Blanton ends Twins winning streakJun 3, 2007 - 4:18 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Joe Blanton obviously has a short memory.
The righthander tossed his second career shutout and the hustle of Mark Ellis led to the only run of the game as the Athletics topped the Minnesota Twins, 1-0, on Saturday.
The performance was a stark contrast from Blanton's last outing on Sunday, when he surrendered a career high-tying three homers and season-high eight runs in an 8-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
"I worked ahead in the count a lot more tonight," said Blanton, comparing this start to Sunday's. "That was the difference. I tried to pitch to my strengths instead of their weakness. I was able to pound the ball down in the zone as well. Maybe I didn't throw as many strikes tonight, but the quality of strikes were much better."
En route to the fifth complete game of his career, Blanton (5-3) allowed three hits and did not walk a batter while striking out six as the Athletics ended the Twins season-high five game winning streak.
"I've had a couple of other good ones like this," Blanton said. "Maybe didn't go a complete game, but they were up there with this one. This one is definitely up there at the top of the list as far as working quick and getting a lot of ground balls though."
Blanton retired 11 consecutive batters between the third and seventh innings before allowing a one-out single to Justin Morneau. He then retired the last eight batters he faced, finishing with 108 pitches
"You don't see that very often," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "Right around a 100-pitch complete game, Joe Blanton was outstanding. He had all of his pitches working and had pin-point control. That's a pretty good lineup over there and to go through them like he did was pretty impressive. It was a big day for him."
"(Blanton) had all his stuff working," Athletics catcher Jason Kendall said. "The mistakes he did make were still on the corners so he was able to get some popups and ground balls and let his defense do the work."
Blanton's effort overshadowed an impressive game by Twins starter Carlos Silva (3-6), who allowed one run, five hits and a walk while striking out two in eight innings.
"I still feel great," Silva said. "Everything we worked on in the bullpen worked tonight. We lost the game, but I still feel good because I know that we are going to win a lot of these games. We are playing well and I feel like part of the team now. Last season I was in the bullpen and couldn't pitch like I did tonight."
"It was a well-pitched game to say the least," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Both pitchers were pretty much dominating the game. Blanton was really, really good, and Carlos was equally as good. Obviously they came up with a run and we couldn't get one. It was a shame that we couldn't get a run for Carlos because he pitched great."
It was the speed of Ellis that allowed the Athletics to break the scoreless tie. He led off the sixth inning with a liner to the left-center field gap and stretched the hit into a double, narrowly beating the throw into second base.
Ellis advanced to third base on a single by Jason Kendall and scored when Shannon Stewart grounded into a double play.
"Mark is such a smart player," Geren said. "He has great baseball instincts. Everything on that play was textbook. He ran hard out of the box, made a good turn and good decision to go to second. He was going hard all the way and that ended up being the difference."
Oakland lost a pair of outfielders in the game - rookie Travis Buck left the game after one inning with a stomach ailment and Milton Bradley left the game in the fifth inning with a strained calf.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 1 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: MIN - CARLOS SILVA AND MIKE REDMOND
OAK - JOE BLANTON AND JASON KENDALL
HOME RUNS: MIN - NONE
OAK - NONE
Jun 2 10:57 PM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
SHANNON STEWART HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING MARK ELLIS.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0
OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: N SWISHER (.302, 0-FOR-1, BB)
Twins vs. AthleticsJun 2 10:24 PM
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