TORONTO — The A's put on a show Monday for a team they may meet if they get to the playoffs.
Not Toronto. The Blue Jays won't get there, and the A's 5-1 win on the strength of a four-run ninth-inning rally is just one more reason why.
A handful of the Boston Red Sox were sitting behind home plate. The Sox, the owners of the best record in the American League, had the day off and play the Blue Jays in Rogers Centre today.
Former A's outfielder Jonny Gomes was there. And Dustin Pedroia. And Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
"In a great city like this they come to the ballpark?" Brandon Moss said, laughing. "It's like 'I'm going to be on TV.' They play in Boston. Don't they get enough attention?"
On this day, they were vying to get the A's attention during the game.
"They were telling me to hit a home run," right fielder Josh Reddick said. "I told them I didn't know if I could. I'd already hit five."
Reddick's five homers in the first two games of this series only earned the A's a split. Two-run doubles by Alberto Callaspo in the eighth inning Sunday and in the ninth inning Monday broke ties late in the game and enabled the A's to win the series and salvage a 3-3 road trip.
Callaspo started out 0-for-10 with the A's, but since then is 7-for-13, with five of the hits doubles. He's a third baseman asked to play second base for the most part, but on Monday he was at third base when he muffed a potential double play ball in the eighth inning that allowed the tying run to score.
So all he did was come up with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth and rifle his second double of the game to right field, bringing the first two runs of a four-run uprising home.
"In his first few games, he was hitting the ball hard, but he got nothing," Moss said. "I told him I was going to get him a rabbit's foot. But he's a professional hitter who does whatever it takes. So we're not surprised to see him getting these big hits."
Callaspo was downcast over not getting the ground ball that could have been an inning-ending double play in the eighth. Come the ninth, it was so much ancient history.
"I'm glad to get a chance and to contribute to my new team," Callaspo said. "It's a great feeling."
A's players have said from the time of the July 30 trade how much they liked what they saw from Callaspo when he was playing for the Angels. The club had to give up former first-round draft pick Grant Green to get the veteran infielder, but to the players it made sense then.
And it makes sense now.
"He's making the trade look good," third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "He's a solid player, scrappy. What's impressed me the most is how well he's played second base."
With manager Bob Melvin wanting to get Donaldson's feet off the hard Rogers Centre turf for a day, Callaspo was back at third as a starter for his first time since the trade.
The grounder by Juan Bautista that kicked off Callaspo's glove was hit hard. More than that, Donaldson said, it was a product of tricky playing conditions.