OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco Giants have dominated the baseball headlines in the Bay Area since winning the World Series in 2010 and 2012. The Oakland Athletics have swiped most the attention back after taking over the best record in the majors this summer.
And when the two teams met for the first time this season, both continued to head in opposite directions.
Jesse Chavez matched a career high with nine strikeouts in six innings, and three relievers pitched scoreless ball to lead the A's past the Giants 5-0 on Monday night for their fifth straight win.
"It's exciting to be part of the Oakland Athletics right now," said third baseman Josh Donaldson, one of six A's players named to the AL All-Star team.
The A's have been among baseball's best and most consistent clubs all season. Then they made a surprising trade to get right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs on Friday for three minor leaguers, including top prospect Addison Russell.
Oakland also leads the majors with their All-Star selections, the club's most since 1975. Sunday's announcement didn't even include Samardzija, who was selected as a National League All-Star but is ineligible to play.
The banged-up Giants, on the other hand, had lost 18 of 23 to fall out of first place in the NL West — where they once held a 9 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers — but showed signs of coming out of their slump by winning two in a row at San Diego over the weekend.
Instead, the two-time defending AL West champion A's put together the kind of all-around effort they've had most of the season in the Bay Bridge Series opener.
Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run double, and three others drove in a run to power the A's in front of an announced sellout crowd of 36,067 festive fans at the Coliseum. The worn-down stadium had a colorful sprinkling of green and gold from Oakland revelers mixed with the orange and black of San Francisco supporters — many of whom left before the final out.
Chavez (7-5) allowed four hits and two walks to help extend the A's record to a major-league best 56-33. Fernando Abad, Dan Otero and Ryan Cook shut down San Francisco the final three innings.
"We all like to feed off each other," Chavez said. "We're just playing good baseball, and we're excited to be back home."
Continue reading this story on the...