PHOENIX (AP) - Dallas Braden had an outing his manager could finally get excited about.
Braden gave up one run in six innings before the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied in the ninth to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-2 Sunday in a matchup of split-squads.
``I liked everything about his performance,' manager Bob Geren said. ``His demeanor was great. He was attacking the zone.'
The left-hander walked none, stranded 8-of-9 runners and didn't allow any past second base until his final inning.
``There was more finish on the ball today,' said Braden, who hadn't gone more than four innings in his first four starts. ``The slider continues to get better which was the bright spot for me.'
Braden said he used the slider in counts where he would normally go to another pitch, and that helped him twice work out of jams with runners on first and second and one out.
``Now it's starting to be something I can throw at any time,' he said. ``It adds a new dimension.'
Braden gave up two runs - one earned - in his first start, four in his second, five - three earned - in the third and six - four earned - in his fourth, but all of those outings were against American League teams, three against AL West opponents.
``It's nice facing a team that doesn't know what I eat for breakfast, lunch and diner,' Braden said.
Barry Enright had another strong start for Arizona, allowing two runs and four hits. He struck out four in five innings. Enright hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his five starts this spring.
``He's been great,' manager Kirk Gibson said. ``He always manages the game well.'
Kurt Suzuki and Kevin Kouzmanoff had RBI singles for the Athletics before Wily Mo Pena doubled to drive in David Nick in the sixth.
David Winfree hit a two-run double in the ninth to give the Diamondbacks the lead, and Nick followed with and RBI triple.
NOTES: Oakland optioned LHP Josh Outman and RHP Guillermo Moscoso to Triple-A Sacramento before the game and RHP Trystan Magnuson and OF Michael Taylor to Sacramento after the game. Eight others were reassigned to the Athletics' minor league camp. Athletics OF Coco Crisp was scratched from the starting lineup due to tightness in his left hamstring. He is day-to-day. Arizona OF Justin Upton left the game in the bottom of the fifth inning after slipping on the warning track while attempting to field a ball hit by Eric Sogard. He has a jammed right knee and is day to day.
The Associated Press News Service
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