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Kennedy's Unicorniness Saves A's As Bailey Wins On Birthday

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UPDATE: TUESDAY, 4:35pm PDT ... Vin Mazzaro will be called up to make his major league debut starting against the White Sox on Tuesday.

Now that all the yahoo readers who happened to put "unicorniness" into their search engine are here, the A's avoided a series sweep today thanks in large part to two HRs by Adam Kennedy, the second of which broke a 4-4 tie in the 9th off of Frank Francisco.

After Ryan Sweeney robbed Ian Kinsler of a HR (he does that a lot) leading off the 1st, Dallas Braden settled down big time and took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th, thanks to HRs by Kennedy and Giambi, and a couple 7th inning insurance runs. Then Braden's tidy outing was interrupted by the fact that he was bleeding all over the place, courtesy of a blister he had apparently borrowed from Brett Anderson. Braden left the game after the first two hitters reached in the 7th, both of whom scored. Two more scored in the 8th off of Michael Wuertz and Andrew Bailey, who turned 25 today but was charged with a blown save when Marlon Byrd's dribber that wouldn't have hurt one tied the game in the 8th.

Enter Kennedy, exit baseball into the upper deck, 5-4 A's in the 9th. Evidently, Francisco's 0.00 ERA did not impress Kennedy. No chairs were thrown. In the bottom of the 9th, Bailey neutralized a leadoff pinch hit single by Josh Hamilton by getting a 4-6-3 DP from Kinsler (who was supposed to hit it just over the CF wall and into Sweeney's glove, but this was good too). When Michael Young hit a slow comebacker, it made a winner out of the birthday boy.

Finally, let me just say that Dallas Braden plays with exactly the kind of energy and intensity I wish to see from all 25 guys, constantly motivating himself with comments to his glove and the ball between pitches ("Hit your f-ing spots!" "C'mon now, let's go!") and always ready to dive for anything near him. A 1.64 WHIP (.316 BAA) against right-handed hitters will catch up to him soon if he doesn't make some adjustments, but there's a reason Braden is overachieving and his teammates should take their cue from him. Great competitor.

Braden, Kennedy, Bailey. Give me those guys, and Suzuki, and I can win some games.