Trevor Cahill didn't get the win in his Major League debut but the Oakland offense, even minus Matt Holliday (ill), showed what it can be capable of as the A's defeated the Los Angeles Angels 6-4 behind a 16-hit attack. Jack Cust (3-for-4, 2 RBI), Jason Giambi (3-for-5, 1 RBI) and Ryan Sweeney (3-for-5, 2 R) led the way for the A's while Nomar Garciaparra and Mark Ellis collected a pair of hits of their own and every starter except Orlando Cabrera got into the hit column.
Cahill opened with a 27-pitch first inning but escaped with only one run scoring after Chone Figgins walked, stole second, went to third on a fly out and crossed the plate on a ground out. The Angels picked up another run in the second on a wild pitch and after getting runners on in each of the first three innings with nothing to show for it, the A's finally broke through in the fourth against Dustin Moseley.
With one out, Cust singled hard off the right field wall to plate Garciaparra. Two more runs would score thanks to a ground out by Travis Buck and a single by Ellis. Cahill mostly settled down and made it through five innings, though he cost himself a chance at the win by allowing one more run in the fifth that wasn't helped due to a dropped fly ball by Cust. Cahill's line: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 1 K. It looked like he wasn't getting much help from plate ump Larry Vanover but I'm sure he learned a lot from his outing after being inconsistent with his pitch location.
The A's had their second inning with four hits in the seventh (and had at least one hit in each frame), taking back the lead on a fielder's choice by Eric Chavez before Cust dropped a single into center. Giambi's opposite field double (a very good sign after pulling the ball for years in Yankee Stadium) in the eighth gave the A's an insurance run that became a little more important when Brad Ziegler allowed one in the ninth before striking out Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter to pick up his first save of 2009. That made a winner out of Michael Wuertz, who along with Santiago Casilla combined to go three innings, allowing just a hit and a walk with three strikeouts between them.
After getting just three hits in the opener, it was obviously great to see sixteen of them tonight. Though they only had six runs and stranded twelve runners, they took advantage of enough opportunities and it's nice just to see them have as many as they did. Moseley is no Ervin Santana or John Lackey but last year's team had a tendency to struggle against people they shouldn't have. Adding on against the bullpen also helped a lot.
Tomorrow night Dana Eveland takes the mound against Nick Adenhart.
Oh, and 2600+ comments tonight is insane but great to see. ;-)