The Oakland Athletics got back in the win column Sunday afternoon as they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2. Hours after learning of his selection to the 2011 MLB All Star Game, Gio Gonzalez pitched like the All Star that he is holding a dynamic DBacks offense to one run over seven innings while striking out seven. The A’s gave him plenty of support with key hits and Oakland cruised to their first series victory since sweeping the Giants.
Gonzalez got into a little bit of trouble at times but was able to get the necessary outs to avoid too much damage. In the fourth he gave up one run on a Xavier Nady single that scored Chris Young. The Diamondbacks put multiple runners on in the third and seventh innings but could not get the timely hit.
On the other hand, the A’s got several timely hits to put this game away. After Oakland fell behind 1-0 in the top of the fourth, David DeJesus hit a two-out RBI double that knocked in Coco Crisp and Hideki Matsui. The A’s added to their lead in the sixth inning. Conor Jackson hit a two run home run with nobody out, Jemile Weeks hit a sacrifice fly to score DeJesus, and Scott Sizemore followed that with a two-out two-run home run to give the A’s a 7-1 lead.
Michael Wuertz came on in relief of Gonzalez and struggled to start the eighth inning. He gave up a double to Justin Upton and then walked Chris Young and Stephen Drew. Manager Bob Melvin called on Joey Devine to clean up the mess and he did a solid job. He struck out Wily Mo Pena and then forced Xavier Nady to fly out to center. It was a relatively short fly ball so Upton did not tag up and score. Sean Burroughs came on to pinch-hit for Ryan Roberts and singled to left field. While the single scored Upton, Hideki Matsui came up throwing hard to home and gunned down Chris Young, who elected not to slide on the play. Andrew Bailey closed the game out in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.
The A’s will wrap up their homestand with three games against the Seattle Mariners. The series opens with a 1:00pm July 4th contest on CSN California. Brandon McCarthy returns from the disabled list to face Michael Pineda.