Wow. Where do I start? The A's put up enough runs to win in almost any normal situation, but Ben Sheets made it clear that this wasn't a normal situation. By the time Sheets left the mound after only 4 innings, he had allowed 8 runs on the strength of two home runs, from the bats of Pat Burrell and Reid Brignac. The stout Oakland bullpen was able to limit the damage, allowing nothing more.
But my, oh my, this was a nice night for the A's offense. Both Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales had four-hit nights. Cliff Pennington was a real grass surface away from hitting for the cycle, as his triple was ruled a ground-rule double for bouncing out of play on a large warning track hop. In the 3rd inning, Eric Patterson walked and Adam Rosales singled to lead off the inning. Pennington responded by launching a ball over the right field fence. The A's would eventually score once more in the inning, which tied up the game 4-4. Unfortunately, in his lucky second chance, Ben Sheets responded by giving up 4 more runs in the next two innings before being pulled.
The Rays didn't score off of the opposing bullpen, but the A's did, as they slowly crept up and started to narrow the Rays' lead. Daric Barton had a shot at tying the game with both of the tying runners in scoring position (courtesy of another Pennington double), but he struck out on a fastball at the knees, and the A's wouldn't touch home again.
The A's attempt to avoid the two-game sweep tomorrow at 4:10 PM as Dallas Braden faces James Shields.