Rajai Davis had arguably the best night of his major league career, going 4-for-5 with a grand slam, two doubles, a single, a stolen base and three runs scored, as the Oakland A’s provided their most prolific offensive performance of the season in snapping a four-game losing streak. The 15 runs scored were the most this season, and the eight-run third inning was a season high. Throw in a strong Ben Sheets performance and it was probably the best night of an up-and-down season for the A’s.
Fittingly, it was Rajai Davis who got the night started in style. He opened the third inning with a double that almost turned into an inside-the-park homerun. Davis hit a shot down the right field line and Bobby Abreu just barely got his out-stretched glove on the ball, holding Davis to a single. Davis then proceeded to steal third, and then score on a passed ball to give the A’s a 1-0 lead.
Cliff Pennington followed with a triple and the A’s were off to the races. The team scored three wins before Davis returned with the bases loaded and hit a no-doubt grand slam to give the A’s an 8-0 lead. The Angels kept Kazmir in the game and he finished the night going five innings and giving up 13 runs, all earned, leaving the evening with a 6.92 ERA.
The run support was more than enough for Ben Sheets as he cruised through six innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 walk on 104 pitches. Sheets has been the subject of trade rumors, and his performance tonight should only increase the chatter, and the scouts following the A’s around the country.
The A’s offense has been given a lot of grief for its general struggles, particularly the lack of power in the lineup. Tonight the A’s certainly showed they can cut loose on occasion. Aside from Davis, Coco Crisp hit a 3-run homer off the top of the out of town scoreboard and Daric Barton hit a beautiful solo shot to the right field seats. The offensive explosion was particular sweet because 13 of the 15 runs came with two outs in the given inning.
The A’s wrap up the first half of the season tomorrow afternoon looking to win this series behind All-Star Trevor Cahill. He’ll be facing Jered Weaver, a guy who should have been an All-Star (AL leader in Ks, top 10 in ERA and WHIP). It’s possible the A’s used up all their runs for the series tonight, so we could have quite the pitcher’s duel.