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A's drop close one to Rangers 5-4


Written by: Bill Martin
Thursday, June 1, 2006

The Oakland A's jumped to a 4-0 lead, but for the third straight game, could not hold the lead, dropping a heart breaker to the Texas Rangers 5-4.  Ryan Simalchik started off the inning with a hit.  Starting pitcher Matt Canuso helped his cause early, knocking Simalchik to third with one of his two doubles in the game.  After a walk to Kevin Gault and an out, Billy "2-strike" Martin smashed a 1-2 pitch into left, driving in 2 runs.  Stephen Arfuso battled tremendously at the plate, fouling off tough pitch after tough pitch, and then smoked a 1-hopper to first, scoring Gault from third. 
In the second inning, with 2 outs, Louis Sarandoulias and Rory "Bulls Eye" McIntyre walked, and Louis scored on a liner to left by Simalchik, giving the A's a 4-0 lead.  However, the Rangers got 5 runs in the bottom of the second, but with three innings to go, Coach Martin thought he had no worries with the way the A's were swinging.  But, he got it wrong again, as the A's bats went completely silent the rest of the game. 
In the third, Kevin Gault took the mound, and with some help in the field by left fielder Mark Lemmerman, had his best outing of the year, shutting down the Rangers.  The enthusiastic Andrew "can-I-coach" Spillane kept the team in the game with a nice play at second.   
In the fourth inning, with 2-outs, Andrew Spillane walked.  Rory McIntyre took another one for the team, getting plunked in the back for the second straight game.  However, they could not score as the A's could not make contact at the plate. 
In the bottom of the fourth, the battery of pitcher Ryan Simalchik and catcher Griffen Foster shut the Rangers down 1-2-3, but in the top of the inning, Ranger closer Brendan Heine settled down and got the third out, ending the A's chances. 
After the close loss, Pitching Coach Frank Canuso was upbeat about the game:  "We hit well early, and scored some runs.  At this point in the year, we need to get our young pitching staff innings on the mound.  Billy got to throw today, Kevin rebounded with a very strong effort, and Ryan and Matt are getting really confident out there.  We need to get more guys on the mound.  My hope is to get Mark Beachy, Griffen and Andrew a chance in the next few games so we are ready by the playoffs."      

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