"I'd like to see Ellis start hitting," A's manager Ken Macha said at the time. "Mark has a good track record with me. He'll get a long period of time to get his offense going."
Four games later, Macha's patience was rewarded with Ellis' biggest offensive night of the year.
Ellis, batting ninth, hit a two-run home run in the third inning to give the A's the lead, and then hit a two-run double in the sixth inning that extended their lead en route to a 7-4 win over the Rangers.
It felt good for Ellis, who doesn't look like the most intense player on the field, but he's been steaming at his offensive struggles because he didn't feel like he was doing much to help the team.
Of course, Ellis' defense never wavered, which is a big reason why Macha is willing to give him a long period of time to get his offense going.
REPLAY: Starter Esteban Loaiza allowed 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings, but only four runs, as he pitched out of trouble. One of the key plays occurred with runners at second and third with one out, when Loaiza induced a grounder to third, where Eric Chavez made a great stop, tagged the diving runner, and threw to first for a double play.
Milton Bradley continued his strong second-half surge with a home run and two RBIs. The home run accounted for the final run in the 7-4 win. Kiko Calero pitched the ninth for the save. Normal closer Huston Street wasn't available because he's pitched so much lately.
A'S NOTES AND QUOTES
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Number of two-inning saves this year by closer Huston Street, through Aug. 6. The latest was a crucial one, Aug. 2, to secure the rubber game of a three-game series against the Angels.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Knowing the odds are stacked against you in the draft; it's like giving yourself extra lottery balls. The chance of guys getting to the big leagues decreases exponentially as you go from round to round. You feel like if you have more picks, especially up top, that gives you much better odds." -- A's assistant general manager David Forst, on obtaining extra draft picks as compensation for losing free agents, such as the A's will almost assuredly do with Barry Zito this offseason.