A’s Split Yet Another Two Game “Series”

“You won’t be getting a Christmas card from me this year!!!!!!” (Photo: Jim Cowsert – US Presswire)

Through 39 games so far this year, the A’s have already played in four series’ that are only two games. The A’s split the first three evenly, and thankfully for us fans the fourth was no exception, as the A’s overcame a blown call in the sixth inning to capture their fourth extra inning victory in five tries, beating the Rangers by a score of 5-4.

With the game tied at three in the bottom of the sixth, Elvis Andrus popped up a bunt between the mound and home plate as the speedy Craig Gentry broke for home. Brandon McCarthy made a nice diving catch and then tossed the ball to third for what he, and everybody else watching, thought would be a double play, but home plate umpire Laz Diaz ruled he trapped it, allowing Gentry to score for a 4-3 Rangers lead.

Manager Bob Melvin immediately ran out from the dugout to furiously argue with Diaz, and would get tossed after what seemed like a good solid minute of yelling and gesturing.

Proponents for bringing instant replay to baseball have certainly been given a lot of ammunition to support their cause this year. Yet, baseball purists scoff at the mere mention of using technology to get calls right. Well, after Brett Lawrie’s tirade over two horrible consecutive strike calls on Tuesday and the play in today’s game, I really don’t see how anybody can be against at least considering it.

Reliever Grant Balfour replaced McCarthy after the play and managed to keep the Rangers from doing further damage even though the Rangers had men at second and third with one out.

Things appeared to be grim for the green and gold as they seemed to blow their offensive wad on the three runs they scored in the first inning, but in the top of seventh, Josh Reddick walloped an offering from reliever Alexi Ogando over the wall in right to tie the game at four. The long ball ended Ogando’s scoreless streak at 15 1/3 innings.

The Rangers looked poised to claim a walk-off victory as they put runners at first and third with one out in the ninth, but Ryan Cook buckled down to stop the threat, picking up his first big league victory in the process. Cook has pitched 19 2/3 innings without giving up a run, best among American League relievers.

In the top of the tenth, Kila Ka’aihue proved to be the hero with a single off Mike Adams to score Jonny Gomes from third, giving the A’s the lead and ultimately the victory.

Mitch Moreland almost played the role of hero for the Rangers with two home runs, the second of which tied the game in the sixth.

McCarthy gave up eight hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings, with three walks and four strikeouts, while his counterpart Matt Harrison allowed eight hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings, striking out three and allowing three walks.

Jemile Weeks was caught stealing in the first inning after walking to open the game, ending Oakland’s streak of 20 straight successful stolen bases. The club record is 22.

Before the game, Brandon Inge was placed on the disabled list as expected, and Adam Rosales was called up from Sacramento to take his place, getting the start at first base. While I hope Brandon makes a fast recovery, it’s great to see Rosales back up with the big club again. Like I’ve said before, how can you not cheer for a guy who plays like he’s in the middle of a week-long meth binge?

With the victory, the A’s find themselves one game above .500 and four games behind the Rangers with two weeks left in May. It’s still early in the season, but nobody on this planet thought the A’s would be doing this well at ANY point in the season. So hey, break open a couple cold ones A’s fans, because right now things are looking all right.

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