...because the A's gift-wrapped that one for them.
Staked to a five run lead, with Rich Harden pitching six solid innings, the bullpen imploded, giving up seven runs in the seventh. When the dust had settled (from where the bullpen used to stand), the Rays avoid the sweep by coming back on the A's, 10-8.
It was an ugly loss, especially considering how fun and unique it started. Mixed into the first inning's five runs was a single, double, triple and home run, in order by (respectively) Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, and Conor Jackson. This is the first time this has ever happened in Oakland A's history.
Their six straight hits however were no match for the Rays' five hit, three walk, one wild pitch seventh. Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and Brian Fuentes combined to provide the Rays their seven runs in exchange for three outs. Poor trade, guys.
I'd say Breslow, Ziegler and Fuentes owe the team an apology. That should have been a W in every way. Instead, the A's snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
- Our offense has been on fire since the ASB. Cliff Pennington extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Matsui continues to look good, as does Conor. Heck, all of them look pretty good!
- Harden again pitched a very solid game. The ball was leaving the park quickly today, and Harden made one mistake in the sixth, giving up a two-run home run to Desmond Jennings. But he only allowed three hits and walked two while striking out seven.
- Kurt Suzuki had a great day. Two runners thrown out and a home run.
- They did not quit when the offense imploded. Suzuki hit a home run in the bottom of seventh and station-to-station A's got them another in the bottom of the eighth--Matsui essentially created it by running on Willingham's single. Ryan Sweeney doubled off Farnsworth in the ninth and was driven in by a Scott Sizemore single. The A's had the tying run come up to bat, which, given how crushing the top of the seventh was, is pretty impressive.
- Both Sizemore and Sweeney made impressive plays in the field today.
- Jennings for the Rays is fun to watch. He's a good player.
Athletics win the series 3-0
WP: Brian Fuentes (2 - 8)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: J.P. Howell (2 - 2)
|7 - 5 win|
WP: Brandon McCarthy (3 - 5)
LP: David Price (9 - 9)
|6 - 1 win|
WP: Trevor Cahill (9 - 9)
LP: James Shields (9 - 9)
|13 - 4 win|