That being the 6-1 margin of victory for the Oakland Athletics tonight. In a game that very oddly mirrored some instances of last night’s game, the A’s were led to victory by solid pitching from Brett Anderson and a power surge from George Kottaras. Like last night, the A’s scored an unearned run in the top of the 1st inning, and like last night George Kottaras took the Mariners’ starting pitcher deep in the 4th inning. The A’s were able to put it into cruise control for the rest of the night.
Aside from George Kottaras going deep, no one A’s player really stood out offensively. Everyone seemed to contribute just enough to help the team scratch out runs here and there, including the 4 scored in the 4th inning. Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, and Stephen Drew were responsible for the other 3 RBI, and the unearned run was scored off the bat of Cespedes.
Meanwhile Brett Anderson continued his impressive return to the Major Leagues with his 4th win. Over his 6 innings of work he scattered 6 hits and only allowed an unearned run, he didn’t walk a batter and struck out 4. The bullpen was even a little bit more stingy tonight than last night, over 3 innings Pat Neshek, Sean Doolittle, and Evan Scribner combined to allow just a single hit and a single walk with 2 strikeouts.
The lone dark spot in the A’s lineup was First Baseman Chris Carter, who not only was the only player to not reach base, he always was bestowed the dubious honor of wearing the golden sombrero for his 4 strikeouts. It was an uncharacteristically inept night for the 2012 version of Chris Carter, nothing to worry about though, even Albert Pujols has rough nights at the dish.
The A’s victory tonight only served to keep pace with their rivals, the Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in 10 innings tonight, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the New York Yankees thanks to a badly blown call on a game ending double play by umpire Jerry Meals. Mark Teixeira dove headfirst into the bag (something that probably slowed him down as Ray Fosse would gladly tell you), but every replay clearly showed his hand was on the base well before the ball reached Mark Reynolds’ glove. For once the Yankees got screwed, and this time it hurts the A’s as well.
The A’s can go for the series sweep at Safeco tomorrow afternoon as Tommy Milone (11-10, 3.94 ERA) takes on the pesky Jason Vargas (14-9, 3.85 ERA). This won’t be an easy victory, but the A’s do seem to have regained some of their momentum so perhaps they’ll be able to get to Vargas before he get’s settled in.
Finally, after a somber couple of days following the injury to Brandon McCarthy some signs of levity emerged from the tall right hander through his Twitter account. Jokes about children’s Tylenol, and his fantasy lineups were among the tweets, as well as a friendly exchange between him and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. You can see the tweets for yourself right here. This was a great sign that the Brandon we all love is coming back. The A’s have won 2 for McCarthy, why not sweep for McCarthy?