rated WBC welterweight contender Selcuk Aydin for the WBC Interim Welterweight World Championship at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California which...

San Francisco Giants fan nearly gets bit by dog at Athletics game

Back on Thursday, the Oakland Athletics held their annual "Bark In the Park" night as over 700 dogs took in the Athletics/Yankees game.During the game, one hilarious highlight came of this San Francisco Giants fan attempting to pet a Saint Bernard that was in a row in front of his seat.It appears that the Saint Bernard was a Oakland fan as he nearly bites the guy on the...

The Filibuster

Do you believe in the A’s? Rick T.  Springfield, MO ____________________________ Do I believe in the A’s?  Do I believe that a team called the A’s plays in Oakland, CA?  Yes, I believe that.  Do I believe that despite a limited budget and a small market, a team called the A’s not only contended in the early 2000′s but also outperformed most of the American League?  Yes...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.