What a series at home for the Oakland Athletics at home against the New York Yankees. In the first three games it was the trio of A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker. Today marked the outstanding work of the bullpen and the resiliency of the offense after falling behind early 4-0.
CC Sabathia benefited from an offensive outburst in the third inning as three runs scored in the inning and an additional run came on a solo home run by Curtis Granderson in the fourth to give him the 4-0 cushion. Then the comeback began in the fifth with Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki hitting solo home runs. An additional run scored on a fielder’s choice by Inge in the sixth and the A’s tied the game up on a solo home run by Seth Smith off of closer Rafael Soriano.
Then the game became the battle of the bullpens and in the 12th that’s when the game got interesting again. Mark Teixeira hit a shallow fly ball to right field that Josh Reddick couldn’t come up with and Teixeira ended up on second because of the error. Jerry Blevins had the task of facing the dangerous Robinson Cano and got him to fly out to Yoenis Cespedes. Alex Rodriguez received an intentional walk and Blevins was able to induce back-to-back pop flies to end the inning.
Clay Rapada got the first out of the 12th inning striking out Eric Sogard. Joe Girardi brought in Cody Eppley to face Derek Norris mired in a 0-30 slump. The count went full and Norris hit a shot to Derek Jeter who could not handle the ground ball for a single though that should be overturned to an error. Jemile Weeks bunted Norris over to second and Coco Crisp played the hero with two outs swinging at the first pitch he saw and lining a soft single over the infield. Andruw Jones fielded the ball in right field and did not even get off a throw as Norris scored easily.
The bullpen went 5.1 innings, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out seven. Blevins picked up his third win of the season after pitching the last two innings. With the sweep it marked the first time in Oakland the A’s swept a four game series against the Yankees, the win makes it five straight overall and it was the 11th walk-off win this season.