What a difference a couple of feet makes. In a day when Braden pitched to barely the minimum number of batters while spinning his 104-pitch complete game (the fourth of the season for him), the clear difference in the game was Braden's only jam; a based-loaded situation in the seventh inning where the Mariners had to settle for a sac fly instead of a game-tying grand slam. It was scary.
Aside from that one moment, Braden was in complete control the entire day. He breezed through the first six innings on a scant 62 pitches, and finished the day allowing just four hits and the one run while striking out six. And unlike the two pitchers who came before him in the series, Braden received enough run support from the offense to secure him the win.
Led by three doubles from Mark Ellis (just one would have been nice the other night instead of that pesky triple-play, I'm just sayin'), the A's offense rallied to score five runs to continue their hot streak during day games. I propose a schedule change.
The A's only had eight hits in total (three from Ellis, and one each from Powell, Davis, Suzuki, Barton and Crisp), but they made the most of them; scoring their first run in the second on the Ellis/Crisp combo, their second from Davis/Powell, and their next three on Ellis' doubles. Chris Carter did not pick up his first major league hit, but he did draw a walk and hit a ball sharply. It's only a matter of time.
The A's will pack up and head out to new Target field in Minnesota. We'll see you all back here on Friday night!