Photo credit: @Athletics
By Jerry Feitelberg
The A’s fell to the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. The A’s needed the win to keep the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians from closing in on a playoff berth. With the loss and wins by the Rays and the Indians, the A’s find themselves just a 1/2 game ahead of the Rays for the first Wild Card and one game ahead of the Indians for the second Wild Card. The Angels, playing the role of spoilers, scored three runs in the fifth inning to down the A’s 3-2.
The A’s put two on the board in the top of the fourth. With two out, right fielder Ramon Laureano beat out a slow roller for an infield hit. A’s DH Khris Davis blasted his 23rd homer of the year to left center field to give the team a 2-0 lead.
The Angels plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Taylor Ward and Matt Thais singled to put runners on at first and second with no out. A’s starter Homer Bailey struck out Caleb Cowart for the first out. Angels shortstop David Fletcher singled to drive in Ward with the Angels’ first run. Brian Goodwin, filling in for the injured Mike Trout, blooped a double just over the outstretched glove of A’s third baseman Matt Chapman for a double. Thais scored on the play. Bailey retired future Hall of Fame player Albert Pujols on a fly ball to left field. The ball was hit deep enough that allowed Fletcher to tag up and score the winning run.
The Angels’ bullpen shut down the A’s offense to secure the win for Los Angeles.
Game Notes: Homer Bailey lost for the first time in his last eight starts. Bailey’s record dropped to 13-9. He went five innings and allowed eight hits and three runs. Lefty Dillon Peters was the winning pitcher and improved to 4-3 for the year.
The A’s line was two runs, six hits, and no errors. The Angels’ line was three runs, 10 hits and no errors.
The A’s are now 94-63 for the year. Tampa improved to 94-64 with a 2-1 win in eleven innings over the New York Yankees. The Yankees needed the win as they trail the Houston Astros for the best record in the American League. The Indians beat the White Sox 11-0 and are now 93-64.
Up Next: The A’s hope to get back on the winning track Wednesday night. They will send Frankie Montas to the hill. Montas has a record of 9-2 and will be making his first start since being suspended for 80 games for using an illegal substance. Lefty Andrew Heaney will go for the Angels.
The A’s have an 11-7 record against LA and cannot afford any losses in the next five games. They do not want to fly east to face Tampa in the Wild Card game. They do not want to be tied with Cleveland for the second Wild Card. Each game is important and they have to play as if it were an elimination game. They have the talent to win. All they have to do is go out and win.