The 2014 Oakland Athletics clinched their season series against the New York Yankees with a second three-game series victory in the last 12 days, beating the Bronx Bombers, 10-5, on Father's Day with relative ease -- it was 3-0 after the first inning, 6-0 after two innings and 10-0 after four innings.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter had an RBI sacrifice fly in his final appearance at the O.co Coliseum, but it wasn't enough to overcome the A's offensive onslaught. After being shutout on Friday night, Oakland scored 15 runs against New York in the final two games of the matchup.
A's starter Jesse Chavez pitched his best game since April 30, posting six innings and giving up only a single run on five hits. He walked no one and struck out four batters. Chavez is now 6-4 with a 2.93 ERA this season.
On the offensive side, Josh Donaldson broke a seven-game hitless streak with an RBI single in the fourth to finish the A's scoring on the day, but it was three-run home runs by Derek Norris in the first inning and Coco Crisp in the second inning breaking the game home early on.
Yoenis Cespedes added a two-run single as well.
The A's are now 42-27 with a four-game lead in the American League West division. This is Oakland's best mark after 69 games since the 1990 season, when the team posted a 44-25 record through its first 69 games on its way to a third straight AL West title and a third straight AL pennant.
Next, Oakland hosts the Texas Rangers (34-35) on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, before welcoming the Boston Red Sox (31-38) to town for four games. Even though both these teams are currently under .500, the A's know each squad is capable of beating any team on any given day.
But with these seven games at home in the next week against teams struggling right now, the A's have a good opportunity to separate themselves from the Angels a bit. Oakland is just 19-13 this season at home after winning 50+ games at the O.co each of the last two seasons.
Yet the A's are 13-4 in their last 17 home tilts, after struggling in the first part of the season at the Coliseum. That bodes well for Oakland against Texas and especially Boston, with its mediocre 14-19 record away from Fenway Park.
And then there's the run differential: the A's are +132 on the year now, and no other team in the majors is higher than +54 this season. The Rangers (-40) and the BoSox (-17) are scuffling by comparison. However, Oakland lost two of three in Boston in early May nonetheless, while Texas swept the A's at O.co in late April as well.
Nothing comes easy in major-league baseball, of course, no matter how much Oakland is making it look that way in 2014.