Moss steps up to deliver A's 10th walk-off win

Moss steps up to deliver A's 10th walk-off win

Moss steps up to deliver A's 10th walk-off win
OAKLAND -- While most of the nation was sound asleep Friday, the A's were conjuring up yet another dreamy victory.

Not that it surprised anyone who was awake for it.

Nothing does these days in Oakland, where the A's captured their Major League-leading 10th walk-off win-- and seventh in last 14 home games -- by way of a 3-2 victory over the Yankees, courtesy of Brandon Moss' RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning off Cody Eppley.

Closer Ryan Cook, though guilty in giving up a game-tying homer to Robinson Cano in the top half of the inning, notched the victory. Jonny Gomes, meanwhile, was credited with the dunk -- of Gatorade, that is, over Moss' head -- while Josh Reddick handled whipping cream pie duties.

Reddick must have them stored in his locker now, right?

"We do downstairs," he said, smiling. "The concession guys kicked in and jumped on board with it, and they have them out ready whenever the ninth inning rolls around."

The near-daily celebrations haven't lost their luster. They're only getting better.

"They're fun," Moss said. "A lot of fun. I think our team is definitely starting to find its identity."

"Based on the fact that we've had so many, there's always that feeling," said manager Bob Melvin, whose squad improved to five games over .500 for the first time since April 17, 2010. "If we're last at bat and we're tied at home, we feel like something good's going to happen."

Melvin heard all the buzz. He read about it, too. And he fielded endless questions about the seemingly daunting task facing his club this week. But the A's skipper, quickly earning early consideration for American League Manager of the Year honors, refused to give in to all of the hype about a six-game homestand against baseball's best.

Four games in, and it seems he had no reason to.

Melvin's crew has already won three of them, and the naysayers who are still under the assumption that the A's surge -- they are 12-2 in July -- is something of a fluke become quieter by the day.

"It's huge," Reddick said. "It gives us, one, a confidence boost, and, two, it shows everybody in this nation what we actually can do this against these teams. We're just showing the league what we can do right now, whether it's against these guys or the Red Sox or the Rays, and then the guys even at the bottom of the list. We're competing and we're winning ballgames."

Moss' dramatic hit followed consecutive singles by Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes, who enjoyed his second four-hit day in the past five games to extend his career-high hitting streak to eight games, a span in which the Cuban sensation is batting .581.

And though the offensive triumphs that have helped the A's to each of their walk-off victories make for sexier headlines, each of the club's hitters knows it's the pitching staff that has truly earned heroic mention.

Take Tommy Milone, who compiled a career-high 10 strikeouts in seven shutout innings against a high-powered Yankees lineup Friday, all the while lowering his ERA to 3.34, including a 1.10 mark in his last six starts.

The 10 strikeouts are the most by an A's pitcher vs. New York, accomplished four times. Before Milone, the last to do it was Bobby Witt, on July 2, 1993 -- 22 years after Vida Blue did it twice in the same season.

The left-handed Milone went right after the patient Bronx Bombers by throwing 22 of 25 first-pitch strikes, en route to compiling 78 strikes out of 110 pitches, while allowing just six hits. And like fellow rookie A.J. Griffin did before him Thursday, Milone didn't walk a single batter.

Along the way, his teammates tallied two runs against righty starter Ivan Nova, first in the third, when Coco Crisp led off with his third triple of the season and quickly scored on Jemile Weeks' ensuing sacrifice fly. One inning later, Moss and Brandon Inge combined for back-to-back doubles.

The A's went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position, before Moss took to the stage in the ninth.

"I was sitting in the clubhouse at the moment, but then I saw Moss come up, so I stood up because I knew something good was going to happen," Milone said. "I think we're just all feeding off of each other's energy right now. It's fun to watch, and it's fun to be a part of."

"I mean, it's pretty remarkable, right?" Cook said. "When I got out of the ninth and kept it tied, I wasn't worried, because the confidence we have as a team right now is just unbelievable. What our offense is doing is ... I've never been on a team like that before. It's not necessarily the fact we're putting up a bunch of runs a game, but every time we're in a big situation, somebody comes through."

Jane Lee is a reporter for 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.