Diamondbacks 4, Athletics 2
Arizona’s Chris Young was completely focused on getting a triple
to complete the first cycle of his career when he came up for his
”But I decided to strike out on three pitches and look terrible
instead,” Young said with a grin.
Not much else went wrong for Young, who had three hits and four
RBIs, including a two-run homer, in the Diamondbacks’ 4-2 win over
the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.
Sparked by manager Kirk Gibson’s plea for Arizona’s offense to
produce runs early, Young had an RBI-single in the first and a
run-scoring double in the third before hitting his 16th home run of
the season in the fifth.
”His (batting practice) has been better and we’ve just been
waiting to see it come out of the sessions in the cage,” Gibson
said. ”He’s just learned to slow it down, let the ball come to him
and use his quick hands. He’s not a big guy … but he’s very
It didn’t hurt Arizona to have notorious Oakland nemesis Joe
Saunders on the mound.
Saunders (5-7) pitched seven-plus innings for Arizona, yielding
two runs and eight hits while improving to 12-4 with a 3.44 ERA in
18 career starts against Oakland. That’s his most wins against any
”I just like pitching here,” said Saunders, who used to play
for the Angels. ”There’s something about this ballpark that kind
of fits my eye. I didn’t have quite my A game but I made some big
pitches and the defense picked me up nice.”
Willie Bloomquist singled twice and scored, helping the
Diamondbacks to their second win in six games.
Scott Sizemore had two hits and an RBI for the A’s, who have
dropped seven of 10.
”They just did more with their hits than we did with ours,”
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Bloomquist and Kelly Johnson opened the game with back-to-back
singles against Josh Outman (3-3). Justin Upton then struck out
looking, but Young came through with a single to right.
Bloomquist wasn’t running at full speed when he rounded third
and had to hustle to barely beat the throw home from right fielder
Young, who has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, drove
in Johnson with a double just inside the third-base line in the
After Outman retired the first two batters in the fifth, Upton
walked and Young followed with his two-run home run.
”Lately we’ve been struggling in the first four or five
innings,” Young said. ”Willie starting it off with a base hit was
nice. It’s good for the momentum especially when Joe’s pitching as
well as he is, to put a run on the board early for him is
Outman (3-3) allowed seven hits and walked three in six
The offensive surge was all Saunders needed. David Hernandez,
working as the closer while J.J. Putz is on the disabled list,
pitched the ninth for his third save in four chances.
Saunders pitched with runners on base in all but one inning but
kept the damage to a minimum. He also started a 1-4-3 double play
in the seventh.
The A’s, who had a mini-surge of their own with nine runs in
their previous two games, hit into two double plays and left seven
runners on base.
Oakland chased Saunders when Adam Rosales walked and Jemile
Weeks singled to begin the eighth. Yhency Brazoban came in and was
called for a balk when he tried stopping his motion, then tossed
the ball to the ground.
Sizemore’s groundout drove in Rosales. After Coco Crisp struck
out looking, Hideki Matsui hit a soft single to right to score
Weeks. Chris Carter also singled before Brazoban struck out Conor
Jackson to end the inning.
NOTES: Diamondbacks LF Gerardo Parra appeared to jam his right
hand while making a sliding catch on Chris Carter’s fly ball in the
fourth but stayed in the game. … Arizona SS Stephen Drew was
given the day off but should be back in the lineup Sunday. …
Gibson is resisting moving RHP Josh Collmenter to the bullpen after
the rookie lost his fourth consecutive decision on Friday. ”I
don’t care what people think,” Gibson said. ”We’ll try to get him
on track. What he did early wasn’t a fluke. He just needs to make
quality pitches.” … Oakland OF Josh Willingham (Achilles’ tendon
strain) is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday but there
has been no timetable set for his return. … The game was delayed
briefly in the first inning when the grounds crew had to replace