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Gio Shines; Bullpen Unappealing in Matinee Finale

By: Brett Menominee
7/30/2009 3:50 pm

This afternoon the four game set with the Red Sox came to a conclusion in Bean Town. The game started off as a true pitchers dual, featuring an interesting matchup between Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 7.38) vs. Jon Lester (9-7, 3.90).
The game was 1-0 Sox through five innings, and the only blemish against Gonzalez came in the second inning when Jason Varitek singled to score Jason Bay. The A's bats started out slow, which wasn't a huge surprise based on the caliber of pitching opponent. In the 6th inning, Jon Lester started to unravel and the A's took full advantage of it. They managed to load the bases when Cabrera drew a one out walk followed by a Garciaparra single and a Cust walk. After an Everidge Sac Fly the hits kept coming as Bobby Crosby doubled to score Garciaparra and Rajai Davis singles to score Cust and Crosby. In the bottom half of the 6th inning, the Sox fought right back and scored two of their own on a Mike Lowell Ground Rule double and another Varitek single. The A's added another run in the top of the 7th inning on an Everidge single to make it 5-3. At this point, i started to feel comfortable about taking 3 out of 4 from the perennial powerhouse. Onto the Sox half of the 7th, usually dependable Michael Wuertz comes on in relief but has a less than spectacular afternoon, making it through 2/3 of the inning surrendering a hit and two walks to tie the game. Craig Breslow then comes on to pitch the last 1/3 of the inning and gives up one more run. After being shut down 1, 2, 3 in the 8th inning, the A's turned to Santiago Casilla to pitch the 8th. Casilla had troubles of his own and the Red Sox add two runs for good measure to make it an 8-5 game. Papelbon came on in the 9th inning to close the door and the A's end up on the short end of the stick in a disappointing loss.

Gio Gonzalez 5.1 inn, 107 pitches, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K
Nomar Garciaparra 3-4, 3 Singles, 1 R
Tommy Everidge 1-3, 1 Single, 2 RBI
Rajai Davis 1-4, 1 Single, 2 RBI
Bobby Crosby 1-4, 1 Double, 1 R, 2 RBI

All in all it was an exciting series to watch. The young A's went toe to toe with a solid team in the Red Sox and held their own. Would it have been nice to walk away with 3 out of 4 games? Absolutely, but i will gladly take the split. Back home now to start a 3 game set with the Jays.