Oakland, CA – Upon returning home the Oakland A’s picked up where they left off. The seventy-two minute rain delay was no problem for Gio Gonzalez, who in fact probably could have lasted the full game but was taken out after pitching eight scoreless innings.
The A’s backed Gonzalez’s almost perfect night with a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins. The lefty is ranked fifth in the American League with an ERA 2.38 and made his first appearance against a team he grew up watching in Hialeah, Florida.
“I love the Marlins,” explained Gio. ”This is the team I grew up watching. These guys, they have history in my opinion, I grew up watching some of these guys. Even Gaby Sanchez, a friend of mine, it’s fun to watch that team. Tonight was just one of those wins, it was one of those 1-0 ball games that kept everybody on the edge of their seat.”
Emilio Bonifacio was the only hitter to get a hit off Gonzalez. He led off the first frame with a single to right field and that was it for the Marlins. The next thirteen batters were retired before Gio surrendered a walk to Jose Lopez and then struck out Logan Morrison to end the inning in the fifth.
Florida woes continued as they recorded their 23rd loss in the month of June. Their offense was missing in action and the defense made a few costly errors. After opening the the season with a 14-4 in one-run games they have lost their 14th straight one-run decision.
“It’s just one of those things where it’s happening,” Sanchez said. ”We have to continue to press and continue just to battle and battle through it. Things will change, we’ll go on a streak where we’ll win 14 straight one-run games. That’s baseball, it happens that way. Hopefully we can at least finish off June right with two more games and get July going in a good way.”
Gaby over the past two seasons has owned the month of June, posting a .318 average with eight home runs and 26 RBI’s. But his average has fallen this month and tonight he was ejected by umpire Phil Cuzzi for throwing his bat after being called on strikes.
The frustration mounted when the Marlins failed to capitalize on Scott Sizemore’s fielding error on Bonifacio’s leadoff grounder when he over threw to first base that advanced Emilio to second. But closer Andrew Bailey struck out the next three batters to end the game.
“He did a good job, no question,” said interim manager Jack McKeon. ”Once again when you see our hitters up there, he didn’t get us, we got ourselves. Give the guy credit, he knew how to get our hitters out. But I think if we were patient with him he would’ve walked four or five more guys, which is his history.”
Gonzalez pitched eight innings, allowed one hit, no runs, three walks and struck out nine. Fanning 27 batters, he has now earned his third straight start. The second inning belonged to Oakland when designated hitter Hideki Matsui led off the second frame with a double.
Conor Jackson reached first due to a throwing error by short stop Hanley Ramirez. Kurt Suzuki’s sacrifice fly to right field brought in the A’s first run which gave them a 1-0 lead.
“Performance-wise, the best I’ve seen him pitch,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”Ranks right up there with one of the best pitched games from a starter since I’ve been here.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino