PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Bailey kidded that Joe Carter spoiled his childhood.
Raised in southern New Jersey a diehard Philadelphia Phillies fan, Bailey spent his nights rooting for them through Carter's homer in the 1993 World Series, the lean years that followed, and straight into their resurgence early last decade.Against his favorite team, it was Bailey's turn to play spoiler.Bailey thwarted a Phillies' rally in the eighth inning and held on for a four-out save in front of hundreds of cheering fans, helping the Oakland Athletics beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday night.Trevor Cahill tossed three-hit ball into the eighth inning and Adam Rosales homered for the A's.The moment belonged to Bailey.His parents and wife were part of the 165th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park, and cheers for his entrance were heard from various pockets throughout the stadium. Bailey entered with the A's holding a one-run lead and two runners on.Bailey retired Chase Utley, yes, one his favorite players, on a grounder. He worked the ninth for his fifth save."It was pretty cool to get that call," Bailey said. "It was good times in Philadelphia when they were winning like it is here now. With all my family being back here, diehard Phillies fans, it's nice to go out there and beat them today."Make them have the decision who to cheer for," Bailey said.There were few reasons to cheer the Phillies, who snapped a season-high eight-game home winning streak.Cahill and Phillies starter Cole Hamels had a nice and easy duel going in a game that breezed by until the Phillies threatened to take the lead in the eighth.Cahill (8-5) won his second straight start after dropping five straight and spoiled Hamels' bid to win his 10th game.Scott Sizemore's RBI single in the fourth made it 2-1, and Cahill and Bailey held the lead from there. Cahill struck out six and walked three in 7 2/3 innings, and has allowed one run or less 10 times this season."I wasn't afraid to throw the ball over the plate," Cahill said. "I just let my sinker kind of work for me."Hamels lost his second straight start, but extended his streak of not allowing more than two earned runs to six straight outings.Hamels (9-4) put runners on base in every inning but the second, but the A's failed to bust the game open with one big swing. In the eighth, they had runners on first and third with one out, but Hamels retired the last two batters on grounders to escape the jam.Hamels allowed eight hits and struck out five in eight innings.The Phillies nearly bailed him out in the eighth.Ross Gload hit a one-out, pinch-hit double. There was a visit to the mound to chat with the righty and Michael Martinez came in to pinch run.The A's faith in Cahill was rewarded for one more at-bat.He struck out Jimmy Rollins swinging at a 79 mph curveball. Martinez scampered to third on a wild pitch with Placido Polanco batting. Cahill, who ran out of gas around the 100-pitch mark, walked Polanco and that was it for the A's starter.Bailey then got Utley."He came in with fire in his eyes," A's manager Bob Melvin said.The A's put Bailey back on the mound in the ninth with little pressure after Mark Ellis' RBI single and Coco Crisp's sacrifice fly off Michael Stutes made it 4-1.Bailey, though, put two runners on before retiring Domonic Brown on a game-ending double play.The Phillies had only five hits.In the Phillies clubhouse, Bailey sent a handwritten note asking for Rollins to sign a baseball for him for his charity. "Best of luck the rest of the way," Bailey wrote.The A's entered with an AL-worst 40 homers until Rosales poked one over the right-field wall for his second home run to tie the game at 1 in the third.Hamels issued a one-out walk to Crisp in the fourth and Hideki Matsui singled, setting up Sizemore's go-ahead single.Cahill ran into his toughest jam in the second inning and was fortunate the Phillies only scored one run. He walked Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino to open the inning, then struck out the next two batters. Carlos Ruiz singled up the middle for a 1-0 lead."They got good pitching," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "At the same time, we've got to score runs. I think it might have been a little bit of both."
Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt has a mild bulging disc in his back and likely won't return until August. ... The A's have hit one home run or less in 29 straight games. The team record is 31 straight back in 1978. ... Gload leads the majors with 12 pinch hits.
45,785 (104.9% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
80 degrees, partly cloudy
Home Plate - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Joe West
Cahill is known for his sinker and it didn't disappoint Saturday. The Phillies were 2-14 (.143) with a strikeout on at-bats ending with the pitch. However, he only threw 39 sinkers on the day out of his 104 pitches. That 37.5 sinker percentage is his lowest of the season.
Cahill relied more on his curveball Saturday. The Phillies were 0-7 with three strikeouts against the pitch Saturday to drop Cahill's opponents' 2011 batting average to .150 against his curve. Cahill threw 28 curveballs against the Phils and the 26.9 curveball percentage is his highest since April 7 and second-highest since 2009.
Regarding the loss of Roy Oswalt...Fair to say that of the big 4, he's the pitcher the Phillies could most afford to lose. He ranks tied for 38th in the NL in Wins Above Replacement (1.0). Roy Halladay (4.2), Cole Hamels (3.6) and Cliff Lee (3.3) rank 1-2-3.