And...just when you thought you were resigned to the season being over, the A's have a moment--and come back from not one, not two, but three deficits against the Angels, inspiring--dare I say it?--something like hope in the heart of A's fans everywhere. And just as quickly, the small flicker of hope is dashed out; replaced by the familiar numbness of yet another loss as the A's cannot come back the fourth time, and finally lose 6-5.
The A's fell behind in the very first inning as the first batter of the game barely beat out a bunt to get on base. This, of course, was later followed by an Angels' homerun. Get used to that. The first homer was Abreu's and it staked the Angels to an early 2-0 lead.
The A's showed some grit and moxie as they tied the game on a Gabe Gross double and a Coco Crisp groundout in the third. The Angels would take the 3-2 lead on a sac fly in the sixth, but the A's came right back; tying the game on a homerun of their own courtesy of Jack Cust.
Pineiro and Mazzaro traded places through seven strong innings, both allowing the three runs (Mazzaro allowed only four hits, but walked three; Pineiro allowed eight hits, but didn't walk a batter). Mazzaro pitched a great game, even striking out five batters, but although the A's kept him off the hook for a loss, they couldn't get him the win.
Coco Crisp nearly gave the A's the lead in the seventh, but much like this season, the ball fell about a foot short and he was stranded at third after his two-out triple. Disaster struck the A's in the eighth inning with the score tied at 3, when Abreu beat out an infield single with two outs. You guessed it; the Angels hit another homerun. This one was Torii Hunter's, and it gave the Angels a 5-3 lead. Game over, right?
Not quite yet. The A's made it interesting; tying the game at 5 in the bottom of the eighth on a Swouble, a Suzuki single, and a Kouz double. Gabe Gross struck out to end the inning, and strand the go-ahead run at third base.
Bailey came in and pitched an almost-perfect ninth inning, and you sensed that if the A's should win, they should do it then. Unfortunately, the A's sense of timing was all off, and they went 1, 2, 3 in the bottom of the ninth. Bailey threw a second inning and the A's paid dearly for it. The Angels would homer again; this time the damage would be done by Erick "Yes, this is my third homerun of the season, why do you ask" Aybar.
The A's would send up Matt Carson (Sweeney), Kurt Suzuki, and Adam Rosales (Cust) against Fuentes in the tenth, trying to comeback one last time, but it went as well as you could imagine. That is; 1, 2, 3. Game over.
If you're looking for silver linings, a) the game was exciting b) every starter had at least one hit (with the glaring #2 hole exception of Barton and his 0-5, including a rally-killing fielder's choice with a runner at third and one out in the fifth) and c) Mazzaro pitched very well.
Other than that, it was a horribly painful loss. But tomorrow is a new day and Kazmir is pitching. Let's see if Sheets can get us a win.
Angels lead the series 1-0
WP: Kevin Jepsen (1 - 1)
SV: Brian Fuentes
LP: Andrew Bailey (0 - 3)
|5 - 6 loss|
|Sun 07/11||1:05 PM PDT|