Gutierrez: A's find winning formula vs. Royals

Gutierrez: A's find winning formula vs. Royals
June 16, 2011, 6:09 am
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JUNE 15, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comOAKLAND -- So you want to know how the A's are going to get back in this American League West race?Pop the videocassette of the A's 2-1 victory over Kansas City into the VCR and take notes. And yes, I realize I used "videocassette" and "VCR." This game was a throwback, and the way the A's won it was most definitely old school.This was how the A's were supposed to play this season -- quality starting pitching, strong defense and timely hitting. On the day a trailer of the upcoming "Moneyball" movie hit the Web, the A's went small ball.RECAP: A's exultant -- Outman beats Royals 2-1
"We'll start rolling here," said A's starter Josh Outman, who tossed seven innings of shutout ball at the Royals while scattering four hits in becoming the first A's starting pitcher to get a win since Guillermo Moscoso beat Baltimore on May 29. The 11-game losing skid by A's starters was the second-longest such streak in Oakland history."We were in a little lull with our starting pitching," Outman added. "We were all putting too much pressure on ourselves. This team's all right. We're going to start winning some ballgames."Easy there, champ. Isn't this the same outfit that had lost 13 of its previous 14 games to fall a season-high 12 games under .500?Indeed. But check this out -- despite going just 2-5 since June 8, the last-place A's have actually picked up one game on the first-place Texas Rangers. And still, the A's have to keep from scoreboard watching from here on out. At least for the next few weeks.RELATED: MLB standings
They have to concentrate on the task at hand. Winning the little battles, pitch by pitch, at-bat by at-bat, inning by inning, game by game, series by series. The deficit will then take care of itself. Besides, the A's have pitching help on the horizon with the healing Tyson Ross, Brandon McCarthy and gulp, Rich Harden, who might be on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento next Monday.NEWS: A's Harden 'felt fine' after simulated game
"My opening statement is: a win is good," cracked interim manager Bob Melvin. "Questions?"OK, then, is this the formula you have to use to get back in this thing, I asked him."And be aggressive," Melvin said. "We played some small ball. We were getting no-hit. We had some bunts, (Jemile) Weeks steals third. We have to have an aggressive mindset."That's the way we have to play."Oh yeah, did I mention the A's were getting no-hit by Luke Hochevar entering the sixth inning?You could question Melvin for bunting with the slowest position player on the team in Landon Powell at second base. But you can't have any qualms over his giving his blessings to the speedy Weeks on the basepaths.Weeks dropped a bunt down the first-base line and benefitted from a blown call by umpire Jeff Nelson when replays showed Eric Hosmer tagging Weeks before he hit the bag.Two batters later, Weeks swiped third base."That's pretty much my game," Weeks said. "I use my legs the best way I can."So about that small-ball, manufacturing runs-style of play?"That's the route we're taking," he said. "That's a good route to take right now."Actually, it's the only route the A's should take right now.

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