It was a pitchers duel Wednesday night at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, CA. Oakland A’s southpaw Scott Kazmir took on last season’s American League ERA champion Detroit Tiger’s right-hander Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez was making just his second start since coming off of the disabled list after suffering a lacerated right middle finger resulting from a blister. In his first start against the Texas Rangers on May 23 Sanchez went seven innings allowing five hits, one earned run and struck out five. He was even better Wednesday, showing any doubters that he was back to his former self.
Wednesday Sanchez pitched eight and a third innings giving up just three hits and striking out nine. His only run came after he had exited the game. A double by A’s center fielder Coco Crisp came back to haunt Sanchez later.
Kazmir was on his game too. Kazmir was coming off a loss to Toronto where he gave up just five hits and three earned runs. Unfortunately for Kazmir, in Toronto, the Oakland offense just couldn’t get going enough to earn him the win. It appeared at first that history was about to repeat itself even though the lefty pitched a complete game six hitter allowing just a solo home run to Detroit’s Torii Hunter.
Kazmir’s beautiful pitching performance was saved when Coco Crisp got the double off of Sanchez and Tiger’s closer Joe Nathan came in to relieve Sanchez with one out in the bottom of the ninth. John Jaso singled to give the A’s runners at first and third with one out.
Then it was Josh Donaldson turn at the plate. The third baseman further solidified his case to represent Oakland as a starter in the 2014 mid-summer classic when on he hit a high drive just inside the left field foul pole for a three run walk off blast that led the A’s to a 3-1 victory over the Tigers.
The game was gritty, the type of pitching duel that fans had expected to see Tuesday night at the Coliseum between Sonny Gray and Max Scherzer. Wednesday night however it was Kazmir’s time to shine and Donaldson’s turn to be the hero for the A’s.