Pitching Escapes First In Texas With Win

Joe Blanton pitched six solid inning at Ameriquest Field on Monday night, allowing just two runs and leaving with a one-run lead. If history was an indication, it wouldn't be enough for him to get a win. At least, not in Arlington.

But it was as a A's trio of relievers -- Joe Kennedy, Kiko Calero and Justin Duchscherer -- slammed the door with three scoreless for a rare low-scoring victory.

"Every guy who comes in, I have confidence they will get out of any situation," Joe Blanton said. "A 3-2 game in a park like this, going through three guys in the bullpen and not give up runs, you can't say enough about what they did."

Calero recorded a big strikeout to end the seventh with two runners on base and followed with a scoreless eighth.

Duchscherer, the interim closer, got two quick outs in the ninth before a throwing error by Marco Scutaro brought up Mark Teixeira, who hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning eight days earlier off Huston Street.

A liner to left field ended it.

"The difference was my focus," said Duchscherer, who couldn't convert a save chance Thursday against Detroit. "I was intent on getting that first hitter out. It's good to get it done in a save opportunity. I know I can, and I didn't get it done the other day. I was down on myself."

REPLAY: Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to account for the A's only runs Monday in a 3-2 win over Texas. It was Swisher's first from the right side. He has homered in three straight game, and he grabbed a share of the AL home run lead with his ninth of the season.

Kevin Millwood blanked the A's for five innings despite giving up four hits and six walks. The A's stranded 10 runners, although at least they got the defending ERA champion's pitch count up to 96 and knocked him out.

Monday Notebook

--SS Bobby Crosby is expected to return to the A's lineup Tuesday after missing three games with a right triceps strain. Crosby took batting practice and fielded grounders before Monday's game, and he pronounced himself ready to play.

--RHP Huston Street, who hasn't pitched since April 18 due to a right pectoral strain, could be available Wednesday if his bullpen session goes well Tuesday. But the A's might wait until Friday in Kansas City. Street, a native of Austin, Texas, said he hoped to sneak into a game before the A's leave his home state. He missed a series in Arlington with a hamstring injury last season.

--RHP Esteban Loaiza, who felt spasms in his back while pitching Sunday, was much improved Monday. The A's still aren't positive if Loaiza will be available for his next start, Saturday in Kansas City. With an off day Thursday, the A's could push him back to Tuesday in Anaheim.

--RHP Kirk Saarloos deserves the first chance at starting, A's manager Ken Macha said, if RHP Esteban Loaiza can't go Saturday, based on Saarloos' performance as a starter last year. It remains to be seen how deep into a game Saarloos could go, as he has only been stretched out for long relief. Newly recalled hurler Chad Gaudin has been starting for AAA-Sacramento and could also be an option. Gaudin's ERA at Sacramento was 0.52, after three starts covering 17.1 innings

--INF Antonio Perez received the start at shortstop in place of Bobby Crosby because offense is needed in Arlington and manager Ken Macha thought playing two straight days would do Perez some good. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and remained hitless on the season.

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories