Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 4, Angels 1

September 13, 2012, 4:59 am
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ANAHEIM -- Starting pitcher A.J. Griffin was surgical on Wednesday night as he carved up the Angels' lineup. He hand-delivered Oakland a 4-1 win over the Angels. Griffin is now 6-0 to start his career. The last pitcher in A's history that has done better to start their career is Jim Nash, who went 7-0 in his first nine career starts. The A's win puts them a season-high 21 games over .500 and gives them their 12th consecutive road victory, tying an Oakland record set in 1971.
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Starting Pitching ReportGriffin made it three consecutive solid rookie performances for the A's starting pitchers in this series. The righty tossed a career-high eight innings of shutout ball. He gave up six hits, struck out six, and didn't walk a batter. Griffin was more or less cruising through the first three innings. He got into a little trouble in the fourth frame when Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick hit back to back singles with one out. Griffin went into lockdown mode and got Erick Aybar to pop out. He then got Vernon Wells to hit an easy fly ball to left field to end the inning. After the back to back hits in the fourth frame, Griffin retired nine batters in row. His streak was snapped by an Aybar single, but he retired the next two batters with ease to finish the seventh inning. He dispatched all three batters he faced in the eighth. At the PlateJosh Reddick stroked a two-out double in the first inning. An extra-base hit for Reddick is an encouraging sign as he has been struggling offensively lately. Reddick came around to score when Aybar couldn't glove a grounder hit by Yoenis Cespedes.
PRATT: Does Reddick deserve Gold Glove recognition?
Cespedes broke out of a 21-game homerless streak on Tuesday night. On Wednesday he smacked his second home run in as many days. It was his 18th of the season and it gave the A's a 2-0 lead. The A's loaded the bases in the seventh inning but couldn't break the game open. Brandon Moss grounded out to third base to end the scoring opportunity. The A's were able to add some insurance in the eighth inning after Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris each doubled. Norris' hit a screaming liner into the right-center gap, and Donaldson, always an adventure on the base paths, waited for the ball to land before breaking for home. Better safe than sorry. With a 3-0 lead, Coco Crisp swatted a single to right field to score Norris and make it 4-0. Bullpen ReportGriffin sure made this section easy to write. Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth inning. He gave up a leadoff homer to Albert Pujols. For Pujols it was his 30th home run of the season and he became the first player in MLB history to hit 30 or more homers in each of his first 12 big league seasons. Cook finished the game by retiring Vernon Wells. In the FieldThe A's season has been a wild one but maybe we have seen it all now. Crisp threw out Chris Iannetta as he tried to make it from first to third on a Trout single. It was Crisp's first outfield assist this season. In the fifth inning Crisp made a full extension dive in centerfield to rob Iannetta again. It was easily one of his best catches this season. Crisp 2, Iannetta 0. AttendanceThe Angels announced an attendance of 38,097. Rally Monkey CameosThe monkey appeared in the Hunger Games. He was in the fire suit during the chariot scene. Similar to Wednesday night the monkey appeared in the shower scene in Psycho. When will Lila Crane ever learn? Up NextThe A's will be going for a four-game road sweep of the Angels on Thursday. The series finale will feature a matchup of two aces. Brett Anderson (4-0, 0.69 ERA) takes on Jered Weaver (16-4, 2.86 ERA).