Barry Zito started the game against Anaheim, coming off of a strong first spring appearance where he tossed two perfect innings. The A's ace lefty wasn't perfect against the Angels, but he was close.
Zito diced through the Angels' line-up allowing only three walks and no hits over four innings pitched. He used two double plays and a picked off runner to work through his outing so effeciently that he stayed on one inning longer then he was scheduled to. Zito has now thrown six hitless innings this spring.
When Zito exited the game after the fourth inning, he left staked with a 2-0 lead, thanks to a two-RBI double by non-roster invitee Shawn Garrett. However, Juan Cruz pitched the fifth inning and allowed a run on two hits, slicing the A's lead to 2-1.
Oakland got the run back in the top of the 6th when a Matt Watson grounder got past Angels' third baseman Robb Quinlan, allowing an unearned run to score. The lead was short-lived, however, as Tyler Johnson was unable to keep the Angels off of the scoreboard.
Johnson allowed two walks and a double, which lead to two Angel runs. He wasn't the only A's pitcher to have trouble hitting the strike zone. In total, the A's walked nine batters, a remarkable number when you consider that the Angels were one of the hardest teams to walk last season.
Non-roster invitee Jim Serrano entered the game in the 7th inning with the contest tied at 3. He was a victim of his own bad defense in the bottom of the 7th, as his throwing error helped an unearned run score. In the 8th, he allowed a long homerun by Angels' prospect Jeff Mathis, putting the A's in a 5-3 hole going into the 9th inning.
Oakland wouldn't go down without a fight in this game, however. In the 9th, Watson and non-roster invitee Hiram Bocachica both singled and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Mike Rouse came through with a clutch basehit, tying the game at 5.
A win wasn't in the cards for the A's this day, however. Prospect Brad Sullivan came on in the 9th and immediately got himself in trouble. He allowed a hit and two walks, loading the bases for Mathis. The Angels designated hitter lifted a sacrifice fly, scoring the winning run. Sullivan has struggled mightly this spring, allowing three runs in 2.1 innings pitched. He is still struggling to regain the form that made him one of the top collegiate pitchers in baseball in 2002.
Bobby Crosby picked up his second hit of the spring. Crosby has scuffled in Arizona so far, going 2-15.
Scott Hatteberg broke an 0-11 streak with a hard single.
Bocachica scored his team-leading fifth run.
Watson went 2-4 as the team's DH and now has seven hits in 16 at-bats. He also stole a base.
Nick Swisher scored from first on a double in the sixth inning. The Angels contended that he missed third base, but their appeal was rejected.
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