Raised in southern New Jersey a diehard Philadelphia Phillies fan, Bailey spent his nights rooting for them through Carter’s homer in the 1993 World Series, the lean years that followed, and straight into their resurgence early last decade.
Against his favorite team, it was Bailey’s turn to play spoiler.
Bailey thwarted a Phillies’ rally in the eighth inning and held on for a four-out save in front of hundreds of cheering fans, helping the Oakland Athletics beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday night.
The moment belonged to Bailey.
His parents and wife were part of the 165th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, and cheers for his entrance were heard from various pockets throughout the stadium. Bailey entered with the A’s holding a one-run lead and two runners on.
“It was pretty cool to get that call,” Bailey said. “It was good times in Philadelphia when they were winning like it is here now. With all my family being back here, diehard Phillies fans, it’s nice to go out there and beat them today.
“Make them have the decision who to cheer for,” Bailey said.
There were few reasons to cheer the Phillies, who snapped a season-high eight-game home winning streak.
Cahill (8-5) won his second straight start after dropping five straight and spoiled Hamels’ bid to win his 10th game.
Scott Sizemore’s(notes) RBI single in the fourth made it 2-1, and Cahill and Bailey held the lead from there. Cahill struck out six and walked three in 7 2-3 innings, and has allowed one run or less 10 times this season.
“I wasn’t afraid to throw the ball over the plate,” Cahill said. “I just let my sinker kind of work for me.”
Hamels lost his second straight start, but extended his streak of not allowing more than two earned runs to six straight outings.
Hamels (9-4) put runners on base in every inning but the second, but the A’s failed to bust the game open with one big swing. In the eighth, they had runners on first and third with one out, but Hamels retired the last two batters on grounders to escape the jam.
Hamels allowed eight hits and struck out five in eight innings.
The Phillies nearly bailed him out in the eighth.
The A’s faith in Cahill was rewarded for one more at-bat.
He struck out Jimmy Rollins(notes) swinging at a 79 mph curveball. Martinez scampered to third on a wild pitch with Placido Polanco(notes) batting. Cahill, who ran out of gas around the 100-pitch mark, walked Polanco and that was it for the A’s starter.
Bailey then got Utley.
“He came in with fire in his eyes,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Brown was booed for failing to run out a grounder earlier in the game and visited manager Charlie Manuel for a chat after the loss.
“I gotta run those balls out,” Brown said. “On that particular time, the hustle wasn’t there and the fans are going to get on me about that, especially in Philly. I know that.
The Phillies had only four hits.
In the Phillies clubhouse, Bailey sent a handwritten note asking for Rollins to sign a baseball for him for his charity. “Best of luck the rest of the way,” Bailey wrote.
The A’s entered with an AL-worst 40 homers until Rosales poked one over the right-field wall for his second home run to tie the game at 1 in the third.
Cahill ran into his toughest jam in the second inning and was fortunate the Phillies only scored one run. He walked Ryan Howard(notes) and Shane Victorino(notes) to open the inning, then struck out the next two batters. Carlos Ruiz(notes) singled up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
“They got good pitching,” Manuel said. “At the same time, we’ve got to score runs. I think it might have been a little bit of both.”
NOTES: Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt(notes) has a mild bulging disc in his back and likely won’t return until August. … The A’s have hit one home run or less in 29 straight games. The team record is 31 straight back in 1978. … Gload leads the majors with 12 pinch hits.