Another walk-off as A's win in 15th inning

Another walk-off as A's win in 15th inning

Another walk-off as A's win in 15th inning
OAKLAND -- It was delirium at its best.

Or maybe just Josh Reddick at his best.

Either way, the image of Oakland's gregarious outfielder donning a Spiderman costume while taking a pie to Coco Crisp's face following yet another walk-off A's win on Friday night -- or, in most parts of the country, early Saturday morning -- confirmed the notion that this team's celebrations have taken a turn for the wacky.

"I don't know how to respond to that one quite yet," Crisp said, smiling. "We'll see how the critics, what they have to say, 'cause that's new to baseball right there."

The rest was old news.

Oakland's 5-4 victory over the Blue Jays in 15 innings, marking the club's second marathon spanning so many frames in five days, gave the A's their Major League-leading 13th walk-off win of the year.

The Oakland single-season record is 15, accomplished in 2004, and doesn't seem the least bit out of reach for baseball's second-half darlings, who improved to 15-5 since the All-Star break after Crisp rewarded a leadoff triple from Jemile Weeks with a game-winning sacrifice fly off lefty Aaron Loup.

"Everybody's getting involved -- the fans, us," Crisp said. "It's becoming like a little family atmosphere, where the fans are enjoying the way we're playing, we're able to give them something extra to be happy about."


The 4-hour, 47-minute contest featured seven A's pitchers, the first of which was making his Major League debut. Dan Straily threw six innings of one-run ball, and three frames later the A's were one pitch away from handing him his first win.

But they had a very different ending in mind, as closer Ryan Cook offered up a game-tying, three-run homer to Jeff Mathis in the top of the ninth on a 3-2 fastball, leading to the lengthy affair that ended as it always does in Oakland.

Mathis' ball first appeared very catchable, then it looked to be primed to hit the wall. At the last second, it went over it.

"I was in shock," manager Bob Melvin said. "I really was. Here we are, two out, nobody on, Cookie had his real good stuff, then base hit, another base hit, and now he's got two strikes right away to Mathis, and to his credit, he worked the count deep and got a fastball he could handle. I'm kind of watching Coco to see where that ball's gonna go off the wall, and the next thing that ball goes out."

Crisp called it "unfortunate." Straily said, "It happens."

Meanwhile, A's fans were just getting comfortable, knowing full well it was necessary for the makings of another thriller.

"We've had many late nights watching the A's in extra innings in the clubhouses in Double-A and Triple-A, so to be in this clubhouse watching it and being a part of it has been a surreal experience," Straily said. "It's definitely been a dream come true here. Having my debut end in walk-off fashion couldn't have been any better."

Though left with a no-decision, the rookie still has much to remember his outing by.

Baseball's strikeout machine delivered his share, collecting five in his time on the mound and allowing just one walk. Add that to Straily's season strikeout total in the Minors, and he has 180 -- more than any pitcher at any level.

Rather than developing at Double-A the whole year, as Straily planned to do, he became the fifth rookie to start a game this year for the A's, who currently have four in their rotation with a combined 19 wins and 2.78 ERA.

"If you had told me that a year ago when I was fighting for the High-A championship with [A.J. Griffin] that we'd be in a Wild Card race in Oakland, I would have been absolutely baffled by that statement," Straily said.

After Straily's departure, righty Grant Balfour struck out three in two perfect innings, before handing over the ball in the ninth to Cook, who has now given up runs in four of his last six outings, after not surrendering any in his previous nine appearances.

And, so, it was Travis Blackley -- moved to the bullpen just a day prior to accommodate Straily's arrival -- who landed the win hours later, with three scoreless innings.

This coming after the Blue Jays stranded two in the top half of the 15th, when Eric Sogard made a game-saving play by backhanding a hard-hit ball off the bat of David Cooper and throwing it to third for the inning-ending force out.

"That definitely got us going, gave us some momentum," Sogard said. "Sure enough, Weeks comes up with a huge hit. Another big win."

Spiderman surely approved.

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.