Braden Sparkles In Major League Debut

Dallas Braden had a pretty special day Tuesday, and it wasn't just because he notched his first major league victory.

Dallas Braden, who pitched six innings of three-hit ball in a 4-2 A's victory at Baltimore, flew his grandmother all the way across the country to watch his first big-league game.

"My mom passed away when I was in high school. She and I shared a dream of me getting to the major leagues," said Braden, 23. "My grandma shared that with me, too. I made a promise to her: 'You will see me pitch in the big leagues.' I'm glad that came true."

Braden said he spotted his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, in the stands before he took the mound in the first inning at Camden Yards.

"She was smiling," he said. "I could see her wink."

Called up to start Tuesday in place of the injured Rich Harden, Braden continued the recent trend of dominant Oakland starting pitching.

His outing marked the seventh time in the last eight games that an A's starter has allowed one run or fewer. It was also the 18th consecutive game the A's starting pitcher has allowed three runs or fewer, which extends an Oakland record.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the A's set a major league record Tuesday by not allowing a first-inning run for the 20th consecutive game. It's the most consecutive games to start a season that a pitching staff has done that.

A'S 4, ORIOLES 2: Oakland is getting riddled by injuries but still managed to complete a two-game sweep of Baltimore on the road. The A's scored two in the first and two in the sixth to get all the offense they needed. A bullpen that has been shaky of late nailed down the victory, with Huston Street notching his sixth save.

NOTES, QUOTES

--LHP Dallas Braden threw six innings of three-hit ball in his major league debut Tuesday to get the win in a 4-2 victory over the Orioles. Braden mixed in an effective sinker and changeup to keep Baltimore hitters off balance most of the game. He started in place of RHP Rich Harden and gave the organization every reason to give him the start Sunday against Tampa Bay, the next time Harden's spot in the rotation comes up.

--OF Nick Swisher left Tuesday's game with a strained left hamstring while running the bases in the first inning. What that means for the A's center field situation is unclear. Swisher, who had been playing first base, was starting in center only because Milton Bradley is out with a hamstring injury of his own. Swisher is day-to-day, and more information was expected Wednesday.

--OF Danny Putnam made his second consecutive start in the outfield, but he shifted from right field to center after Nick Swisher's injury. Putnam is likely to start there again today. He made his major league debut Monday, but with injuries cropping up, he suddenly looms large in the A's outfield picture.

--OF Bobby Kielty has been suffering from a calf strain, which has made him unavailable in recent days. That news only surfaced Tuesday, when an extra outfielder was needed because of CF Nick Swisher's injury and Kielty was not called upon. It's unclear how much time Kielty will miss.

--RHP Huston Street notched his second save in as many days in the win over Baltimore, giving him six saves on the season. The A's bullpen has been faulty of late, but Street nailed down both victories in a two-game sweep of the Orioles.

BY THE NUMBERS: 16 -- The number of runs the A's scored Friday night against Texas. It was the most runs they've put up in one game since a 16-1 victory over Kansas City on Aug. 6, 2005.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Thus is the nature of the game. We're likely to come out tomorrow and score another 16 runs." -- Infielder Todd Walker, on the A's getting shut out by the Rangers one night after scoring 16 runs against them.

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