(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
After coming off of a weekend series win in Seattle the Cubs were looking to take some momentum into Oakland for their first series ever at O.Co coliseum. Chris Rusin was called up to make the spot start due to Scott Feldman being traded. The A’s sent out young gun AJ Griffin.
The A’s took advantage of the younster when Josh Donaldson rocketed a two run shot in the bottom of the first to give the Athletics a 2-0 lead. Chris Young would add a solo shot in the bottom of the second to extended the A lead to 3-0. The game looked bleak for the Cubs and their first time starter, until things took a turn for the better in the top of the fourth.
Castro and Schierholtz each got on base via the single and advanced to second and third respectively on a wild pitch by Griffin during Alfonso Soriano’s at bat. Soriano then mashed a three run homer into right center to tie the game at 3-3 taking his young teammate off the hook for the loss. The inning continued when Darwin barney came up with runners on the corners and one away. Barney hit a sac fly to drive in Anthony Rizzo to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. Aj Griffin threw another wild pitch during Wellington Castillo’s at bat moving Brian Bogusevic to second. Castillo then hit Bogusevic in with a single giving the Cubs a 5-3 lead.
The A’s would answer quickly in the bottom of the fourth when Coco crisp tied the game at 5 with a two run single.What set up the Crisp two run single was a collision between Soriano and Castro in left field on Eric Sogard’s pop up allowing the runners to move to second and third, Both players were unhurt and stayed in the game. The Game would remain at 5-5 until the top of the sixth when Castillo came to bat with Cubs on first and second with one out. Castillo continued his hot night driving a double over the head of Athletic center fielder Chris Young to give the Cubs a 7-5 lead.
All signs were pointing to a Cubs W in their first game ever at O.Co, until the bottom of the eight came. With two outs and runners on first and second Derek Norris crushes a three run bomb over the right center field fence off of James Russel to give the A’s a 8-7 lead. The Cubs got the leadoff man on in the top of the ninth against A’s closer Grant Balfour, but Valbuena’s leadoff walk was wasted when he got thrown out trying to steal second after Starlin Castro struck out swinging. Nate Schierholtz then grounded out to Eric Sogard the second basemen to end the game.
The Cubs will look to win there first game ever in O.Co as they face A’s starter Bartolo Colon (11-2, 2.79 ERA), The Cubs will send out Matt Garza(3-1, 3.83 ERA) who is rumored to be being watched by many scouts from different teams across the league during this outing. First pitch is set for 9:05 pm central time.