New Offense Fizzles For A's In Opener

The Oakland A's added four quality hitters to what was the worst offense in the league in 2008, and though the four new players hit together in the order on opening night, Oakland still couldn't put anything together.

Orlando Cabrera, Jason Giambi, Matt Holliday and Nomar Garciaparra batted second through fifth, but they combined to go 2-for-15 in Oakland's 3-0 loss to the Angels. Cabrera doubled and Holliday singled, while Giambi was hit by a pitch.

The A's scored the fewest runs in the league last year and had the worst batting average in the majors.

"That was pretty bad, throwing a goose egg out there," Oakland third baseman Eric Chavez said after Monday night's game. "We just never made it a game."

Garciaparra played first base while Giambi DH'd on Monday. That meant a night on the bench for outfielder Travis Buck, because Jack Cust was in right and batting eighth.

ANGELS 3, A'S 0: Dallas Braden worked six innings for Oakland and gave up three runs -- one on an RBI single by Howie Kendrick in the third and another on a solo homer by Kendrick in the fifth. The A's couldn't manage much against Angels left-hander Joe Saunders; they finished with three hits and didn't get a man past second base.

News and Notes

--RHP Andrew Bailey made his big-league debut on Monday, pitching a perfect inning with one strikeout in the opener. Bailey, 24, gave up only one run during the spring, and he could wind up making regular appearances with Joey Devine starting the season on the DL.

--LHP Josh Outman pitched in an intrasquad game in the A's minor league complex in Phoenix on Sunday in order to prepare to start Oakland's home opener on Friday. According to pitching coach Curt Young, Outman threw 95 pitches in seven innings and struck out 10 while allowing "four or five" hits.

--LHP Gio Gonzalez was sent to Triple-A Sacramento to start the season, though he'd been considered a top candidate for the final spot in the rotation. A sore shoulder sidelined him for two weeks in the spring and though he was still up for a job in the bullpen, Gonzalez's control wasn't as sharp as the team had hoped. He will be stretched out to start again at Sacramento.

--RHP Justin Duchscherer needed only a minor cleanup of his sore right elbow in an arthroscopic procedure on March 31. Duchscherer could return to the A's by early to mid-May, though the team has not indicated if he will be pointed toward a spot in the rotation or in the bullpen. Duchscherer has been an All-Star in both roles, so it might depend on the team's greater need at the time.

BY THE NUMBERS: 63 -- Major league starts made by Oakland's entire rotation entering the 2009 season.

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