Well, Happy Friday, AN! In what is, no doubt, surprising news, the A's win tonight's ballgame. To sum up: Gio was a little wild, but effective, the A's bullpen was stellar, and the A's offense strung together four singles in a row to set the table to win the game 3-2. That is, literally, all that happened.
What? You want more? Even though they were sporting a lineup that was minus Daric Barton, Josh Willingham, and Cliff Pennington, the A's started out the game in the most promising fashion. Coco walked and DeJesus singled in front of his old fans to put runners on first and third for the A's with no one out. Could the A's score a run? No. Conor Jackson flew out and Hideki Matsui hit a ground ball to the right side, right into a double play. The Royals promptly hit a solo homerun in their half of the inning, and took the early 1-0 lead. The A's went 1, 2, 3 in the second, third, and fourth innings, and the Royals put another run on the board in their third on an RBI triple.
Down 2-0, things looked grim for our heroes. But then the fifth inning happened. Consecutive singles by Suzuki, Sweeney, LaRoche, and Ellis gave the A's one run, and try as he might, Kevin Kouzmanoff couldn't quite double himself up, so the tying run scored. Coco Crisp managed an RBI forceout to give the A's what would be the ultimate winning run; they took the lead 3-2. I'm not kidding when I say that nothing else happened; the A's went 1, 2, 3 for the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Nine innings and the A's only put runners on base in two of them. But it would be enough.
Gio Gonzalez pitched seven complete; allowing four hits and two runs. He struck out six, but walked four. (O'Sullivan got the loss in his eight innings.) Like the script says, Balfour pitched a perfect eighth, and Fuentes pitched a scoreless (he gave up one hit) ninth. There was a Willingham sighting; he pinch-hit for Kouzmanoff, allowing Pennington to take over at short and LaRoche at third in the ninth. This would be important, as the last out came on a ground ball to LaRoche, who nearly took off Conor Jackson's shoulder as the runner ran into him as he caught the final out.
But celebrate, good times, come on! The A's move one game over .500 again. Dare we see if we can make it TWO over? Tomorrow night will tell.