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Piazza's homer in ninth lifts A's over Angels

Apr 6, 2007 - 9:21 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Mike Piazza made his first home run as a full-time designated hitter a memorable one.

Piazza homered off closer Francisco Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth inning as the Oakland Athletics captured a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the opener of a four-game series.

Signed in the offseason to fill the hole created by Frank Thomas, Piazza drilled his 420th career homer when he belted a 1-1 fastball in his first at-bat against Rodriguez (0-1) over the center field wall.

"I know that he is one of the top closers in the game, if not the best one," Piazza said. "I was just looking for a fastball in the zone and I think he left it up more in the zone than he wanted to and I put a good swing on it. Rodriguez has some really tough pitches to hit and he's a guy that I don't want to face often."

"I missed my location of the pitch and left the ball up in the zone and he hit a home run," said Rodriguez, who blew just four of 51 save opportunities last season. "He's one of the best hitting catchers to ever play the game. I just missed my spot."

It was one of three hits in five at-bats for Piazza, who mustered just one hit in his first 12 at-bats prior to Thursday.

"I know I have to hit this year and help put runs on the board," Piazza said. "They brought me here to come up in big situations and I'm just happy that I did that tonight. It was good to help contribute to a good win today."

"He came up big for us tonight when we needed him to come through with a big hit," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We need him to swing a big bat for us this year, and we think he can do that."

A's reliever Justin Duchscherer (1-0) worked 1 2/3 hitless innings and closer Huston Street worked around a two-out single for his first save of the season.

"I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes and make them put the ball in play to get easy outs," Street said. "My defense did a good job behind me tonight, and it's good to take the first game in the series."

Eric Chavez and Bobby Kielty had two hits and an RBI for Oakland, which ended the Angels' two-year run atop the American League West Division last season.

Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson hit back-to-back homers in the fourth off Oakland starter Chad Gaudin, tying the score at 2-2.

"I made two mistakes and they made me pay for them," Gaudin said. "The location of those pitches weren't where I wanted them and they hit them far. They are two dangerous hitters and they proved that again tonight."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 4 13 0
    LA ANGELS 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 3 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - CHAD GAUDIN, ALAN EMBREE (6TH), KIKO CALERO (7TH), JUSTIN
    DUCHSCHERER (7TH), HUSTON STREET (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    LAA - JOE SAUNDERS, HECTOR CARRASCO (6TH),

    Apr 6 1:09 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 6 1:01 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE PIAZZA (1) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 4, LA ANGELS 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E CHAVEZ (.188, 1-FOR-4, RBI)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 6 12:55 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GARY MATTHEWS JR SCORED HOWIE KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R WILLITS ON SECOND, J MOLINA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    LA ANGELS 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: O CABRERA (.188, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 6 12:25 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY GARY MATTHEWS JR SCORED HOWIE KENDRICK.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R WILLITS ON SECOND, J MOLINA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    LA ANGELS 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: O CABRERA (.188, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 6 12:25 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: J Duchscherer relieved K Calero.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, R WILLITS ON FIRST, J MOLINA ON SECOND, H
    KENDRICK ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    LA ANGELS 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G Matthews Jr (.385, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 6 12:19 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - PITCHING CHANGE
    OAK: JUSTIN DUCHSCHERER (0-0, 13.50) IN THE 7TH
    SITUATION: NO RUNS IN, R WILLITS ON FIRST, J MOLINA ON SECOND, H
    KENDRICK ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR LAANGELS: G MATTHEWS JR (.385, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 6 12:19 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: K Calero relieved A Embree.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    LA ANGELS 2 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H Kendrick (.231, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 6 12:03 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - PITCHING CHANGE
    OAK: KIKO CALERO (0-1, 81.01) STARTING THE 7TH
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3, LA ANGELS 2
    DUE UP FOR LAANGELS: H KENDRICK (.231, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 6 12:03 AM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 10 0
    LA ANGELS 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 6 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - ALAN EMBREE
    LAA - HECTOR CARRASCO

    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.231, 0-FOR-2)
    M IZTURIS (.333, 1-FOR-2)
    J MOLINA (.167, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 6 12:03 AM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MARK ELLIS SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B KIELTY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    LA ANGELS 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 5 11:42 PM


  • AL
    OAKLAND AT LA ANGELS
    NOTE: VLADIMIR GUERRERO AND GARRET ANDERSON OF THE L.A.
    ANGELS HIT BACK-TO-BACK HOME RUNS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
    INNING.

    Apr 5 11:21 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 1 1 0 2 7 0
    LA ANGELS 0 0 0 2 2 4 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - CHAD GAUDIN
    LAA - JOE SAUNDERS

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: S STEWART (.357, 2-FOR-2)
    M BRADLEY (.429, 1-FOR-2)
    M PIAZZA (.143, 1-FOR-2)

    Apr 5 11:19 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY VLADIMIR GUERRERO (2) TO CENTER WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF CHAD GAUDIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, LA ANGELS 1
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G ANDERSON (.214, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 5 11:14 PM