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Author
Mike Fitzpatrick
Date
June 26, 2014

Cespedes, Moss send Mills and A’s past Mets 8-5

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NEW YORK (AP) — Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run double, slumping Brandon Moss had a two-run homer and the Oakland Athletics jumped all over an ineffective Zack Wheeler in an 8-5 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

Coco Crisp homered and had three hits as the AL West leaders built an eight-run cushion for Brad Mills, who took a shutout into the seventh inning for his first major league victory in almost two years.

Oakland rebounded from its most lopsided loss of the season to split the two-game interleague series, boosting the best record in baseball to 48-30.

Pinch-hitter Lucas Duda chased Mills with a three-run homer in the seventh. Chris Young connected for a two-run shot in the eighth, his third home run in two nights.

Curtis Granderson added three hits for the Mets, who had won three straight and five of six. It was their sixth three-game winning streak of the season, but they haven’t won four in a row since July 7-10 last year.

Oakland obtained Mills (1-0) from Milwaukee for cash last week when fellow left-hander Drew Pomeranz went on the disabled list after breaking his right hand when he punched a chair in frustration.

Mills, who had a 1.56 ERA for Triple-A Nashville at the time of the trade, lasted four innings in his A’s debut last Friday against Boston. He was backed by some fine defense in this one and did not walk a batter over 6 1-3 innings.

It was his first big league win since throwing five innings for the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-0 victory over Baltimore on July 8, 2012.

Sean Doolittle struck out all three hitters in the ninth for his 11th save, extending his scoreless streak to 25 1-3 innings. He has retired 37 of his last 38 batters.

Wheeler (3-8) followed up the best start of his brief career with his worst.

Coming off a three-hitter in a 1-0 win at Miami last Thursday, his first complete game in the majors, the 24-year-old righty had command problems right away. He missed badly with his first two pitches in the first inning to Moss, who drove the next one deep into the second deck in right field for his 18th home run.

The slugging first baseman batted .200 in his previous 26 games, with only one homer and two RBIs in the past 14.

Wheeler issued a leadoff walk to Josh Reddick in the second and another free pass after Crisp’s RBI single. Cespedes followed by lining a bases-loaded double down the left-field line to make it 6-0.

When the Mets loaded the bases in the bottom half, Wheeler was lifted for a pinch-hitter. He was tagged for six hits and a career-high six earned runs in two innings, the shortest of his 33 career starts.

Crisp hit a solo homer in the fourth off Dana Eveland.

NOTES: Derek Norris was held out of Oakland’s starting lineup for the second consecutive night after leaving Sunday’s game when he was hit in the head by a backswing. He entered behind the plate in the ninth. Norris’ jaw was still a little sore but the catcher was feeling a bit better and is on target to start Friday night in Miami, manager Bob Melvin said before the game. … A’s OF Craig Gentry (knee) pinch-hit in the eighth and struck out. … RHP Jesse Chavez (6-4, 2.71 ERA) pitches Friday night against the Marlins. “Another team that we don’t know a whole lot about, so that can be a little nerve-wracking,” Melvin said. “Our lineup’s kind of built to have a DH in it.” … Oakland has won 26 of its last 37 against NL teams. … The A’s clinched their 13th consecutive winning month, tying the longest such streak in Oakland history (1970-72). … CF Juan Lagares (right ribcage) was expected back Thursday night when the Mets open a four-game series in Pittsburgh. Lagares, however, was unable to play Wednesday on his rehab assignment because Double-A Binghamton was rained out.

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