Two home runs by Suzuki send Braves past A’s
Second drive comes in top of 12th inning to help finish sweep
The Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kurt Suzuki’s first home run against the team with which he started his major league career made him smile. The second felt even better.
Suzuki led off the top of the 12th inning with his second home run of the game, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday that completed a three-game sweep.
“It gives you a little extra adrenaline, I guess you could say,” said the 33-year-old Suzuki, a Baldwin High School graduate who played for the A’s from 2007 until midway through the 2012 season. “I got a little bit of cheers in the beginning of the game. I know the coaching staff over there. I’ve played for those guys. It’s a good adrenaline feel coming around the bases.”
Jim Johnson (6-1) failed to convert a save opportunity, but got the win despite three walks, and Arodys Vizcaino retired three batters for his second save. Vizcaino got Franklin Barreto to fly out with two runners on to end it.
After each team scored in the 11th, Suzuki lined a shot to left field on a 3-1 pitch from John Axford (0-1).
Suzuki now has three career multihomer games — the last had been in 2011.
“Couldn’t happen to a better guy,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “Big hit after big hit all year for him. It’s nice to see when good things happen to the good guys.”
Suzuki’s first homer was off starter Sean Manaea to begin the second inning.
“(Suzuki) is smart and he knows when to look for a fastball and get the head out, and he did both times,” said Oakland manager Bob Melvin.
From Maui to the Majors
Statistics for Baldwin graduate Kurt Suzuki of the Atlanta Braves:
SUNDAY: 2-5, 2 HR, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; 0-1 on SB attempt against. Led off second and 12th innings with home runs.
SEASON: .230 batting avg. (28-118), 6 HR, 21 RBIs, 14 runs, 8-29 on SB attempts against.