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A's Pitching Finally Surrenders Game in 12th After Offense Refuses to Score

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When you're fielding a team that features Barton/Kouzmanoff/Fox as the heart of the order, Fox/Davis/Gross as your outfield, Landon Powell as your DH, and Eric Chavez as your power on the bench, do not be surprised when you can't score a run.

Josh Donaldson knocked in the only run of the day for the A's in the fourth inning; the A's offense would go through eight additional scoreless innings before their pitching finally gave up. Surprisingly, it was Bailey who took the loss; he has not looked good in this series. The inning by Bailey and the lack of offensive prodution ruined an absolute gem by Sheets; who matched C.J. Wilson pitch for pitch.

Sheets' only damage on the day came in the form of a third-inning, two-out walk to Julio Borbon, who stole second base and was driven in by the most obnoxious hitter in the AL; Elvis Andrus, who went 4-6 on the day. In addition to the early RBI, he also singled to lead off the eighth, tenth, and twelfth innings.

The A's would tie the game in the top of the fourth after two-out singles by Kouz and Fox and a walk to Powell loaded the bases for Donaldson. In what was only his second hit of the year, he singled to bring in the A's only run of the game.

The A's would get a runner to third in the seventh with two outs, but couldn't score, and they mounted a threat in the eighth inning with a two-out single by Kouzmanoff and a double by Fox, but Kouz (who has played every game) just couldn't score from first on the hit. Aside from a leadoff single in the twelfth, that was it for the offense.

Sheets went six strong innings, but got in trouble in the seventh, allowing a leadoff walk (no!) and a single to put runners at first and third for Texas. Michael Wuertz came in--in the most uneviable situation--and although he uncorked a wild pitch to start his appearance, the run from third did not score; Kinsler stayed at third base. Wuertz took full advantage; he struck out Smoak, got Ramirez to hit to Pennington who threw the first of his two runners out at the plate, and got Borbon to ground out to end the threat.

Geren made an interesting call in the bottom of the eighth, going with Blevins for Andrus/Young instead of, say, Ziggy. Andrus singled (surprise, surprise) and Fox made a pretty nifty catch on a ball smoked by Young. Blevins K'd Hamilton and Ziggy got the call for Vlad, who weakly grounded out to second base to end the inning.

Ziggy pulled a Houdini act of his own in the ninth. He retired the first batter, but allowed one-out singles to Murphy and Smoak, setting up runners at the corners with one out. Cliff Pennington threw another runner out at the plate on a ball hit to shortstop, and Ziggy induced another ground ball to send the game to extras.

Ziggy was still pitching in the tenth, but clearly tiring; he allowed a lead-off single to Andrus (surprise, surprise) and walked Young on four straight pitches. Enter Breslow; for some more disappearing baserunner magic; he got Hamilton and Vlad to fly out, and after the A's intentionally walked Kinsler to get to the LH David Murphy, Murphy grounded out to give the A's another chance to score.

We all know how that turned out.

Breslow threw an uneventful 1, 2, 3 eleventh inning, and Bailey came on for the twelfth. Andrus led off with a single (surprise, surprise) and Donaldson uncorked a perfect throw to cut him down at second for the first out. It would be the only out recorded; Bailey wouldn't get one. A Young walk, a Hamilton single, and a Guerrero walk-off single ended the game. It was only a matter of time; the A's looked poised to never score another run.

The team heads down to Anaheim right now where Braden, fresh off his PERFECT GAME, will take on the rival Angels.

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Friday, May 14, 2010, 7:05 PM PDT
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Dallas Braden vs Joe Saunders

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