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Settling the Score: Friday’s results

Sep 15, 2012, 8:55 AM EDT

Derek Norris Getty Getty Images

The Yankees lost 6-4 to the Rays last night, so the Orioles had yet another chance to gain sole possession of first-place in the American League East. They failed to make it happen.

In front of a packed house at Coliseum, the Athletics topped the Orioles 3-2 last night. Yes, the Orioles actually lost a one-run game.

Tommy Milone allowed two runs (one earned) over 6 1/3 innings in the victory. Yoenis Cespedes, who left Thursday’s game with a sprained right wrist, delivered a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning while Jonny Gomes‘ RBI single in the fifth ended up being the difference in the game.

Grant Balfour was pulled from a save chance on Tuesday night, but A’s manager Bob Melvin went right back to him in the ninth inning last night. He gave up a leadoff single to Matt Wieters before getting Endy Chavez to strike out and Mark Reynolds to fly out deep to left field. The game ended when pinch-runner Xavier Avery was thrown out by Derek Norris while trying to steal second base. Chris Davis, who homered earlier in the game, was hitting at the time. Rough way to lose.

The series will resume tonight when Zach Britton opposes Jarrod Parker. The Orioles and Yankees remained tied atop the American League East at 81-63. Meanwhile, the Athletics are in the driver’s seat for the top Wild Card spot at 83-61.

Your Friday box scores:

Pirates 4, Cubs 7

Rays 6, Yankees 4

Reds 0, Marlins 4

Tigers 4, Indians 0

Nationals 1, Braves 2

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 5

Phillies 12, Astros 6

Mariners 3, Rangers 9

Mets 7, Brewers 3

White Sox 6, Twins 0

Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2

Angels 9, Royals 7

Rockies 7, Padres 4

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 8

  1. mybrunoblog - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    As a Yankee fan I’m concerned but happy we didn’t relinquish the 1st place position.
    As a baseball fan I am disappointed that the Pirates are in the tank and look headed for another losing season after showing so much promise. I hope I am wrong and the Prates can scratch out 82 wins.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    The surprising A’s seem to be a better team than either Baltimore and New York. This season, the AL West is probably better than the AL East.

    • hittfamily - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      With the ‘Stros coming aboard, it’ll be a while before that happens again.

      The Beast went from 3 teams that won 90 games to 3 teams that wouldn’t make the playoffs in the West.

  3. hittfamily - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Could Buster Posey bat .400 next year? 8 months ago, he was on a homemade scooter and couldn’t walk. Now he is in the MVP race! He was the best player in college. He was the best player his rookie year. He is a top 3 NL player today, a year removed from 2 broken bones and a torn ligament in his ankle.

    Since the All star break, he has batted .393 AVG/.470 OBP/.658 SLG

    That is effing insane!!! For a guy who still limped in April, and who has had to catch over 100 games, that shouldn’t be possible. If he was moved to second, I believe he could hit .400. Any hitter will tell you a strong base is necessary to be a good hitter. If he wasn’t catching, and wasn’t coming off leg surgery, his numbers likely would be even better. He is the best opposite field hitter in baseball, which allows him to not get fooled, because he doesn’t have to guess. If it’s outside, he hits it the other way. If it is inside, he pulls it.

    He already had a 23 game hit streak as a rookie, and won player of the month in his 3rd month in the majors, so this isn’t even all that unusual for him. He has the ability to inside out a pitch down the right field line like Jeter, or do this:

    I believe he could hit .400 next year.

    • indaburg - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      He is an amazing alent. And Buster Posey could have been ours, all ours, but no. How much did the Rays bungle the 2008 draft? Talented catcher aside, how do you not draft a guy named Buster? Instead, we got Tim Beckham. How is Beckham doing again? Last I heard of him, he got suspended for smoking pot.

      Side note. This morning, I went to my daughter’s soccer match. Early in the game, my daughter inadvertently took out the other team’s best player with a collision. Both kids were just fine, but the other girl was out of her game and my daughter’s team won. It reminded me of our earlier discussion this week about strength vs. strength, so I had to chuckle. For the record, my husband is firmly on your side. :-)

      • hittfamily - Sep 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        Your hubby is a wise man. Wiser than Andrew Friedman. I remember watching the draft. When they announced Beckham, and not Posey, I was so pissed. I knew Posey would be good, but didn’t know he’d be great. I am close with several of the coaches at FSU, and they told me he was better than Steven Drew at SS, and was as good of hitter as JD Drew. Scouts said he could hit MLB immediately, but would take a few years to learn the catching position. We had a competive club that year (that ended up in the series that year), and I felt it was stupid to draft a guy who wouldn’t contribute for at least 4-5 years, especially coming off the successes of drafting MLB ready talent in Price and Longo.

