For the A’s, Sunday’s finale against the visiting Mariners was their chance to kick-start an offense that scored a combined four runs in the series’ first two games. Also, the A’s were looking to avoid a sweep at home. Mediocre pitching and unreliable defense hurt the A’s in the first two games, but with Gio Gonzalez on the mound for Oakland, things were definitely different on Sunday.
The A’s beat the Mariners 7-1 primarily because of Gonzalez’s solid start and an offensive explosion that resulted in 7 runs on 10 hits. The A’s still made an error on defense (third straight game with an error), but the offense more than made up for it.
Hideki Matsui recorded his 2,500th career hit (1,390 in Japan, 1,100 in US), and went 2-for-4 on the day with an RBI single in seventh inning. Matsui went hitless in the first two games of the series, but after recording two hits on Sunday hopefully the A’s new DH will settle in with his new surroundings in Oakland.
Gonzalez entered the game with high expectations, and it’s safe to say that he certainly lived up to those expectations. A member of what I personally call Oakland’s “Fab Four,” Gonzalez threw seven solid innings on Sunday, striking out four on 116 pitches. He did walk four also, but the A’s southpaw was able to get started on the right foot.
For Oakland, the win today will definitely help them prepare for a tough road-trip, one that includes stops in Toronto, Minnesota, and Chicago.