A's top Dodgers, end four-game skid
Davis, Cust homer as Oakland overcomes three errors
LOS ANGELES -- A's infielder Bobby Crosby said after Tuesday's loss that he hoped the club's four-run eighth inning could be a sign of a struggling offense coming to life.
It didn't take long Wednesday against the Dodgers for Crosby's hopes to materialize.
Oakland scored one run in the first inning, three in the third and tacked on one more in the sixth en route to a sloppy 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium. The five-run outing was the A's first since a 10-5 loss against Minnesota on June 9.
"We were very fortunate to win the game," manager Bob Geren said after witnessing his club make three errors in the win.
"We had a couple big homers and then almost all of their runs ... they all came from errors, really. We played poorly."
Second baseman Adam Kennedy got the offense rolling right away with a leadoff double in the first off Los Angeles starter Hiroki Kuroda. Kennedy advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Matt Holliday.
Two innings later, the A's duplicated their home run hitting success from the previous night.
Center fielder Rajai Davis led off the third with a solo shot when Kuroda hung a 1-0 pitch over the inside part of plate.
In the next at-bat, right-hander Trevor Cahill reached on a single for his first career hit.
Jack Cust later added a two-run blast to make it two straight games for the A's with a multi-home run inning.
While Davis' home run (his first of the year) might have come as a surprise to those in attendance, it didn't shock Geren.
"Davis is a lot stronger than people think -- he really is," Geren said. "You watch him take batting practice, he'll hit balls out of the ball park often. He's very strong. You see him with his shirt off, he's a pretty strong guy."
The 4-0 lead gave Oakland a buffer for Cahill, who struggled throughout the night.
Cahill walked three consecutive batters in the first before escaping unharmed. And Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp reached third base with only one out in the second, but Cahill again escaped with the shutout intact.
"The whole game I just couldn't get in a groove, I couldn't get locked in," Cahill said. "It was one of those days when you kind know that you don't have your best stuff -- your best control -- but you kind of battle through it and find a way."
In the fifth, Cahill's luck began to run out as the Dodgers batters started to capitalize on run-scoring opportunities.
Left fielder Juan Pierre ripped a pitch down the right-field line for a two-out double, and then Kennedy fumbled a potential inning-ending groundout by Rafael Furcal.
Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson finally put his team on the board with a bloop single to left field.
The unearned fifth-inning run was the first of three for the Dodgers as Oakland had one of its worst fielding nights on the season.
An Orlando Cabrera throwing error in the sixth led to the second unearned run, and a pop fly dropped by right fielder Cust resulted in the third unearned run for the Dodgers.
"It was a poor defensive performance by us," Geren said. "Happy that we got the win. We'll take this and get back to playing our real clean defense."
But unlike Tuesday, when Oakland's bullpen blew a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning, the A's relievers did just enough to preserve the lead and the win.
Russ Springer relieved Cahill with one out in the sixth and the score at 5-2, and he managed to halt the rally by striking out pinch-hitter Mark Loretta and foiling a bunt attempt by Pierre.
Then after the Dodgers scored two in the seventh, Brad Ziegler and Andrew Bailey combined to pitch a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to preserve a much-needed win.
"It was nice to bounce back with a victory today," Bailey said. "We're trying to put everything together and we had a couple of errors, but we persevered through that and the bullpen did a good job of getting out of some innings and getting the victory for us."
David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.