Jermaine Dye hopes his late inning heroics translates into an offensive outburst.
The outfielder homered in the 12th inning Tuesday to lift the A’s to a 4-3 win in the first game between the teams in 89 years.
The clubs last met in the 1914 World Series when the Boston Braves swept the Philadelphia Athletics in the best-of-nine series.
Dye entered the game mired in a prolonged slump that left him with a .160 average coming into the game. A six-week stint on the disabled list compouned the slide.
Dye was just 1-for-20 since coming off the DL on May 30 after recovering from torn cartilage in his right knee that required surgery on April 29.
“I think he’s carried the weight of this whole thing on his shoulders a little bit,” said A’s manager Ken Macha. “In batting practice he hits rockets every where. It was a matter of time.”
But his homer off Jung Keun Bong was his second hit of Tuesday’s game. He also had an RBI single to help the A’s snap a two-game skid.
The Braves, who are tied with the Seattle Mariners for baseball’s best record, had won five straight before Tuesday’s setback—their first interleague loss this season.
Fick, who spent the first five years of his career with Detroit before signing with the Braves as a free agent in the offseason, is batting .320 (8-for-25) during his seven-game hitting streak.
STANDINGS: Braves - 1st place, NL East. Athletics - 2nd place, 7 GB, AL West.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Horacio Ramirez (4-2, 4.05 ERA). Ramirez is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA over his last three starts and hasn’t lost since a 7-4 setback to Florida on April 11. The 23-year-old left-hander didn’t figure into the decision of his last start, Atlanta’s 10-4 loss to the New York Mets on June 1. He allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings, while walking four and striking out two. The rookie makes his first career start against Oakland.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Ted Lilly (3-4, 3.93 ERA). Lilly is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA over his last four starts, last winning May 13 in a 3-1 victory at Detroit. The 27-year-old left-hander pitched well in his last start but suffered a 2-0 loss to Florida. He limited the Marlins to two runs—one earned—and six hits over seven innings, striking out eight and walking one. Lilly is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in two career starts against Atlanta.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Braves - Gary Sheffield, .353 avg. and 53 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 18 HRs; Rafael Furcal, 57 runs and 11 SBs. Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .328 avg. and 6 SBs; Eric Chavez, 12 HRs; Erubial Durazo, 38 RBIs and 35 runs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Braves - 3-1; Athletics - 3-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Braves - The Braves have hit 51 homers over their last 22 games. … Atlanta is 18-4 over the last two seasons in interleague play and an NL best 64-43 overall. Oakland’s 68-43 interleague mark is tops in the majors. … C Lopez, who had homered in four straight games entering Tuesday, was the Braves’ designated hitter, giving his sore wrist extra time to heal. Athletics - The A’s 20-8 home record is the best in the AL. … 3B Chavez is batting .364 (8-for-22) with one homer and seven RBIs in interleague play this season. … Oakland’s pitching staff has a 2.73 ERA at home and a 4.22 ERA on the road.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Braves - 18-11 on the road; Athletics - 20-8 at home.