A's Moss hits welcome HR to end six-hour, 19-inning marathon
05/01/2013 12:00 AM
05/03/2013 5:08 PM
OAKLAND – If you thought the A's dugout was happy when Brandon Moss hit his two-run homer in the 19th inning early Tuesday morning to put an end to the longest game in Oakland history, you should've seen the inside of the Moss family Jeep.
The A's first baseman and walk-off hero du jour said his wife, sister, two sons – ages 3 years and two weeks – and dog arrived at O.co Coliseum around 9:45 p.m. Monday night to pick him up. Only there hadn't seemed a need for Moss to leave them tickets. So Moss said they waited in the parking lot until the game ended – after six hours and 32 minutes.
"They just sat there," Moss said Tuesday. "I got (there) and my son was asleep, both of them were asleep, but yeah, they stayed the whole time. I felt terrible. At least it ended good."
The 10-8 A's win ended when Moss hit his third career walk-off homer off Angels right-hander Barry Enright with two outs in the 19th. By then, the teams had combined to use 16 pitchers who threw 597 pitches, the A's had used starter Brett Anderson for his first career relief appearance (5 1/3 innings) – after scratching him from starting the game – and A's reliever Jerry Blevins took his first major-league at-bat.
Blevins, who batted in the 18th because the A's had forfeited their designated hitter spot earlier because of injuries to outfielders Coco Crisp and Chris Young, struck out – but not before fouling off a pitch. "I got a piece," Blevins said later. "So I'm OK."
Blevins, who said his only other at-bat since high school came in Double A in 2006, went up outfitted in pitcher Tommy Milone's batting helmet and gloves and wielding catcher John Jaso's bat. He received no instructions beforehand.
"I didn't say anything to him," manager Bob Melvin said. "Just good luck, said a prayer for him ."
Blevins earned the win by pitching the final 1 2/3 innings on what was to be a night off. Melvin said later Blevins could have pitched one more inning – before the A's, their bullpen empty, would have turned to outfielder Seth Smith.
Smith, who was drafted out of high school in the 48th round in 2001 as a pitcher but chose Ole Miss instead, said his repertoire now goes: "Fastball, slider, change, 78-81 (mph), try to change speeds, work both sides of the plate."
Smith, who said he hasn't pitched since high school, called watching Moss' homer leave the yard "bittersweet. It would have been interesting to see how that turned out. Pure laws of average, I would've eventually got somebody out."
The A's made one roster move ahead of Tuesday night's game, bringing up right-hander Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento (and optioning Dan Straily, who started Monday's game in place of Anderson, back down). Scribner said he watched the game at home until the 17th inning – when he fell asleep.
"I woke up at four in the morning and it was infomercials," Scribner said. "I was like, oh, my God, what happened?"
Scribner said he checked the results online. He also found a text message on his phone from the A's, sent around 2 a.m., that read: "Call when you wake up."
While dozing, Scribner missed the call of Moss' homer by TV broadcasters Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse. Fosse described his contribution as: "I just kind of yelled. Probably jumped all over Kuiper and his call. But it was one of those, as soon as he swung, I knew it was gone."
Fosse couldn't remember witnessing a longer game as a broadcaster.
"But as a player, I caught 23 innings in A-ball," he said. "I was playing for the Reno Silver Sox, Cleveland organization, and we went into Lodi, started at 8, finished at 2 a.m., 23 innings."
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta came close in this one, catching all 19 innings.
"The only guy who was smiling on that Angels team," Fosse said, "was Iannetta."
The A's, meanwhile, were all smiles, if tired ones. Moss said that after the 11th inning, he realized he couldn't catch up to fastballs from the Angels' pitchers anymore. He went up in the 19th hoping for an off-speed pitch. Enright threw one.
It was the A's second consecutive walk-off win, meaning Moss received a customary pie in the face. Only in a twist, he delivered it himself. Moss said that was "(Josh) Reddick's idea." Reddick then delivered a follow-up pie.
A's players were allowed to report a little later than usual Tuesday, and batting practice was indoors. By the time Moss arrived, he said, he was very familiar with the highlight courtesy of 3-year-old Jayden, who "made me show it to him on video about 18 times.
"He didn't care about the home run," Moss added. "He likes the pie."
About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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