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Athletics' Grant Balfour matches iconic save record

  • Oakland Athletics celebrate after their baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, July 5, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. The Athletics won the game 6-3. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tommy Milone shut out the Kansas City Royals for eight innings, and then got in just enough trouble in the ninth to ensure that Grant Balfour would have a nice, easy save chance.

A save that will go down in Oakland history, too.

Balfour gave up a run-scoring single to Billy Butler before retiring the final two batters of the game Friday night, preserving the A's 6-3 victory and notching his 40th consecutive save to tie Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley's franchise record.

"You know, it's an accomplishment. Definitely," Balfour said. "I don't like to look into it too much — I'm superstitious, obviously. But I never knew about this, and it's not something I set out to do. It just happened. I still have a lot of work to do."

Balfour has 22 saves this season to match the mark that Eckersley set from Sept. 15, 1991-Aug. 7, 1992, this one helping the A's (51-36) win for the seventh time in their last nine games.


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