Josh Willingham didn't seem to mind too much getting hit by Doug Fister the first time. The second time he was a tad more irritated. So it must have felt mighty good to break a 1-1 tie in the 7th with a two-run double inside third base, and his RBI single in the 9th couldn't have felt too bad either.
After each giving up a run in the 1st, Fister and Brett Anderson dueled 1-1 through 6 innings, as the A's couldn't foster anything faster against Fister on Easter. But Fister left after 6 and the A's took aim at the Mariners' bullpen.
Meanwhile, Coco Crisp had the play of the game, running down a long fly ball to dead center (so named for the imprint Crisp has left on the padded wall) and crashing into the barrier. Dead but not hurt, Crisp wound up with another 3-hit game. Perhaps his most important defensive play, though, came in the bottom of the 7th after Anderson, staked to a 3-1 lead by Willingham's double, found himself in a second and third, nobody out pickle when Barton ranged too far for a ground ball while Ellis and Anderson watched and then Kevin Kouzmanoff threw a ground ball into the first base stands. A ground ball advanced both runners to make it 3-2 and then Ichiro hit a medium-shallow fly ball to Crisp, he of the noodle arm. With a running start, quick release, and accurate noodle-throw, Crisp deterred the Mariners from trying to score and Anderson escaped with the lead when he fanned Chone Figgins looking.
Oakland tacked on two insurance runs in the 9th, giving them 14 runs the last two games after putting up pre-Easter goose eggs Thursday and Friday. All this is well and good -- and is it most certainly both -- but the A's need to play better to beat good teams. Better than, say, stranding Crisp after his leadoff triple, better than back-to-back defensive miscues. But the team is back to .500 with a key week ahead, as you'll read if you come back at 7:00pm for a look at this team so far and the week to follow...