Taking a cursory glance at Gallagher’s line today as he returned to the A’s rotation is a bit scary. Any time a pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, but is pulled after four innings, you either assume injury, or a whole lot of pitches. Today was the latter, as Gallagher struck out six, but also walked six. It was actually kind of hard to tell how well he pitched; I’m convinced the Tigers batters had no idea where any of his pitches were going, rendering him effectively wild, but not very pitch efficient.
Before Gallagher even took the mound today, he had a lead, as back-to-back homers (are we allowed to do that?) by Sweeney (sadly, the only one on the team now) and Cust staked the A’s to a 2-0 lead; one that they would not relinquish. The first inning set the tone for how Gallagher’s line would end up. He faced six batters to the tune of: walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout, leaving the bases loaded, but not surrendering a run. I’m not sure that ‘shutdown inning’ applies, but the overall effect worked.
The A’s extended their lead in the fourth, as Patterson and Cunningham both singled to drive in runs, putting the A’s up 5-0.
The Tigers got two back in the sixth as Blevins and Casilla struggled, but the big inning was avoided by a great play by Jeff Baisley over at third to get a much-needed double-play. The parade of A’s bullpen pitchers continued as Embree, Street, Devine, and Ziggy handled the rest of the game unscored upon; the game ending with a déjà vu play of a deep drive off Ziggy to the wall, where the runner at first was doubled off for the last out of the day. Street ended up with the win (scorer’s discretion) and Ziggy the rare three-run save.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad day for the A’s, who showed some pop from their bats, some hits from their rookies, and some actual bullpen work.
In other news, Gio Gonzalez is heading for the ‘pen, and rookie Josh Outman will make his starting pitching debut for the A's on Saturday against the Rangers. The A’s head home and will kick off the Rangers' series tomorrow night at 7:05.