for this game

Cunningham blasts three-run shot to power Athletics past Rangers

Sep 15, 2008 - 12:39 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Aaron Cunningham picked the perfect time for his first career home run.

Batting with two on and two out in the eighth inning, Cunningham hit the first pitch from Warner Madrigal over the wall in left field to lift the Oakland Athletics to 7-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

"It's a great feeling to get it out of the way. To get one out of the park, not only a home run but to come through and help the team get a win, it's even better," Cunningham said. "I was looking for a fastball, but he kept throwing Kurt (Suzuki) sliders so that was in the back of my mind.

"He just left it up over the plate, and it was just kind of reaction. It was awesome. Definitely, a great feeling."

Oakland took advantage of a lack of control by Texas pitching - 10 walks, two hit batsmen - as four of its seven runs scored as a result of walks, including two to lead off the decisive eighth inning. Madrigal walked Cliff Pennington and Ryan Sweeney to open the frame.

Madrigal (0-2) then got Jack Cust on a called third strike and Suzuki on a line drive to right field for the second out of the inning before Cunningham's dramatic blast.

"What we had were 10 walks and two hit batters, that's 12 free runners," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's how those guys beat you over there. You can't be competitive if you can't throw the ball over the plate. Everybody who pitched today was erratic."

Joey Devine (6-1) worked one inning to earn the victory and extend his streak of not allowing an earned run to 17 2/3 innings.

Brad Ziegler worked the ninth to earn his ninth save of the season.

Nelson Cruz drove in all four runs for the Rangers with a two-run double in the third, a go-ahead double in the fifth and tied the score at 4-4 in the seventh with his third consecutive two-out hit.

Sweeney's sixth-inning single past a diving Hank Blalock at first base an into right field with the bases loaded drove home a pair of runs and gave Oakland a 4-3 lead.

"He's (Sweeney) been solid all year. He's been one of our most consistent guys. He's been a good situational hitter, hit for average, and had big hits," Athletics manager Bob Geren said. "He's been exceptional and great all year."

The Athletics took advantage of three walks in the inning, including two by reliever Bill White, who replaced starter Vicente Padilla to open the frame.

Making his second start since returning from the disabled list on Tuesday, Padilla logged five innings and yielded five hits, two runs, three walks while striking out four. The Rangers' righthander labored through his outing as he threw 109 pitches.

Oakland scored single runs in the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead. The Athletics strung together three consecutive singles in first, including a run-scoring single by Cust.

After two were out in the second inning, Jack Hannahan walked, Rajai Davis was hit by a pitch and Cliff Pennington followed with a bloop single to left field to plate Hannahan with the Athletics' second run.

Oakland starter Dana Eveland (8-9) hurled five innings, surrendering four hits and three runs while walking four and striking out six.

"I kind of battled my way through the whole game," Eveland said. "I knew I didn't feel all that great from beginning so I went out there and did as well as I could and get through as many innings as I possibly could and try to keep the team in it.

"I was able to (do) that. I wasn't real happy about the walks and only pitching five innings. It's getting late in the season ... I've already got 30 more innings that I've had in my career. It's starting catch up with me a little bit. I'm just going to try to do what I can to battle through these next couple of starts and look forward to the offseason."








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

    BATTERIES: TEX - VICENTE PADILLA, BILL WHITE (6TH), KAMERON LOE (6TH), WARNER
    MADRIGAL (8TH) AND TAYLOR TEAGARDEN
    OAK - DANA EVELAND, ALAN EMBREE (6TH), HUSTON STREET
    (7TH),

    Sep 14 7:32 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY AARON CUNNINGHAM (1) TO LEFT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF WARNER MADRIGAL SCORED CLIFF PENNINGTON AND RYAN
    SWEENEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4, OAKLAND 7
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: B CROSBY (.244, 0-FOR-4)

    Rangers 4, Athletics 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 14 7:23 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 72 roots

    Rangers 4, Athletics 7  Bot 8, 0 OutsSep 14 7:23 PM
  • 82
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 77 roots (Close Finish)

    Rangers 4, Athletics 4  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 14 6:46 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4
    OAKLAND 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: H BLALOCK (.262, 0-FOR-3)

    Rangers 4, Athletics 4  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 14 6:43 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN SWEENEY SCORED JACK HANNAHAN AND RAJAI
    DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R SWEENEY ON FIRST, C PENNINGTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    OAKLAND 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.231, 1-FOR-2, BB, RBI)

    Rangers 3, Athletics 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsSep 14 6:31 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Rangers 3, Athletics 2  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 14 6:15 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N CRUZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
    OAKLAND 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: H BLALOCK (.263, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers 3, Athletics 2  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 14 5:45 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY NELSON CRUZ SCORED JOAQUIN ARIAS AND MICHAEL
    YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, N CRUZ ON SECOND, M BYRD ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2
    OAKLAND 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: H BLALOCK (.264, 0-FOR-1)

    Rangers 2, Athletics 2  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 14 5:17 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CLIFF PENNINGTON SCORED JACK HANNAHAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENNINGTON ON FIRST, R DAVIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: R SWEENEY (.289, 1-FOR-1)

    Rangers 0, Athletics 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsSep 14 4:43 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JACK CUST SCORED CLIFF PENNINGTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J CUST ON FIRST, R SWEENEY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K SUZUKI (.289, 7 HR, 38 RBI)

    Rangers 0, Athletics 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 14 4:21 PM