Okay, I have to give credit where credit is due. There haven't been many times this year when I can say this completely non-sarcastically (although this week has been delightfully surprising), but the offense deserves all the credit in the world for their performance tonight. Going up against James Shields, who came into tonight's game with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP (obviously one of the best pitchers in the AL), the A's offense absolutely destroyed the ball tonight to the tune of seventeen hits and thirteen runs; ten of them off Shields. Trevor Cahill had it made tonight in his 7 1/3 innings; or as someone in the gamethread said, "The Rays could hit three grand slams and still lose." (This was true until the four garbage runs in the ninth inning.)
Believe it or not, this was a tight 1-0 affair until the bottom of the fourth inning. The A's put an early run on the Rays in the third with a Weeks single and a Matsui double, but that run would be a mere footnote by the end of the fourth inning. Conor Jackson walked to lead off the inning and was Swingled to second. Cliff Pennington bunted the runners to second and third (laughable in retrospect), and Scott Sizemore drove them both in with a triple to make it 3-0 A's. Both Hideki Matsui and Ryan Sweeney would have paid big bucks for a triple of their own; they were both a triple shy of the cycle tonight. Landon Powell walked, and Weeks (who would collect three RBI on the night) singled in the A's fourth run. After Crisp flew out, Matsui hit a three run homerun to give the A's a 7-0 lead. Willingham doubled and Jackson singled for the A's eighth run, and call in the kids, the end of the world is coming--Ryan Sweeney Swomered for the A's nine and tenth run of the game; the eighth and ninth of the inning. All charged to James Shields.
The A's would add on two more runs in the fifth on a single by Powell and a triple by Weeks (hilarity ensued if you picture Weeks chasing Powell around the bases) and a Matsui single. They would get their thirteenth run on a sacrifice fly by Weeks in the sixth; on a ball that was nearly hit out for a grand slam. All in all, Matsui had 5 RBI, Weeks had 3, Sweeney and Sizemore had 2, and Jackson had one.
Cahill breezed through his seven and a third scoreless innings; allowing 4 hits, 4 walks, while striking out 6. Breslow struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth. Let's just pretend that the game ended there. It doesn't really matter that De Los Santos gave up 4 runs (two unearned due to a Weeks' error) and for some reason, Brad Ziegler was called in to finish the game against some lefties. He struck out Zobrist out to end the game and Celebration! is currently playing.
The A's try to sweep the four game series tomorrow afternoon. See you back here!
Athletics win the series 3-0
WP: Brian Fuentes (2 - 8)
SV: Andrew Bailey
LP: J.P. Howell (2 - 2)
|7 - 5 win|
WP: Brandon McCarthy (3 - 5)
LP: David Price (9 - 9)
|6 - 1 win|
|Wed 07/27||13 - 4 win|