OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland A's played to a sellout crowd on Monday night, as they have the last 11 times San Francisco has visited the Coliseum dating to the 2010 season.
Other than that it was business as usual as Oakland rolled to its fifth consecutive win behind starter Jesse Chavez, 5-0, as the A's moved to a season-best 23 games over .500 at 56-33.
"It's just good baseball," Chavez said after running his record to 7-5. "We like to feed off it."
Chavez threw his fastball and cutter as usual, but after back-to-back starts in which he gave up a combined nine runs, the right-hander mixed in his curve, and that seemed to be enough to keep the Giants from making good contact.
He allowed four hits, walked two (one intentional) and matched his career best with nine strikeouts, five of which were called.
This is the fifth time this season the A's have won at least five games in succession, all of those since the second week of May as Oakland keeps putting the pressure on the American League West as well as the rest of the American League.
The Angels, who beat Toronto on Monday for a fifth consecutive win, don't seem to be able to eat into Oakland's 31/2-game lead in the West even though they have the second-best record in the league.
Monday, Oakland got two bits of good news on the injury front. First, Brandon Moss was able to play after missing two starts with ankle troubles. He drove in his 63rd run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
And Josh Donaldson, who for a moment feared the worst after being hit on the left hand by a pitch from the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong in the sixth, has a sore hand but no broken bones.
"I'm sure it'll be sore tomorrow, but it's OK now," Donaldson said. "It took me a minute to realize it wasn't broken."
And it took more than a moment for Donaldson to get credited as being hit by a pitch. Home plate umpire Paul Nauert thought the ball had fouled off Donaldson's bat, and it wasn't until he saw the purple swelling on Donaldson's hand that the call was reversed.
"It sounded to me like it hit the bat," Donaldson said. "Even though I know it hit me. He did the right thing."
That at-bat set up a two-run double by Alberto Callaspo, expanding a 1-0 lead to 3-0 and giving Chavez and the A's bullpen more than enough with which to work.
Callaspo said he noticed the large crowd, but he said he didn't notice much difference between this one and the other eight sellouts the A's have had this season. This was, after all, his first A's-Giants game.
What he did notice was the fastball that Giants reliever Juan Gutierrez threw with two on and one out. Callaspo mashed it.
"I was looking for it, and I hit it hard," Callaspo said. "It feels good."
-- Newly acquired Jason Hammel makes his A's debut against the Giants on Wednesday at AT&T Park. The right-hander has faced the Giants nine times, eight of them starts, and is 0-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 50 2/3 innings. He's 0-1 in games at AT&T with a 2.35 ERA in 30 2/3 innings.
"It's fun to be thrown right into the fire," he said.
-- Donaldson said he has not yet heard if he'll be able to take part in the All-Star game's Home Run Derby. He'd like to take part, but his participation may depend on the health of other candidates. Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes will be back to defend his title.
-- Josh Reddick, who said his knee was feeling better after having had a cortisone shot a month ago, was fired up for batting practice in a way that only players on the disabled list can be. He was anxious to test the knee, which has put him on the D.L. twice already this season. "It feels good," Reddick said. "I'm looking forward to this."
-- To get Hammel on the active roster, the A's had to at least momentarily cut ties with left-handed starting pitcher Brad Mills, the man whose spot in the rotation Hammel is taking. "It's another tough one," manager Bob Melvin said. "Just like it was with (Jeff) Francis and (Tommy) Milone." Like Francis, Mills was designated for assignment. Oakland has 10 days to trade him, release him or, if he isn't claimed on waivers, sign him to a minor league contract.
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