What a way to end a prolonged losing streak! After dropping their previous ten games, the Oakland Athletics finally got back in the win column Friday night with a 7-5 victory over the Chicago White Six at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. It sure looked like the losing streak was going to be pushed to 11 games though before A’s fans were finally treated with something to cheer about.
Trailing 5-3 heading into the 9th inning, the A’s looked like they’d limp to yet another loss after quickly recording two outs to begin the inning. Josh Willingham then fell down 0-2 in the count, and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the A's would be just one win shy of a dozen consecutive losses.
Hold the phone! Willingham battled back and ultimately walked. He took second on fielder’s indifference, and was then drove in by Hideki Matsui to cut the lead to 5-4. The bases then got loaded with A’s when Daric Barton drew a walk and Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch. Scott Sizemore, already with two hits on the evening, delivered the huge hit the team had been missing during the losing streak when he cleared the bases with a double to left.
Andrew Bailey pitched a perfect ninth inning for Oakland to preserve the 7-5 victory and earn his first save of the season. Grant Balfour, who had pitched the 8th inning for Oakland, picked up his fourth win of the season in relief (4-1).
Other quick notables include:
- Add two more hits to rookie Jemile Weeks total. The promising 24-year old 2B went 2-for-4 with a run scored to raise his average to .333 through four Big League games. He’s reached safely with a hit in his past three.
- Not such a hot night for Coco Crisp. The CF was 1-for-6 on the evening with an atrocious eight men left on base. Crisp has just two hits in his last 20 ABs.
- It wasn’t quite the major league debut that starting pitcher Graham Godfrey had hoped for. The 26-year old lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing five White Sox runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. He struck out just two batters and saw his ERA climb into the double digits (10.38) after the first outing.
- Great work by the A’s bullpen. After Godfrey was yanked in the 5th, Michael Wuertz, Joey Devine, Grant Balfour and Andrew Bailey combined to shut out the White Sox for the remainder of the contest. Only three hits were allowed between the quartet.