Photo credit: @NBCSAthletics
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Los Angeles Angels won a wild and wooly game Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum as they sent the A’s down to their fourth loss in the last five games by a score of 9-7. It was also the third loss in a row for the Green and Gold.
With the loss, the A’s now trail the Houston Astros by five games in the race for first place in the AL West and are 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the first Wild Card spot. Time is running for the Green and Gold as there are just 11 games left in the regular season. The A’s are now 90-61 on the season.
The Angels put one on the board in the top of the fourth. With one out, their all-world center fielder, Mike Trout, blasted his 35th home run of the year off Daniel Mengden. Mengden walked the next hitter, Justin Upton. Mengden retired Shohei Otani for the second out. Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons then lined a double off the wall in left center field. It went out like a rocket, and the A’s were able to get the ball back to the infield to prevent Upton from scoring. Mengden retired third baseman Tyler Ward for the third out. The Angels led 1-0 in the middle of the fourth inning.
The A’s answered by scoring four times in the bottom of the fourth. Angels manager Mike Scioscia replaced starter Tyler Skaggs with Cam Bedrosian. Skaggs made his first start since August 11th, and Scioscia had him on a pitch count. Skaggs did not allow a hit or run in three innings of work. The A’s took advantage of Bedrosian’s wildness to load the bases with no outs. Bedrosian walked Jed Lowrie to start the inning. A’s DH Khris Davis singled to send Lowrie to second. Bedrosian walked Stephen Piscotty to load the bases with no out. Bedrosian struck out the next two hitters and was in position to get out of the jam. A left fielder ripped a double that bounced off the base of the left field wall that cleared the bases. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy followed with a single to drive in Canha with the A’s fourth run of the frame. Scioscia changed pitchers, and reliever Noe Ramirez was able to retire Ramon Laureano for the final out of the fourth. The A’s led 4-1 after four.
Melvin went to his bullpen to start the sixth inning. The move turned out to be a disaster for the A’s as the Angels plated six runs on four hits. Shawn Kelley started the inning and faced Jose Fernandez. Kelley retired Trout for the first out. Justin Upton singled off Matt Chapman’s glove to put runners on at first and second. Melvin brought in lefty Ryan Buchter to pitch to Ohtani. That strategy failed as Ohtani singled to load the bases. Andrelto Simmons singled to drive in Fernandez and Upton. The Angels trailed 4-3. Melvin replaced Buchter with Lou Trivino. Trivino hit Taylor Ward with a pitch to load the bases. Kaleb Cowart hit his first home run of the run and his first grand slam. Trivino retired the next two hitters, but the damage was done. The Angels took a 7-4 lead.
The Angels put two more on the board in the top of the eighth. The A’s brought in their seventh pitcher of the night, Cory Gearrin, to face the Halos. Ohtani walked. Simmons followed with a single. Ward reached on a fielder’s choice. Ohtani was thrown out at third, but Chapman’s throw to first sailed past Matt Olson and went into right field. Simmons scored, and Ward ended up on third base. Cowart, who hit a grand slam in his last at-bat, tripled to drive in Ward with the Angels’ ninth run of the night.
The A’s rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning and scored three times to make it a 9-7 game. Jed Lowrie got things going when he walked for the third time in the game. Davis struck out, but singles by Piscotty and Olson allowed Lowrie to score. A’s shortstop Marcus Semien walked to load the bases. A’s outfielder Dustin Fowler was sent in to pinch hit for Josh Phegley. Fowler came through with a single to drive in Piscotty and Olson. Angels’ pitcher Ty Buttrey retired Ramon Laureano for the third out. The A’s had one more opportunity to either tie or get ahead in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Angels’ seventh pitcher of the evening retired in order in the ninth to seal the win. The A’s lost 9-7.
Game Notes and Stats: Time of the game was three hours and 42 minutes. For all intents and purposes, it was a bullpen game for both managers. A’s manager Bob Melvin started Liam Hendriks for the first inning, and Daniel Mengden was able to go four innings with the Halos scoring just one run. Angels manager Mike Scioscia used seven pitchers to subdue the A’s.
Things went awry in the sixth and eighth innings as the A’s bullpen imploded and allowed the Angels to put eight runs on the board. The A’s used eight pitchers in the loss, and it appeared to many that the bullpen might be a bit tired at this stage of the season. Rookie Lou Trivino, who has been so good, was burnt by Kaleb Cowart when he hit his first homer of the year, and it was a grand slam to boot. Cowart also had a triple.
The A’s line was seven runs on seven hits and one error. The Angels’ line score was nine runs on nine hits and no errors.
The winning pitcher was the Angels’ third pitcher Noe Ramirez. Ty Buttrey earned his fourth save of the year.
The losing pitcher was the A’s Lou Trivino, who absorbed the loss. His record is now 8-3.
There were 15.031 fans in attendance as they watched their A’s go down to defeat.
Up Next: Game two will be played Wednesday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Game time will be at 7:05 pm PDT.
Brett Anderson will go for the A’s. Anderson is hoping to rebound from two poor outings since coming off the DL.
Felix Pena will pitch for the Angels.