OAKLAND, Calif. – Jon Lester took the mound in a different uniform and, for the first time in his major league career, felt just slightly out of place.
Quickly enough, he put aside the newness of pitching for Oakland – and the expectations that he’ll help lead baseball’s winningest team on a deep run in October.
Lester worked into the seventh inning to win his Athletics debut and Gomes produced two timely hits during an eight-run burst in his Bay Area return for an 8-3 victory against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Two days after being traded from the sagging World Series champion Boston Red Sox, Lester and Gomes teamed up on a nice win out West.
After warming up it felt a little more normal, getting back to the pitching performance and worrying about that and not worrying about living situations or moving or anything like that, Lester said. It was a little different at first.
Lester’s parents flew down from the Seattle area for his start. He gave up three runs and nine hits, striking out three.
Back with the AL West-leading A’s, Gomes delivered like 2012. He singled and scored off Jason Vargas (8-5), then added a hit a two-run single off Aaron Crow.
Every once in a while some new blood, some new energy can help out, Gomes said.
YANKEES 6, RED SOX 4: In Boston, Derek Jeter had a two-run double, Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer and New York’s bullpen worked 4 1/3 solid innings, leading the Yankees past Boston.
ASTROS 8, BLUE JAYS 2: In Houston, Jon Singleton wound up with an inside-the-park home run after a call was reversed on video replay, Chris Carter and Jason Castro also homered, and Houston beat Toronto.
INDIANS 2, RANGERS 0: In Cleveland, Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher delivered run-scoring singles in the sixth inning, and five pitchers combined on a five-hitter, leading Cleveland past Texas.
TWINS 8, WHITE SOX 6: In Chicago, Trevor Plouffe got four hits and Minnesota stopped Jose Abreu, rallying past Chicago to end a three-game skid. Abreu’s hitting streak ended at 21 games, longest in the AL this season. He went 0 for 3 with two walks, one of them intentional.
RAYS 10, ANGELS 3: In St.Petersburg, Florida, Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer, Ben Zobrist got four hits and Tampa Bay roughed up C.J. Wilson and Los Angeles.
MARINERS 6, ORIOLES 3: In Baltimore, Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer, Dustin Ackley had a solo shot and Seattle got an effective outing from its bullpen in a victory over Baltimore.
METS 4, GIANTS 2: In New York, Jacob deGrom outpitched Jake Peavy in a tantalizing hitless duel that carried into the seventh inning before New York broke loose and beat San Francisco.
Pablo Sandoval doubled off deGrom with two outs in the top of the seventh for the game’s first hit.
Peavy was perfect until Daniel Murphy hit a one-out double into the bottom of the seventh on a ball that left fielder Michael Morse misjudged.
CARDINALS 9, BREWERS 7: In St. Louis, Kolten Wong broke out of a slump with a home run and three RBI and Justin Masterson won his St. Louis debut as the Cardinals beat Milwaukee.
NATIONALS 11, PHILLIES 0: In Washington, Anthony Rendon homered and drove in four runs, Jordan Zimmermann pitched seven shutout innings, and Washington routed Philadelphia.
PIRATES 8, DIAMONDBACKS 3: In Phoenix, Andrew McCutchen drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single in the eighth inning, then was hit by a pitch in the ninth as Pittsburgh beat Arizona.