This recap is already more interesting than the game it describes. Keep reading and it's not even close ...Will he use a comma or go with the signature "double dash"???? Many short paragraphs or fewer long ones???? Lots to anticipate, plenty of excitement, neither of which will game 120 ever be accused.
Jed Lowrie opened the top of the 2nd with a single to RF. That's noteworthy because it was the A's last baserunner. That's right, Jason Vargas retired the last 24 in a row. Make no mistake, he was really good tonight, painting both sides of the plate and getting off-balanced swings on command with his changeup. And as the game wore on the A's appeared to be antsy, swinging earlier in the count only to make routine outs.
Vargas was in trouble only in the 1st when Josh Donaldson doubled with 2 outs. Jonny Gomes then bounced one to the hole headed for LF, smothered with a dive by SS Alcides Escobar to save a run. With runners at the corners, Derek Norris struck out.
As for Scott Kazmir, who lasted 7 full innings, he wasn't razor sharp but he also wasn't bad at all. He made a few location mistakes but only one really cost him: A 2-run HR in the 3rd by Omar Infante, his 6th of the season and only Kansas City's 72nd HR as a team.
The third run off of Kazmir was a small-ball fest if there ever was one. Christian Colon beat out a bunt single to start the 5th, safe on a bang-bang play, Nori Aoki sacrificed him to 2B, Omar Infante dribbled one to SS for an infield hit that advanced Colon to 3B, and Salvador Perez lifted a sacrifice fly to medium RF.
For Kazmir, 7 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. You will win with that line more often then you will lose. As for facing James Shields tomorrow in the series finale, that's nothing to get anxious about because he won't pitch better than Vargas did tonight. The A's just saw the best pitching performance they're going to see in this series and now it's incumbent upon Jeff Samardzija to provide the second best one and make sure Shields comes in no higher than third.