Mark Kotsay

Lively crowd fuels A's in Bay Bridge Series win vs. Giants

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When the Oakland Coliseum gets rocking, there's no place quite like it in MLB.

The San Francisco Giants found out the hard way Saturday, as the crowd played a big role in helping the Athletics snap their four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over their crosstown rivals.

"This place is fantastic and when you put a lot of people in here man, there's not a place really that gets much louder than this," A's veteran Seth Brown told Brodie Brazil and Dave Stewart on "A's Postgame Live." "The fans were into it the whole game and that's what makes it fun."

From the jump, the lively crowd of over 37,000 made their presence known, while A's fans helped starting pitcher Paul Blackburn get the boost he needed against a powerful Giants lineup.

In arguably his best outing of the 2023 MLB season so far, Blackburn struck out seven Giants batters while giving up only two hits and three walks in his six innings of work. A's manager Mark Kotsay noted how the added energy from the crowd helped fuel the 29-year-old's dominant start.

"I know Paul was amped up to pitch today, really excited," Kotsay told reporters after the win when asked if the crowd played a role. "The performance he had today is reflective of that first half last year. It seems since he's been back, he's continued to get stronger and stronger growing through the sixth inning.

"That sixth inning was his best inning of the game, probably, he was at 105 pitches or so. Seven punchouts, three walks, no runs. Just a great job overall by Paul today."

Aside from Blackburn's stellar outing, Brown was the hero late in the game. With the bases loaded and the game tied at one run apiece in the bottom of the eighth, Brown laced a 94-mph sinker at the bottom of the zone to right field, scoring Aledmys Díaz to give the A's a 2-1 lead.

"That's the type of stuff you want to be in, right there," Brown explained to Brazil. "As a player, as a competitor, I saw on the charts, obviously he's a sinker guy and so I was looking for something middle in to start middle in for me.

"Once I saw it, I wasn't going to wait around for it either so I just put a good swing on it, trying to put the ball somewhere, put something in motion and it found a hole and it was fantastic."

Upon watching Brown's hit, the Coliseum crowd went wild, showing the A's players just how much a packed stadim can affect their play.

"I mean, that's half the fun of being out here is playing for the fans," Brown said. "And when they bring the energy, I mean you feel it and you feed off of it and they did a fantastic job today.

"Obviously, this is a big rivalry for us but it's a special place when this place is packed."

Kotsay echoed Brown's postgame sentiments.

"It's so great to have that type of energy in the stands," Kotsay told reporters after the game. "When we've had those crowds, we've played well.

"And so it feels good to sit here after a game like that and be on the right side of it and have 35,000-plus people in the stands. Good day for our ballclub."

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Despite what A's fans have been subjected to over the last couple of months, especially with talks of relocating the franchise and the "Sell the team" chants, the Oakland faithful showed just how powerful it can be when all the right pieces fall into place.

Thankfully for Brown, Blackburn and Kotsay, the A's fans were on their side Saturday.

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