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Blanton, bullpen shut down Guerrero, Angels

Apr 8, 2007 - 11:57 PM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Joe Blanton and the bullpen found a way to cool off Vladimir Guerrero. Apparently no one can slow down Mike Piazza.

Blanton and four relievers combined on a six-hitter and Piazza had three more hits as the Oakland Athletics edged the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 2-1, for a split of their four-game series.

Shannon Stewart and Nick Swisher had RBI doubles for the A's, who had 11 hits but did just enough against Angels starter Kelvim Escobar (1-1).

"This was a well-rounded game for us and this is our style of play with the good all-around pitching we got today," A's manager Bob Geren said.

Blanton (1-0) came in with an 0-6 mark in seven career starts against the Angels and having been reached for six hits and a homer by Guerrero, who was 5-for-10 with two blasts in the first three games of the series.

"It's definitely good to get in the win column against a team who's had success against me," Blanton said. "Runs are hard to come by when we play the Angels, so I just have to go out there and make good pitches and try not to do too much."

However, the righthander retired Guerrero three times in 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run, five hits and two walks while striking out two.

"I just go out and try to be careful with my pitches when I face Vlad because one mistake can hurt with him," Blanton said. "I just wanted to stay relaxed and throw my game today and I did that."

The bullpen was even better, allowing just one hit - an RBI infield single by Maicer Izturis - and striking out seven in 3 2/3 innings.

Kiki Calero, Justin Duchscherer and Huston Street each pitched a hitless frame. Calero got Guerrero to pop out to end the seventh and Street worked the ninth for his second save.

"Today we showed what our bullpen is capable of doing to teams late in games," said Alan Embree, who gave up the hit to Izturis. "We can definitely make it hard on any team to come back on us if we do what we did today."

The Angels could not contain Piazza, who was 10-for-16 in the series, winning the opener with a homer. After an 0-for-7 start, he has hit in five straight games, going 11-for-21.

"I don't know how to explain it, but I was just seeing the ball really good the whole series," said Piazza, signed as a free agent in the offseason. "I faced a lot of their good pitchers this series, but right now I just feel confident at the plate and just happy that I contributed to our wins."

The A's scored with two out in the third when Jason Kendall singled, stole second and scored on Stewart's double.

Piazza generated a run in the fourth. He led off with a single, went to third on Eric Chavez's single and scored on Swisher's double for a 2-0 lead.

With runners at second and third and none out, Escobar bore down, getting Bubba Crosby on a groundout, Travis Buck to strike out and Mark Ellis to foul out.

Escobar gave up two runs, eight hits and a walk in six innings, striking out five.

"Games in these series are usually decided by pitching and good defense," Escobar said. "I did what I could do against them today but it wasn't enough for us to get a win."

The Angels chased Blanton in the sixth. Garret Anderson singled and Casey Kotchman doubled. Blanton struck out Howie Kendrick before being relieved by Embree.

Izturis hit a grounder deep in the hole that was gloved by Crosby, who threw to third in a failed bid to get Kotchman as Anderson scored. But Embree struck out Mike Napoli and pinch hitter Robb Quinlan, beginning a string of 11 straight batters retired to end the game.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 11 1
    LA ANGELS 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - JOE BLANTON, ALAN EMBREE (6TH), KIKO CALERO (7TH), JUSTIN
    DUCHSCHERER (8TH), HUSTON STREET (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR, DARREN OLIVER (7TH),

    Apr 8 6:31 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 8 6:25 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: K Calero relieved A Embree.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    LA ANGELS 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G Matthews Jr (.318, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 8 5:48 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - PITCHING CHANGE
    OAK: KIKO CALERO (0-1, 54.01) STARTING THE 7TH
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2, LA ANGELS 1
    DUE UP FOR LAANGELS: G MATTHEWS JR (.318, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 8 5:48 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - ALAN EMBREE
    LAA - DARREN OLIVER

    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: G MATTHEWS JR (.318, 0-FOR-3)
    O CABRERA (.200, 0-FOR-2, BB)
    V GUERRERO (.458, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 8 5:46 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED GARRET ANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M IZTURIS ON FIRST, C KOTCHMAN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    LA ANGELS 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: M NAPOLI (.182, 1-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 8 5:26 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - JOE BLANTON
    LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J KENDALL (.192, 2-FOR-2)
    S STEWART (.222, 1-FOR-2, RBI)
    M BRADLEY (.273, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 8 4:54 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NICK SWISHER SCORED MIKE PIAZZA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N SWISHER ON SECOND, E CHAVEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    LA ANGELS 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.250, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 8 4:39 PM


  • AL
    AT LA ANGELS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SHANNON STEWART SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S STEWART ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    LA ANGELS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M BRADLEY (.286, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. AngelsApr 8 4:24 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - JOE BLANTON
    LAA - KELVIM ESCOBAR

    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: C KOTCHMAN (.350, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
    H KENDRICK (.273, 1 HR, 3 RBI)
    M IZTURIS (.316, 0 HR, 2 R

    Apr 8 4:04 PM