Well, that was...unexpected. There are sweeps--like the Rangers did to the A's last week in Oakland, taking all three games, two of them won close and late--and there are COMMANDING SWEEPS--which doesn't even begin to sum up what the A's did to the Rangers in Arlington; they returned the favor and so much more. The A's took these games 4-0, 9-3 and today's score of 12-1. The Rangers were never in this series, and certainly not in tonight's game, and it wasn't just their bats, but their gloves as well; they committed 4 errors. That's funny; I thought that was our schtick.
Lost in today's offensive explosion was Jesse Chavez' absolute gem in Arlington; he pitched seven innings, allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out eight. He needed but one run of support, and the A's gave him twelve.
Nearly every A's starter recorded multiple hits (Reddick walked twice, and Punto, well, looked good in his uniform) and Derek Norris continues his bid to break out of his platoon with another monster night at the plate, racking up another 3 hits.
The A's did most of their damage in the third inning, scoring seven runs while batting around. Incredibly, they were not able to knock the starting pitcher out of the game; Robbie Ross was left in there to presumably save the beleaguered Texas bullpen, and he ended up pitching just into the fourth, allowing 11 hits and 10 runs. Ouch. To be fair, only 6 were actually earned, thanks to some circus Texas defense, but still. The Rangers used 5 more relievers to merely finish the game. Meanwhile, the A's bullpen is nice and rested after this showdown series, while Texas will limp to Anaheim, three games back of the Division Leading Oakland Athletics.
The game gave no indication of the wildness to come as the first and second innings played like a baseball game. But the A's countered with a touchdown in the third, as Crisp recorded a one-out single, and moved to third on a Gentry ground-rule double. Donaldson singled Crisp in for the first run, and Cespedes doubled both Gentry and Donaldson in for the A's second and third run. Norris singled and Callaspo reached on an error by Andrus, while Cespedes scored for the A's fourth run. After a Reddick walk, Punto managed an RBI ground-out for the fifth run, and a single by Sogard plated the final sixth and seventh runs of the inning.
For good measure, the A's would tack on three in the fourth as the inning started with a Gentry single and another Cespedes double. Derek Norris tried to ground out, but accidentally beat out the wild throw by Beltre (who was charged with a throwing error) backed up by another error; this time by Rios, and the combined errors allowed both Gentry and Cespedes to score, to give the A's a safety to add to their touchdown. A Callaspo single finally allowed Ross to leave the game, and after another Reddick walk, Sogard drove in another run, putting the A's on top 10-0.
A single by Donaldson and an RBI single by Callaspo in the fifth made it 11-0, and a cherry-on-top homerun by Coco Crisp in the sixth (the FIRST homerun in the series by either the A's or the Rangers!) put the A's up by an even dozen; or a touchdown, safety, and field goal, if you prefer. Gregerson allowed a run in the eighth; Johnson did not in the ninth, and that's the game; 12-1.
Big smiles all around. The A's fly into Boston on Friday to play the Red Sox; I will have all of your threading goodness for you in the Friday night drinking thread.