Oakland at Texas

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Oakland (8-11) «0000012014110
Texas (10-11)000000011290

Sweeney's catch saves game for A's, backs Braden's stellar outing

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ryan Sweeney retreated, leaped and stuck his glove above the eight-foot wall -- and saved a much-needed victory for the ailing Oakland Athletics.

Sweeney's incredible catch in straightaway center robbed Ian Kinsler of a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the A's held on, winning 4-2 over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.

"It's phenomenal," said Dallas Braden, who pitched five scoreless innings to get the win.

"It was pretty much timing," Sweeney said. "I just jumped, got lucky and caught it. ... He hit it dead center. I think if he would have pulled it a little bit, it might have gone."

Kinsler, already with seven homers, slammed his helmet to the ground with both hands when he realized Sweeney caught the ball.

"It was a good catch. There's nothing more I can say," Kinsler said. "I was hoping it would be on the grass and out of his reach."

A's manager Bob Geren said the 6-foot-4 Sweeney "needed every inch" to make the play.

Braden (3-2) allowed five hits and walked four, but managed to work out of trouble. The left-hander struck out six, escaping bases-loaded jams his last two innings with Ks.

Before Matt Holliday homered in the ninth, Oakland got runs on two sacrifice flies and a bases-loaded walk issued by Eddie Guardado, who threw four balls to the only batter he faced and was ejected by umpire Angel Campos after he had already been taken out of the game.

Holliday's homer was his first in 18 games since being acquired from Colorado over the winter.

Andruw Jones homered for Texas in the ninth, right after Michael Young was thrown out trying for a triple on a ball hit off the left-field wall. Michael Wuertz, closing with Brad Ziegler out sick, still got his first save.

Landon Powell, a late addition to the Oakland lineup, hit a sac fly off Vicente Padilla (1-2) to break a scoreless tie in the sixth.

Padilla was pulled after loading the bases with no outs in the seventh, including a close call when the right-hander was covering first and stepped on the base simultaneously with Sweeney, who was called safe.

Guardado was pulled after walking Jack Cust and while going to the dugout had words with Campos, who remained near home plate and ejected the pitcher.

The reliever then slung his glove and cap toward the stands near the Rangers dugout. Guardado, who has a 9.64 ERA in nine appearances, raised both arms over his head to incite the fans, who responded with cheers.

"It was all my fault. I was just letting out some frustration, and he happened to be standing there," Guardado said. "I've not been doing my job. When that happens, it builds up."

Kurt Suzuki added a sac fly for a 3-0 lead.

Two of Oakland's three shutout losses are in games started by Braden, and it was a scoreless game when he threw the last of his 111 pitches.

Andrew Bailey pitched two shutout innings before Russ Springer allowed Hank Blalock's sixth homer leading off the eighth.

Powell started at first base and Bobby Crosby moved to third when Eric Chavez was scratched. Geren said Chavez, who has played in only three of the last 13 games, aggravated his sore right elbow during batting practice.

Oakland also was without infielders Nomar Garciaparra and Mark Ellis, put on the disabled list Wednesday with calf injuries. Jason Giambi has two sore hamstrings and appeared only as a pinch hitter.

Notes

  • Rangers C Jarrod Saltalamacchia left after two innings because of eye irritation.
  • A's RHP Justin Duchscherer was started a throwing program in Arizona in his comeback from right elbow surgery. He is at least a month away from pitching in a rehab assignment.
  • Rangers RHP Kris Benson, on the DL with tendinitis in his right elbow, threw on the side without problems and will make a rehab start Sunday at Double-A Frisco.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Oakland's Ryan Sweeney brings the ball back from over an 8-foot wall, robbing Texas of a 3-run shot. (AP)
Oakland's Ryan Sweeney brings the ball back from over an 8-foot wall, robbing Texas of a 3-run shot. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Young
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Oakland

K. Suzuki
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Oakland Athletics
Ryan Sweeney, CF5020002 .265
Orlando Cabrera, SS5120000 .250
Jack Cust, DH2001301 .262
Matt Holliday, LF5111006 .240
Kurt Suzuki, C3121000 .343
Travis Buck, RF4010026 .222
Landon Powell, 1B2001000 .111
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1000003 .212
    Jack Hannahan, 3B0000000 .167
Bobby Crosby, 3B-1B4020010 .219
Eric Patterson, 2B4110012 .250
Totals35411434  
a-popped out for Powell in the 7th
Batting
2B - Orlando Cabrera (3, Padilla), Kurt Suzuki (5, Padilla)
HR - Matt Holliday (1, J. Jennings)
SF - Kurt Suzuki (1), Landon Powell (1)
RBI - Jack Cust (8), Matt Holliday (12), Kurt Suzuki (8), Landon Powell (4)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Holliday (5)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Matt Holliday 1
Oakland Athletics
Dallas Braden (W,3-2) 5500460 2.10
Andrew Bailey (H,2) 2000120 1.15
Russ Springer (H,2) 1211121 1.74
Michael Wuertz (S,1) 1211011 2.13
IBB - A. Jones by Dallas Braden
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Braden 111-69, Andrew Bailey 31-18, Russ Springer 30-19, Michael Wuertz 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Braden 4-5, Andrew Bailey 3-1
Batters Faced - Dallas Braden 24, Andrew Bailey 7, Russ Springer 6, Michael Wuertz 4
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4010102 .322
Marlon Byrd, CF5020001 .333
Michael Young, 3B5020014 .295
Andruw Jones, LF3111212 .344
Hank Blalock, DH5111024 .267
Nelson Cruz, RF4010023 .276
Chris Davis, 1B3010112 .200
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C1000011 .276
    Taylor Teagarden, C2000121 .143
Elvis Andrus, SS3000013 .250
   a- David Murphy, PH0000100 .097
    Omar Vizquel, SS0000000 .333
Totals35292611  
a-walked for Andrus in the 8th
Batting
2B - Marlon Byrd (7, Braden), Michael Young (8, Wuertz)
HR - Andruw Jones (3, Wuertz), Hank Blalock (6, Springer)
RBI - Andruw Jones (6), Hank Blalock (14)
2-OUT RBI - Andruw Jones (2)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Davis
Texas Rangers
Vicente Padilla (L,1-2) 6833240 7.43
Eddie Guardado0000100 9.64
Jason Jennings 3311001 4.26
HBP - Suzuki (by Vicente Padilla)
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 100-61, Eddie Guardado 4-0, Jason Jennings 40-27
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 5-9, Jason Jennings 4-4
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 29, Eddie Guardado 1, Jason Jennings 11
Game Information
Attendance - 13802
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Eric Cooper