A’s Kaprielian, bullpen blank Halos on 7 hitter 6-0

Oakland A’s closer Deolis Guerra gets congratulations from catcher Sean Murphy after closing the door on the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Jul 20, 2021 (AP News photo)

LA Angels 0 – 7 – 0

Oakland 6 – 8 – 1

By Lewis Rubman

Tuesday, July 20 2021

OAKLAND–It was a lovely day for a slugfest. With a temperature of 66 and rising at game time under a bright, cloudless sky, we could expect a shower of long balls and high flies lost in the sun. What we got was a tight pitching duel for two thirds of the game, followed by a one sided offensive outburst that gave the home team a 6-0 victory.

José Suárez (4-2 ERA 2.29), the 23 year old Angels lefty best known for his effective change up, kept the A’s off the basepaths for the first 3-2/3 innings he pitched, until Matt Olson unloaded on an 80 mph hanging curve for a 356 foot homer to right, his 12th circuit clout of the season.

Suárez gave up a single to Laureano in the fifth but that was all the offense Oakland could muster until they began to play little ball in the sixth. Jacob Wilson, the Athletics’ 30 year old rookie who had nothing to show for his first four major league at bats, got his first hit in the bigs with a lead off single to center.

Tony Kemp promptly pinch ran for him. Suárez then hit Canha with a pitch, SOP for the Athletics´left fielder. Then Andrus dropped a sacrifce bunt in front of the mound, moving Kemp and Canha up a base.

LA elected to walk Olson to fill the bases, which brought Lowrie to the plate. His sac fly to right scored Kemp and streched Oakland´s lead to two runs. Laureano opened up the game with a two run double to left. Mike Mayers relieved Suárez and struck out Chapman.

Suárez had been almost impregnable but ended up with a line of 5-2/3 innings pitched, four earned runs allowed on three hits, including one round tripper, a walk, which was conceeded, and a hit batter. He threw 73 pitches; 49 counted as strikes

The floodgates opened when Junior Guerra was pitching to the rejuvenated A’s in the seventh. He retired Murphy and Piscotty, but back to back singles by Kemp, Canha, Andrus, and Olson brought in the first two and earned an RBI each for the second pair. Guerra then got Lowrie to ground out to second to end the inning.

Before Dylan Bundy could throw a pitch to inaugurate the bottom of the eighth, home plate umpire Bill Miller gave Angels manager Joe Maddon the heave-ho. Bundy retired the A’s in order

Meanwhile, James Kaprielian (4-3, 2.90), without approaching Suárez´s early near perfection, held the visitors scoreless for six frames, striking out the fearsome Shoei Ohtani twice in the process. Kaprielian held the Halos to five hits and two walks. He threw 100 pitches.

37 were balls. Sergio Romo took over in the seventh and also held the visitors scoreless, but, since he had only one chance to strike out Ohtani, had to settle for that. Sam Moll pitched a scoreless eighth, giving way to Deolis Guerra, who set the Angels down in order in the ninth.

The Athletics now go on a ten game, three city trip to Seattle starting Thursday, then move onto San Diego, and Anaheim they will have Wednesday off. Their next game at the Coliseum will be at 6:40 on August 3, an inter-league contest against the San Diego Padres.

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