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Now that, my friends, is a save

Sep 12, 2012, 1:31 AM EDT

Jerry Blevins AP

Oakland’s Jerry Blevins replaced Grant Balfour in a 6-5 game with runners at the corners and no outs against the Angels on Tuesday night. He promptly struck out Kendrys Morales and induced a double-play ball from Howie Kendrick to give the A’s a win.

The Angels were attempting to come back from 6-3 down in the ninth when Chris Iannetta and Mike Trout started the frame with walks. Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols followed with a pair of RBI singles, at which point A’s manager Bob Melvin removed Balfour.

The left-handed Blevins was the choice to take over, even though Morales is a switch-hitter and Kendrick bats righty. He got the job done in a big way for his second career save in 205 appearances. His other save came in 2010 against the Rays.

For Kendrick, it was the 23rd double play grounded into of the season. He’s tied with Michael Young for second in the AL, three behind Miguel Cabrera.

The A’s have taken the first two in a four-game series in Anaheim to move 4 1/2 games ahead of the Angels in the AL West. At 81-60, they have the second best record in the AL, two games ahead of the Yankees and Orioles.

  1. scatterbrian - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    A nail-biter, but the A’s got it done.

    What’s been overlooked is the number of rookies who have contributed for the A’s. 1381 plate appearances (over 25%) and 758.3 innings pitched (nearly 60%) have come from rookies, and they have the second-best record in the AL.

    • mgflolox - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:26 AM

      Also, they have the 3rd best run differential in the AL. This is not a fluke. They deserve to be where they are.

  2. schlom - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:44 AM

    Rare five out save for the Padres Luke Gregerson tonight as well.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    While cleverly distracting the rest of the league with his puellining and whinging about moving the team, Lew Wolff has quietly stockpiled the Os with go-to guys like Jerry Blevins, great grandson of Jimmy Blevins from All the Pretty Horses, though not nearly as inept. Lew Wolff can disqualify a recessive gene from a scouting report. Lew Wolff is a genius.

    • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Heh – I mean the As. Too early. But then, if the Os and As meet in the league championship series to the Ooooos and Aaaahhhs of the designatedhitterball loving public – Wolff versus Angelos – it will be the biggest collision between towering geniuses since Einstein and Bohr clashed at Copenhagen.

      Edit function!
      Edit function!

      • jarathen - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        It’s like I’m watching Vanilla Sky play out in real life. Tech Support!!!

      • APBA Guy - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        Lew’s genius is in following Angels’ genius to the letter: play in front of empty stadiums and collect revenue sharing while taking a handsome profit home every year.

        Only this year, the script has changed a bit, as both geniuses have been overcome by unexpected events on the field. In Oakland’s case, the Great and Powerful Beane has accidentally stumbled on a collection of players who play well together, and has a manager who is mixing and matching like Earl Weaver did with Lowenstein/Roenicke platoons, only now it’s Smith/Gomes and Moss/Carter.

        And Bal’mer is drawing some better crowds, as is Oakland. More importantly, people here are noticing. Wolff was on the broadcast Monday night where he described this year’s team as a “pleasant surprise” with all the joy of a geriatric fitting his teeth on the first try.

      • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Why, I wonder, does “The Great and Powerful Beane” make me think of Zardoz? Time to go talk to my mirror again.

  4. APBA Guy - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Edit function: Angel’s should be Angelos’.

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