Los Angeles Angels’ Danny Espinosa (3) celebrates with Jefry Marte (19) after hitting a three-run home run off Oakland Athletics’ Ryan Dull during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
By Matt Harrington
The Oakland Athletics dropped a 7-6 decision to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in game two of a four-game series Tuesday.
The A’s scored the first run of the game as Ryon Healy homered on a fly ball to center in the bottom of the first inning.
The Angels answered with three runs in the top of the second inning. Martin Maldonado hit a two-run single to Matt Joyce. Both Jefry Marte and Cameron Maybin scored on Maldonado’s single. Yunel Escobar followed with a single on a sharp ground ball, scoring Andrelton Simmons.
“It was unbelievable,” Matt Shoemaker told MLB.com when asked about Maldonado’s laser throw. “When he threw out Davis, I just crouched down and heard ‘Whoosh!’ That’s nice to have.”
Jed Lowrie made it a one-run game in the bottom of the second inning. He homered on a line drive to right center.
Fast forward to the top of the fifth inning when Mike Trout extended the Angels’ lead to 4-2 with an RBI triple to Khris Davis, scoring Kole Calhoun.
The A’s made it a one-run game once again in the bottom of the seventh inning. Yonder Alonso singled on a sharp ground ball to Calhoun, scoring Lowrie. The A’s then took a 6-4 lead when Rajai Davis tripled to outfielder Danny Espinosa, which was deflected by Marte. Davis, Alonso and Marcus Semien all scored on Espinosa’s throwing error.
However, the A’s lead was short-lived. In the top of the ninth inning, Espinosa homered on a fly ball to right center, scoring Marte and Andrelton Simmons. The A’s comeback fell short as the Angels took game two with a 7-6 win. Shoemaker settled for a no-decision in his first start since taking a liner to his head on Sept. 4. The 30-year-old held the A’s to two runs in five innings.
A’s left-hander Sean Manaea allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings.
Lowrie fell a triple short of the cycle. He’s 5-for-8 in this series. He almost got his fourth hit in the eighth inning, but Calhoun robbed him with an outstanding diving catch, covering 57 feet in 3.9 seconds.
A’s manager told MLB.com: “He (Jed Lowrie) had a great night…That last one, if it gets by him, he’s probably got himself a cycle. Calhoun made a great play, and those are the type of plays that show up in a game like that when it ends up being a one-run game.”
Both teams face each other again in Game 3 Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. on NCSA and FSW.
Angels right-hander Garrett Richards will start. Richards missed most of 2016 after being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. However, he received an injection of his stem cells in his damaged elbow to avoid Tommy John surgery.
A’s right-hander Jharel Cotton will appear on the mound. Cotton will make his sixth career start. He went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and .185 opponents average in five starts with the A’s last September.