A's narrowly avoid sweep, edge Angels in 10th

April 28, 2011, 2:03 am
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Paul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com
ANAHEIM - The A's salvaged the third game of a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim with a 2-1 victory in 10 innings Wednesday.Cliff Pennington led off the 10th inning with a triple off left-fielder Vernon Wells' glove and scored on Conor Jackson's one-out, high-chopper groundout to shortstop.Brad Ziegler pitched a perfect inning for his first save of the season.Still, the A's lackluster offense - which was a combined 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the series, 0-11 Wednesday - wasted a sterling start from right-hander Tyson Ross at Angel Stadium.Kevin Kouzmanoff's team-high sixth error, on an Alexi Amarista grounder, led off the ninth. Amarista was replaced by pinch-runner Mark Trumbo and he advanced to second base on Erick Aybar's sacrifice bunt.
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One batter later, and on a full count, Bobby Abreu doubled down the third-base line to score Trumbo."They got a break to tie the game," said A's manager Bob Geren. "We got a break to win the game. It felt like it was our game the whole way."Ross, making his second start of the season, threw seven innings of shutout ball. In the rotation with Dallas Braden on the disabled list, Ross allowed four hits while striking out three, walking one and uncorking a wild pitch in his 76 pitches, 47 of which were strikes."I was (working) too fast in Seattle in getting wild out there," Ross said. "I was just trying to slow my delivery down and get ahead of hitters and attack the zone."The A's (12-13) did not allow an earned run.Former A's starter Dan Haren was charged with one unearned run in seven innings of work, allowing three hits while striking out five and walking two.The Angels (14-11) had taken the first two games of the American League West series by a combined 13-3.The A's actually led, 1-0, while being no-hit by Haren.After Landon Powell led off the third inning with a walk, Kouzmanoff reached on a Howie Kendrick error, putting runners at first and second with none out.Perfect time for a sacrifice bunt, what with the No. 9 hitter coming up for a scuffling offense, right? Wrong.Pennington popped out to the catcher. David DeJesus then was hit by a Haren pitch to load the bases.Up stepped Daric Barton, mired in a slump. He got the run home, though, with a sacrifice fly out to left field.The A's were without Coco Crisp (left quad), Josh Willingham (back) and Kurt Suzuki (paternity leave). Suzuki, whose wife was scheduled to induce labor this morning in the Bay Area, can stay on the list for one to three days. So the A's recalled Josh Donaldson from triple-A Sacramento to be the team's back-up catcher to Landon Powell, until Suzuki returns.
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Crisp was shuffling around the presume clubhouse, his upper left leg rapped and said he was "good." Geren said Crisp was officially "day-to-day" and did not think a trip to the disabled list was likely."He's an exciting player," Geren said, "with his combination of home runs and steals. He's a total package player. He means a lot to the team."Willingham, meanwhile, took some batting practice swings for the first time since leaving Monday night's series opener with a stiff back."It was a lot better, but I still felt it," he said. "Hopefully, I'll play Friday."With Thursday's of day, it would give Willingham a full three day's off to rest and recuperate. Willingham was also clear to specify where the tightness is - middle-left of the back. He was hit by a pitch in the upper left back Sunday at Seattle."If I had to play today, I could," he said.Turns out they did not need him. Though his bat in a scuffling lineup would not have hurt.