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A's Pitch, Hit in 7-2 Win Over White Sox, Duchscherer Hurt

A’s 7, White Sox 2

Despite the discouraging news (or crushing blow to the A’s inexperienced starting rotation; take your pick) on Justin Duchscherer regarding his impending visit to Dr Lewis Yocum, the A’s were still able to show some of the reasons to be excited for 2009 in the game today.

Eric Chavez still doesn’t have a timetable for his return to third base, but he was the DH today (0-1); replaced by Mark Ellis (0-3); two players that have come to camp with injury questions of their own.

The A’s started the scoring in the third, with the sizzling Ryan Sweeney singling off Lance Broadway with the bases loaded (singles by Petit and Buck, and a walk by Cunningham). Chavez worked a walk to load the bases again, and Broadway walked Powell, bringing in another run. Justin Cassel (yes, I believe he is the brother of that Cassel) took over, and struck out two, but uncorked a wild pitch to score the A’s 4th run of the inning.

Starting pitcher Dana Eveland gave up a couple of walks in his two innings, but still hasn’t allowed a hit. Russ Springer got the win with his one perfect inning of work in the third, but Jerome Williams was hit fairly hard in his two innings; allowing three hits and two runs, including a long homerun to cut the A’s lead in half.

Joey Devine pitched a scoreless sixth, allowing a hit and a walk, and Santiago Casilla a scoreless seventh, allowing a hit.

The A’s scored again in the bottom of the seventh, after a walk and stolen base by Rajai Davis, who advanced to third on a Daric Barton single, and scored on an error. Yung Chi Chen tripled Barton home on the next play.

James Simmons pitched both the eighth and the ninth innings, allowing two hits, and striking out three, keeping the White Sox off the board. The A’s added one more run in the bottom of the eighth, on a combination of singles by Corey Wimberly and Matt Carson, and poor White Sox defense.

It was great to see Mark Ellis at the plate today, but I am extremely worried about the pitching rotation without Duchscherer. Iit looks like there may be a 4 and 5 spot up for grabs now, and maybe even a 6th starter/long relief spot. I think the offense will work itself out this year with the new additions, but the pitching just put up another question mark. All the potential in the world doesn't make up for at least one experienced, good starting pitcher anchoring the rotation.