OAKLAND, Calif. >> Kurt Suzuki’s first home run against his former club made the Atlanta catcher smile. The second felt even better and extended the Braves recent run of good fortune.
Just another twist in Atlanta’s up-and-down season.
Suzuki led off the 12th inning with his second home run of the game, lifting the Braves over the Oakland Athletics 4-3 today to complete a three-game sweep.
“It gives you a little extra adrenalin, I guess you could say,” said Suzuki, a Baldwin High graduate. “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 adrenalin feel coming around the bases.”
One inning after Atlanta closer Jim Johnson got his sixth blown save, Suzuki lined a shot to left on a 3-1 pitch from John Axford (0-1). Suzuki also homered off starter Sean Manaea to begin the second.
It’s the third multihomer game of Suzuki’s career and first since 2011, when he was with Oakland. The veteran catcher had not gone deep against his previous club until these homers helped Atlanta finish its six-game West Coast trip on a positive note after a rocky beginning.
“Couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “Big hit after big hit all year for him. It’s nice to see when good things happen to the good guys.”
Johnson (6-1) 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.
The Braves wasted leads of 2-0 and 3-2 but held on to win for the 11th time in 15 games.
Khris Davis hit his 23rd home run and reached base four times for the A’s. Oakland has lost five straight.
The A’s wasted multiple opportunities to win in extra innings. They stranded two runners in the 10th, and Rajai Davis struck out looking against Johnson with the bases loaded to end the 11th.
“We maximized our opportunity in one inning and we didn’t come through, and that cost us,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “(Suzuki) is smart and he knows when to look for a fastball and get the head out, and he did both times.”
Atlanta took a 3-2 lead when Kemp doubled off the wall in center with two outs in the 11th. Oakland rookie Jaycob Brugman attempted to make a leaping catch but missed.
Bruce Maxwell’s RBI single off Johnson in the bottom of the inning tied it.