A’s Shutout Giants In Bay Bridge Opener

Photo by D. Ross Cameron

Photo by D. Ross Cameron

Oakland, CA – The A’s have six players heading to the MLB All-Star game, the best record in the Majors and continued their winning ways after opening up the Bay Bridge Series with a 5-0 shutout victory over the San Francisco Giants.

“Recently the starters have been outstanding,” said manager Bob Melvin. “Beat Toronto four games, and held them to four runs, that means your starters are doing the brunt of the work.”

Oakland is coming off a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays. They have won 10 of their last 11 home games and 23 of their last 29. The A’s are 8-1 in interleague play this season and have won 10 of their last 12 home contests against the Giants. Oakland is a season-high 23 games over .500.

“It’s exciting to be apart of the Oakland Athletics right now, how we’re playing, a couple of transactions,” Josh Donaldson said. “You get your cross-town rival in here whose one of the best teams in the NL. It makes it fun to come to the yard when you’ve got that kind of stuff going on.”

After going four scoreless innings the A’s got on the board first. With runners in the corner, Oakland’s offense got going behind Craig Gentry’s leadoff walk. He stole second followed by Coco Crisp’s single. John Jaso grounded out to second scoring in Gentry making it 1-0 in the fifth.

Alberto Callaspo’s two-run single in the sixth extended the A’s lead 3-0. Donaldson who was hit by a pitch leadoff the inning, Stephen Vogt flew out to right field and Jed Lowrie followed with a single putting two on with one out. Callaspo’s hit chased Ryan Vogelsong off the mound.

“We’re throwing a pretty good lineup out there, a lineup that shouldn’t get shutout as much as we have the couple of weeks,” said manager Bruce Bochy.

Vogelsong finished the night with two hit batters, five hits, three runs, two walks and four strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Once again he was strong through four frames but lacked run support from the Giants offense. This is has been a problem for Vogelsong over his last few starts.

“It’s honestly a little stunning with the talent we have on this team,” Brandon Belt said. “We’re just not playing well right now. We’ve got to figure out something to pick this up, because we’re better than this.”

Jesse Chavez on the other hand proved he was the pitcher not to be sent down after a blockbuster trade that added two pitchers to their starting rotation. He tossed six innings allowing four hits, two walks and nine strikeouts. Chavez tied his career-high striking out nine. The A’s are now 13-5 in his starting assignments.

“Just finishing with two strikes, where as the last two starts with two strikes I’d leave it over the middle of the plate a little bit, and those would end up begin hits,” said Chavez. “Today my main focus was finishing the at-bat if I got ahead, that was a big key today.”

Two errors by Brandon Crawford proved costly in the seventh. The first error resulted in a double from Jaso and the second advanced both runners. Brandon Moss sacrifice fly scored in Oakland’s next run making it a 4-0 game. And Donaldson’s hand seemed to be OK because he knocked a RBI single up the middle giving the A’s a 5-0 lead.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 12 games in Oakland. Crawford committed a career-high tying two errors, the last time was Sept 26, 2012 against Arizona. Vogelsong had a streak of 18.2 consecutive scoreless frames in interleague play snapped in the fifth inning.

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