JJ Bleday

A's having ‘fun' after comeback win clinches third straight series

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Just when it looked like the Washington Nationals had put the game away, Abraham Toro and the Athletics roared to life in the sixth inning, scoring six runs to take the lead for good in a 7-6 win at Oakland Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.

The A’s offense looked listless through five innings as the Nationals built a 4-0 lead, with Washington starter Trevor Williams in control. Oakland eked a run out in the fifth thanks to a Shea Langeliers RBI single, but that was just the beginning.

With an offensive eruption aided by a few miscues and a wild pitch by the Nationals, the A’s mowed through Washington's bullpen in the sixth inning and took the lead on Toro's RBI single.

From there it was relatively smooth sailing, with closer Mason Miller striking out the side to punctuate the victory in the ninth.

The victory gave Oakland its third consecutive series win for the first time since the 2021 MLB season, something that was not lost on JJ Bleday, who is impressed with how the young team has jelled in the early part of the season.

“It has just been fun the past couple of weeks,” Bleday told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil and Dave Stewart on "A's Postgame Live." “We got off to a slow start [this season], but Kotsay trusted us and we had some good feelings in spring training, and it was just a matter of time before we could get comfortable and get those wins."

A's manager Mark Kotsay was pleased with the team's resiliency and its focus on getting runners on base and scoring runs.

“In the sixth, those are the at-bats we’re looking for,” Kotsay said. “To see them fight back from being down, I feel like this was a good game for us as a team to really build on. They took the at bats professionally, they didn’t try to do too much, they took their walks when they needed to take their walks.”

When asked how he felt about the team winning its third straight series for the first time in three years, Kotsay pointed to the squad’s recent road trip giving them the momentum to keep stacking victories.

“It’s a good sign. We played really well on the road, and we came home, and I feel like we’re continuing to play well,” Kotsay explained. “These guys have started to come together. I think the road series was good for us, and to continue to play well at home [is great].”

One of the biggest keys to success as of late has been the team’s plate discipline, making opposing pitchers work deep into counts and capitalizing on walks and wild pitches. The strategy was on display in that six-run sixth inning, with Oakland scoring two times on a wild pitch and a walk by Washington.

Riding a wave of positive momentum, the A’s will host the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game series at the Coliseum beginning Monday.

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