OAKLAND -- It's a kid's game, and the A's are playing it as such.
They're doing it well, too, with a seven-game win streak in tow following Friday's 20-2 laugher over a reeling Red Sox team -- which amounted to a whole lot of fun in the presence of real kids.
Hosting Little League World Series participant Petaluma National, the A's treated the youngsters to an all-night batting-practice show, busting out for 19 hits -- five of them home runs, one a grand slam -- while moving 17 games over the .500 mark.
The baseball gods surely had a hand in this one.
"I hope they enjoyed that," said a beaming Jonny Gomes, the pride of Petaluma, Calif.
"That was pretty impressive," said A's manager Bob Melvin, left nearly speechless. "All across the board."
Just like that, Melvin's club has equaled its win total from the 2011 campaign -- with 31 games still to be played.
It's indeed a whole new world for the green and gold, who scored 20 runs for just the fourth time in Oakland history and first since Sept. 30, 2000, when they plated 23 against the Rangers.
"We had a blast," said Josh Reddick, whose seventh-inning grand slam highlighted a nine-run frame. "Everyone is running to the bat rack and ready to bat and you can't wait to get in the batters' box."
August sure was good to the A's, who went 18-10 in the month, following a 19-5 July, all of which has led to sole ownership of the top American League Wild Card slot. A Rangers win on Friday kept them four games back of the division lead.
Oakland is set to play Texas seven times in September, a month that will match the A's against playoff contenders in 17 of their final 23 games.
Bring it on, says Gomes.
"We've put ourselves into a position where we're the good team," he said. "Look at the numbers on this team. We're pretty good. We're definitely not going to be scared of any competition. How quick things change, to where we might have a bull's-eye on our back and guys might be playing us different."
The A's have outscored their opponents, 59-18, during their seven-game win streak. After hitting four home runs in Thursday's win at Cleveland, Oakland busted out for a season-high five on this night, with Josh Donaldson going deep in his third straight game and Brandon Moss and George Kottaras also connecting for the long ball against their former team, the latter doing so twice.
Moss did plenty damage inside the park, too, collecting a career-high four hits -- two of them doubles -- and four RBIs, also a career high. His second two-bagger, a strange blooper off the glove of Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias that snared into foul territory, was followed by an RBI base hit off the bat of Gomes that ended Boston starter Aaron Cook's night with just two outs and six runs already scored in the third.
Cook and Co., unlike the A's, are happy to say goodbye to August, which brought a 9-21 mark for the Red Sox, who entered the month 3 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race and exited it at a distant 12 games behind.
Surely Boston is playing to the tune of mediocrity that was expected of the A's, while Oakland has continually defied expectations.
Boston was held to two runs against righty Brandon McCarthy, who scattered eight hits over 6 1/3 innings with no walks and one strikeout while watching his teammates do the rest of the work.
"I think when they're confident like this and swinging well it's hard to stop them, but right now it seems like everyone is jelling at the same time," McCarthy said. "One through nine, it's been pretty solid, and it's rare, but when it happens it's fun to watch."
"You don't get games like that, hardly ever," Moss said. "Boy, was that fun."