The 2014 MLB season moved into its second half as the best team in Baseball, the Oakland Athletics, got past the Baltimore Orioles with a 5-4 win thanks to Josh Donaldson hitting a three-run, walk-off home run off of Zach Britton, helping his team come back from a two-run deficit going into the ninth.
It was Donaldson’s 21st home run of the season as the A’s improved to 60-36, keeping them 1.5 games over the Angels in the AL West and being the first team this season to reach 60 wins in both leagues. Jeff Samardzija started for the A’s, lasting seven innings, but it was Eric O’flaherty who got the win recorded to his name, the first of the season, with one inning pitched that led to three outs on the Orioles side.
I enjoy those moments. It’s one of those things where you’ve got to try to relish the opportunity, and anytime I can step up to the plate with an at-bat to help our team win the game or win the game right there, I feel better about it.
Manny Machado, not exactly the most popular person in Oakland due to previous antics and scruffs with some A’s players, almost won the game for the visitors with a two-run homer in the 7th inning, hitting one quite close to the line to score himself and J.J. Hardy, making it his 10th home run of the season. The boos and jeers didn’t really matter to him, nor did the pitching of Samardzija, allowing four six hits and four runs before being taken off.
Chris Tillman did quite well in 6.2 innings for the Orioles, giving up two runs and striking out six before leaving the mound. Britton blew his third save of the season by giving up the home run to Donaldson, directly costing his team a win for the second time this season. We also saw home runs from Derek Norris off of Tillman in the fifth inning and one from Jonathan Schoop, also in the fifth inning, bringing in another runner with him.
The Home Run Derby champion, Yohan Cespedes, finally ended his hitless streak by going 2-for-4, improving to .249 this season. The left fielder went 0-for-19 before this game, the longest hitless streak of his short MLB career with two singles.