Athletics
Rangers
9 - 7 Final/13
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Piazza's key hit helps Athletics hold off Rangers

Aug 7, 2007 - 6:55 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- After watching his teammates blow a huge lead, Mike Piazza came to the rescue in extra innings.

Piazza had the decisive base hit in the 13th inning as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers, 9-7, on Monday.

Mark Ellis drove in an insurance run and Marco Scutaro belted his first career grand slam for Oakland, which snapped a three-game road losing streak.

Texas, which opened a nine-game homestand, has lost five straight, tying its second-longest losing streak of the season. The Rangers dropped six in a row from May 22-28.

With the score tied at 7-7 in the top of the 13th inning, Rob Bowen led off by drawing a walk from reliever Willie Eyre (3-5). After Bowen moved to second on a sacrifice, two batters later Nick Swisher was intentionally walked to bring up the slow-footed Piazza. However, the 16-year veteran lined an RBI single to right field to put Oakland up, 8-7.

"I just wanted to have a good at-bat," said Piazza, who had three hits. "I just wanted to hit the ball hard. Fortunately, I battled back to a full count, got a ball up in the strike zone and I was able to punch it into right field."

Ellis followed with an infield single that plated Swisher, who had advanced to third on Piazza's hit.

"Obviously a big hit late with Mike. He's just a Hall of Fame guy with a clutch hit right there to put us ahead," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "Ellis battled and got that second run, and we needed every one of them. At this ballpark, we have a history of games just like this, high-scoring, never getting a big enough lead, and tonight was another one."

Andrew Brown (2-0), the sixth of the Athletics' seven pitchers, earned the win with two innings of relief. Kiko Calero then worked the bottom of the 13th to record his first save of 2007.

"Andrew Brown has just been really impressive," said Geren of the rookie righthander, who joined the organization in the Milton Bradley trade on June 29. "He's a heck of an acquisition, with a 99 miles-an-hour fastball at times and his breaking ball. He has put himself on the map. He's really pitching well for us."

The Rangers' Michael Young had made extra innings necessary with his ninth-inning heroics.

In the bottom of the ninth, Young tied the game when he hit a leadoff, opposite-field homer off Alan Embree over the right field wall to knot the score at 7-7. It was his first homer since May 6 - a total of 77 games and 317 at-bats since his fourth blast of the season.

"Embree's a tough guy to hit a home run off of," said Young, who had three hits before getting ejected in the 11th for arguing a called third strike. "I was looking for something up in the zone and luckily it went out. I wasn't thinking home run there, I just wanted to get on base."

"It was a fastball up and away," Embree said. "I thought it was a harmless fastball and he jumped on it. Got to tip my cap to him, that's the reason why he's an All-Star. It just came at a really bad time for us. He got it, that's all there is to it. I didn't think it was going to go, but it did."

Geren didn't fault Embree, whose streaks of 22 consecutive batters retired and 10 straight scoreless appearances were snapped by Young.

"Alan gave up that homer, but that's probably just a (flyout) in our ballpark," Geren said. "Seriously, you hate to say anything negative about it. It's just a fly ball that gets out by a foot."

Texas had trailed, 7-3, in the eighth when a two-run homer by rookie Jason Botts and an RBI groundout by Ian Kinsler cut their deficit to one. Both of Botts' two career homers have come against Oakland.

"We ended up being out there 13 innings and it easily have been done after nine," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "These guys have a lot of fight in them. I'm very proud of them."

The rally spoiled an effective effort by A's starter Dallas Braden.

The rookie lefthander allowed three runs - two earned - and six hits in five innings, and was looking for his first win since a 4-2 victory against the Baltimore Orioles on April 24, a span of 11 appearances, including eight starts.

"He was actually feeling a little sick there in the dugout," Geren said of Braden, who matched a career high with seven strikeouts. "But he battled through it and kept going out there. It's a pretty gutsy, high-quality performance."

The comeback also wasted an impressive first inning by the A's offense.

With two out in the frame, three consecutive singles, including a run-scoring base hit by Ellis off John Rheinecker, gave Oakland a 1-0 lead.

After Rheinecker walked Dan Johnson to load the bases, Scutaro hit the next pitch into the second row of seats in left to increase the lead to 5-0. It was Scutaro's fifth of the season and 29th of his career, but first with the bases packed.

Donnie Murphy then smacked the next pitch from Rheinecker into the A's bullpen in left to make it 6-0.

"Any time you throw up a crooked number in the first like that, you figure you're going to cruise," Piazza said. "But they battled back, scored a couple of tough runs, real important runs later in the game to get close, before Michael tied the game. Obviously after that, it became a war of attrition. It went back and forth and fortunately, we punched a couple of runs across."

Oakland increased its lead to seven in the third when Johnson scored on a double-play groundout.

Rheinecker was tagged for season highs of seven runs and nine hits along with four walks in five innings.

"John struggled," Washington said. "He had a lot of problems with his command. He got balls up and they didn't miss them. But he stood out there, fought and got us through five."

However, the Rangers started their rally in the bottom of the third.

After an error, an infield hit and a walk loaded the bases, Sammy Sosa hit a two-run single to left and Marlon Byrd added an RBI base hit up the middle to cut the deficit to 7-3.






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    Athletics vs. RangersAug 8 1:29 PM


  • AL
    FINAL 13
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
    TEXAS 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 1
    10 11 12 13 R H E
    -- -- -- -- - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 2 9 11 3
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 7 15 1 (FINAL 13)

    BATTERIES: OAK

    Aug 7 1:10 AM
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    Athletics vs. RangersAug 7 12:56 AM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M ELLIS ON FIRST, J FURMANIAK ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 9
    TEXAS 7 TOP, 13TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.238, 1-FOR-5, BB)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 7 12:53 AM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE PIAZZA SCORED ROB BOWEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M PIAZZA ON FIRST, N SWISHER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 8
    TEXAS 7 TOP, 13TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.258, 1-FOR-5, BB, RBI)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 7 12:49 AM
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    Athletics vs. RangersAug 7 12:27 AM
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    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 11:36 PM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MICHAEL YOUNG (5) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF ALAN EMBREE.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7, TEXAS 7
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: S SOSA (.245, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 11:28 PM
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    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 11:19 PM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY IAN KINSLER SCORED JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    TEXAS 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.245, 0-FOR-4)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 11:16 PM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JASON BOTTS (1) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF SANTIAGO CASILLA SCORED NELSON CRUZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7, TEXAS 5
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J SALTALAMACCHIA (.125, 0-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 11:09 PM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, S SOSA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: N CRUZ (.218, 1-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 9:49 PM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SAMMY SOSA SCORED GERALD LAIRD AND IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, S SOSA ON FIRST, M YOUNG ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.316, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 9:46 PM


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    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    KURT SUZUKI HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING DAN JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M SCUTARO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 7
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: T BUCK (.280, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 9:30 PM


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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 6 6 5 0
    TEXAS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: OAK - DALLAS BRADEN
    TEX - JOHN RHEINECKER

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.244, 14 HR, 38 RBI)
    R VAZQUEZ (.250, 5 HR, 17 RBI)
    M YOUNG (.301, 4 HR, 59 RBI)

    Athletics vs. RangersAug 6 8:51 PM