Home runs: They're great when you hit them, but it can backfire when you try to hit them. The value and art of the long ball were two of the main themes in the A's clubhouse Monday afternoon following Oakland's 10-0 dismantling of Detroit in front of a sellout crowd of 35,067 at O.co Coliseum. The A's went deep five times. In the second and third innings, solo shots by Brandon Moss, Kyle Blanks, Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Céspedes off Drew Smyly (2-3) accounted for the first four runs. Derek Norris' grand slam off Phil Coke in the eighth accounted for the final four. The A's lugged a four-game losing streak into Monday. They had scored a total of 13 runs in their previous six games. Manager Bob Melvin had impressed upon his hitters to "pass the baton." In other words, work deep counts and be satisfied with walks and hits other than homers. A hitter doesn't have to "necessarily be The Guy." Then, five of his hitters wound up being The Guy. "We need to hit home runs," said Donaldson, who is tied with Moss for the team lead in homers with 12. "I think we're going to hit home runs because of the kind of guys that we have. ... "With that said, I think we've done a great job all year of passing the baton." Said Norris: "There are very few guys on this ballclub (who) are actually looking to hit home runs. You look at some of the guys like Moss and Donaldson who have literally shaped their swing to try to become flyball hitters. ... (Hitting home runs) is definitely an art that not everyone can grasp." Donaldson said people wanting to know why the A's thrived so completely Monday after struggling against Tampa Bay and Toronto should grasp the fact that the Rays' and Jays' pitchers did excellent work against Oakland.
A's blast 5 homers in 10-0 rout of Tigers
San Francisco Chronicle | May 27