Well, the A’s certainly delivered another solid win this afternoon. On the strength of thirteen hits and five walks, the A’s offense scored six runs; enough for the win, and the overall series win. Mazzaro and the bullpen held off the Orioles through their nine innings, as the A’s continue to play some good baseball. Four Oakland players had a multi-hit game, and we’re seeing the batting averages creep just a little bit higher.
With his two hits today (one of them an important triple), Rajai Davis is now batting .294 on the season, and is adding much-needed speed to the top of the lineup. Even with his error today that helped escort Mazzaro out of this contest, he’s playing some incredible baseball.
The A's didn't have any shortage of baserunning in this game. Davis singled, stole second and reached third on Hairston's single all with one out in the first, but Jack Cust (inexplicably playing RF and batting fourth) struck out looking and got Hairston thrown out at second base to end the inning. Not his finest work. Everidge walked and reached second on a one-out single by Ellis in the second inning, but Powell popped out for the second out. Pennington promptly singled, but Everidge only reached third base, even with two outs, so the bases were left loaded when Kennedy grounded out.
The A's went quietly in the third inning, but finally broke through in the fourth with an Everidge double, Sweeney single, Ellis sac fly, Landon Powell HOMERUN!, Pennington bunt single, stolen base, third on an error, and a Kennedy sac fly to make it 4-0 A's. It would get a lot closer than that.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the mound, Vin Mazzaro was dealing through his first five innings; neither he nor his low pitch-count signalled trouble in the sixth. But it found him. A single and a homerun quickly cut the lead in half, and a double and a single (that Rajai would let go by him for an error) allowed the third run to score, and brought the tying run to third with one out.
Breslow came in to play the part of magician; he induced a shallow fly ball for the second out, and got a strikeout for the third.
Mazzaro would finish with 5.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. It was also absolutely the right call to get him some help; I thought the hook was at the perfect time; knowing the bullpen had a day off tomorrow.
Breslow got into some trouble of his own in the seventh inning; as he walked the leadoff hitter and allowed a one-out single, putting runners at first and second. Baltimore orchastrated a double steal, but Powell was ready; throwing to second instead of third to get the trailing runner for the second out. Breslow got his second strikeout of the inning to end the threat, and keep the A's slim 4-3 lead.
A Sweeney double, and Ellis sac bunt and a passed ball gave the A's the all-important insurance run, and Rajai's triple and Hairston's RBI single padded the score at 6-3. Wuertz handled the eighth; Bailey the ninth, and the A's head home after a great roadtrip!
Day off tomorrow (!!!), and the A's resume play Friday at 7:05. Giambi bobblehead night.