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Southern California Has Beaches, and the A's lose

Well, I’d sure like to tell you all what happened in the first three innings tonight, but I’m sorry, I have no idea. That’s because the game was preempted by Rex Hudler’s Inappropriate Interview Hour, where poor Misty May-Treanor was held captive in the broadcast booth where she was forced to answer such gems as:

“What do you do when the sand is hot?”
“How much money do you make?”
“Tell me about your family.”
“Did you know that some of the best beach volleyball is here in Southern California?”
“Would you like to touch my rally monkey?”

I may have inferred the last one, but the subtext was there.

Meanwhile, from what I was able to piece together from the B storyline, Eveland struggled through the first few innings, looking for all the world like he was fighting an injury, yet seemed to settle down for the next few innings. The Angels scored two in the second, and after getting a runner to third in the third with one out, the A’s somewhat strangely opted to walk Vlad (who Eveland dispatched in short order his first time around), which only accomplished putting an extra runner on base, something you don’t like to give the Angels. They scored one more in the inning, but were held at three runs until a sixth inning rally drove Eveland from the game as the Angels tacked on three more. They wouldn't need them; they would go on to win 6-1.

On the offensive side (and it was offensive again tonight), the A’s hit the ball hard, but came away empty until they were gifted a run by the second error of the night by the Angels’ rookie third baseman, which allowed a run to score on Sweeney, R’s single in the fifth. Baserunners were left at second and third that same inning when Santana struck out Suzuki to limit the damage, and aside from getting some hitters on late, the A’s really never had another chance to score. The A’s hitters looked light years away from their success in Monday’s contest; they struggled mightily against Santana. But to be fair, both last night and tonight’s pitchers for the Angels are a combined 10-0 to start the season, so the A’s offense isn’t the only one that has had trouble.

So for the first time in a while, the A’s are booted out of first place, with one game remaining in this series to earn a much-needed split. I will be back down in Anaheim tomorrow night as the A’s get one last shot at the Angels, with Duchscherer taking the mound against a pitcher to be named soon. Same time, same place, hopefully a different outcome. Oh, and if Casey Kotchman feels a little tired from running the bases tonight, he’s welcome to sit tomorrow; that would be great.