Posted June 21, 2012 on AP on Fox
Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for his first career game-ending shot, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 on Thursday for a sweep. Cespedes connected with no outs off Josh Lindblom (2-1), sending a drive just inside the left-field foul pole. Oakland has won eight of nine after holding the NL's best team to eight total hits in the three-game series. Starters Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Travis Blackley each excelled. They both allowed one run on just three hits in eight innings. Blackley walked none and struck out six while the NL Cy Young winner fanned seven and walked two. Coco Crisp drew a leadoff walk from Lindblom in the ninth and advanced on a wild pitch. Crisp moved to third on Jemile Weeks' infield single on which Lindblom fielded the ball and looked to third and then first but didn't make a throw. Cespedes then hit his seventh home run of the season. Ryan Cook (2-1) relieved Blackley in the ninth. Ninth-place batter Matt Treanor drew a walk, Dee Gordon bunted into a forceout and then the Dodgers speedster was caught stealing on an outstanding throw by new A's catcher Derek Norris. The Dodgers were swept for just the second time this season. They dropped four in a row to Milwaukee at home in late May. Brandon Inge had a sacrifice fly in the second as Oakland took an early lead, then Juan Rivera hit a tying RBI single in the fourth. That was all the Dodgers could muster for Kershaw, who is pitching with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Blackley retired the first 10 batters before Elian Herrera's one-out double in the fourth. Blackley faced only one three-ball count all afternoon. The Australian left-hander made his fifth start since being claimed off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on May 15. Norris was called up from Triple-A Sacramento before the game to share the catching duties with Kurt Suzuki. Norris came to the A's in the trade last December that sent All-Star lefty Gio Gonzalez to Washington. Crisp's franchise record streak of 36 successful steals ended when he was thrown out at second in the first inning. NOTES: A's manager Bob Melvin will continue to use Cespedes as designated hitter until he is fully healthy from a strained left hamstring and ready to return to his usual outfield spot. ... Mired in an 0-for-19 funk, Oakland's Josh Reddick had the day off. ... The A's will face two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (2-8) in Friday night's opener to the second interleague edition of the Bay Bridge Series. The Giants ace hasn't won since April 28 against San Diego, going 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA during his drought. ... RHP Chad Billingsley (4-5) pitches for the Dodgers in the Freeway Series at Anaheim on Friday night against Angels RHP Dan Haren (4-7).
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Chris Reed the only prospect to represent Dodgers in Futures Game

The 2012 Futures Game rosters were announced today and London-born (say wha?) Chris Reed will represent the Dodgers in Kansas City this year. It's no surprise to see Reed headed to KC, as he's had a really good season so far: 2.86 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 9.2 K/9 between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga. Reed, 22, has a good fastball that sits in the...

Offense becomes punchless without Kemp

The Dodgers continued a trend Wednesday night, one that has seen their offense decline in June. Los Angeles scored one run on just three hits against Tommy Milone, and the Athletics' rookie left-hander pitched a complete game while earning a 4-1 win. The Dodgers have scored just one run on five hits in two games at Oakland. Since Matt Kemp was placed on the disabled list May...

Norris arrives from minors to share Oakland's catching job with Suzuki

For a team playing as well as it has all year, the A's made an unexpected move Thursday. Oakland brought up its top catching prospect, Derek Norris, and Norris was in the lineup for the team's 4-1, walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Coliseum. It was the Athletics' eighth win in nine games. Manager Bob Melvin said that Kurt Suzuki, the A's longtime...

Kershaw's day takes away some of the pain

The Dodgers were swept in the three-game series at Oakland, but the silver lining to their dark cloud Thursday was a magnificent start from Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw rebounded from allowing five runs in six innings on June 15 against the White Sox by pitching eight strong innings in Oakland. Kershaw allowed one run and three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. But the left...

This Coco Crisp sign is spectacular

Thigh Five: MLB on FacebookGet the latest Thigh updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter.a2a_linkname=document.title;a2a_linkurl=location.href;

A.J. Ellis talks to Clayton Kershaw about lefty problems and “Inception” on “Between Two Palm Trees”

Apparently this was posted a few days ago but I missed it, and given that I covered episodes one and two, I figured I should continue the trend by drawing attention to episodes three and four. Your browser does not support iframes. Your browser does not support iframes

The highest pitching game score of all time

The Game Score statistic was developed by Bill James as a way of giving pitchers a score for each game they pitch. A closer look at how the stat is calculated will be discussed later in this post. The statistic is a way to rate starting pitchers. The average starting pitching Game Score is 49 to 51 (depending on the year). This season's league average is 51. R.A. Dickey currently...

Inconsistent Billingsley falls short against Angels

Chad Billingsley has battled inconsistency pretty much his entire career. On Friday night, he was given a 5-0 lead in the second inning, but he couldn't hold it, taking the loss as the Los Angeles Dodgers fell 8-5 to the Los Angeles Angels. "They are a very dangerous lineup. I just didn't get the job done today," Billingsley said. It continued an up-and-down...

Giants-Athletics Preview

The Oakland Athletics didn't get down on themselves earlier this month when they were struggling, and now they're playing their best baseball of the season. San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum is at a low point now, and it's uncertain when the two-time NL Cy Young winner will end the worst stretch of his career. The surging A's go for a seventh consecutive home...

Game Preview 6/22/12 -- Freeway Friendly -- Angels vs. Dodgers

                                                     @ Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles (42-28) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (38-32) Pitching Probables: LAD  –  Chad Billingsly (4-5, 3.75 ERA)  LAA – Dan Haren (4-7, 3.97 ERA) Game Info: 7:05 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West, Fox Prime Ticket; Radio - KLAA 830The freeway...

Dodgers-Angels Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers open their series with the Los Angeles Angels coming off one of their worst offensive showings in the last century. Considering how inconsistent Angels starter Dan Haren has been, it's anyone's guess if the NL West leaders will get things turned around Friday night. Facing an Oakland staff that came into this week's series with the majors'...
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.