July is turning into a very good month for the Oakland A's.
After losing three in a row to the Rangers to end the month of June, the A's avoided the sweep in that four game series with a 3-1 win on July 1, and have won eight of their last nine since.
Leading the charge was Yoenis Cespedes, the rookie center fielder and part time DH who's having a whale of a season. Cespedes went 4-for-5 with his 11th home run - a solo shot in the second inning - and drove in three runs, boosting his RBI total to 42. Cespedes, a .283 hitter, also cashed in runners with singles in the first and sixth innings.
The A's have kept winning while the Rangers and Angels have had their share of struggles and are now eight games behind the Rangers and just three behind the Angels.
Ben Sheets, in his first major league appearance since July 2010, blanked the Mets on two hits over six innings, walking one and striking out five. Sheets threw 57 of 88 pitches for strikes and took a seat after the Braves scored all of their runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by Freddie Freeman's three-run homer, his 12th of the season.
Sheets got the win and Freeman raised his RBI total to 54, the 10th highest total in the league.
Atlanta kept pace with the Nationals, who lead the Braves and the NL East by three games.