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Wrap: Game 69 - A's 5, Giants 3

Eric Chavez must really love his Father! Chavvy had 3 hits and 2 RBIs to lead a balanced A's offensive attack to a 5-3 series-sweeping win. In fairness, virtually the entire A's lineup was ready to explode early and often in this game, as they routinely rocketed deep fly balls that died in the cavernous alleys of AT & T Park or laced line drives that were snapped up by a fortunately-positioned Giant. But the wheels of the Kevin Correia train finally came off in the top of the 6th, as the A's hitters batted around, put 4 runs up in the inning and at one point stringed together back-to-back-to-back RBI hits courtesy of the aforementioned Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby and Carlos Gonzalez (who also doubled his walk total of the season by taking a free pass in the 5th).

Earlier in the game, Ryan Sweeney had provided a rare baserunning highlight for the A's, as he stole second and then came around to score on Chavvy's first hit of the game. A baserunning low-light, if you will, occurred two innings later as Geren appearently tried to tack on one more run in the 6th via a double steal with Cargon at 3rd and ever-the-floot-footed Daric Barton at 1st. While the play in theory was a neat idea, the execution failed miserably as Barton was caught at 2nd to end the inning while Cargon was breaking for home. Not a huge gaffe in light of the circumstances, but probably not the best call either, in light of the personnel involved.

Dana Eveland provided the A's defense with a nice bounce-back performance, scattering 6 hits and 3 walks and only 1 run while collecting 5 K's over 6 2/3 innings. The stats don't paint the whole picture for Dana though, as he showed in the first few innings that he was as crisp and efficient as he's ever been through the first two frames, tossing back-to-back 7-pitch, scoreless innings to open the game. He ran into a bit of trouble in the 3rd after allowing a leadoff double and then an RBI double two batters later, but limited the damage to only 1 run and settled down nicely the rest of the way, leaving the game in bottom of the 7th with two on and two out.

Chad Gaudin come on in relief of Eveland and struck out Jose Castillo to end the inning and the threat.; but Chad came right back the next inning to load the bases after allowing 3 straight singles. Geren then opted to send Keith Foulke out there to limit the damage and after an RBI single and a sac fly, Foulke was able to get pinch hitter Omar "Mr. Giant" Vizquel to fly out to end the inning. Huston then picked up the save for once in the 9th to close the door on the game and the series.

Overall, pretty good little series to get the A's acquainted with NL-style baseball. Geren showed, for the most part, that he could capably manage double-switches and pinch hitters and even showed a willingness to manufacture some runs via the hit-and-run and by letting baserunners try for stolen bases occasionally. Some moves were questionable, but you can't argue with the overall results. Unfortunately, the A's next two NL opponents (D-Backs & Marlins) are not quite the pushovers that the Gigantes are, so Geren and his band of Green and Gold Gentleman will be in for a much more trying test in the next week. But they'll ship out to AZ this evening sitting no worse than 3.5 games out of 1st place in the AL West, which is quite the feat for this "rebuilding" squad.