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A’s 5, Rays 2

Pretty complete effort today from the A’s, who snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Tampa Bay. A few postgame tidbits:

–Dallas Braden tweaked his groin in the fifth inning, though he and the A’s are both hopeful it’s minor. You might have noticed he lost his command a bit in the fifth and sixth innings before he was pulled. He’s looked very sharp since the season began, and the A’s have to hope he doesn’t miss any time. Remember, Braden was sidelined the final few weeks of 2008 with a groin injury too.

–I was a little surprised to see Bob Geren pull Russ Springer for Brad Ziegler with two runners on and two outs in the eighth. The A’s were up 5-1 at the time, and the situation didn’t seem urgent enough, in my opinion, to call on the closer. Springer has been pretty clutch this season. Ziegler gave up a run-scoring single that inning, but slammed the door in the ninth for his fourth save.

–You know that waggle in his bat that makes Travis Buck’s stance pretty unique? Buck is trying to tone it down some. He said he’s been studying film of his 2007 rookie season, and noticed that he had less movement in his hands before his swing, and that he hit better as a result. “It’s definitely helped out to work in the cage,” Buck said. “Once I focus on making (the movement) smaller, I see the ball a lot longer and see some good swings.”

Joe Stiglich