The A’s edged the Orioles 6-5 on Wednesday when Kurt Suzuki was able to hold to the throw from right fielder David DeJesus and plant a tag on pinch-runner Blake Davis to end the game.
It was a big surprise that it came to that. Andrew Bailey retired the first two batters he faced in a 6-4 game in the ninth, only to give up a double and an infield single, putting runners on the corners. After that, Nick Markakis laced a clean single to right field that DeJesus should have scooped with ease.
Instead, the ball rolled between his legs, and it turned out to be a fortunate break for the A’s. The Orioles tried to score Davis from first on the play, but DeJesus made a strong recovery and one-hop throw home, allowing Suzuki to plant the tag. Several seconds later — home plate Dan Bellino was waiting for Suzuki to show him the ball — the out call was made and the game ended with a 6-5 score.
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Suzuki was the hero for Oakland. Besides the tag, he hit two solo homers in his biggest game of the season. They were just his 33rd and 34th runs batted in, a far cry from his totals of 88 and 71 the last two years.
It was a sloppy day for outfield play all-around. Baltimore left fielder Nolan Reimold gave Josh Willingham a two-run double in the first by breaking the wrong way initially and center fielder Adam Jones later turned a double into a triple for Brandon Allen by bobbling a ball that went over his head.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.