Seth Brown

Brown, Rooker propel A's to first sweep of 2023 season

The Athletics' bats came alive in their first sweep of the 2023 MLB season.

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The Athletics are going streaking.

After their nine-game road trip began with four straight losses, the A's extended their current winning streak to five and completed their first sweep of the 2023 MLB season with an 8-6 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at American Family Field.

In a game of moments, perhaps none was more important than A's outfielder Seth Brown's three-run shot off of Brewers starter Freddy Peralta to give the A's a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth after an 11-pitch at-bat.

"For me right now, it's just getting the timing perfect, and that at-bat was something I felt I needed, actually," Brown told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil and Bip Roberts on "A's Postgame Live." "Just to have that battle, foul pitches off and just find that timing ... fouling off those fastballs off, that are just off, to me, was just giving me more confidence."

Brown added that although Peralta had an assortment of pitches, he knew at some point the 27-year-old would have to revert back to either a changeup or heater. And when that moment came, Brown was ready.

"But for me, those fastballs gave me confidence and once I got my foot down on that last one, it all came together," Brown said.

And come together, it did.

On the 11th pitch of his at-bat, Brown smashed a 96-mph fastball that was slightly down and away to right field to open up the A's scoring.

"That's an at-bat that changes games," A's manager Mark Kotsay told reporters after the game. "And he wore him down, wore Peralta down and you can see him get closer and closer and it was the right approach.

"And I think the balls he was fouling off were middle away then he got one more on the plate and he was able to deposit it over the right field fence. So it was a great at-bat and one that really impacted the game."

Not to be outdone, Oakland's designated hitter Brent Rooker smashed his own home run three pitches later to make it a 4-2 lead in the fourth.

After giving up two runs to Milwaukee (34-32) to start the game, Oakland starter JP Sears said it was "awesome" to see Brown and the rest of the team continue to fight despite the early deficit.

"I knew that guys were going to battle back, and I just wanted to hang in there, get through five or six for them," Sears told reporters after the win. "Like I said, a lot of good at-bats today, and Carlos [Perez] called a great game, he also hit the ball hard a lot.

"So I think guys are just starting to click, trying to build confidence and feeling comfortable out there, feeling comfortable at the plate. Guys are slowly starting to get their roles, knowing what to expect going into each game."

A Kevin Smith homer in the seventh, then an Esteury Ruiz double and a Ryan Noda single in the ninth extended Oakland's lead to 8-3. Though Milwaukee tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the ninth, that would be all.

Ultimately, Sears got his first win of the season, giving up six hits and two runs while striking out five in his five innings of work.

For the A's, Sunday's win marked their fifth straight win and their first five-game winning streak since the 2021 season.

With a tumultuous start to the season slowly disappearing in the rearview mirror, Kotsay says it's a "great feeling" for the team to be on this winning streak.

"As you can tell, the guys are excited in the locker room and playing really good baseball these last three days and obviously got the results that we've been looking for against a really good ballclub, a first-place team," he said. "It says a lot about that room, that character and again, we talked a lot about it yesterday, but it's a big team win today.

"It took just about everybody, which is what we want to do."

RELATED: A's finally enjoying fruits of labor amid four-game win streak

As the A's (17-50) head back to the Oakland Coliseum to take on the AL-leading Tampa Bay Rays (48-20) for a four-game series, it's clear the team has what it takes to keep this winning streak going.

And considering who they will be facing next, the A's next series could be even more memorable.

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