05/12/10 1:58 AM ET
A's persevere to down Rangers in 13th
Barton thrives in extras as Oakland pulls even with Texas
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
In the midst of witnessing baseball's 19th perfect game, courtesy a dominant Dallas Braden, the club was afforded the opportunity to rest every member of its three-man bench and nine-man bullpen.
Tuesday, not so much.
Following a travel day, Oakland put to use all three of its bench players, along with six members of its relief corps, against the host Rangers. Three A's blown saves and 13 innings later, not to mention a handful of career firsts, the team walked away on the winning end of a 7-6 game -- one that Daric Barton appropriately deemed "long and crazy."
It took exactly four hours and eight minutes for the A's to garner their third consecutive win, and they have now claimed victory in four of their past five games after losing six of the previous seven. Unlike Sunday's historic affair, Tuesday's battle was far from perfect. Yet, in the end, it was a lot of fun.
"You knew it was going to be one of those games where the team [that] won was going to be feeling pretty good about it," manager Bob Geren said, "and the other team was going to be thinking about it for awhile."
The Rangers became the latter when Barton tallied his second go-ahead hit of the game -- an RBI single that scored Landon Powell -- in the top of the 14th. The A's first baseman went hitless in his first five at-bats before launching a go-ahead solo homer -- his second long ball of the year -- in the 11th.
Powell, who teamed up with Braden in Sunday's perfecto, endured quite another memorable night after leading off the frame with a walk against Texas' Dustin Nippert. With Rajai Davis at the plate and, according to Geren, a bunt-and-run sign on, Powell took off from first. Davis, though, didn't put down the bunt. And, miraculously, Powell made it safe and sound at second base -- a moment that marked the first stolen base of his two-year career.
"I thought I was dreaming," a smiling Barton said of witnessing Powell hitting the gas pedal. "It was a long game as it was, and that was definitely out of the ordinary. It turned out to be the winning run, though."
"There were about 10 of us watching the game in the clubhouse," Andrew Bailey said. "It was on about a 15-second tape delay, and Gabe Gross was in the other room going nuts watching the live game. He was screaming, saying, 'Wait 'til you see this!'
"Besides Sunday, in my short-lived career, that's one of the more interesting games I've ever been a part of."
Bailey joined Brad Ziegler and Tyson Ross as the first A's pitchers to combine for three blown saves since a trio of Oakland pitchers did it July 17, 2000, at Colorado. The club entered Tuesday's contest as the only team in the Majors without a blown save.
Bailey, who was called upon in the ninth with the A's leading, 5-4, walked the leadoff batter before surrendering a game-tying RBI single to Elvis Andrus to snap a career-high streak of 21 2/3 scoreless innings. The blown lead came just one inning after Ziegler's two-run mistake that came in the form of a go-ahead two-run homer off the bat of Texas' Josh Hamilton.
"The offense and defense picked us up today," Bailey said. "I didn't get the job done. There's no excuse [for] walking the leadoff guy with four straight balls.
"But how we won today shows that we're resilient. It builds character."
Meanwhile, Ross not only tallied his first career blown save but also walked away with his first career at-bat and win. The A's rookie gave up the lead in the 11th but hung around for three innings to record the victory. During that time, he went to the plate in the 12th, as a result of an empty Oakland bench, and struck out looking -- marking the first time an A's pitcher was given an at-bat in a non-interleague game since Todd Stottlemyre struck out on Aug. 16, 1995, in Kansas City.
"That was terrible," Ross said with a half-smile. "I don't think I've hit since high school. I was just hoping to get something on it.
"We got the win; that's all that matters. We battled out there, and I'm just happy we got the victory. It was a good game, overall, as a team."
It was a game that began with righty Trevor Cahill on the mound for 5 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks, while fanning one, in the no-decision effort.
Cahill's line was all but forgotten more than two hours later. Also lost on the radar was Eric Chavez's first home run -- a two run shot in the fifth -- since June 17, 2008. That's what happens when 112 batters come to the plate and 14 pitchers take to the bump.
"It was fun seeing everyone contribute," Geren said. "That's a fun win for the team."
"We battled," said Barton. "We hung in there all game. In the end, we got guys on base and hit them in. You gotta give credit to the other guys, too. That's a well-played game."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.