For any team, a 14-0 win over a division rival, such as Oakland's over the Angels on Tuesday night at the Coliseum, is full of positives.
For the A's, the biggest news of all might be the sudden surge by Mark Ellis. The veteran second baseman, batting .177 after Saturday's game, has seven hits in his past 13 at-bats, plus five RBI, including the game-winning RBI in the 10th inning of Monday's game against the Angels.
Ellis played terrific defense throughout the first month and a half of the season, though all his offensive marks put him near the bottom of the league. He is Oakland's longest-tenured player, first coming up in 2002, and there was little chance, especially with his strong fielding ability, that the team would think to replace him with prospect Jemile Weeks, who has been tearing it up at Class AAA Sacramento.
It's no secret that Ellis is a slow starter and a very strong finisher. He hit .405 last September to get his average up to .291 to end the year. Over the course of his career, he's a .248 hitter in the first half, .282 in the second half.
Ellis got his average over .200 with his three-hit night Tuesday, and he drove in four runs and scored three. The A's had other bright moments, too. Kevin Kouzmanoff, struggling nearly as much as Ellis, had two hits, including a double. David DeJesus had two hits, scored three runs and drove in one. And Hideki Matsui had a double.
Oakland's pitching, meanwhile, was even more solid than usual, allowing just two hits. Gio Gonzalez went seven innings and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out seven.
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