Ross has rough outing against Hanshin
Pennington, Suzuki homer in final Japan exhibition
TOKYO -- The Hanshin Tigers, it appears, did plenty of homework on the American League West.
Just 24 hours after claiming victory over the Mariners, the Japanese club came out victors of a 12-6 decision against the A's, who watched righty Tyson Ross struggle against a feisty Tigers lineup in the Tokyo Dome.
Ross, in line to be Oakland's fourth starter, was tagged for eight runs and 10 hits in just four innings of work. Six of those runs were earned, as the A's defense also endured a rough day, committing three errors -- two by first baseman Kila Ka'aihue -- in the loss.
"They're a good-hitting team," Ross said. "I left the ball up in the zone on one too many pitches and got myself behind in counts."
It marked the final exhibition contest in Japan for the A's, who will take part in a workout Tuesday before christening the regular season with a matchup against the Mariners at the Tokyo Dome on Wednesday evening.
Offensively, the A's appear as ready as they'll ever be for a showdown with Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who is 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA in 21 career starts against Oakland. After Sunday's 5-0 win over the Yomiuri Giants, they compiled six more runs Monday, including a three-run shot from Kurt Suzuki -- his second home run in as many days -- and a solo home run from Cliff Pennington. Ka'aihue also hit an RBI single.
But the infielder's first error in the first inning proved costly, as a two-out home run off the bat of Takahiro Arai followed. Ross allowed another run in the second inning and four in the third, when the Tigers put together four consecutive hits.
"I liked [the offense] better than the rest of the day," manager Bob Melvin said. "Today wasn't our best day. We've had a real good spring, been focused all spring, played good defense. But I don't want to take anything away from them. They made a great impression on us all game long. We just didn't play one of our better games."