A's rally in ninth to win slugfest at Coors Field

A's rally in ninth to win slugfest at Coors Field

A's rally in ninth to win slugfest at Coors Field
DENVER -- Coors Field isn't exactly a Tommy Milone-friendly ballpark. Good thing his teammates seem to like it, though.

Milone, whose road splits make the Rockies' home field a particularly troublesome place to pitch, allowed eight runs in just four innings, but the A's came up with 10 of their own, including three in a comeback ninth inning, to exit as victors of a 10-8 decision.

"We've got a bunch of grinders on this team," Seth Smith said. "Regardless of where we are or who we're playing, we're in it to the end."

Down 8-7 entering the ninth, Coco Crisp got things going with a single off Colorado reliever Rafael Betancourt. Jemile Weeks' sacrifice bunt moved him to second, and with Collin Cowgill at the plate and one out, Crisp raced for third and captured his ninth stolen base of the season in one of the game's most pivotal moments.

Cowgill's sacrifice fly tied the game, and an ensuing double off the bat of the red-hot Smith -- he has 14 hits in his last 32 at-bats -- was followed by an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Josh Reddick and a go-ahead, two-run double from Brandon Inge to put the A's on top for good in their second straight win.

"Here in this ballpark, you really do play all 27 [outs]," said manager Bob Melvin, whose club has plated at least eight runs in the past two days. "We got behind a little bit early and fought our way back close enough to where we had a chance in the ninth. Coco gets on and creates a little havoc ... next thing you know we have two runs. Really a team effort."

"This ballpark, no lead is comfortable, as you saw today and you saw yesterday," Jonny Gomes said. "It's kind of a blessing to come into this National League. It's keeping everyone ready, getting guys maybe at least one at-bat a game to stay sharp and work on stuff, and guys are starting to click. Where our starting pitching is and where our bullpen is, if our bats come alive a little bit, we can make a little run."

This two-game run followed a three-game sweep at the hands of the D-backs but has given Oakland a double dosage of a boosted morale and momentum.

"I think everyone is still trying to find the character of the team, but I think one character we have -- win, lose or draw -- is we're going to clean the slate at the end of the day and come ready to play the next day," Gomes said. "It's great to get some wins here and get some guys that have been struggling a little bit going."

The team's offensive efforts fortunately overshadowed a forgettable performance from Milone, who surrendered three home runs, including a first-inning grand slam to Todd Helton, en route to giving up each of Colorado's eight runs. He allowed seven hits overall and walked four, one of which was intentional.

The young southpaw subsequently watched his road ERA spike to 7.42, while his home ERA rests at a minuscule 0.98 mark. Moreover, his homer total away from home bumped to 12 -- 11 more than he's allowed at Oakland Coliseum.

Milone, who relies heavily on his command to offset his lack of velocity, didn't have it Wednesday, and he said he's trying to find ways to combat his glaring road struggles.

"I'm trying to compare the home starts and the road starts," he said. "I think mainly just staying low and getting ahead. I feel like, when I'm on the road, I get behind a lot and am forced to throw the ball over the plate a lot."

He had to do just that from the get-go, allowing the Rockies to post a five spot in the first inning to wipe away a two-run Oakland lead that came courtesy of Smith's two-run homer off former A's pitcher Josh Outman.

Brandon Moss' third homer in two days, along with an RBI single from Inge, led to three Oakland runs in the fourth, but a pair of long balls from Michael Cuddyer in the second and fourth -- accounting for three runs overall -- helped the Rockies maintain a lead that didn't hold.

The slugfest continued in the sixth, when Gomes notched a solo shot, and the A's plated another run in the seventh, leading up to their fateful rally.

"They caught a break in the ninth," offered Rockies manager Jim Tracy.

"Even when I came out of the game and we were down by three, I still had the feeling we weren't down," Milone said. "In a park like this, you know anything can happen. Great job by these guys to come back and bail me out."

  • 142 wins
  • 110 wins

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.