OAKLAND COLISEUM — The A’s reminded their crossbay rivals they had an American League West division-winning team in 2012, and proved it by taking game one of the annual Bay Bridge series in front of a packed house at the Coliseum.
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer, Yoenis Cespedes added a two-run double, and Dan Straily pitched six innings scattering four hits and a run in the Athletics 4-1 win over the Giants on a Memorial Day holiday Monday afternoon.
A’s manager Bob Melvin knew it would come down to a few plays making the difference:
A’s manager Bob Melvin
Video: CSN California
“In games like this against that club, it’s going to be close and you’re typically going to get good pitching performances and it’s going to be key hits. It’s going to be good defense and key hits and we got two key hits today.”
Madison Bumgarner had a decent outing, lasting 6-2/3 innings and giving up four hits and four runs, waking five and striking out six in the loss.
But with only one run of support, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford says they have to do more offensively:
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford
Video: CSN Bay Area
“I think we only had four hits today so that’s usually not going to cut it. Just come out a little stronger on offense and pitch and play defense the way we know how.”
In the fourth, Cespedes walked and Donaldson homered to deep right center putting Oakland ahead 2-0.
The A’s scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Derek Norris singled to center. With two outs, Bumgarner walked Chris Young and George Kontos came in from the bullpen to pitch to Cespedes and Donaldson. Cespedes hit a hanging slider into the right center gap scoring Norris and Young.
The Giants mounted a threat in the top of the fifth. With two outs, Andres Torres singled to center. Crawford followed with a hit to medium left-center. Cespedes nearly made a circus catch but even as the ball dropped in for a hit, Cespedes made an acrobatic cartwheel dive that drew applause from the crowd.
Straily walked Blanco leading off the sixth. Marco Scutaro singled to right advancing Blanco to third. With one out, Posey grounded to short scoring Blanco and cutting the lead in half. That’s all the Giants could do offensively going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position leaving five men on base.
Grant Balfour closed it out in the ninth for the save.
Major League Baseball properties for several years has honored veterans in various ways on Memorial Day. This year, all teams wore jerseys with camouflaged letters and numbers and caps licensed by the United States Marine Corps.
All net proceeds from these special caps and jerseys will be donated to the Welcome Back Veterans Fund.
To make room for rookie Mike Kickham t0 make his first major league start Tuesday night, the Giants optioned reliever Sandy Rosario to Triple-A Fresno. … The A’s are six games over .500 for the first time since April 20 (12-6). … Balfour is a perfect 11-for-11 in save opportunities and converted each of his 29 save chances dating back to last season.