Jul 4, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) speaks with catcher Derek Norris (36) with two Chicago Cubs runners on base during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Chicago Cubs 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Passed Ball Propels A's To Series Win Over Cubs

Dan Straily and Travis Wood exchanged zeros for six innings. So, it was only ideal that a passed ball would be the difference, and the A’s were the beneficiary.

Matt Guerrier relieved Wood after the lefty went six scoreless innings.

Guerrier allowed a one-out single to Chris Young, but he was erased attempting to swipe second base. Derek Norris walked and advanced to third on Seth Smith’s single, which would be key.

With the count 0-1, Guerrier’s pitch, which didn’t look to be in the dirt too much, skipped through the wickets of the catcher, and Norris scored.

Chicago threatened to score off Grant Balfour in the ninth. Starlin Castro’s single and Jed Lowrie’s throwing error gave the Cubs a second a chance. With runners on first and second, Balfour retired Alfonso Soriano to end the game.

The Cubs collected just one hit off Straily–Soriano’s fourth-inning single. Castro attempted to score from second base, but he was thrown out by Yoenis Cespedes. Then Soriano was caught trying to steal second to waste the team’s golden opportunity to strike against Straily, who struck out six over seven innings. He walked three.

Wood was equally as economic, allowing just three hits, two of which came in the second inning. Nate Freiman and Norris both singled, but the other three A’s hitters struck out.


Tags: Chicago Cubs Oakland Athletics

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