When Brett Tomko
walked off the mound with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the A's had a 6-1 lead, and all signs pointed to his coasting to a calm evening in the dugout while chalking up his third win in as many decisions in Oakland. But the Angels
had other ideas, scoring 10 unanswered runs, largely on the back of a huge 5-5 night from Kendry Morales
, who posted 2 home runs and 2 doubles as part of his 6 RBI night for the Halos.
The bottom of the 7th started off ugly, when Adam Kennedy
made a throwing error to open the inning. And it got worse. Bobby Abreu
was called safe after being tagged, while in the air, by Craig Breslow
, who was beside himself when the umpire, already unloved by the A's dugout, completely missed the play. With Breslow out, Ziggy came in and rapidly the game got away. A 2-run Guerrero single made it 6-5, and after Rivera singled, the aforementioned Morales hit a three-run shot to make it 8-6 Angels. Aybar tripled and Kendrick, up for the second time in inning, singled him in to make it 9-6. All told, it was a 7-run 7th.
While livid over the first base umpire's blatant miss, following his smugness during a previous argument with Scott Hairston
, a single play doesn't usually plate 7 runs. Okay. It never does. The game got away because of sloppy defense that opened the door, and an extremely hittable bullpen, which later included Jay Marshall
and Santiago Casilla
, who both gave up a run, to make the Angels score a solid 11 runs, and spotting them a 5-run lead.
At this point, with Tomko's sharp start long since forgotten, the A's did what they have often done this season - tease us into thinking there might be a chance, scoring one in the 9th to make it 11-7, and bringing the tying run on deck. But that's as close as we would get.
Unlike some other blogs (Rhymes with "Stale-O's Seven"), we won't be doing a Blame of the Game. What's the point? But any time you give up 10 unanswered runs to your division rival, you deserve to lose. Tomko did all he could, showing the A's that he is a legitimate starter, but there was no stopping Morales tonight, and this game is best forgotten as quickly as possible.