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Ellis, Blanton lead Athletics past Reds

Jun 19, 2007 - 6:46 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Oakland Athletics' success in interleague play continued Monday.

Joe Blanton pitched eight strong innings and Mark Ellis hit a three-run home run as the Athletics cruised past the Cincinnati Reds, 6-1, in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

Nick Swisher added three hits and an RBI for the Athletics, who improved their all-time interleague record to 112-77. Only the New York Yankees (112-74) own a better record in interleague action since it began in 1997.

"I just tried to attack the zone really, not really change anything and not worry about if I'm throwing too many pitches in an inning. I just went at my game and let it work," Blanton said.

Blanton's effort provided a much-needed day off for the rest of the Oakland pitching staff, which had allowed 25 runs in the previous two games against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"It was needed for the bullpen," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "(Blanton) has pitched great all year. Anytime you get hit around for a couple of days, you're always looking for someone to come out and do something like that. That's usually the No. 1 starters job. Joe pitched like he could be a No. 1 tonight."

Blanton (7-4) allowed one run, seven hits and no walks while striking out five en route to his third win in four starts. Alan Embree pitched the ninth to preserve the victory.

With the game tied, 1-1, in the fifth, Oakland blew things open with a five-run frame off Cincinnati starter Kyle Lohse (3-9), who loaded the bases with no outs.

A groundout by Swisher scored Jason Kendall to give the Athletics a 2-1 lead and Eric Chavez plated rookie Travis Buck with a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to two runs. After a walk to Jack Cust, Ellis blasted a 3-1 pitch over the left field wall for his seventh home run of the season.

"I made a small adjustment - two days before I had my son - with my hands," said Ellis, who is batting .323 (21-for-65) with four home runs and 14 RBI since the birth of his son Briggs William on June 1. "Ever since then I feel like I've created a little more bat speed and seeing the ball a little bit better."

Lohse allowed six runs - five earned - and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out four.

"It was a tough (fifth) inning," Lohse said. "You're trying to get out of it with minimal damage and then I thought I got that and I made a mistake to Ellis and that pretty much put it out of reach with the way Blanton was throwing."

The only run for the Reds came in the third. Alex Gonzalez singled off the glove of Chavez at third to lead off the inning and David Ross had a base hit to left, putting runners at first and third. Norris Hopper then hit into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play, scoring Gonzalez.

The Athletics ended a two-game skid with the victory while handing the Reds their fifth loss in six games.








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

    BATTERIES: CIN - KYLE LOHSE, BRAD SALMON (5TH), VICTOR SANTOS (7TH) AND DAVID
    ROSS
    OAK - JOE BLANTON, ALAN EMBREE (9TH) AND JASON KENDALL

    HOME RUNS: CIN - NONE
    OAK - MARK EL

    Jun 19 12:19 AM


  • ML
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK ELLIS (7) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF KYLE LOHSE SCORED MARK KOTSAY AND JACK CUST.
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1, OAKLAND 6
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.250, 0-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. AthleticsJun 18 11:18 PM


  • ML
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ERIC CHAVEZ SCORED TRAVIS BUCK.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    OAKLAND 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.270, 0-FOR-2)

    Reds vs. AthleticsJun 18 11:14 PM


  • ML
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY NICK SWISHER SCORED JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, T BUCK ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: E CHAVEZ (.246, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Reds vs. AthleticsJun 18 11:14 PM


  • ML
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    NORRIS HOPPER HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING ALEX GONZALEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 1
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CINCINNATI: S HATTEBERG (.295, 0-FOR-1)

    Reds vs. AthleticsJun 18 10:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    rtdespain Added 5 roots

    Reds vs. AthleticsJun 18 10:21 PM


  • ML
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY ALEX GONZALEZ ALLOWED TRAVIS BUCK TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ELLIS ON FIRST, E CHAVEZ ON SECOND, N
    SWISHER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CINCINNATI 0
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.253, 6 HR, 25 RBI)

    Reds vs. AthleticsJun 18 10:21 PM