The Oakland A's, baseball's best and perhaps its most entertaining team, got another walk-off win Monday night, topping the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on a two-outs, bases-loaded single by catcher Derek Norris in the 10th inning.
Norris' game-winner came against former A's closer Grant Balfour, who Norris used to catch last season. None of that, however, was the most entertaining part of Oakland's walk-off win.
First, there was the possum that ran onto the field late in the game, which Twitter quickly dubbed the #RallyPossum. It worked, obviously, and it helped out the anything-can-happen here reputation of Oakland's O.Co Coliseum.
Then, the A's used the rally power of beards — specifically Josh Reddick rubbing on his teammates beards while Brandon Moss tried to win the game moments before Norris did.
GIF: In baseball you'll do anything for luck, no matter how weird http://t.co/4e3QfS7VY8— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) August 5, 2014
Whatever works, guys — if it takes a combination of facial hair, wild animals and well-timed hits, so be it.
RICHARDS SHUTS OUT DODGERS, ANGELS STAY IN SECOND
Had the A's not won, the Los Angeles Angels could have tied them for first place in the AL West after shutting out the Los Angeles Dodgers. Garrett Richards tossed his first career shutout as the Angels won 5-0.
Richards allowed just five hits and struck out nine, improving his record to 12-4 and lowering his ERA to 2.58. He still looked to have plenty in the tank late in the game, despite throwing 122 pitches.
Garrett Richards' 115th pitch: 96 mph— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) August 5, 2014
As the AL West stands now, the A's hold on to their one-game lead over the Angels.
COREY KLUBER DOMINANT AGAIN
Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber continued his ascension into baseball's elite circle of pitchers with another dominant performance Monday night. Kluber, who threw a shutout in 85 pitches his last time out, improved to 12-6 and lowered his ERA to 2.55. He allowed six hits and one run, striking out seven, as the Indians clobbered the Cincinnati Reds 7-1.
YANKEES EDGE TIGERS 2-1
The New York Yankees have the daunting task of facing, in succession, Detroit Tigers pitchers Max Scherzer, David Price and Justin Verlander this week. As tough as that sounds, the Bronx Bombers won Round 1. Brandon McCarthy (now 4-0 in the AL) got another W for his new ball club, as the Yankees won 2-1. The Yankees scored both of their runs in the third inning, then five pitchers kept the Tigers bats under wraps.
For the rest of Monday's results, check out our scoreboard.
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