03/20/12 7:18 PM ET
Ka'aihue, Gomes rally A's for 10-inning tie
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
Trailing by three runs going into the bottom of the ninth inning, the A's scored three times, tying it with two outs on an RBI double by Kila Ka'aihue.
"We would have liked to have won the game, but to come back and make it exciting, we'll take that," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Lopez got the start for a Cubs split squad and spun five innings of three-hit, one-run ball, striking out four, and the A's were quiet for a while two days before they were set to depart for Japan and the regular-season opening series on March 28-29.
The Cubs touched up A's starter Brandon McCarthy in the first inning when Tony Campana led off with a sinking line drive that Oakland left fielder Coco Crisp couldn't quite get to, and it turned into a double that sparked a two-run rally highlighted by an RBI single by Joe Mather and a sacrifice fly by Steve Clevenger.
The A's got on the board in the second when Kurt Suzuki hit a one-out single and Josh Donaldson drove him in with a two-out double, but the Cubs tallied two more in the fourth. Clevenger led off with a ground ball that A's second baseman Jemile Weeks misplayed for an error, Brett Jackson worked a one-out walk, and Alfredo Amezaga made it 3-1 in favor of the Cubs with an RBI single. Campana loaded the bases with a single before Edgar Gonzalez drove in another run with a fielder's choice.
The 4-1 score held in part because of Lopez's solid pitching and a collaborative effort by the bullpen. The Cubs got an inning apiece of scoreless work from Manuel Corpas and Scott Maine and the A's didn't score again until the bottom of the eighth, when Ka'aihue hit a monstrous solo home run off the scoreboard in right center off Esmailin Caridad.
The Cubs made it 5-2 in the ninth when A's shortstop Cliff Pennington made a fielding error on a ball hit by Michael Brenly, scoring Josh Vitters. The A's got out of the inning when center fielder Yoenis Cespedes made a highlight-reel-worthy diving catch of a sinking line drive by Dave Sappelt.
But Jonny Gomes led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run to left field off Cubs right-hander Blake Parker, Cespedes followed with a double and came home on an RBI single by Cedric Hunter that cut Chicago's lead to 5-4, Adam Rosales followed with a walk and came home on Ka'aihue's gapper.
Up next for Cubs: After an off-day, Matt Garza will take the mound Thursday when the Cubs play the Rangers for the fourth time in six days in a game that can be seen on MLB.TV and heard on a free exclusive webcast. This will be Garza's fourth start. He's coming off a solid performance against the Giants in which he gave up three hits and walked one over four innings. Alfonso Soriano will be back in the lineup, batting third. He has four homers this spring, which ranks among the Major League leaders.
Up next for A's: The A's will play their final game in Arizona -- and, at least for the next 10 days, in the United States -- when they play the Royals at Surprise Stadium on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. PT in a game that can be heard on a free exclusive webcast. The A's will leave for Japan on Thursday and play two exhibition games against Japanese clubs before starting the regular season with two games against the Seattle Mariners on March 28-29. The A's Cactus League finale will be started by right-hander Graham Godfrey, who is still competing for a spot in manager Bob Melvin's five-man rotation. Righty Luis Mendoza will get the ball for the Royals.