Cabrera’s 2-run double lifts A’s to 7-5 win
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Although he didn’t get a hit, Orlando Cabrera pointed to his 15-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning Friday night as a key moment. After fouling off 11 pitches against Josh Banks, including six straight with a 2-2 count, Cabrera flew out to center field.
That at-bat gave Cabrera confidence that when he came to the plate in the eighth inning, he could deliver the two-run double that lifted the Oakland Athletics to a 7-5 win over the San Diego Padres.
Cabrera’s hit off Edward Mujica (2-2) capped a three-run inning, eventually handing the Padres their 17th loss in 21 interleague games since the start of last season.
“I was feeling really confident at the plate,” Cabrera said.
“It seemed like he had every area and every velocity covered with his swing,” Oakland manager Bob Geren added. “It was a great at-bat that got him going.”
San Diego, which was trying for consecutive wins over an AL opponent for the first time since June 2007, snapped its major league-record interleague losing streak at 13 on Thursday with a 4-3 win over Seattle in 10 innings.
San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez had a double and a career-high four walks, and has reached base in a career-best 11 straight plate appearances. Gonzalez walked once and tied his career high with four hits on Thursday against Seattle, and drew a walk in his final plate appearance Wednesday against the Mariners.
Kevin Kouzmanoff put the Padres ahead 5-3 with a bases-loaded, two-run single in the sixth inning off Russ Springer. The A’s battled back against Mujica with a pair of two-out, run-scoring hits.
Kurt Suzuki singled, Matt Holliday walked, and Jason Giambi drove in the first run. Then Cabrera, who also hit a sacrifice fly, drove in a pair with a line drive to the wall in center.
“I missed the first couple of pitches and I was really mad,” Cabrera said. “But then he threw me a fastball inside and I really hit it.”
It was just the second time that Mujica has been scored upon in his last 20 outings.
Suzuki, who had three hits, added an RBI single in the ninth.
Oakland, in last place in the AL West, won for just the third time in 10 games while the Padres have lost six of seven. The A’s raised their interleague record to 3-7 and San Diego dropped to 1-6.
Michael Wuertz (3-1) pitched one inning for the win. Drew Bailey got the final four outs for his seventh save in 11 chances.
The Athletics scored three times in the fourth inning despite just one hit. Suzuki led off with a single and rookie Wade LeBlanc walked two straight batters before hitting Jason Giambi to force in one run. A pair of sacrifice flies by Cabrera and Bobby Crosby gave the A’s a 3-2 lead.
LeBlanc allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in his first start since he made his major league debut last September. LeBlanc started in place of Chris Young, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list.
“You have to throw strikes and you can’t get behind and give guys free bases like I did,” said LeBlanc, who is 1-3 with a 8.14 ERA in six career appearances, including five starts.
San Diego tied the score at 3-all in the bottom of the inning on David Eckstein’s RBI single. Eckstein also drove in a run with a ground out.
Oakland rookie pitcher Josh Outman left the game in the second inning with tightness in his left arm.
Outman allowed a leadoff homer to Chase Headley in the inning and was then visited on the mound by manager Bob Geren and head trainer Steve Sayles. After about a short discussion, Outman remained in the game. Two batters later, he was removed.
“His velocity was down and I didn’t like what I was seeing,” Geren said. “He seemed to have some tightness, but I don’t think it is a major concern.” Notes: Oakland’s Edgar Gonzalez replaced Outman in the second inning and had two singles to become the first A’s reliever with two hits in a game since Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers on May 10, 1970, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Padre Kyle Blanks made his major league debut with a strikeout as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. … San Diego’s Tony Gwynn Jr. tied his career high with three hits. … LeBlanc became San Diego’s first left-handed starter this season.