The Oakland Athletics continue their Spring Training in Arizona. They played a pair of split squad games on Saturday and ended up with a close win and a blowout loss. At the end of the day, the Athletics were still sitting pretty atop the Cactus League with a 12-4 record.
Half of the A's squad hosted the Chicago Cubs at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and ended up with a 4-3 win. Three of those four A's runs came in the bottom of the first inning. Cliff Pennington stole a base and scored on a fielding error and Seth Smith doubled in Manny Ramirez and Jonny Gomes. The run that ended up being the difference in the game came in the bottom of the sixth, when Brandon Allen hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Gomes. Yoenis Cespedes was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is now batting .188 in Spring Training.
The other half of the Athletics split squad did not fare so well against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, losing by a final of 7-2. Tim Lincecum picked up his second win of the spring, pitching six innings and giving up six hits and only one run, while striking out four. The good news for the A's was that five of those six hits off of Lincecum were for extra bases. Coco Crisp and Collin Cowgill each managed a triple against the Giants ace, while Daric Barton, Derek Norris and Kila Ka'aihue all picked up a double against the right-hander. The Giants roughed up Oakland pitching with home runs from Pablo Sandoval, Ryan Theriot and Angel Pagan, while Melky Cabrera and Nate Schierholtz had doubles.
Two-hit games by Cowgill and Barton in the Giants game were very positive signs for the Athletics. They will be hoping both players can make big contributions to the team in 2012.
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