Not the prettiest game from the A's. Thankfully, it's February 26, and there were some bright spots, too! But if you're mostly a sadist, read all about the carnage below.
Two interesting notes, condensed for the sake of this recap's word count:
-Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is unbelievable. I went to an A's game there last year - 13 full diamonds, practice infields, "bunting fields"....it's ridiculous. It's without a doubt the nicest Spring Training facility out there.
-When it snowed last week in AZ, the Diamondbacks needed a place to practice, so Beane let them use Papago for a day in exchange for the A's being able to use DH's in both of their games at Talking Stick against Arizona. Good stuff, Billy!
Pitching dominated the first two innings. The only non-outs were a Seth Smith single off of Collmenter in the 2nd, and a Goldschmidt "double" (read: Sogard error on a sharply hit grounder), but he was thrown out by Reddick when he tried to tag up on a Cody Ross fly ball later in the inning.
Norris led off the 3rd inning by depositing a 1-1 delivery from David Hernandez deep into the grass berm in left field, creating the game's first run all by himself. Choice made good contact, but hit a line drive right at Adam Eaton in center field. Nakajima K'd for the 5th time in Cactus League play.
In the bottom of the 4th, Mike Ekstrom gave up a 2-run, opposite field bomb to Jason Kubel, giving the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead. Melvin pulled Ekstrom in favor of Arnold Leon, a move that I suspect had more to do with pitch count than with Ekstrom giving up a home run. Leon got Ross to fly out, ending the inning.
Brad Ziegler shut down the A's in the 5th - in Arizona's half, Nakajima made a nice play ranging to his right to start a 6-4-3 double play on a grounder from Wil Nieves. I'd say he's looked pretty good on defense so far. The inning didn't have a happy ending for the A's, however, as Eaton hit a two-run home run to right, followed by a Martin Prado single. BoMel brought in Thomas Walz, and the inning's scoring ended there.
The top of the 6th saw some encouraging offensive signs for the A's: Hiro came up with his first hit in American pro baseball, in the form of a sharp line drive single to right. Andy Parrino pinch ran for Nakajima, and Peterson doubled to center field. Parrino only advanced to 3rd base, and failed to score as Moss flied out to right, and Donaldson struck out swinging.
The bottom of the 6th started innocently enough with Fernando Rodriguez inducing consecutive fly ball outs from Kubel and Ross. Next, Eric Chavez hit a lazy pop up to shallow left that Parrino couldn't handle - it bounced off his glove, resulting in a double. Blake Hassebrock relieved Rodriguez, quickly giving up a run-scoring single to Nieves and a home run to Pennington. Eaton hit a ground ball to Russell, but Addison's throw pulled A's 1B Scott Moore off the bag. New catcher Luke Montz threw him out on an attempted steal of 2nd base, ending the inning (though according to the Arizona broadcast crew, the A's got a lot of help from 2B umpire Angel Campos). At that point, the Arizona lead stood at 7-1.
Darwin Perez continued his impressive Spring with a single in the 7th, the A's only hit of the inning. The bottom half saw Jake Lamb double on a line drive to center field, scoring both Josh Wilson and Tuffy Gosewisch. Ah, spring training. 9-1 Arizona.
In the 8th, Addison Russell singled on a grounder to the left side. An error allowed Parrino to reach base, moving Addison over to 3rd. The rally ended there, though, as Peterson grounded out, Scott Moore popped out, and Miles Head grounded out. Mercifully, the 8th was relatively quiet for Arizona - no scoring, and just one hit, a single from Mark Teahen. Did anybody in their organization not come through Oakland???
The A's had one last shot in the 9th, and they made the most of it. Warner Madrigal walked Adam Rosales on four pitches to start things off. Perez struck out, but catcher David Freitas singled, moving Rosales up to 2nd. Jeffrey Marte doubled to center field, scoring Rosales and moving Freitas over the 3rd. Russell kept the rally going with a single that scored Rosales, his second hit of the afternoon. Parrino was thrown out on a comebacker to Madrigal that somehow scored a run. Madrigal left with an injury, and was replaced by Andrew Barbosa.
Not Oakland's greatest effort today, obviously. It was good to see Griffin look so on top of his game, and absolutely fantastic to see Addison pick up two more hits. Not to mention Derek Norris' mammoth home run early on. The 9th inning rally was great, albeit inconsequential. Hopefully the A's can pick up on that momentum tomorrow!
On that note, tomorrow the A's take on half of the San Diego Padres at Phoenix Muni, a 12:05 PT start. Dan Straily is slated to make his first appearance of 2013; you can also expect Pat Neshek, Bruce Billings, and Chris Resop sightings.
This is my second entry in AN's Spring Training Recap Contest. Once again, thanks for reading! Unfortunately I'm uncontested today, so there's no vote to be had. I'm looking forward to reading other Fanpost recaps throughout the rest of spring.