Former Aces Pitcher Buckner Picks Up Win Against A's

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Chris Young homered for the first time in more than a month, Billy Buckner won in his first start since 2007 and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 on Friday night.

Young, batting in the ninth spot as a starter for the first time in his career, hit a solo home run off Trevor Cahill in the fifth to snap an 0-for-21 streak and put the Diamondbacks ahead 2-1.

Jon Rauch worked a scoreless ninth for his second save in as many chances, but had to pitch out of a jam with two outs and two on to do so.

The Diamondbacks have won three straight and five of six after losing seven of eight.

The A's, on the other hand, lost for the sixth time in their last eight games. Oakland entered with the second-best interleague record in the majors, but lost to Arizona for the sixth time in the last seven meetings between the two clubs.

Young, who normally bats sixth for the Diamondbacks, provided the big blow offensively with his sixth homer of the season and first since April 21, an 82 at-bat stretch. He also singled in the eighth and finished 2-for-3.

But it was Buckner's pitching that did the most damage.

The 25-year-old had pitched strictly in relief for Arizona since being acquired from Kansas City in 2007, but dominated the slumping A's, allowing only one runner past first base after Holliday's leadoff homer in the second. Buckner (1-0) also overcame a pair of fielding errors by the Diamondbacks' defense.

After Buckner quieted the A's offense, Esmerling Vasquez and Clay Zavada worked one-third of an inning each before Arizona manager A.J. Hinch went to Rauch, who got the call because closer Chad Qualls had pitched in the previous three games.

Rauch retired the first two batters in the ninth and then allowed a single to Nomar Garciaparra and walked Adam Kennedy before getting Ryan Sweeney to ground out to end the game.

Cahill, the 21-year-old Oakland righty who had won two of his previous three starts, pitched just as solidly as Buckner but took the loss. Cahill (2-4) scattered six hits over 7 1-3 innings and gave up both Arizona runs. He walked one and struck out five.


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