for this game

Blanton, Johnson propel Athletics past Rangers

Sep 15, 2007 - 11:51 PM By Tom Kent PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Joe Blanton made his mother proud.

Blanton pitched seven stellar innings and Dan Johnson belted two home runs while driving in four, as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers, 7-3, on Saturday.

Blanton's mother Carolyn and aunt Dottie each threw out a ceremonial first pitch simultaneously before the game after a ceremony in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Both are breast cancer survivors.

"It was awesome seeing them throw out the first pitch," Blanton said. "Two people who are so close to me, and them having gone through that, made it even more special that I was able to pitch on this day and do well."

"It was a special moment," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "Family is more important than anything else. For him to have his mother and aunt there, and get the win, it doesn't get any better than that."

The righthander, who did not yield a hit until the fifth inning, allowed three runs and five hits while striking out six and walking three.

"I was able to mix my pitches," Blanton said. "Everything was working for me today."

Blanton (14-9) entered with a 4-1 record and 2.41 ERA over his last six starts after posting a 1-4 mark with a 7.12 ERA over his previous seven outings.

With a 2-0 lead in the fourth, Johnson belted a solo shot over the right field wall off Rangers reliever A.J. Murray for a 3-0 lead. It was Johnson's 16th of the season.

Johnson reached Murray again in the sixth for his second home run of the game - another blast to right - to give Oakland a 4-2 advantage. It was Johnson's third career multi-homer game and second this season.

"It's good to get a couple hits in a game instead of spreading them out," Johnson said. "I've been feeling better at the plate recently. I've just been trying to focus on getting back to where I need to be."

In the third, Nick Swisher deposited a 1-1 offering off of Texas starter Brandon McCarthy over the center field wall for a 2-0 advantage. It was Swisher's 22nd home run of the season and third in as many games.

McCarthy (5-10), who was on a limited pitch count, yielded two runs and three hits in three innings while walking one and striking out three. He threw 35 of his 52 pitches for strikes.

"That was an improvement over anything I've done in the last two years," McCarthy said. "That was the first time that I felt in command. My body was doing what I wanted it to do. Other than two mistake pitches, I felt like I was where I needed to be."

The righthander, who missed 23 days due to a stress fracture in his right shoulder, was coming off the shortest outing of his career against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, lasting just 2/3 of an inning while giving up three runs.

"Brandon's command was much better," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "His pace was better and his fastball was better. He threw a fastball down that (Nick Swisher) went down and got, but other than that, I thought he pitched really good."

Jack Cust drove in a run in the first on a run-scoring single for the A's, who have won five of their last six games.

Oakland improved to 74-76, yet is still in jeopardy of posting their first losing season since 1998. Only the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have more consecutive winning seasons than the Athletics.

David Murphy and Ian Kinsler each drove in a run for Texas which has lost five in a row after a season-high six-game winning streak.








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - BRANDON MCCARTHY, A.J. MURRAY (4TH), WES LITTLETON (6TH), BILL
    WHITE (7TH), LUIS MENDOZA (7TH), ARMANDO GALARRAGA (8TH) AND
    JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
    OAK - JOE B

    Sep 15 6:48 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY IAN KINSLER SCORED DAVID MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T METCALF ON FIRST, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON
    SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    OAKLAND 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.310, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 6:26 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAN JOHNSON SCORED JEFF DAVANON AND MARK ELLIS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, D JOHNSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    OAKLAND 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.262, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 6:07 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED NICK SWISHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ELLIS ON SECOND, J DAVANON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    OAKLAND 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.235, 2-FOR-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 6:06 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAN JOHNSON (17) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF A.J. MURRAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, OAKLAND 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.262, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 5:39 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING HANK
    BLALOCK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    OAKLAND 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: R VAZQUEZ (.239, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 5:18 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DAVID MURPHY SCORED JASON BOTTS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D MURPHY ON FIRST, H BLALOCK ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    OAKLAND 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J SALTALAMACCHIA (.237, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 5:16 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 43 roots

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 5:16 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 43 roots (No-hitter)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 5:11 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY DAN JOHNSON (16) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF A.J. MURRAY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.263, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 5:02 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY NICK SWISHER (22) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF BRANDON MCCARTHY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, OAKLAND 2
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.261, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 4:49 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACK CUST SCORED SHANNON STEWART.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CUST ON FIRST, D BARTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.274, 17 HR, 65 RBI)

    Rangers vs. AthleticsSep 15 4:22 PM