After Tuesday's 10-1 loss to the New York Mets on the road, the Oakland Athletics managed a split of the short, two-game series today with an 8-5 win. Now, the A's head off to Miami for a three-game series against the Marlins starting on Friday, before finishing this eight-game road trip in Detroit on Monday through Wednesday.
Overall, Oakland's 48-30 record is still the best in the majors, and the A's have a four-game lead in the American League West over the Los Angeles Angels and a 6.5-game edge on the Seattle Mariners.
Scott Kazmir took it on the chin Tuesday in an odd outing, where he gave up eight hits and a walk in just three innings. The A's starter struck out four, but the lefty allowed three home runs while giving up seven runs. Kazmir coughed up a three-run homer to a rookie catcher hitting .182 this season, so that was somewhat indicative of the off night he had in the Big Apple.
Lefty Brad Mills threw six shutout innings tonight before allowing a three-run homer run of his own in the seventh, but the difference was the A's offense had already shown up in the game. Mills was staked to an 6-0 lead early in this one, built upon Brandon Moss' two-run homer in the first and Yoenis Cespedes' three-run double in the second.
Tuesday night, Oakland's hitters were stifled by none other than Bartolo Colon, the team's former de facto ace from its 2012-13 playoff runs. The big righty struck out eight A's in eight innings for eighth win of the year, and now, Colon owns a lifetime 9-6 record against Oakland, with a 3.37 ERA.
Looking ahead, surprising Miami is playing .500 ball this season, sitting just 2.5 games out of first place in the National League East. The Marlins have a 25-18 record at home, as well, so the A's will challenged in South Florida this weekend. And next week's visit to Detroit will be no cake walk: the Tigers are 42-32 with the second-best record in the AL right now, even though they are just 19-19 at home this year.
Oakland is 24-15 at both the O.co Coliseum and on the road this year, demonstrating the A's excellent balance in 2014. But it would be good to send a message in Detroit right now that October 2014 won't be like the last two.