for this game

Duchscherer superb as Athletics blank Mariners

Jul 9, 2008 - 5:28 AM By Al Barba PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- While injuries and trades have turned the entrance to the Oakland Athletics' clubhouse into a revolving door, the performance of Justin Duchscherer has remained the lone constant.

With the just-concluded trade of Rich Harden to the Chicago Cubs, Duchscherer assumed the role of staff ace and pitched like one Tuesday, tossing his first career shutout to help the Athletics claim a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Duchscherer (10-5), who was named to the American League All-Star team Sunday for the second time in his career, continued his dominance by allowing just two hits, striking out three and not walking a batter.

"I felt fine. I didn't expect to go out there and throw like that," Duchscherer said. "I've had days where I've warmed up and felt better, but it seemed like once the game started I had pretty good command down and both sides (of the plate) with all my pitches. It's one of those days where you get locked in and things go your way."

The 30-year-old converted reliever lowered his major league-best ERA to 1.79 while limiting the opposition to two runs or less for the 14th time in 15 starts this season.

"I think everyone saw my reaction when I got that last out. I was really excited," Duchscherer said. "It's my first (shutout) in the big leagues and I can't give enough credit to my catcher (Kurt) Suzuki. We were locked in and what ever he put down I was confident in throwing."

Duchscherer held Seattle hitless through 4 2/3 innings before Richie Sexson doubled with two outs in the fifth. The righthander faced just three batters over the minimum as he won for the sixth time in his last seven outings.

"He was in complete control of the strike zone," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "They have some pretty good hitters in that lineup over there. It was a great performance. You just can't say enough. He was efficient. His pitch count was low. You start looking in the fifth inning and think he could go deep in the game at that pace. After seven innings, I asked him how he was doing and he said he was OK. I didn't ask him after the eighth."

While Duchscherer turned in his usual solid outing, Seattle starter Carlos Silva (4-11) was shaky at the outset, allowing single runs in the first and second innings en route to his 11th loss in his last 12 decisions.

"The first couple of innings Carlos wasn't as sharp as he became throughout the game," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "Their guy showed why he's an All-Star. He did a really great job against us and specifically with his breaking ball. He was able to command it anytime he needed to. He had a really good one tonight. Carlos kept us in the game but we couldn't get to their guy."

Silva surrendered two runs and seven hits in eight innings, striking out four without walking a batter.

"I was trying something different in my last bullpen," Silva said. "I was positioning my arm differently, allowing my hands to stay loose and letting them relax. I was squeezing the ball too hard. But I wasn't too comfortable with it the first two or three innings, then I got into a good rhythm. The adjustment allowed me to let the ball sink instead of trying to make it sink."

Ryan Sweeney opened the bottom of the first with a single to right-center field, advanced to second on an groundout by Mark Ellis and scored on Emil Brown's base hit to right field.

Donnie Murphy, filling in for the injured Bobby Crosby at shortstop, drove in the Athletics' second run with a sacrifice fly after Suzuki and Jack Hannahan opened the second inning with back-to-back singles.

Duchscherer, who twice has pitched eight innings this season, allowed just two runners to reach second base. Both times, it was Sexson, who advanced to second on a throwing error by Suzuki in the third and doubled in the fifth.

"Carlos pitched a great game," Seattle shortstop Willie Bloomquist said. "The tempo was great. We just couldn't get any runs. Their guy pitched a great game. We hit some balls hard, but no runs."








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

    BATTERIES: SEA - JARROD WASHBURN AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    OAK - DANA EVELAND, BRAD ZIEGLER (6TH), ALAN EMBREE
    (8TH), HUSTON STREET (9TH) AND KURT SUZUKI

    HOME RUNS: SEA - RICHIE SEXS

    Jul 8 12:29 AM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 3, Athletics 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 7 11:52 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN SWEENEY SCORED GREGORIO PETIT.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R SWEENEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    OAKLAND 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.226, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners 3, Athletics 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 7 11:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 26 roots

    Mariners 3, Athletics 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 7 11:23 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY WES BANKSTON (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF JARROD WASHBURN SCORED CARLOS GONZALEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3, OAKLAND 3
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.214, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 3, Athletics 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 7 11:18 PM
  • 31
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 26 roots

    Mariners 3, Athletics 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 7 11:17 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK ELLIS SCORED WES BANKSTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ELLIS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: R SWEENEY (.295, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners 3, Athletics 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 10:53 PM
  • 5
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    Jamesiae Added 5 roots

    Mariners 3, Athletics 0  Top 3, 0 OutsJul 7 10:39 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - JARROD WASHBURN
    OAK - DANA EVELAND

    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M ELLIS (.249, 9 HR, 33 RBI)
    R SWEENEY (.297, 3 HR, 29 RBI)
    J CUST (.228, 15 HR, 43 RBI)

    Mariners 3, Athletics 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 7 10:15 PM