A's bats awake from slumber in 'great win'
OAKLAND -- Two plays happened in succession in the fifth inning and unfolded in nearly identical fashion -- at first.
On the initial play, Eric Sogard singled to right and a hustling Max Muncy was thrown out at the plate by Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall. Then, on the very next pitch, Sam Fuld laced a ball in almost the exact same spot, but Marcus Semien scored and Sogard came home on an overthrow.
A grinning Fuld on his approach to that at-bat: "Hit it exactly in the same spot and test him again."
The first play summed up the state of the A's for the past week, particularly the first two games against the Indians. The second one encapsulated an overdue night when a lot finally went right for the struggling A's in a 5-1 win over Cleveland on Saturday.
Semien belted a homer to left, Fuld chipped in admirably in the leadoff spot and the bullpen didn't relinquish a lead.
For Fuld -- who finished 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI, a walk and an impressive catch against the left-field wall -- Saturday was a breakout game that helped him bust out of a .174 slump during July.
With the score tied at 1 in the fifth, Fuld delivered the game's biggest hit and gave the A's the cushion they needed.
"I don't often swing at the first pitch, but in a situation like that I wanted to be aggressive, and if I got a good first pitch to hit I wanted to be ready to drive it," Fuld said.
Semien's bomb came in the seventh, and Billy Butler tacked on an RBI single in the eighth, as the A's offense came alive.
The A's had only scored five or more runs in one of their last 10 games, but finally put some hits together against the Indians.
"It's August 1," Stephen Vogt said. "Trade deadline's over, now we go. This is a good team in this clubhouse, and that was a great win for us tonight to come out and make a push these last two months. Let's have some fun."