By Charlie O. Mallonee
OAKLAND –The Oakland Athletics (2-3) recorded their second win of the 2019 season as they defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Saturday night. The keys to the win were the strong starting pitching of Brett Anderson and the timely hitting of the A’s batters.
Brett Anderson did not pitch perfect in his first three innings of work. He walked the Angels leadoff batter in the top of the first, but escaped without that man scoring. Anderson issued another walk and gave up a single in the second inning without it costing him a run. In the third inning, the lefty gave up a double to Mike Trout without it producing a run. Things were going Anderson’s way.
The A’s started slow
The Angels starter — Felix Pena — no-hit the A’s through the first 2.2-innings. It appeared that the A’s hitters were going to be in for a very long night.
In the bottom of the third inning with two out and the bases empty, A’s catcher Josh Phegley singled to left-center field. Robbie Grossman then singled through the hole between first and second moving Phegley up to second base. Pena then hit Matt Chapman with a pitch to load the bases.
Stephen Piscotty stepped into the batter’s box and hit a 3-1 pitch up the middle that brought Phegley and Grossman home to score. The A’s took a 2-0 lead into the top of the fourth inning.
There is power in the East Bay
It did not take the A’s long to pad their lead. The newest member of the team — Kendrys Morales — walked to leadoff the home half of the fourth inning. With two out and Morales still at first, Mark Canha hit a 2-1 pitch from Pena over the wall into the left field seats for a two-run home run which he punctuated with “controlled” bat flip to celebrate the big hit as he exited the batter’s box. It was his first home of the season and his RBI’s of the campaign.
The home run was the end of Felix Pena’s night as he was replaced by Noe Ramirez. It would not be the end of Pena’s pain as he would be tagged with the loss.
The Angles mounted a rally
The A’s brought J.B. Wendelken in to relieve Anderson in the seventh inning. He continued pitching in the eighth, and things got tough quickly.
David Fletcher reached base for the Angels on a throwing error. Zack Cozart then doubled to left moving Fletcher up to third. Mike Trout then hit a fly ball to deep right field that was caught by Piscotty, but Fletcher was able to score from third while Cozart went from second to third.
Andrelton Simmons then singled through the hole on the left side of the infield that sent Cozart across the plate for the second Angels run of the inning. That would signal the end of the night for Wendelken. Blake Treinen was summoned from the bullpen.
A passed ball allowed Simmons to move up 90-feet to second base. Albert Pujols then singled to left sending Simmons to third base with just one out. A pinch runner was placed on first for Puljos. Treinen then struck out Justin Bour on a called third strike (Bour did not agree with the call) and Jonathon Lucroy ended the inning by popping out the second baseman.
As the game moved to the bottom of the eighth, the A’s still had a 4-2 lead, which would ultimately become the final score.
Key facts and figures
For Oakland, they scored four runs off seven hits and committed one error. The A’s left six men on base and went 1-for-3 with RISP.
The win goes to Brett Anderson (1-0) his first of the season. Blake Treinen gets credit for his first save of 2019.
The Angels (1-2) put up two runs off six hits and did not commit any errors. The Halos left seven runners on base and went 2-for-11 with Runners In Scoring Position (ouch).
Felix Pena (0-1) is the losing pitcher.
Post Game Notes
- Brett Anderson made it three consecutive starting pitchers for Oakland to work six or more scoreless innings. That is the first time that has happened since August 24-26, 2005 when was done by Saarloos, Zito, and Blanton.
- Brett Anderson now has a 34.1-inning scoreless streak at home in the Coliseum. That is the longest scoreless streak by an A’s pitcher since the team moved to Oakland in 1968.
- After going 0-for-7 to start the season, Josh Phegley picked up his first hit of the season in this game.
- Marcus Semien extended his hitting streak to five games after hitting a single in the sixth inning.
- Felix Pena does not like pitching in Oakland. In four career games, he is now 0-2 with an 8.97 ERA.
- Mike Trout had a 1-for-3 game on Saturday night. He hit a double and a sacrifice fly. For his career, Trout is now batting .312 (149-for-477) with 30 home runs and 75 RBIs versus the A’s.
- Albert Puljos recorded two hits in the game and now needs just five hits to tie Ichiro Suzuki for 22nd on the all-time hits list.
The A’s and Angels wrap up their four-game series on Sunday at 1:07 PM. Los Angeles will send LHP Tyler Skaggs to the hill to make his first start of the season. Making his first start of the year for Oakland, it will be RHP Frankie Montas.