Moss and Donaldson Knock The Halo Off The Angels, A’s Win 9-5

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 30: Brandon Moss #37 of the Oakand Athletics is congratulated by Coco Crisp #4 and Josh Donaldson #20 after Moss hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at O.co Coliseum on May 30, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – MAY 30: Brandon Moss #37 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Coco Crisp #4 and Josh Donaldson #20 after Moss hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at O.co Coliseum on May 30, 2014 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND – Brandon Moss hit his first grand slam of his career and Josh Donaldson launched two deep home runs in the first game of this critical home series against the Angels (30-24) and propelled the A’s (33-22) to a 9-5 victory. The A’s ran through the entire lineup in the bottom of the first inning and scored five runs to knock out Angels starter Garret Richards in only 2/3 of an inning pitched. Donaldson went 3 for 4 with four RBI and Moss went  1 for 2 with four RBI to contribute a majority of the Athletics offense tonight. On the mound, Drew Pomeranz (5-2) went 5 1/3 innings and struck out five for his fifth win of the year.

“We had good energy right out of the gate,” said Athletics head coach Bob Melvin. “It didn’t feel like it was going to be one of those nights where you’d see too many balls leave the ballpark but there were strong guys. It doesn’t surprise me when they hit homers (Donaldson, Moss).”

Tonight was Donaldson’s second ever multi-homer game of his career and Melvin said, “He’s playing really well right now, across the board. He has great focus. He knows how he’s going to get pitched and his defense comes with him.”

Moss, who ended up leaving the game early because of calf stiffness spoke on his first grand slam and said, “I’ve never come close to one. I came close-ish once last year when I flied out to the wall. It was on my mind, not that I was trying to hit one. I just thought it would be cool to do it. And it felt good, for sure.”

Putting up five runs in the first made the entire O.Co Coliseum crowd feel good especially when going up against a team like the Angels.

The A’s added to their lead in the second and third inning when Donaldson hit his first of two homers in the game to right field over the out of town scoreboard. In the third, Donaldson received his second RBI of the night when he singled home Crisp and gave the A’s a 7-0 lead after three.

The Angels won the fourth inning when Mike Trout hit his eleventh homer of the year and Howie Kendrick hit his third of the year and gave the Angels three run and brought the lead to only four runs.

However in the bottom of the fifth, Donaldson launched a line drive home run to center field off of a two seam fastball that catapulted the A’s to 9 runs to the Angels 3.

The Angels C.J. Cron doubled in a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth but then the A’s relief squad of Otero, Gregerson and Dolittle came in for 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave the A’s their 33rd win of the year.

The Angels send Tyler Skaggs (4-2, 3.97 ERA) to the mound against Tommy Milone (3-3, 3.50) who is 3-0 and has an ERA a little over one in his last four starts.

 

Comeback Falls Short, A’s Lose To Blue Jays 3-2

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 23: Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays is thrown out at second base trying to strecth a single into a double in the fourth inning during MLB game action as Nick Punto #1 of the Oakland Athletics tags him out on May 23, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA – MAY 23: Brett Lawrie #13 of the Toronto Blue Jays is thrown out at second base trying to strecth a single into a double in the fourth inning during MLB game action as Nick Punto #1 of the Oakland Athletics tags him out on May 23, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

TORONTO – After winning the 11 of the past 13 games, the Athletics rallied in the eighth but were unable to secure the victory and lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2. Brandon Moss hit his 11th homer of the year in the fifth and Alberto Callaspo scored two in the eighth for the A’s total offense on the night. Scott Kazmir (5-2) earned his second loss of the year as he gave up five hits in seven innings including a two run home run to Steve Tolleson.

Toronto’s starting pitcher Liam Hendricks earned his first victory of the year and went 5 2/3 innings and only surrendered one run and three hits.

Jed Lowrie, who went 1 for 4 on the day had this to say about Hendricks,”He was able to move his fastball around and elevate it. It looked like he kept guys just a little bit off balance.”

Toronto took the lead in the second when Steve Tolleson took a 3-1 fastball deep to left field, his first of the year. The bottom of the third saw Toronto get their game winning run. After Kevin Pillar hit his second double of the year, Kazmir threw a ball to second base trying to pick off Pillar but no one was home and Pillar moved to third. Jose Reyes came up next and hit a ground ball to second base that scored Pillar and gave Toronto a 3-0 lead.

“I should have held on to it,” Kazmir said. “It ended up being the difference-maker in the game.”

Brandon Moss put the A’s on the board when he took a change up from Hendriks deep to right field and made it a 3-1 game. Callaspo gave the A’s a pair of runs in the top of the eighth but it was already too late and the A’s lost 3-2.

Saturday’s game isn’t any easier as Toronto sends R.A. Dickey (4-4) to the mound against Jesse Chavez (4-1).