A's 3, Rangers 2
And you all wondered why Raj wasn't in the starting lineup.
"Geren told me, ‘We're going to use you late'", a winded Davis told Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper following a two-run, walk-off three-bagger that completed an improbable three-run rally in the ninth.
But me and Raj, well, we've been here before, haven't we?
For awhile it was a nifty display of nothingness. Until the ninth, that is.
The A's nearly wasted yet another in a string of stellar performances by Brett Anderson, falling victim to a 1-2 punch of Dustin Nippert and Neftali Feliz, who made his big-league debut. Cameo appearances by Frank Francisco, Eddie Guardado , and Darren O'Day, were seemingly for tease effect, until the A's cracked the Rangers' sixth pitcher of the night, CJ Wilson.
Anderson set the tone early with a 1-2-3 first inning that was so effortless and swift, most of the 10,523 fans that bothered to purchase a ticket were still getting comfortable.
Kurt Suzuki singled with one out in the bottom half, noteworthy only because the A's next knock came two hours later.
Nippert, who has taken this reliever-turned-starter thing to heart, allowed just that one hit and two walks in five frames of near-perfect work. He struck out five batters, before giving way to Feliz, who surely made his teammates happy with a six-up, six-down outing in which he hit triple figures on the radar gun while striking out the four first batters he's ever faced in the majors. Welcome to the show, kid.
The Rangers got to Anderson for a run in the fifth, and were fortunate to get that one. A pair of singles wrapped around a walk on a close 3-2 pitch to Andruw Jones loaded the bases with no out. A double play ball scored Hank Blalock, and Anderson escaped with limited damage by striking out Elvis Andrus.
Texas tacked on a second run in the eighth, before the A's threatened in the latter half. Cliff Pennington singled for the A's second hit, followed by a walk to Adam Kennedy, but Suzuki flied out to end the inning.
That merely set the stage for an amA'sing ninth.
O'Day got Scott Hairston on a ground ball out, before being lifted for Wilson. Cust singled to shallow right, while AN readied itself for the nightly tease. Nomar Garciaparra struck out. But Tommy Everidge came through with a base hit, and Mark Ellis drove home Cust with a single. Bobby Crosby pinch-ran for Everidge, and soon ran home with the tying run on Davis' double down the right-field line. Ellis came in behind Crosby, and soon Davis was being mobbed by delirious teammates.