09/02/07 8:35 PM ET
Hannahan's bloop single wins it for A's
Third baseman drives in Ellis in 10th to complete comeback
By Matt Smith / MLB.com
After rallying for seven runs, including two in the ninth off Detroit closer Todd Jones to tie the game, the A's resembled Oakland teams of Septembers past with a magical 8-7 walk-off extra-inning win against the Tigers on Sunday at McAfee Coliseum.
It was magical in the sense that Mark Ellis was able to score from first on a single with the game-winning run.
After being hit by a pitch to start the 10th inning, Ellis was running on Yorman Bazardo's 3-2 pitch to Jack Hannahan, who blooped a ball down the left-field line that just caught chalk, kicked into foul ground and allowed Ellis to score standing up.
"I saw it drop, and as soon as [the umpire] said fair ball I had a pretty good idea I was gonna score," Ellis said. "There's still some fight in our team, to be down 7-0 and come back and win. It was nice."
Hannahan was actually supposed to bunt Ellis over to second, but after fouling off a bunt attempt on the 3-1 pitch, he was able to swing away with Ellis running on the full count.
"It turned from a bunt into a hit and run," manager Bob Geren said of the play. "I was extremely confident he'd put the ball in play right there."
"In that situation I've got to get that bunt down," a humble Hannahan said after the game. "But it just didn't turn out that way, and it dropped in fair. To get down 7-0 and come back and win tells you something about this team."
Kurt Suzuki brought the A's all the way back, hitting a game-tying two-run home run off Jones after Marco Scutaro had lined a single to right to start the ninth.
"It was great coming off a guy like Jones," Suzuki said. "I tried to hit a line drive in the gap and it carried over the fence."
Suzuki was running hard at the crack of the bat and was well around first base when the ball cleared the fence, pumping his fist when it did.
"I just tried to hit it hard and keep on running," Suzuki said.
The A's actually had a chance to walk off with the win in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with nobody out after Suzuki's home run but Jones got Mike Piazza to ground into a 6-2-3 double play and then got Dan Johnson to fly out.
The A's had trouble early on as they were dealing with Nate Robertson who was at the top of his game.
The Tigers southpaw kept the A's hitless for the first 4 1/3 innings, as he had not allowed a baserunner or even a three-ball count to that point.
It was his first three-ball count that got him in trouble in the fifth as he went 3-2 to Johnson, who promptly lined a base hit to right.
The A's hit the ball hard in the fifth inning when Ellis singled to left and Hannahan followed with a ringing double off the wall in right-center, plating both runners.
After that, Robertson settled down and got the final two hitters of the inning but the A's started to get to him a bit.
He used just 44 pitches to get through four innings, but needed 45 to get through the next two. In the sixth, the A's had two runners on and nearly cut it to a two-run game when a drive off the bat of Johnson sailed over the fence in right, but about five feet to the right of the foul pole.
After Robertson departed Fernando Rodney proceeded to give up three runs and got one out as the A's drew within two.
Rodney loaded the bases with nobody out, and after a two-run single by Suzuki, a sharp lineout by Shannon Stewart was followed by an RBI hit from Nick Swisher.
"When you get down 7-0 and you're getting no-hit for a while, it takes a lot to come back like the guys did," Geren said. "That's tough to do."
For Starter Dallas Braden, the transition between the Minor League and the Major League hasn't been a very smooth one.
Between a brief stint in Double-A and his time at Triple-A, Braden has compiled a 2.84 ERA and recently had a start in which he threw a complete-game shutout and struck out 17.
After Sunday's no-decision, in which Braden allowed six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, he has compiled a 1-7 record and a 6.75 ERA in the big leagues.
"It's hard for me to follow up my last outing at Triple-A," Braden said. "Obviously I wasn't expecting anything like that."
What's even more troubling for Braden is that since his Major League debut on April 24, he has gone 0-7 with an ERA of 7.36. In his first start, which came against Baltimore, he went six innings and allowed one run for the win.
With the Tigers sitting four of their regular players -- Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez, Sean Casey and Curtis Granderson -- Braden had trouble with a role player and a bench player as they did a good portion of the damage.
Marcus Thames and Ramon Santiago combined to go 5-for-5 against him with Thames doubling twice and driving in three runs.
The Detroit left fielder had a two-out double in the first that scored a pair of runs, and he had another RBI double in the fifth in the middle of the Tigers five-run rally.
Matt Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.