The Oakland Athletics dropped to 1-2 in Cactus League play as they lost their home opener to the Cincinnati Reds 7-6. Although the A’s did lose, the 2011 spring training debut of Gio Gonzalez was highly encouraging. Gonzalez threw the first two innings and struck out five Reds batters. This was all the more impressive because although the Reds were using a split squad lineup, this particular group included Jonny Gomes, Scott Rolen, and Jay Bruce.
A’s starter Brett Anderson came on in relief of Gonzalez and struggled as he gave up four runs on a pair of two-run homeruns and was credited with the loss. Oakland got some work from two of their big offseason acquisitions as relief pitchers Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour each worked an inning. Fuentes struck out one and allowed no base runners in his inning. Balfour gave up three runs on five hits as he struggled.
A notable pitching performance came from relief pitcher Fautino De Los Santos. He was acquired from the White Sox in the same deal that brought Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney to Oakland for Nick Swisher. De Los Santos had Tommy John surgery in May 2008 after coming over that prior offseason. He’s apparently throwing some gas in camp and will look to get on the A’s radar quickly for a potential call-up at some point in 2011.