by Charlie O. Mallonee
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics can cross two things off of their to-do list after beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6-4 on Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum. First, they needed desperately needed end a four-game losing streak that began last Tuesday. Task completed.
Secondly, the A’s needed to get a win versus an AL West division opponent. They had lost six straight games to AL West teams and 12 of their last 13 games versus the West. The win on Saturday allows the team to check that off their list as well.
The A’s cannot let down after this victory, but it should prove to them that they are very capable of playing and winning in the Western Division.
Manaea looked unstoppable for four innings
Sean Manaea made the start for the A’s and his slider was really working for him. The lefty set the Angels down in order for the first four innings. He looked unbeatable especially after Chad Pinder hit a home run to stake Manaea to a 1-0 lead.
Then came the top of the fifth inning. Albert Pujols led off the inning with a single. Martin Maldonado followed up with a single to right field. With runners at first and second, that brought Chris Young to bat. Young was the last minute replacement for Justin Upton who was scratched due to a stiff lower back.
Young hit a no doubt about it home run to over the left field wall to give the Angels a 3-1 lead. Manaea was able to work his way out of trouble to end the inning, but the mood of the team and fans had definitely changed.
The sixth inning was the Angels’ downfall
The Angels had to use LHP John Lamb — who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake — to make the start. Lamb gave up a home run to Pinder in the fourth inning and then, Marcus Semien hit his sixth round-tripper of the season off Lamb to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. That would be all for Lamb, who exited the game with a 3-2 lead.
Reliever Noe Ramirez entered the game and hit the first batter he faced — Chad Pinder. Jed Lowrie flied out to center for the first out of the inning. DH Khris Davis walked. Rameriez then hit Matt Olson for his second hit-batsmen of the inning. With the bases loaded, Stephen Piscotty hit a blistering single up the middle that drove Davis and Olson home to score. When the inning ended, the A’s led the game 5-3.
Oakland would add one more run in the seventh inning on a Jed Lowrie RBI single.
The top of the ninth inning got a little exciting
Blake Treinen was brought in to close out the game in the top of the ninth. It was his first time on the mound in six games and he looked a little rusty.
The A’s closer gave up a run (earned) on one hit while walking two and striking out one Angels hitter. The situation did not become desperate, but it was not as clean of a close as the team would have liked it to have been.
Bob Melvin’s postgame comments
In the Batter’s Box
- Chad Pinder had a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate for the A’s. He was just a double short of posting a cycle on Saturday. Pinder’s home run was his sixth of the season and he recorded his 14th RBI. Pinder hit his first triple of the year in the game.
- Marcus Semiem hit his sixth HR to pick up his 27th RBI of the year.
- Stephen Piscotty raised his RBI total to 29.
- Jed Lowrie now has 43 RBI which is keeping close to the leaders in the majors
- The A’s scored six runs off six hits and recorded six RBI. Their batters struck out eight times.
- The A’s left six men on base while going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Los Angeles of Anaheim (38-33)
- No batter for the Angels had a multi-hit game.
- Chris Young picked up the big hit with his 3-run home run in the fifth inning. That upped his RBI total to 10.
- Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each recorded a hit.
- The Angels scored four runs on six hits while striking out six times.
- The Angels left four men on base and went 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
On the Hill
A’s (Streak: Lost 1 game; 4-6 in last 10)
- The win went to starting pitcher Sean Manaea, who is now 6-5 on the season. It was his first win since back in May. Manaea worked 6.0-innings giving up three runs (all earned) off four hits. He walked one and struck out four. He did give up one home run.
- Treinen earned the save (15) but struggled to get there.
- Petit and Trivino each worked an inning of scorless relief.
Angels (Streak: Lost 1 game; 5-5 in last 10)
- John Lamb who made the start did not figure into the decision.
- Noe’ Rameriez (2-3) was charged with the loss.
- Jake Jewell was used for one inning of relief by the Angels and it was his Major League debut.
The Angels and A’s will close out this three-game series with the “rubber game” of the match on Sunday at 1:05 pm PDT. The Angels will start LHP Andrew Heaney (3-5, 3.68) -who will the third lefthander to start for LA in this series. The A’s will counter with RHP Daniel Mengden (6-6, 3.90).