A’s 14, Orioles 9 – Balfour Sluggish
Talk about an emotional roller-coaster ride for the A’s. They had to rally for the lead three different times to beat the Baltimore Orioles in a slugfest. The two Wild Card contenders traded blows in a four-hour contest that was decided with a simultaneous knock out in the final out.
Last time Grant Balfour pitched in Baltimore was April 29. He gave up game-tying double and a three-run walk-off homer that was eventually his undoing as the A’s closer. He might have had that on his mind as he pitched the seventh inning on Friday. The fiery Aussie walked three batters loading the bases.
Sean Doolittle relieved Balfour — and the A’s fan base — by striking out Wilson Betemit in style. Doolittle reared back and chucked a 95-mph fastball that Betemit swung so hard at that his bat flung over the A’s dugout and into the stands.
The A’s won 14-9, but on the final out Josh Reddick slammed full speed into the right field wall. He fell to the ground after the collision. Reddick absorbed most of the impact with his back. As he laid motionless on the warning track the whole team watched in concern instead of celebrating their hard fought victory.
In the end, Reddick would be OK. He smiled before getting up and hopping on a cart to the clubhouse. He had got the wind knocked out of him and is listed as day-to-day with an upper-back contusion.
Read Entire Blog