Walk-off homer sweeps the Dodgers

By Malaika Bobino Oakland, CA – It was a duel on the mound.  The Dodgers ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw did what he could in hopes of avoiding a sweep.  Through eight innings both he and Travis Blackley battled on the mound.  But it was the heroic effort in the ninth inning that was the deciding factor. Yoenis Cespedes’ first walk-off home run brought the 23,337 fans in attendance to their feet after the A’s claimed the 4-1 victory over the Dodgers.  For the first time Oakland won three straight games in a series since September 2010.  Winning eight of their last nine interleague games, the A’s have found the momentum they’ve been looking for. “I’m very happy,” Cespedes said.  “My teammates have already said, ‘You have done so much.  You have hit home runs.  You have put us ahead, but you still need a walk-off.’  I was very happy to get it today.” Oakland got the offense going early again, Jonny Gomes began the second frame with a double then advanced to third on a wild pitch.  Brandon Inge’s sacrifice fly to left field put the A’s up 1-0.  But shortly there after Juan Rivera tied the ball game 1-1 when he hit an RBI single in the fourth.  Through the next five innings the defense played their best game. The Dodgers who held the best record in the Majors failed to make good decisions in the end.  A’s closer Ryan Cook walked Matt Treanor to start the ninth.  Dee Gordon followed with a bunt and Oakland went for the out at second rather than first to prevent the runner advancing.  While Elian Herrera was at-bat, Gordon went for the steal at second and was tagged out.  Cook struck out Herrera to end the inning. “Honestly, we didn’t do enough in any of the games to win any of them,” manager Don Mattingly said.  “We didn’t put them in any danger at any point of the series.  You can’t really expect to win if you don’t get guys on base.  We got chances and didn’t execute.  We’re not good enough to not execute.  We didn’t deserve to win any of these.” Dodger’s closer Josh Lindblom wasn’t as savvy.  To start the bottom of the ninth, he walked leadoff hitter Coco Crisp who advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Jemile Weeks grounded a bunt single and Lindblom was the first to retrieve the ball but spun around twice looking for third baseman Juan Uribe who was standing right next to him. Both runners made it safely to third and first.  That was probably the biggest error of the game.  Now there is two runners on, no outs and the game is tied.  Rarely is an opportunity of this magnitude presented for the A’s.  But when one of your best players steps up to the plate anything can happen.  Cespedes lined what looked like a foul ball to left field but it was just inside the left-field pole for the home run. “I wasn’t looking for a specific pitch”, he explained.  “I was just looking for something to drive deep enough to bring in a run.  I knew it was in fair territory.  What I didn’t know was it was going to be a home run.”
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