OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Clayton Richard did a nice job using his off-speed pitches to keep the Oakland hitters guessing. His fastball was even better.
The left-hander baffled the Athletics most of the afternoon, pitching into the eighth inning for his second consecutive win to help the San Diego Padres beat Oakland 2-1 on Sunday and avoid a three-game sweep.
It didn't come easily.
Richard had to sweat out the ninth when closer Huston Street gave up an RBI single to Coco Crisp and allowed the potential tying run to reach third before striking out Jemile Weeks to end it.
"He threw a great game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He mixed in enough sliders, change (and) curveballs to keep them honest. But it was all about the fastball in good spots, throwing strikes and working fast."
San Diego continued to sputter on offense and again wasted multiple scoring opportunities. This time, the Padres had enough pitching to overcome it.
Oakland had two runners on in the second, fourth and sixth but Richard (4-7) worked out of trouble each time to win for the second time in eight road starts this season.
Richard scattered five singles over 7 2-3 innings and struck out six. He was pulled after giving up Jonny Gomes' third hit.
"The command was definitely there and (catcher Nick Hundley) did the best job since we've been together," Richard said. "When that's taken care of you don't have to worry about what pitch to throw. It takes a lot of pressure off."
Everth Cabrera scored on a groundout in the second and the Padres tacked on an insurance run in the ninth to salvage the finale of their nine-game road trip. San Diego is still 19 games under .500 and last in the NL West.
Gomes had three hits for the A's, who had won a season-high five straight.
"(Richard's) ball was running quite a bit, whether it was cutting or running," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He made good pitches. Early on it was tough to see good swings. That shows his ball had late movement."
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