In what can only be described as a must-win situation, the A's--on the strength of Trevor Cahill's best start of the season in a hitter's park facing a great-hitting team--bounce back from last night's heartbreaking loss to take the game from the Texas Rangers with a score of 3-1. This impressive feat was accomplished without the use of Andrew Bailey, sidelined for at least one more day.
Cahill pitched 8 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing Texas only two hits. To put that in perspective, the Rangers had more errors in the game than hits off Cahill. And his gem couldn't have come at a better time; with the Angels' loss, the A's move into sole possession of second place, and keep hope alive.
Rajai Davis went 3-4 in today's game; Crisp 2-5, and Cust 2-4. The only other player to have a hit was the star of the offense, Kurt Suzuki, who went 2-4 with two RBI, giving Cahill his 10th win of the year and thrilling A's fans everywhere.
Cahill all but breezed through his eight innings, throwing 113 pitches. He did allow three walks against his four strikeouts, but he couldn't have pitched much better. I question whether he should started the ninth, even with the rising pitch count, but looking at Susan Slusser Twitter Feed, Cahill said it was "smart to get him out after eight". Wuertz looked like he was going to have a re-run of last night as his third of an inning yielded two hits and a run. Luckily, Breslow replaced him in the middle of the ninth and struck out both Hamilton and Cruz to end the game.
Cahill was in line for the win after Kurt Suzuki blasted a homerun off Colby Lewis in the sixth inning. Lewis pitched a great game in his own right; allowing only the one run, while striking out eight A's in his seven innings. Darren Oliver did not pitch well; he (with considerable help from shoddy Texas outfield defense) gave up the A's two insurance runs in the eighth, and as it turned out, the A's would need the cushion.
All in all, a fantastic game all the way around for the A's. They have the chance to take the series tomorrow and move to within 6.5 games back of first place. I don't want to say "must win", but .... we'll see you tomorrow!
3 game series vs Rangers @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
WP: Neftali Feliz (2 - 2)
LP: Michael Wuertz (2 - 2)
|1 - 3 loss|
WP: Trevor Cahill (10 - 4)
SV: Craig Breslow
LP: Colby Lewis (9 - 7)
|3 - 1 win|