Now this is more like it!
Mark Ellis shot a line drive into right field to bring the winning run home in the bottom of the 10th inning as his teammates ran out onto the field. As can probably be divined from the final score, the A's offense produced mostly sputters and false starts, with the lone exception being Kurt Suzuki's solo HR in the 4th inning. The A's were flummoxed by Ian Snell, managing only three hits and two walks. It wasn't until Don Wakamatsu brought Seattle's bullpen into the picture that the A's offense showed some life, tallying five hits against Rule V rookie Kanekoa Texeira.
Unfortunately, most of that offensive life went to waste, as the A's left seemingly a hundred men stranded on the bases. In the bottom of the 9th, the A's had men on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Cliff Pennington walked (with the help of two pitchouts hoping for a squeeze play that never materialized), and Rajai Davis came up to bat. He did little to allay fears that last season was a fluke, as he watched a fastball low and outside, then proceeded to strikeout on three straight curveballs. Daric Barton had a better at-bat, but again failed to bring any runs home by flying out to end the inning.
Thankfully, the A's were simply sterling on the defensive side of things. Dallas Braden made a definitive statement tonight, wowing the Oakland crowd with ten strikeouts over seven innings. The lone Mariners run came when Franklin Gutierrez doubled with one out in the top of the 4th inning. He got no help from his teammates but needed none, as Dallas Braden was called for a balk on a pickoff move, followed by a wild changeup in the dirt, allowing Gutierrez to score. Braden scattered four hits and one walk in his seven sparkling innings.
The A's do it all over again tomorrow night against the Mariners as they send Ryan Rowland-Smith to face off against the mighty Justin Duchscherer, making his first regular-season start since 2008.
4 game series vs Mariners @ Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
WP: Brandon League (1 - 0)
SV: David Aardsma
LP: Brad Ziegler (0 - 1)
|3 - 5 loss|
WP: Edwar Ramirez (1 - 0)
LP: Kanekoa Texeira (0 - 1)
|2 - 1 win|
|Thu 04/08||12:35 PM PDT|