It's becoming increasingly hard to root against the poor Orioles, who have now dropped eight in a row this young season and 12 of 13 to the A's themselves, but at the same time, the A's need all of the wins they can get. I'm not picky about how they get them or who they are playing when they do, but tonight's game was classic, textbook, perfect baseball for this 2010 A's team (pitching and defense) and I'd like to see more. Although the A's only scored four runs, they made it seem like more with the excellent pitching from Braden, Ziggy and Bailey, who finally notched his first save of the season (it took eight wins!).
Braden earned his second win of the season with his stellar performance tonight. I could tell you that the Orioles only had a man in scoring position twice tonight, and only once against Braden, but I'll just give his line: 7IP, 3H, 1BB, 4K. His only blemish on the night--and I mean the only--was that his one walk came right in front of one of his three hits, and it happened to be a Ty Wigginton homerun. The Orioles never mounted a rally.
Although Braden finished the seventh only throwing 92 pitches, his night was finished in favor of Ziegler for the eighth and Bailey for the ninth. Some may not agree, but it's his third start, he didn't pitch a full season last year, and I think the set-up/closer combo is perfect with a two-run lead. I liked the bullpen call there.
The A's scored their four runs in true A's fashion; not a homerun in the mix. In the second inning, back to back singles by Kouzmanoff and Chavez put the runner at third with no one out. Jake Fox cashed in the RBI with a sac fly. They doubled the lead in the third when Rajai singled, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and scored on Sweeney's groundout. They doubled the lead again in the fourth when after a Fox single and a Gross single (who was 3-3 tonight), Pennington tripled them both in. The 4-0 lead was cut to 4-2 on the O's homerun, but that was the extent of the scoring.
Your first-place A's take on the Orioles again tomorrow. I will be your host; aren't you excited!
Athletics lead the series 2-0
WP: Ben Sheets (1 - 0)
LP: David Hernandez (0 - 2)
|6 - 2 win|
|Fri 04/16||4 - 2 win|
|Sun 04/18||1:05 PM PDT|