For a few years in the middle of the decade there, the Giants absolutely could not figure out the A's in inter-league play, but they're hoping to get even this year. After getting swept by the Giants in San Francisco earlier in the month, the A's beat the Giants in the first of a 3-game set in Oakland on Monday night.
It's a good thing, on the A's part, that they took advantage Monday night, because the pitching match-ups heavily favor the Giants in the remaining two games. The A's had the advantage on Monday night, as their young control master, Trevor Cahill faced the Giants' Jonathan Sanchez, who's been inconsistent to say the least in 2009. Cahill only allowed 4 hits and one run while striking out 4 in 7 innings of work and the A's coasted to victory. Sanchez on the other hand, continued to struggle, allowing 11 base runners and 4 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. It wasn't quite as bad as his last start in which he didn't make it out of the fourth inning, but it wasn't a real positive start either. Sanchez's recent struggles have the Giants thinking of possibly moving him out of the rotation, which you can read more about over at the Giants Baseball Blog.
Other than the solid starting performance from Cahill, who now leads the A's in wins with 5, they got multi-hit efforts from Orlando Cabrera and former-Giant, Rajai Davis. The Giants couldn't really muster anything off Oakland hurlers, as Travis Ishikawa hit a solo homer in the second inning and that was it. It was interesting to see the A's go to Brad Zieglar to close out the ballgame. Andrew Bailey has taken over as the A's primary ninth-inning man, and has done an exceptional job, converting his last 3 save opportunities flawlessly. I guess the Geren didn't want to overwork Bailey, and maybe he's not totally done using Zieglar to close out games, so that's definitely a situation to keep an eye on.
On-Tap: In the final two games of the Giants/A's series in Oakland, the pitching match-ups will be Tim Lincecum vs. Vin Mazzaro, which should be another good pitching duel. On Tuesday night, the Giants will send Randy Johnson, in search of win # 302, to the mound vs. Josh Outman, who's 4-1 on the year with a solid 3.48 era.