MILWAUKEE (AP) Ramón Laureano hit a two-run triple, Jonah Bride also drove in a pair of runs and the Oakland Athletics beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Friday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
The Athletics (15-50) entered the day having put together the worst 64-game start by any team since the 1982 Minnesota Twins also went 14-50, but they’ve won their last three games by a combined score of 25-9.
“It's huge,” said Ryan Noda, whose remarkable slide home highlighted the Athletics' three-run rally in the first inning. "We've still got to keep doing the little things. We've still got to keep picking each other up. We did a great job today of situational hitting."
All three of those wins have come away from home. The Athletics - planning to move to Las Vegas - had lost 15 straight road games before this streak.
After winning 11-2 and 9-5 in the final two games of a series at Pittsburgh, the Athletics carried that momentum into Milwaukee and took a 3-0 lead off Adrian Houser (2-2) in the first inning.
“I think everybody forgets that they’re a major league baseball team,” Houser said. “It doesn’t matter what their record is. Those guys are on the field for a reason. If their organization doesn’t want to win, that’s on them. But they’re major league baseball players and they’re talented and they know how to hit and they know how to throw. They’re still competitors. They’re still going to try to come out and beat you every time."
Oakland's early outburst started when Esteury Ruiz singled, took off for second for his major league-leading 30th steal and advanced to third on catcher William Contreras' errant throw. Noda's walk put runners on the corners.
Laureano then hit a one-out triple into the right-field corner to bring home both Ruiz and Noda. Milwaukee’s Blake Perkins made a diving attempt but couldn’t snare the ball before it came down near the foul line.
The throw from second baseman Andruw Monasterio beat Noda home, but Noda made an outstanding slide and touched the plate with his left hand before Contreras tagged him around the chest.
“If he's out at home, it can change the momentum of the inning and the game,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Noda's a really, really athletic young kid. It showed right there.”
Noda, who grew up about an hour away from Milwaukee in Volo, Illinois, said he had about 100 friends and family members at the stadium watching him make that slide.
“High school coaches, second-grade teacher, the list goes on and on," Noda said. “The support is huge. I love it. There will be more tomorrow, too.”
Laureano scored the Athletics' third run on Bride's two-out single.
Oakland made it 4-0 in the second when Ruiz singled home Shea Langeliers, who had reached on a leadoff double.
Milwaukee got two runs in the bottom of the second on RBI doubles by Blake Perkins and Luis Urías. After going 0-for-14 to start his season, Urías. just missed homering with his drive off the top of the wall.
The A's extended the lead to 5-2 in the fifth on Bride’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly.
Oakland made this a bullpen game by giving left-hander Sam Moll his first start out of 100 career appearances and having him pitch only one inning. Moll held the Brewers scoreless in his brief stint before Luis Medina (1-5) allowed two runs over the next five innings.
Moll, Medina, Lucas Erceg and Trevor May combined to allow Milwaukee just four hits. May worked the ninth to earn his second save in four opportunities.
Houser gave up five runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked four.
Brewers LHP Bennett Sousa and RHP Jake Cousins went on the 15-day injured list with shoulder issues Friday. Souza's assignment is retroactive to Thursday and Cousins' is retroactive to Sunday. RHP Tyson Miller was recalled from Triple-A Nashville.
Brewers RHP Jason Alexander (rotator cuff) is beginning a rehabilitation assignment in the Arizona Complex League.
RHP Paul Blackburn (0-0, 6.00) was set to start for Oakland on Saturday against RHP Julio Teheran (1-2, 1.56).
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