Sometimes you can make the right decision and get the wrong outcome. With Brian Fuentes on the mound and Evan Longoria up, Bob Melvin made the right decision and went to his great righty in the pen Grant Balfour. Evan Longoria then took Balfour deep to tie the game at four. Right decision, wrong outcome.
Later in the game in the bottom of the ninth inning Bob Melvin went to his bullpen, and instead of inserting his best reliever in Andrew Bailey, he instead went with Fautino De Los Santos. Wrong decision, right outcome because in the top of the tenth Josh Willingham rocketed a shot to left field off Jake McGee to give the A's a 5-4 lead. It's funny how things like that can work out. Lesson learned? It's ok to hit Eric Sogard second, because you might win in spite of it!
Now that we've blown the game's ending, what happened prior to that? Trevor Cahill and David Price squared off in a battle royale of 9-10 pitchers, and they both would leave the game 9-10 records intact. Cahill who has looked, less than favorable, for a good chunk of this season following a stellar start, looked a bit better than favorable today (despite a negative WPA that would disagree) with six innings of three run, six hit ball, where he walked two, and K'd five while surrendering a lone home run to Casey Kotchman. While not the greatest of outings, it is much better than what we have seen from Cahill in a long while.
On the opposite side of the lineup card, David Price had a horrible outing for the Rays. In just four and two-thirds the A's tagged him for four runs (including a Hideki Matsui home run) on seven hits and three walks, despite him managing seven strikeouts.
The bullpens for both squads ultimately made just two mistakes. Grant Balfour serving up the aforementioned pitch to Evan Longoria, and Jake McGee surrendering the aforementioned pitch to Josh Willingham.
Hideki Matsui extended his hitting streak to 15-games with a home run. It is assured he will not surpass Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak by Italian Heritage Day, but he may surpass it by the time the next Japanese Heritage Day rolls around with just a mere 42 games before he snaps that record. In their battle for the worst batting average on the team (position player edition), Adam Rosales came out victorious, his 0-for-4 day moving him to .093, though Eric Sogard's 0-for-5 dropped his average to .217 putting him in good position to challenge Rosales in the weeks to come.
All in all a good day for the A's who win and guarantee they stay ahead of Seattle in the race for third place, especially given that the A's lineup was short just a few regulars. Next up is Toronto on the frequent flier mile dream road trip.