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A's Offense Picks up Bullpen (Yes, really); Matsui Hits #500

For an inning there, I was afraid tonight's game would be a carbon-copy of last night's; the A's pick up a lead, and the Tigers come right back and win the game. The A's did take a lead tonight--on Hideki Matsui's 500th professional homerun--and the Tigers did come back, but the A's offense staged the most unlikely of comebacks (helped out by three walks in a row) to eventually win the game. It wasn't without its moments, but the A's hung on to win, and split the 2-game series in Detroit.

The A's got on the board in the third inning after an error and a single put men on first and third with no one out (read: The Tigers' infield looks like ours). Sogard grounded out for the RBI; the first of the inning. After Coco singled, Pennington walked, and Matsui singled to drive in the A's second run. They wouldn't have the lead for long. The Tigers led off their half of the inning with a triple and a groundout, and a later single would tie the game.

Matsui would break the tie leading off the sixth, but once again, the shut-down inning eluded the A's. After McCarthy put the first two on base, Devine came in as the "relief" pitcher. He was anything but. He promptly gave up a two-run double to give the Tigers the lead, and after loading the bases with no one out, gave up a sacrifice fly for the Tigers' third run of the inning. In the blink of a half-inning, the A's went from a 3-2 lead to a 5-3 deficit. However, the A's offense had a nice surprise for its fans.

Granted, David Purcey was way worse than Devine; he walked Powell, Sogard, and Crisp to lead off the inning. He was, understandably, replaced. Pennington singled in one run, Willingham sac flied in another, Matsui singled in another, and Jackson singled in the last. A four-run seventh inning would put the A's back in the lead, and the bullpen combination of Ziegler, Breslow, Balfour and Bailey would shut the Tigers out the rest of the way.

So the A's split the series, the offense pulls off a comeback, Matsui is at 500, and Bailey gets a save. The only blemish on the night was yet another no decision for Brandon McCarthy.

So the A's now storm New York, trying to play the Yankees just a little bit better than the last time they saw them. I'll see you back here Friday night.


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