PHOENIX (CBS SF/AP) — Joe Saunders held Oakland to one earned run over six innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks extended their winning streak to a season-long five games with a 4-3 victory over the Athletics on Sunday.
Chris Young singled twice and scored both times as Arizona completed a three-game interleague sweep of the A’s. The Diamondbacks have won seven of eight to climb to .500 for the first time since they were 14-14 on May 5.
Aaron Hill singled in two runs and Jason Kubel had two RBIs in Arizona’s first sweep since starting the season with three straight wins over San Francisco.
Saunders (4-4) scattered seven hits, struck out five and walked two. Travis Blackley (0-2) took the loss.
Blackley, in his third start since being claimed off waivers from San Francisco on May 15, gave up three earned runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings.
David Hernandez struck out the side for Arizona in the eighth, then J.J. Putz tossed a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 16 opportunities.
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt singled in the third inning to extend his career-best hitting streak to 17 games. Kubel drove across runs with a bases-loaded grounder and a single, giving him 12 RBIs in the six-game homestand.
The Diamondbacks scored three times in the first. They loaded the bases with one out on singles by Young and Justin Upton and a walk to Goldschmidt. Kubel bounced to second in what looked to be a sure double play, but shortstop Cliff Pennington dropped Jemile Weeks’ throw to the bag and all runners were safe as a run scored. On the next pitch, Hill singled to left to bring in two runs and Arizona led 3-0.
An error also figured in Oakland’s two-run fourth. Consecutive doubles by Jonny Gomes and Brandon Inge made it 3-1, then Josh Donaldson singled with two outs to left. Kubel’s throw to the plate got there well ahead of Inge and catcher Henry Blanco made the tag, but the ball came loose and the runner was safe, slicing the lead to 3-2. Blanco was charged with an error.
Young singled, took second on a flyout and slid in just ahead of the throw on Kubel’s two-out single to center to put Arizona up 4-2 in the fifth, bringing an end to Blackley’s start.
Oakland made it a one-run game again in the seventh on a pinch-hit RBI single by Seth Smith. The A’s had runners at first and third when Inge grounded out to end the inning.
The A’s, who came to Arizona after taking three of four at home from the Texas Rangers, fell to a season-worst nine games below .500.
NOTES: Arizona has Monday off before beginning a rough six-game interleague trip with three stops in Texas and three against the Los Angeles Angels. … The Athletics take Monday off, then begin a three-game series at Colorado. … Arizona improved 5-1 in interleague play. … The A’s were swept for the third time this season, the second time on the road. … Kubel has a team-high 36 RBIs.
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