Final in 14
3:35 PM ET, April 25, 2012
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Yoenis Cespedes' timely hitting decided countless games at every level of baseball back home in Cuba.Doing it at as a first-year major leaguer means so much to the young Oakland Athletics.With two of the American League's top pitching teams dueling it out for a third straight day, Kila Ka'aihue blooped a winning single in the 14th inning soon after Cespedes' tying two-run homer, and the A's rallied past the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Wednesday."Yoenis is coming up in that situation and he's grinding hard every pitch, every out," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "(It was) more perseverance than anything else, because it seemed like in the middle of the game nobody was going to score for a while."He was right. Both clubs missed chances and the game kept going.Josh Reddick hit a one-out single in the 14th, then Cespedes delivered his fifth homer of the season against Hector Santiago (0-1) after Chicago took the lead in the top half of the 14th. Ka'aihue came through with the big hit in a game that lasted 3 hours, 56 minutes."You relish that, you look forward to it when you're taking your BP and your work," Ka'aihue said. "You prepare to get that big hit. You don't work on grounding out and flying out. It wasn't the hardest ball I've hit in my life. It won the game for the team, that's all that counts."Jim Miller (1-0) struck out Brent Lillibridge for his first major league win after being called up earlier in the day.Alexei Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run double with two outs in the top of the 14th.Paul Konerko hit his 400th career home run to tie the game at 2 in the Chicago ninth."The round numbers, everybody likes the round numbers. When it comes to that kind of stuff, I think when I'm done playing and look back, that's when it might hit home more," he said.The game featured "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" twice, along with a 14th-inning stretch.After a pair of gems from Chicago starters this trip -- Phil Humber's perfect game Saturday at Seattle, then Jake Peavy's three-hit shutout Monday -- this day became about the terrific White Sox bullpen until Oakland finally got to the relievers.Konerko sent the first pitch from A's closer Grant Balfour onto the left-field steps to start the ninth. Konerko became the fourth player in White Sox franchise history to reach the 400 mark, joining Frank Thomas, Jim Thome and Andruw Jones."Everybody likes the round numbers," Konerko said. "When it comes to that kind of stuff, I think when I'm done playing and look back, that's when it might hit home more. But when you're in the middle of the grind and you're grinding every day and working, you tend not to think about that stuff, and you probably shouldn't."It looked as if the White Sox would take this one after scoring two unearned runs in the top of the 14th.But Cespedes showed why the A's gave him a $36 million, four-year contract."I was lucky enough to hit home runs to decide games. This was not the first time," Cespedes said. "The team is a very young team, but the way we play together we're going to get very far this season."Dayan Viciedo reached on third baseman Eric Sogard's fielding error and Brent Morel sacrificed him to second. Eduardo Escobar flied out and Alejandro De Aza walked before Miller relieved Jerry Blevins to face Ramirez.The A's saved themselves in the 13th with a two pretty defensive plays. Catcher Kurt Suzuki caught pinch-runner Lillibridge well off second base, then shortstop Cliff Pennington chased down Alex Rios' double that skipped into the Oakland bullpen and made a quick throw to Sogard, who then relayed to Suzuki just in time to get a sliding Gordon Beckham.Konerko's fourth homer of the year spoiled an impressive A's debut by Jarrod Parker, who struck out five in 6 1/3 innings following his call-up from Triple-A Sacramento.Home plate umpire Jerry Layne took a foul from Escobar off the left shoulder in the fifth and was briefly examined by the A's training staff before staying in the game. Layne returned to the box and playfully grabbed Escobar's bat and jokingly pretending to swing it.
Already without LF Coco Crisp because of a lingering illness, the A's had Luke Hughes set to start at 3B before he arrived at the ballpark with a 102-degree temperature and couldn't play. ... Teri McKeever, head swim coach at Cal and coach of this summer's Olympic women's team in London, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 25: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the Oakland Athletics gets caught stealing tagged out at second...(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|6th||J Reddick doubled to deep right center, J Weeks scored.||0||1|
|6th||Y Cespedes singled to center, J Reddick scored.||0||2|
|7th||K Fukudome doubled to deep center, A Rios scored, K Fukudome to third advancing on throw.||1||2|
|9th||P Konerko homered to left (386 feet).||2||2|
|14th||A Ramirez doubled to deep left center, D Viciedo and A De Aza scored.||4||2|
|14th||Y Cespedes homered to left center (408 feet), J Reddick scored.||4||4|
|14th||K Ka'aihue singled to left, S Smith scored, K Suzuki to second.||4||5|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA|
|Attendance||13,032 (37.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||63 degrees, overcast|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Jerry Layne, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Dan Bellino|
Yoenis Cespedes' two-run homer to tie the game in the 14th was the first tying (not walk-off) multi-run homer in extras since then-Pirate Adam LaRoche hit one on April 9, 2008, against the Cubs' Kevin Hart. That also came in the 14th, and was also a two-run shot to tie the game at 4. Since the franchise left Philadelphia in 1955, only one other Athletics player has had such a homer. That was Dave Duncan, September 19, 1972, also against the White Sox. Duncan hit a two-run homer in the 13th off Vicente Romo to tie the game at 7. Chicago scored again in the 15th to win that game by a run.
From Elias: Oakland led after eight innings before surrendering the tying run in the 9th, more run(s) in extras, and then walking off in the bottom of an extra inning. The last time the A's pulled off a win in such a fashion was on September 13, 2004. They gave up a run to Texas in T9, another run in T10, and then walked off in B10 on an Eric Chavez bases-loaded single.
The Athletics win over the White Sox was the first major league win for 30-year-old reliever Jim Miller. It came in his 426th career professional appearance (411 games pitched in minor leagues). Miller recorded 1 out in the top of the 14th inning and earned the win when the Athletics rallied.
ESPN Stats & Information
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog