Athletics

Dallas Braden reflects on Mother's Day perfect game nine years later

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AP

Dallas Braden reflects on Mother's Day perfect game nine years later

OAKLAND — To this day, it's one of the most memorable moments in A's history.

On May 9, 2010, nine Mother's Days ago, Dallas Braden threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the 19th perfect game in MLB history and the second ever by the A's.

Of course, what made this perfect game even more special was the circumstances surrounding it. Braden, who was 26 at the time, had lost his mother to cancer when he was in high school. After that, he was raised by his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, who was at the Coliseum that Mother's Day.

"The lasting memory is the moment that my grandmother jumps off the top of the third base dugout and makes her way down to the field," Braden told NBC Sports California. "We were able to share an embrace and enjoy that moment and what it all meant to us, having been there on that day, considering where we'd come from."

Where they'd come from is an incredible story. After Braden lost his mother, he lived with his grandmother in Stockton until he graduated from Stagg High School. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 46th round of the 2001 MLB Draft but elected to attend American River College, a community college in Sacramento.

After two years there, Braden transferred to Texas Tech and starred for the Red Raiders baseball team. Still, he was only drafted in the 24th round by the A's in the 2004 MLB Draft, No. 727 overall.

Braden continued to work hard, never giving up on his dream, and eventually reached the big leagues in 2007. Three years later came perfection.

"If I'm being honest, I try hard not to really reflect," Braden said. "I try hard not to spend much time thinking about it because I don't have the emotional capacity to handle that. I enjoy the moment with the fans and I get out of there just in time to hide the tears."

Now a husband and a father, Braden hopes his children will one day understand the magnitude of what he achieved that day in 2010, but more importantly, how he got there in the first place.

[RELATED: A's show they can win by playing 'small ball']

"I just hope that they appreciate the work that it took just to get to that point, not about the accomplishment or that day," Braden said. "I'm sure they'll appreciate that at some point in time. But the take-home message is understanding that it takes hard work. Regardless of where you come from or what circumstances you're a part of, your dedication and your passion, more times than not, can get you where you want to be."

Beau Taylor's first major league home run sparks A's blowout vs. Orioles

Beau Taylor's first major league home run sparks A's blowout vs. Orioles

Last September, A's catcher Beau Taylor was so excited to get his first career major league hit, he tripped over first base on his way to second.

On a chilly night at the Coliseum on Tuesday, Taylor just wanted to avoid doing the same thing on his first career major league home run.

"I kind of blew at it trying to get it to go,” Taylor told The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser following Oakland's 16-2 rout of the Orioles. “I was thinking, ‘Touch the base. Touch second, touch third. OK, you did good.’ Home plate was easy."

Taylor successfully completed his trip around the bases after launching a solo homer to center field in the bottom of the third inning off Baltimore starter Gabriel Ynoa. It proved to be the first of many for the A's, who took full advantage of an Orioles staff that has struggled mightily with the long ball. 

Ramon Laureano pounded a three-run homer in the fourth. Robbie Grossman's two-run shot in the sixth was followed by three-run bombs from Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty, respectively, for Oakland's first 10-run inning at the Coliseum in nearly 23 years. And in the seventh, Chad Pinder pinch-hit for Matt Chapman and promptly deposited a two-run homer in the left field bleachers.

The six home runs were the most the A's hit in a single game since June 17, 2008, at Arizona, and their most at the Coliseum since Sept. 11, 2003.

"We’ve got the ability to do that,” Bob Melvin said of his team's penchant for the long ball. “Got some good counts, got some good swings and on a night where early on it didn’t look the ball was going anywhere, we ended up squaring a few up."

It certainly didn't hurt matters that the A's were facing Baltimore, as the Orioles have now given up a league-leading 147 home runs in 73 games this season, well on pace to break the MLB record of 258 given up by the Reds in 2016.

[RELATED: How Semien has thrived as A's leadoff hitter this season]

After struggling against last-place teams as of late, it was a promising sign to see the A's pile on against an inferior opponent Tuesday night. If they can continue hitting homers in bunches, they're bound to open up some breathing room between themselves and the .500 mark.

A's vs. Orioles lineups: Brett Anderson tries to clinch series win

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AP

A's vs. Orioles lineups: Brett Anderson tries to clinch series win

The A's will look to do something they haven't been able to all month when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. 

Oakland has had three opportunities to move two games above .500 in June, but has lost each time. Brett Anderson has a chance to help the A's turn things around, and is coming off one of his best starts of the season. The 31-year-old threw 6 1/3 innings and struck out four in Oakland's 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays his last time out, picking up a no decision. 

Gabriel Ynoa starts for the Orioles. He's still looking for his first win of the season, and will make just the 12th start of his MLB career. Ynoa has never pitched against the A's, but has limited opponents to a .258 batting average away from Camden Yards this season.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Orioles game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.

Oakland A's (37-36)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Khris Davis, DH
Ramón Laureano, CF
Robbie Grossman, LF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Beau Taylor, C

Brett Anderson, LHP (6-4, 3.89 ERA)

[RELATED: How Semien is thriving in leadoff spot for A's]

Baltimore Orioles (21-51)
Hanser Alberto, DH
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, 1B
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Keon Broxton, CF
Rio Ruiz, 3B
Richie Martin, SS

Gabriel Ynoa, RHP (0-3, 5.02 ERA)