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Butler does it as Athletics beat Washington in 10th inning

Jerry McDonald, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

OAKLAND — Oakland Athletics fans supporting a boycott of their team’s scheduled move to Sacramento and eventually Las Vegas could be facing a dilemma.

What if the A’s are actually good?

Lawrence Butler supplied both runs with a mammoth home run and a run-scoring single in the 10th inning Friday night in a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals at the Coliseum. It was the fifth win in six games for the A’s, who at 6-8 bear no resemblance at the moment to the team that began with a 1-6 homestand to open the season.

Butler’s single to left against Ryan Finnegan (0-2) brought home Max Schueman, who was making his A’s debut as a pinch runner at second base.

Attendance in the first game back after an announcement the A’s would move to Sacramento next season and after winning four of six games on the road was 5,777. That brings the Coliseum attendance to 50,845 in eight games, an average of 6,356.

The A’s prevailed despite giving up the tying run in the ninth inning on a leadoff home run by Jesse Winker against Dany Jimenez.

 

“I thought the energy was great tonight in the crowd,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “Whether it’s 3,000 or 30,000 these fans that come, they support us. In terms of our team and our success we’ve had recently off a road trip, this feels really good after giving up a lead in the ninth.”

ln the top of the 10th with Michael Kelly pitching, lead runner Trey Lipscomb was frozen between second and third on a sharply hit ball to first baseman Tyler Nevin. Nevin tagged first, then threw out Lipscomb attempting to reach third. Kelly then got the third out of the inning on an infield pop up. Kelly got the win, improving to 2-0.

Kotsay called Nevin’s play “a momentum changer.”

Butler’s first home run of the season wasn’t a cheapie, a 445-foot first pitch rocket to right field against Jake Irvin that left his bat at 113.1 miles per hour.

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