A's Let One Slip
by Brian Clark
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It appeared as if the A's would get back to the .500 mark in come-from-behind fashion against the Harwich Mariners Thursday night at Whitehouse Field, but unfortunately for John Schiffner's team, that was not the case. The game began as a pitchers' duel, with Chatham's Justin Marks and Harwich's J.J. Hoover matching blow for blow, until the sixth inning. In the bottom of the frame, Jason Stidham launched a two run homer to right, putting them on the board first. Marks gave way to Matt Harvey, who got help in the top of the seventh on Victor Sanchez's leadoff home run, his first of the season.
Sanchez gave the A's the lead in the eighth, as his single with two outs and two strikes scored Kyle Seager and Yan Gomes. After Grant Green reached base for the 21st time this season with a ninth inning single, his USC teammate Brad Boxberger, came in to face the Mariners in the bottom of ninth.
Things started off well, as Boxberger struck out Dustin Ackley, before giving up a single to D.J. Belfonte. Belfonte advanced to second on a balk, before Joe Sanders flew out for the second out. Belfonte moved up to third on a wild pitch to Jeff Cusick. Cusick was the pivotal at-bat in the game, as he worked the count full, the Mariners a strike away from defeat. After fouling off several pitches, he singled to center scoring Belfonte and tying the game at three. Walks to D.J. Lemahieu and Jason Stidham loaded the bases. Boxberger, trying to extend the game to the tenth, got the first two strikes to catcher Tommy Medica. His 0-2 pitch went over the glove of Joe Mercurio, scoring pinch runner Tommy Manno with the game winning run, as the Mariners completed the comeback, 4-3.
Boxberger's first blown save of the year was also his second loss, as he falls to 0-2, while Willie Kempf, wins his second straight game, improving to 2-1. With the halfway point in the season reached, the A's bring their 10-12 record to Brewster on Friday for a 5 PM start with the Whitecaps. Live coverage gets underway at 4:40 with the A's Extra Pregame Show