The Sox entered Sundays game trying to win their 3rd straight series, but faced Trevor Cahill who was 6-0 coming in. Fortunately, by the time the game was over, Cahill had an 0-1 record with a 4.62 ERA in two starts vs. the Sox this year to go along with a 6-0 with a 1.34 vs. everyone else.
Mark Buehrle entered the game having terrible luck in his career vs. the A's, especially in Oakland. Buehrle ended up striking out 6 in 6 1/3 innings, while giving up 2 runs. Buehrle is now 3-3.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities to put some runs on the board. Juan Pierre played rally killer for most of the game. He led off the game with a sharp single to center and was promptly picked off. In the 3rd, with 2 men on, he grounded into a 4-3-6-3(?) double play as Gordon Beckham tried to get himself in a pickle in order for Omar Vizquel to score, but Beckham got tagged out before Vizquel touched home. Pierre then bounced into a more conventional 4-6-3 double play to end the 5th with Beckham on first and Vizquel on 3rd after back to back singles. In the 7th, with Vizquel on third and 1 out, Pierre chopped to first leaving Vizquel on third again.
Thankfully, Alexei Ramirez was there to provide some offense. He started off the scoring in the 4th inning with a lead off homer. He led off the 6th with a single and scored on a Carlos Quentin sac fly later in the inning. In the 7th, after Pierre couldn't get Vizquel home, Ramirez hit a sharp single to left to make the score 4-1. Earlier in the season Ramirez hit a 3 run homer off of Cahill, meaning that Alexei has driven in 5 of the 14 runs Cahill has allowed this season.
Omar Vizquel had a nice day with the bat. He had line shot singles in the 3rd and the 5th, and followed up an Alex Rios double with a bunt that Cahill fielded and threw down the right field line, allowing Rios to score and Vizquel to scoot into 2nd. On defense though, he botched a potential inning ending double play off of the bat of Coco Crisp in the 7th as he hesitated and then threw to 2nd, which forced out the runner, but also allowed Daric Barton an at bat. Barton singled in 2 runs after Crisp then stole 2nd base, making the game 4-3. After a Conor Jackson bloop single, Jesse Crain got Josh Willingham swinging to end the threat.
The A's had opportunities to score early in the game. In the 2nd, Landon Powell hit into a pretty 3-6-1 DP, started by first baseman Adam Dunn, to end the inning. Buerhle walked 2 in the 3rd, but Willingham K'd to end the inning. In the 4th after a lead off walk by Kurt Suzuki, Andy LaRoche hit a rocket up the middle that Gordon Beckham fielded beautifully, stepped on 2nd and fired to first to clear the bases. In the 5th, Crisp homered to left. The 6th was the only inning Buerhle had a 3 up 3 down frame.
After Michael Wuertz struck out Rios, Vizquel and Beckham in the 9th, the Sox again called on Sergio Santos to close the game. Cliff Pennington drew a lead off walk and was bunted over to 2nd by Crisp. After Barton grounded out to short, Hideki Matsui pinch hit for Jackson. After a tough at bat, Matsui drew a walk and represented the winning run. Josh Willingham, who struck out 4 times in the game, hit a slow roller to Vizquel who fired to Beckham for the force out and the victory. Santos has now gone 19 scoreless innings and has converted all 5 of his save opportunities.
The Sox now come home for a 7 day, 7 game homestand which begins tomorrow night vs. the Texas Rangers. Colby Lewis (3-4, 4.57) faces Edwin Jackson (3-4, 4.29)
Record: 17-24 | GB: 9| Box