The Oakland Athletics are happy to return to Network Associates Coliseum. They just wish they had some time to rest.
After playing 27 innings in 27 hours, the A’s come home to open a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers.
The A’s outlasted the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 18 innings on Sunday, matching the longest game in the majors this season. They then returned to the Metrodome on Monday afternoon to close their 11-game road trip with an 8-2 victory.
Mark Kotsay and Scott Hatteberg each drove in two runs, and Rich Harden pitched 6 2-3 innings to give the Oakland bullpen a much-needed break. The A’s used seven pitchers Sunday. By taking three of four from Minnesota, the A’s finished 7-4 on their trip and lead the Anaheim Angels by two games in the AL West.
“If I told you I wasn’t sore and wasn’t feeling it, I’d be lying,” said Kotsay, who played all 27 innings in center field on Sunday and Monday. “But you have to be professional about it. We know what we have to do to get ourselves ready to play.”
Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez said he has yet to feel the effects of the marathon weekend series.
“Surprisingly, I felt pretty decent this morning,” Chavez said Monday. “I don’t think there was enough time for my body to feel the aches and pains. It’s probably a good thing we jumped right back into it.”
The Tigers, who are opening a nine-game road trip, have lost six of their past seven. They closed a 10-game homestand Sunday with an 11-9 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Ivan Rodriguez and Eric Munson both homered twice to help the Tigers set a Comerica Park record with seven homers. The teams combined for 10, also a record.
The Tigers will be without center fielder Alex Sanchez, who left after the eighth inning Sunday. They placed him on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a strained right thigh.
Sanchez was hitting .322 with 19 stolen bases in 79 games this season.