For five innings, the Oakland A’s Tyson Ross baffled the San Francisco Giants, hard as that is to believe. Coming into the contest, the 25 year old held a eye wrenching 6.11 ERA, but held his own against the black and orange earlier this year, only giving up two runs in six innings during a loss in May at AT&T. Feeling confident, the lengthy right hander buzzed through the games first five innings before some spotty defense crumbled what was a near quality start. A four run sixth, capped by a three run seventh gave the Giants the edge as they took their second consecutive game of the series (9-8), their eyes set on the series sweep tomorrow afternoon. The A’s didn’t make it easy though, putting up four in the last frame, leaving the winning run on second base.
Stay Hot, Brandon Belt – Coming into the tilt, Brandon Belt was riding an 10 game hitting streak and had been on base TWENTY times in the past 10 games. The streak continued, in a big way. With the Giants tied up at 4-4, Belt stepped to the plate and absolutely destroyed a 6th inning pitch, giving the Giants a two run lead that eventually ballooned into their victorious score, but it was the Belt shot that proved to be the fatal blow. He finished the game 2-3, including his HR, two base on balls and three RBI. He now leads the team in on base percentage.
Bumgarner Struggles Early, Returns To Form – Despite giving up a career high in hits, Madison Bumgarner did what we’re so accustom to seeing him do every night he takes the mound – fight. Early ducksnorts and bloops got the A’s on the board in the first few innings before a couple hard hit balls added onto Bumgarner’s struggles, but despite bending he never broke and he shut down the Athletics after the third inning. Bumgarner, who gave up four runs in the first three, didn’t allow another after that point. The Giants’ pen did their best to give the game away late, but held on for a one run victory.
The Giants will finish up their 2012 interleague schedule tomorrow afternoon against rookie AJ Griffin, who will be making his Major League debut. It also could very well be the end of the “traditional” interleague play as we know it with the Astros moving to the American League in 2013. While interleague play will continue next year, its expected that there will constantly be at least one series of interleague play going on (give each league will have an odd amount of teams) at all times and many are speculating there wont be designated “weeks” as we’ve seen for so many years.
The win, combined with the New York Mets loss, puts the Giants as the official National Wild Card leader.