Oakland A’s Thursday game wrap: Angels sweep Oakland in finale 2-1; A’s Graveman goes six but no run support

April 28, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

~ AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

~ By Pearl Allison Lo

~ ANAHEIM– Los Angeles completed a three game sweep over the A’s Thursday to move back to .500 as the Halos in the final game of the series get a 2-1 win.

It was the Angels’ fourth straight win and the A’s fourth straight loss. Oakland has only produced one run in three of their last four games.

Both starting pitchers kept the game close like the first game of the series, but the scoring started early, unlike that game. This game was the only game of the series with no home runs.

Los Angeles’ Ricky Nolasco (2-2) was the winner this time in a rematch of this year’s Opening Day starters. He had a solid performance with help at the end. Nolasco worked 5.2 innings, giving up three hits and one run while walking two and striking out four. He threw 98 pitches.

A’s starter Kendall Graveman (2-1) was also strong, as he pitched six innings, giving up a season-tying six hits, two runs and four strikeouts while making 84 pitches. It was his first loss.

The Angels’ first inning strike would be all they needed. With two outs, Mike Trout doubled, Albert Pujols brought him in with a single and C.J. Cron brought Pujols in with a double to make it 2-0. Trout now has hits in 11 games and Pujols’ RBI put him at 15th overall with Rafael Palmeiro. Cron went 2 for 3 with the RBI.

On Pujols, Manager Mike Scioscia replied, “Albert, he just keeps going, and everytime he does something, it’s fun to watch the Hall of Famers, the immortals, that he’s in the same conversation with.”

Oakland did not get a hit until their sixth batter. Ryon Healy’s ball got past shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

In the fourth inning, the A’s started the scoring the same way as the Angels. With two outs, Jed Lowrie doubled and Khris Davis put Oakland on the board when his hit dropped in front of Kole Calhoun in right field, making it 2-1.

Graveman saved himself from a jam in the fifth using a rare move. With no outs and runners on the corners, Graveman made a double play around third base when he tagged both Ben Revere and then Cliff Pennington, who both got caught in between bases in the fifth inning. Scioscia said, “I don’t know if I’ve seen a pitcher do that. That’s a tremendous effort on his part.”

With two outs in the sixth, Nolasco got a little loose, walking his first two batters. He got Yonder Alonso into an 0-2 count and then later might have escaped earlier, but Pennington misplayed the ball. With the bases then loaded, Scioscia brought in Blake Parker. Fortunately for the Angels, Parker struck out Healy to end the threat. Nolasco had gone 17 innings without walking a batter.

Graveman struck out Trout and Pujols in the bottom of the inning.

In relief, each side saw a batter get on base. For Los Angeles, Yunel Escobar singled against Daniel Coulombe. For the A’s, with one out, Alonso drew a walk. One out later, Stephen Voght pinch hit and ground out to Bud Norris to end the game.

It was Norris’ fourth save in his last four appearances.

Game notes: Oakland will play the Houston Astros in a three-game series starting Friday at 5:10pm. Nolasco struck out a batter in each of the second through fifth innings. Each of the four relievers that followed him also had a strikeout.

 

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