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Anderson Shines, A's Slay Seattle 6-2

Not this time, Milton.
Not this time, Milton.

If only my workday was as smooth as Mr. Anderson's.

I am going to have to go the highlight route for this one, folks, and there were plenty of those, beginning with a kid half my age.  Picking up where he left off in 2009, Brett Anderson mowed down the Mariners, shutting them out on three hits in six innings of work.  His bullpen proved to be just as stellar, and the A's head to Anaheim having won three of their first four games against a team that owned them last year, and were (and probably still are) widely considered the cream of this season's crop in the American League West.

The A's offense gladly played second fiddle to the kings of the hill, pushing across single runs in the third and fourth, two in the sixth, and another pair in the eighth. 

For awhile it looked like they would only need the first one.

Rajai Davis' single to shallow left with one out in the third seemed innocent enough (his rob-job on a Milton Bradley drive to deep center in the second was anything but innocent). But a balk and a wild pitch (as Daric Barton was receiving the fourth non-strike to earn him a trip to first) moved him up ninety feet at a time, and eventually scored on a double by Ryan Sweeney.

Davis was in the middle of the next rally, too (well, it's not really a rally if you are leading).  His base hit kept the fourth inning alive after Mark Ellis (2-for-4, 2 runs) led off with a single, only to see the next two batters make out.  Barton followed Davis with a one-bagger to score Ellis, as the A's doubled their lead.

Speaking of things in two's, Ellis and Cliff Pennington sandwiched doubles around a Travis Buck pop-up with the latter driving in the former.  Another Barton knock scored Pennington to make it 4-0.

When Anderson faltered, ever so slightly in the seventh, an old friend came to the rescue, in the form of Chad Gaudin, who entered with two men on and no outs, and proceeded to retire the heart of Seattle's order with nary a sweat to keep the shutout intact.

Anderson may have been done for the day, but not Barton (3-for-4, 4 RBI's), whose single to center in the eighth plated two more runs that nearly proved to be insurance.

That's because the Mariners put on a tease for their fans in the ninth (how do YOU like it?), scoring two, prompting an inexplicable call to closer Andrew Bailey by Bob Geren, and ultimately sending the tying run to home plate as AN held its collective breath. But Bailey induced a double-play ball off the bat of Monday night's hitting hero Casey Kotchman, and the first-place A's escaped with the win.

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