Mar 17, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics second baseman Eric Sogard (28) bunts for an RBI in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Sans Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics Bullpen Teams Up To Beat Cubs


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.

Chicago (9-11) finally pushed a couple of runs across in the ninth when Frank Gailey surrendered a two-run homer to Jonathan Mota, his first of the spring.

By that time, however, the A’s (9-8) had opened up a 6-0 lead.

Oakland scored two in the second on an RBI single by Nick Punto and a run-scoring squeeze bunt from Eric Sogard.

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.

The A’s made it 6-0 in the seventh when Billy Burns doubled to lead off the inning, went to third on a fly ball and scored on Josh Reddick’s single.

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.

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Tags: Cactus League Oakland Athletics