Griffin solid but A's pen isn't in loss to Brewers
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A.J. Griffin pitched shutout baseball for the Athletics. Oakland's bullpen couldn't seal the victory.
Carlos Gomez scored from first on Yuniesky Betancourt's line drive in the gap between center and right in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.
After being shut out by Griffin for seven innings, the Brewers tied it with three runs in the eighth off reliever Sean Doolittle.
Rickie Weeks, who came on in a double switch in the top of the eighth, singled and went to second on Norichika Aoki's single. Both scored when Jean Segura tripled to the right-field corner. Ryan Cook then came on to face Ryan Braun and retired him on a grounder to third. Ramirez followed with a broken-bat bloop to short center that scored Segura. Gomez hit into a double play to end the threat.
"That's the first time in his career he's given up a three-run lead," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "It was four pitches. His command was off. It was shocking to see."
Doolittle had allowed just two runs in 23 innings over his first 23 games. He was 1 for 25 facing the first batter, but Weeks foiled that.
Yoenis Cespedes hit the first pitch he saw from Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse for his 10th home run of the season in the first and then connected again off Lohse for a solo shot leading off the sixth.
Griffin retired the first eight batters before Lohse looped a single into short center field. Then the right-hander worked out of trouble in the fifth.
Gomez beat out a bunt single and Juan Francisco walked, but Griffin got Martin Maldonado to hit into a fielder's choice. Scooter Gennett and Lohse struck out swinging as Griffin escaped any harm.
Griffin allowed four hits, walked one and struck out five, including Gennett three times. Griffin has gone six or more innings in nine of his 12 starts this season.
"Griffin was terrific," Melvin said. "Certainly good enough to win."
John Jaso, Griffin's catcher, thought the game plan worked.
"We were going up and in on hitters," Jaso said. "I think it was catching them off guard. He was getting bad swings out of the hitters."
John Axford (2-3) got the win with a scoreless 10th. He retired Cespedes, whose first career multi-homer game had given the Athletics a 3-0 lead through seven innings, and after walking Jed Lowrie he struck out Josh Donaldson and got Josh Reddick on a flyout.
Pat Neshek (1-1) took over in the bottom of the 10th and retired Braun on a grounder to third before Aramis Ramirez blooped an 0-2 pitch into short left and was replaced by pinch-runner Jeff Bianchi. Gomez reached on a fielder's choice and scored with a head-first slide on Betancourt's line drive.
"Yuni got a pitch to hit, and I'm on my way, already to steal a base," Gomez said. "That makes it easier to get more velocity and I can score. I go. The only thing on my mind is to score."
The Brewers will take any excitement they can generate after they went 6-22 in May and came is 1-2 in June.
"If we win (the) game, it is fun to wake everybody up," Gomez said. "The last few weeks, a tough situation. Everybody tried to push too much."
Lohse, signed to a three-year contract the last week of spring training, was supposed to help bolster an inexperienced pitching staff, but his lone victory came April 22 at San Diego. Since then, often pitching with little run support, he's lost seven of his eight starts.
He missed one scheduled start due to right elbow irritation and then allowed four home runs in 4 2-3 innings against Minnesota on May 30 - his shortest start of the season.
Against the Athletics, Lohse gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out three, but has allowed six home runs in his last two starts.
Juan Francisco made his first ever start at first base for the Brewers, who acquired the career third baseman from Atlanta on Monday for minor league pitcher Thomas Keeling. Francisco, in his fifth season, played 209 games with Atlanta and Cincinnati, but none at first. Milwaukee plans to have Francisco and Betancourt platoon at first until Corey Hart returns from the 60-day disabled list.
NOTES: Cespedes has 44 hits this season, 21 for extra bases. He has eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs. ... The Brewers said the day-to-day status of starter Marco Estrada, who pitched four innings and left Monday night's game with a left hamstring strain, would be announced Wednesday. He'd possibly miss a start or go on the disabled list. ... Atlanta designated Francisco for assignment on May 30. ... Scooter Gennett made his major-league debut starting at second base for Weeks, who has been in a season-long slump. Gennett, a lefty, will platoon with Weeks, a right-handed hitter who is batting .192 in 54 games. Gennett appeared in his first major-league game as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of Monday's 10-2 loss to Oakland. He just had been recalled from Triple-A Nashville. ... The Athletics are 4-2 in interleague play. ... Griffin lost his other interleague start when the San Francisco Giants beat the Athletics 5-2 on May 30.