        It is like he did a great job 6 years ago when he got the job. He drafted Longo, drafted Price, hired Maddon, and hired the scouts. But he has sat on his ass since, and done very little to impress me. Our 2009 1st overall pick got suspended for pot, and may never make the majors, and likely will never contribute even if he does. Our 2010 pick didn’t sign. Our 2011 pick just got suspended for meth. Our 8 supplemental picks following the mass exodus of Crawford, Soriano, Balfour, Benoit etc have been very quiet in the minors. And for some crazy reason, Derek Shelton hasn’t been fired yet.

        He got smoked on the Garza trade by a guy who got fired later that year. He got smoked on the Kazmir trade by a guy who got fired a year later. The Edwin Jackson for Matt Joyce trade is a push at best. He signed Fat Burrel. He re signed Pena. He signed Orly Taitz’s offspring Luke Scott. For some reason, we still have 9 MLB starting pitchers, meanwhile Elliot Johnson starts for us.

        I love James Shields, but Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal would have already strengthened this team. Supposedly, Friedman turned down a similiar deal to what San Diego got. Our farm system is BARE when it comes to hitters. We don’t have a possible starter next year in any level. Also, we’d have had Shield’s 8 mill and Pena’s 6 million to try to lock up Hellickson.

        He does hit on cast off bullpen arms for sure. Soriano, Benoit, Peralta, Rodney and Farnesworth have been amazing pickups. I hope we trade Rodney in the offseason. Mcgee or Davis can close, and Rodney has huge value at only 2 mil per year. Maybe we could get a hitter, because our cupboard in Durham is bare.

        The Rays passed on Buster Posey because they wanted to save a few million on a signing bonus that would cover the next 8 years (2 years in minors, 6 years team control). Enough said.

      • indaburg - Sep 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

        Excellent analysis. I have nothing else ’cause I agree 100% with you.

  4. chill1184 - Sep 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    I have a question for A’s fans; Given that the team wants to move away, how is the attendance doing despite that Green and Gold is in the thick of the hunt? Has winning trumped the fact the team is leaving or is the burn too strong with some?

    • APBA Guy - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      More seriously, last night was 100% full, and of course that has been the exception this year. But generally, attendance has been up despite relatively high ticket prices and absurd parking and concession prices in the teeth of a bad local (ie East Bay) economy. I would not say that this increase reflects any great love for ownership. Rather, it recognizes that the team is playing a very charismatic baseball right now, and is in the thick of the playoff race. The core group of fans, about 10,000, that have stuck with the team are an extremely baseball-savvy group. They’ve been supplemented by about 20,000 additional fans who are very enthusiastic, and that combination of energy and awareness produces a tremendous atmosphere at the stadium. The grounds crew is one of the best, so the field itself is perfect for each game. Unfortunately, now that football has started, that won’t last. And if the A’s start next year by losing, the crowds will be back down. But for now, it’s a great place to be on game day.

  5. APBA Guy - Sep 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    100% full at the Mausoleum. Put a winner on the field!

  6. natslady - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Nats and Metro are still arguing over who will pay for late night service on weekdays. My theory is when there are two choices and neither works, find a third way–how about corporate sponsorship? Would this be allowed by MLB?

    So, e.g., “UPS will get you home safe tonight, Nats fans!” (I’m sure they can think of cleverer slogans.) For 30K per hour (less the actual riders’ fares) it’s a lot cheaper than SuperBowl ads.

    • Old Gator - Sep 15, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      You can’t go around making rational suggestions to Bud Light like that!

  7. ericellers - Sep 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Tampa fans take note from the sold out A’s house lately, attendance is not a necessary requirement but I’m sure your team deserves it!

  8. abbeyleeishot - Sep 15, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Let’s get real it was Star Wars Night yesterday and fireworks. On a weekday there is perhaps a slight bump but not what it should.

  9. uyf1950 - Sep 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Going to be a real interesting last 2 plus weeks to the regular season in the AL East.

  10. Old Gator - Sep 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Jacob Turner is looking like the real deal for the Feesh. The Reds couldn’t do much with heem last night. So is kid katcher Rob Brantley. Well, at least those trades might pan out real well. Nat Eovaldi shows occasional flashes of usefulness but still needs work. Slobbering Ozzie reportedly has taken to Twitter again – oh joy. The pool of Espanglish neologisms was starting to dry up around here.

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