A’s Blackburn leads shutout of Angels 5-0

August 6, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Paul Blackburn throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

~ (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

~ ANAHEIM– Paul Blackburn (3-1) pitched 6 and ⅔ innings as the Oakland Athletics shutout Los Angeles 5-0 Saturday.

Blackburn threw a career high 112 pitches to new catcher Dustin Garneau who the A’s claimed Friday. Six of Blackburn’s seven starts now have gone six or more innings. His complete line read five hits, no walks and one strikeout for a game score of 73. It was his first start versus Los Angeles.

The last time the Angels were shut out was July 7. No player was able to get more than a single against any of the Oakland pitchers.

On the hitting side, the A’s had timely runs, walks and stolen bases with help from wild pitches/throws. Four of their runs came with two outs.    

Rajai Davis had three stolen bases, Matt Chapman had two walks and Mark Canha had two infield singles that led to runs.

Garneau also lent his bat to the cause with a two-run single in the fourth.  

Technically, with the way the game went, Oakland could have won with the first inning. Davis stole second, third and eventually home on a wild pitch for the game’s first run. Manager Bob Melvin commented, “He’s playing his best baseball here the last month and a half or so and when he’s on the bases, he creates havoc….“  

Davis tried traveling the bases in the third again, but was not as lucky. Skaggs missed first base, but Davis was thrown out then trying to reach second.

In the fourth, with two outs, the A’s got four runners on base. Chad Pinder hit a double, Chapman walked and Canha hit a grounder but no out was able to be recorded, loading the bases. Garneau then made it count with a two-run single to make it 3-0.

Opposing pitcher Tyler Skaggs (1-2), who had not played since April 28, due to injury, was replaced by Kenyan Middleton in the fifth inning. Skaggs threw 83 pitches in four innings, giving up six hits, three runs, two walks, three strikeouts and two wild pitches, ending with a game score of 42. He is now 0-3 versus the A’s.

Oakland tacked on two more in the sixth. With two outs, Chapman and Canha both had another walk and infield single respectively. Kaleb Cowart was unable to make a play at second. Yunel Escobar then tried to get the final out at second when Davis hit, but his throw went into the outfield, scoring Chapman. A double steal by Canha and Davis turned into the second run when Canha was called safe at the plate.

Ryan Dull, Santiago Casilla and Blake Treinen backed up Blackburn the rest of the way with one strikeout and limited the damage to one hit.

Game notes: The rubber match of the series concludes with a day game Sunday at 12:37pm.

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