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April 30, 2013
A's win longest game in Oakland history on Moss' blast in 19th

OAKLAND -- By the time Brandon Moss' two-run homer sailed over the right-field wall in the 19th inning, officially ending the longest game in Oakland A's history, the A's had rallied from a five-run deficit for the second consecutive day, Brett Anderson had made his first career relief appearance after being scratched from starting against the Angels, the teams had combined to throw 597 pitches and Moss had already homered in the game -- 13 innings earlier and technically the day before.

"I'm glad it's over," Moss said.

The A's beat the Angels, 10-8, in the first game of a three-game series at O.co Coliseum on Monday night, although it was well into Tuesday morning when Moss hit his third career walk-off homer off Angels right-hander Barry Enright. The time of game was six hours, 32 minutes, the longest ever for the stadium, the Angels and the Oakland era.

"It's one of those things where you just want to quit, but at the same time you don't want to lose, so you're not going to quit, and you just keep fighting through and hoping they throw a ball into your bat," Moss said.

Moss said he didn't think at first the ball was out. Several long drives had already been knocked down in the Oakland night air.

"I didn't get it that great," he said. "I just kind of back-spun it. But I was praying."

Right fielder Josh Hamilton leapt at the wall and came up empty. The A's came pouring out of their dugout. It was their second walk-off win in a row and third of the year. Moss received the customary pie in the face. In a twist, he delivered it himself.

"That was (Josh) Reddick's idea," Moss said. "I think he was too tired to pie me, so I pied myself."

It made a winner of Jerry Blevins, who jogged in without having thrown a warm-up toss in the 18th after Anderson had to leave the game when he felt his right ankle tighten up on him. Anderson had been scratched from his start Monday night in order to rest the injury. He ended up entering the game in the 13th inning and throwing 78 pitches in 5 1/3, giving up a run on three hits.

Anderson said afterward his ankle was "pretty stiff and sore," but he doesn't anticipate it affecting his availability for his next start.

"I lasted as long as I possibly could, pretty much," Anderson said. "It was starting to get stiff and sore, but I don't think I did anything worse to it."

Anderson said he had "never come in relief - maybe in high school once."

"But it's fun," he said. "First couple innings I was pitching on adrenaline. And the last couple it was pretty much sheer will."

Manager Bob Melvin had wanted to give Blevins the night off, but was forced to bring in the left-hander for the third game in a row. Melvin said Blevins could have thrown one more inning had the game gone 20 -- then it would have been Seth Smith on the mound.

Blevins allowed one hit over the final 1 2/3 innings -- and got his first career at-bat in the 18th. He struck out, but not before fouling off a pitch.

"I haven't seen a live pitch since 2006, and before that since high school," Blevins said. "So I got a piece. I'm OK."

Only two members of the A's original starting lineup remained in the game playing the same position in the 19th -- shortstop Jed Lowrie and third baseman Josh Donaldson. Derek Norris, who entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh, was 0-for-5 -- with a walk.

Both teams pushed across a run in the 15th. Anderson walked in a run in the top of the inning, and TV cameras showed him barking from the dugout during the changeover at home plate umpire Kerwin Danley. In the bottom of the inning, after Chris Young hit into a double play, Adam Rosales shot a single to center that scored Norris from second.

Young was injured running down the line and was replaced defensively in the 16th. The A's said Young suffered a strained left quad. Coco Crisp was also injured running out a grounder in the 13th; the A's announced he suffered a strained left hamstring.

Crisp had kick-started Oakland's four-run eighth inning with a leadoff single. With the A's still down one in the ninth, he led off with a walk, took second on a flyout and stole third. He then scored when Yoenis Céspedes lined Ernesto Frieri's 2-1 pitch off the wall in left-center for his second game-tying ninth-inning hit in as many days. The A's also rallied from a five-run deficit in their 9-8 win over the Orioles on Sunday.

"And a lot of teams respect that, a lot of teams notice that," Moss said. "Both (games), when I was at first base, both teams when they get there, they're like, man, you guys just don't quit."

It got Dan Straily off the hook after Straily, called up from Triple-A to start for Anderson, allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings, including one of Albert Pujols' two home runs on the night and a mammoth blast by Mark Trumbo that one A's player -- watching highlights of the game in the clubhouse afterward -- said was the farthest ball he's ever seen hit at the Coliseum.

"I pitched in this game," Straily said. "I feel like I just watched that game on TV."

Straily, who is likely headed back to Triple-A soon if Anderson can make his next start and barring other rotation issues, had an appreciation for what he had witnessed.

"How about the heroes of that game?" Straily said. "You've got Brett Anderson, he's hurt, Jerry coming on three days in a row, Moss coming in there. Just everything that happened in that game, I can't even begin to state -- every single guy had a big part in that and it was a lot of fun to watch. Never give up around here."

Melvin summed it up as a "good game to win, bad game to lose." He said he wouldn't have more information on the injuries to Young and Crisp until later Tuesday. He also wasn't sure whether Moss' ball would clear the wall when it left his bat. He was still in the dark on whether a triple off the bat of Young in the 10th had bounced off the base of the left-field wall or off a piece of signage near the top, which would have made it a home run (umpires reviewed the play and ruled the triple stood).

But he was glad it was over. As were Moss -- "That was exhausting" -- and Anderson -- "I'm about to fall asleep right now" -- and Blevins, who said he was getting ready to go back out for the 20th when he looked up and saw Moss' ball arc toward the bleachers.

"I just saw the swing and was so happy," Blevins said. "I literally yelled, 'I'm so happy' as I was running onto the field."

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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