A's 1, Cubs 0

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rookie right-hander Dan Straily limited the Chicago Cubs to one hit in seven innings and battery-mate Derek Norris scored the only run of the game on a two-out passed ball in the bottom of the seventh as the Oakland A's overcame a stellar pitching effort by Travis Wood to post a 1-0 interleague victory on Sunday afternoon.
In picking up their 50th win of the season -- just the second time in the last 10 years the A's have reached that mark before the All-Star break - Oakland managed to win two of three in the competitive series.
After a pitchers' duel between Matt Garza and Bartolo Colon in a 3-1 Cubs win Saturday, Straily (5-2) and Wood matched zeroes until Cubs manager Dale Sveum chose to pull his left-hander after six innings, having thrown 101 pitches.
Straily was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento before the game to start in place of Jarrod Parker, who was pushed back to Saturday because of pain in his right hamstring. The young right-hander responded with a performance similar to the one that produced a 1-0 win at Texas on May 21 in what had previously been his finest major-league moment.
The only hit off Straily was a fourth-inning single to left field by Alfonso Soriano that actually produced an out. Starlin Castro, who had walked to open the inning, was gunned down at the plate by Yoenis Cespedes trying to score from second base.
Soriano was thrown out stealing with Anthony Rizzo at the plate and Straily went on to retire nine of the last 10 hitters he faced, allowing only a sixth-inning walk to Luis Valbuena.
In matching a career-best seven innings, Straily struck out six and walked three before handing the ball over to Ryan Cook, who pitched a scoreless eighth. Grant Balfour capped a combined two-hitter and A's seventh shutout of the season by pitching around a single by Castro and a two-out error by shortstop Jed Lowrie in the ninth for his 21st save.
Balfour got Soriano, the Cubs' second-leading RBI man, to fly to right field with runners on first and second to end the game.
The A's caught a break in the seventh when Cubs catcher Wellington Castillo couldn't catch a breaking ball by reliever Matt Guerrier (2-4), who was pitching for the first time for Chicago after he was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. The two-out passed ball allowed Norris, who had walked and advanced to third on a Seth Smith single, to race home from third base with the only run of the game.
Wood left after six shutout innings, having limited the A's to three singles and one walk. He struck out five in the 16th quality start in 17 outings this season, with just five wins to show for a 2.77 ERA, the National League's 11th best.
It was the third time Wood has gone six or more innings this season without allowing a run. He jsd posted wins on the first two occasions.
The A's, who finished a 6-2 homestand, twice advanced runners into scoring position against Wood in the first six innings, but both times with two outs. Wood escaped damage by striking out Smith with runners on first and second in the second and got Yoenis Cespedes to ground to third base with runners on first and third in the sixth.
The A's finished with just five hits. There were no extra-base hits in the game.
The Cubs, who had begun a nine-game trip with 2-1 series wins at Milwaukee and Seattle, completed the 10-game venture with a 5-4 record. Their interleague record fell to 11-6.
NOTES: RHP Guerrier and RHP Pedro Strop, both acquired in trades Tuesday, made their Cubs debuts in relief and became the club's 40th and 41st players to see action this season, matching the franchise record for before the All-Star break. They are the 22nd and 23rd pitchers; the previous record for pitchers had been 20. ... Cubs CF Brian Bogusevic left the game in the third inning because of tightness in his left hamstring. ... Smith was the A's only left-handed hitter in the starting lineup against Wood, who began the day having allowed just a .122 average against lefties. Smith went 0-for-2 against Wood before his seventh-inning single off Guerrier. ... The A's confirmed before the game that RHP Parker will start Saturday at Kansas City. Parker suffered a hamstring injury in last Saturday's loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and had his regularly scheduled start Thursday against the Cubs pushed back two days because of continuing pain. ... The Cubs announced before the game that they will promote RHP Carlos Villanueva from the bullpen to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Villanueva, who began the season in the Cubs' rotation, is filling the spot created by the trade of RHP Scott Feldman to Baltimore on Tuesday. ... To make room for Straily on the active roster, the A's sent C Stephen Vogt back to Triple-A Sacramento. ... A's LHP Brett Anderson will have the stress fracture in his right foot examined Friday. Returning to the starting rotation after the All-Star break and having season-ending surgery are two possible courses of action to be determined in the exam. ... The Cubs reportedly have agreed to terms with the No. 1 international prospect -- OF Eloy Sanchez -- made available Tuesday to big-league clubs from countries not eligible for the Major League Draft. Chicago reportedly has agreed to pay the 16-year-old Dominican $2.8 million.

What to Read Next