Oakland A’s Wednesday game wrap: A’s drop third straight move below .500 lose to Angels 8-5 at Big A

April 27, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics center fielder Jaff Decker dives in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a double hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Martin Maldonado during the second inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By Jessica Kwong

ANAHEIM–Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sean Manaea left the Wednesday night game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after just two innings and 34 pitches due to left shoulder tightness, and it was downhill from there for the A’s.

With the 8-5 loss at Angel Stadium, the A’s dropped 0-2 in the three-game series and fell back below .500 at 10-11.

“It’ll certainly be nice to get Kendall (Graveman) back tomorrow and Sonny (Gray) back soon,” manager Bob Melvin said of Oakland’s top two starters on the disabled list. “Hopefully this isn’t a long-term problem with Sean.”

In the first inning, Yonder Alonso gave the A’s an early lead with a two-run single off Matt Shoemaker. Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis scored, putting Oakland up 2-0.

But the Angels fought back in the second inning. Danny Espinosa doubled on a fly ball to center fielder Jaff Decker and Andrelton Simmons scored to cut the A’s lead to 2-1. Cameron Maybin bounced a single to Decker to send in Espinosa and tie the game at 2-2.

Then Martin Maldonado doubled on a line drive to right fielder Matt Joyce allowing Maybin to score, and giving the Angels a 3-2 lead.

Left-hander Manaea’s pitching velocity was down several miles per hour to the 88s and 89s.

“I had to get it out of him. I asked him after the first inning how he was doing. He said he felt good, said he felt fine, trying to let it go and we weren’t seeing the explosiveness,” Melvin said. “But after the second inning, it kept going in that direction, it wasn’t getting any better, so it was prudent to get him out of there.”

Manaea said he last experienced similar shoulder tightness in spring 2014 playing for the Kansas City Royals and that he was back on the mound after a couple of days.

“I felt it a little bit in the bull pen and I thought it was one of those things where it just took me a little longer to warm up,” Manaea said of Wednesday night. “And it wasn’t the case, so just really unfortunate.”

In the fifth inning, Albert Pujols singled on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Davis and Mike Trout scored to bring the Angels up 4-2.

Alonso answered back in the sixth inning, hit a homer on a fly ball to right fiel to bring the A’s within one of the Angels.

“He’s been real consistent, no doubt about it,” Melvin said of Alonso. “He’s using the whole field, certainly showing some power that he has, takes every bat seriously. I think each year he’s starting to understand who he is as a hitter and he’s off to a good start for sure.”

Of his hits, Alonso said his two-run single was “absolutely” the more significant play.

“You want to capitalize early, especially given two outs, so for me, I think it’s simplifying things and making sure I got a good pitch and just putting the ball in play,” he said.

The Angels did more damage in the seventh inning.

Maybin singled on a sharp line drive to Joyce, allowing Jefry Marte and Simmons to score. Maldonado reached on a fielder’s choice, fielded by pitcher Ryan Dull and Espinosa scored. Then Kole Calhoun singled on a line drive to left fielder Davis and Maldonado scored, lifting the Angels up 8-3.

In the eighth inning, Joyce hit a home run, his second of the season, on a fly ball to right center field and Trevor Plouffe scored to cut the Angels lead to 8-5, but the A’s scored no runs in the ninth.

The A’s will attempt to break their three-game losing streak in the final match in the series at Angel Stadium Thursday, with first pitch at 7:07 p.m.






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