Phoenix, AZ – Joe Saunders pitched six innings of two-run ball to help Arizona to a three-game sweep of Oakland with a 4-3 win on Sunday.
Saunders (4-4) was charged with just one earned run on seven hits and two walks along with five strikeouts. Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel each drove in two while Chris Young went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for the Diamondbacks, who went 5-1 on a six-game homestand.
"I think it's the way we see ourselves playing in general," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. "We're still making mistakes, but we're cleaning some things up and getting better."
Travis Blackley (0-2) was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on six hits with three walks over 4 2/3 innings in the loss. Brandon Inge and Seth Smith each drove in a run for the Athletics, who have lost four of six.
"You know, it's just one run and we hoped we could scratch one out in the last innings," said Smith. "Our bullpen did a good job holding things, we just fell a little short."
Arizona opened the game with a three-run first inning. With one out, Chris Young and Justin Upton singled before Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases. Kubel then reached base on an error by Cliff Pennington to score one. Hill then punched a single to left to plate two more for a 3-0 lead.
Oakland finally got to Saunders in the fourth. With one out, Jonny Gomes doubled and Inge followed with an RBI double. Two batters later, Josh Donaldson singled to left and Kubel's throw to home beat Inge to the plate, but Henry Blanco was unable to hang on to the ball and it was a 3-2 game
Arizona got one back in the fifth when Kubel's single to center scored Young for a 4-2 advantage.
The run proved fortunate as Smith's pinch-hit, RBI single off Bryan Shaw in the seventh scored Collin Cowgill to make it a one-run game.
That was it for Oakland, though, as David Hernandez struck out the side in the eighth and J.J. Putz worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save of the season.
Blackley got hit high in the left thigh off a line drive from Ryan Roberts in the second inning, but stayed in the game...Hill nearly had a home run in the eighth, but it stayed just foul of the left field pole and a replay confirmed the on-field call...Arizona begins a six-game road trip in Texas on Tuesday...Oakland starts a three-game series in Colorado on Tuesday.