At least the A's didn't make their faithful (ha) suffer past nine innings tonight.
Brett Anderson is still searching for his first Major League victory, but he'd probably settle for a finger that didn't hurt when he pitches, and the Angels inflicted a different kind of pain in a 5-2 win.
Are we sensing a theme here folks? Suffer, hurt, pain. Yeah.
The A's squandered a couple of early scoring chances against lefty Joe Saunders, who continued his quiet dominance over Oakland. Jack Cust K'd to end the bottom of the first, stranding two. The slugger got a jump on Cinco de Mayo by striking out four times, thus earning himself a rather large golden Mexican hat.
Bobby Crosby led off the second with a double, and liked the middle of the diamond so much he stayed there until the end of the inning.
The Angels got to Anderson for three in the third. Chone Figgins started things off with a one-out bunt single. Anderson had Figgins picked off on an attempted steal, but Jason Giambi had to reach for the throw, enabling Figgins to swipe second without a play. A walk and an infield single by Bobby Abreu loaded the bases. Crosby saved a run with a diving stop at third on Abreu's ball, but that only prolonged the agony as Torii Hunter jumped on Anderson's first pitch with a base hit to center to make it 2-0, and Napoli followed with an RBI-knock to make it 3-0. Anderson escaped further damage by inducing Howie Kendrick to hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Saunders retired eight straight before Crosby got to him again, this time with a two out single in the forth.
Torii Hunter, first-pitch swinging once more, pushed a two-out single past a diving Crosby to plate Figgins who led off the fifth with a base hit and went to second on a sacrifice. Napoli followed with a booming double to center, his second two-bagger of the night to score Hunter from first to make it 5-love.
Anderson left after that, with his blistered finger still bothering him. Sean Gallagher relieved, and held the Angels scoreless through 3.2 innings of 3-hit ball. He struck out three and walked none.
The A's finally got on the board in the sixth. Travis Buck came up with the bags juiced and two outs, and had a nice at-bat in which he pointed out a balk by Saunders that scored Cabrera. Travis wasn't nearly as stellar with the lumber as he flew out to right to end the threat.
Kurt Suzuki fouled a pitch off of his foot, got up, and homered to left with two out in the seventh, sending Saunders to the showers. He then threw out Napoli trying to steal second in the eighth. Tomorrow all A's hitters will work on fouling pitches off various body parts.
With Saunders (6-2/3 IP, 6H, 2R, 1 BB, 7K) out of the game, the A's hoped to cash in against the Angels' bullpen, sporting the league's worst ERA coming in. Instead Jose Arredondo and Brian Fuentes retired seven straight A's, striking out four.
Outplayed, outclassed, and out of excuses.