With scheduled starter Scott Kazmir scratched from his start Monday with soreness in his triceps, the Oakland Athletics turned Monday’s Cactus League game into a bullpen tag-team match, getting eight shutout innings from six different relievers before the Chicago Cubs finally did get on the board. The A’s did enough, however, to pick up a 6-2 win at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Lefty Joe Savery (1-0) got the start and struck out five while allowing two hits and a walk in his two scoreless innings before handing the ball off to Paul Smyth, who worked a perfect third. Jim Johnson gave up a hit in a scoreless frame, Sean Doolittle walked one while blanking the Cubs for an inning, Fernando Abad had a strikeout and allowed a hit in one scoreless inning and Zach Neal allowed one hit and fanned four while pitching the seventh and the eighth.
By that time, however, the A’s (9-8) had opened up a 6-0 lead.
Sogard doubled and scored on Coco Crisp’s single in the fifth to put the A’s up 3-0. Yoenis Cespedes broke out of an 0-for-22 funk with a ground ball single to left and scored on Brandon Moss’ double and Punto picked up his second RBI of the day by knocking in Moss.
Oakland banged out 10 hits on the day, with Moss going 2-for-2 and Punto having a 2-for-3 day.
The A’s are on the road Tuesday, visiting the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch at 1:05 p.m. Pacific.