Starting off the second half of the MLB season on the road is not ideal, and the Oakland Athletics did stumble a bit. First came the series against the Los Angeles Angels in southern California. The last time the Athletics faced the Angels was back in April. With a 5-1 record against the Angels this season, the A’s were feeling confident. But Yoenis Cespedes was out with left wrist soreness and Grant Green as lacking both offensively and defensively at second base. It quickly became clear that the stars were just not aligned for the Athletics.
Throughout the first two games against the Angels, the Athletics wavered in their defense and easy plays tripped them up. Then while on offense, the A’s lineup could not compete against the Angels pitching. They were able to squeak out one win before moving onto the Houston Astros. In Houston, the A’s were able to pull out a win on Monday, but lost once again on Tuesday when Grant Balfour blew his first save of the 2013 season in the ninth inning which gave up the Athletics two-run lead. By Wednesday, the Athletics had committed seven errors in five games. Something needed to change in order to stop this roller coaster ride.
And two things did change. Prospect Grant Green was not faring well after being brought up from Triple-A before the All-Star break. On Tuesday, he was sent back to Sacramento after striking out six times, going 0 for 15, and committing three errors in his first five games in the Majors. It was a less than ideal start for Green. In order to fill this position, the Oakland Athletics called up Adam Rosales in hopes to resynchronize the Athletics lineup. Rosales’ offensive troubles were what sent him to Sacramento but A’s are hoping that Rosales’ solid defensive skills will help the fix the defense issues the Athletics have been experiencing.
Then there was Cespedes. After winning the 2013 Home Run Derby, the Athletics were ecstatic for their number one slugger. However, perhaps Cespedes pushed himself a little too hard because, after the All-Star break, left wrist soreness kept him the playing in the series against the Angels. Cespedes finally came back for the last game in the series against the Astros. With Rosales and Cespedes back in the lineup, the necessary changes were made in order for the Athletics to succeed and beat the Astros in the last game of the series.
The A’s were able to bring in a win during their last game on the road with Coco Crisp hitting a two-run home run in the seventh inning to put the Athletics back on top. Now that they A’s are headed home, many hope that home field advantage will help the Athletics find their groove once again. With only a three game lead over the AL West, the Athletics do not have much room for anymore mistakes.