Sunday, April 8, 2018

Balanced Oakland Athletics outlast Ohtani-less Angels 7-3

 Blake Treinen and the Oakland Athletics' entire pitching staff were still smarting from their struggles against the Los Angeles Angels' powerful lineup this season.
The A's finally took control on the mound, and their lineup provided ample backup.
Marcus Semien had an early two-run single, Jed Lowrie homered and the Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Saturday night.
Andrew Triggs pitched four-hit ball into the sixth inning, and his bullpen also came through after Oakland blew a six-run lead Friday night in its fourth loss to its AL West rivals already this season. Treinen earned a two-inning save one night after giving up a tiebreaking three-run homer to Justin Upton.
"Last night left a pretty sour taste, so it was good to get it out," Treinen said.
Seven A's had one hit apiece, and six drove in a run as Oakland beat Los Angeles for just the second time in six meetings already this season.
Shohei Ohtani didn't play for the Angels while resting for his home pitching debut Sunday. The two-way Japanese sensation homered in each of Los Angeles' last three games as a designated hitter, including a 449-foot shot Friday against Oakland.
Upton and Luis Valbuena homered for the Angels, but their Ohtani-less lineup largely struggled against the Oakland bullpen and Triggs (1-0), who earned Oakland's second win by a starter all season.
"It was nice to come back and shut them down," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When they're swinging the bats, they're a dangerous lineup."
The Angels couldn't make up for another bad performance by their pitching staff, which wasn't significantly bolstered in the offseason beyond the addition of Ohtani. The Angels walked 10 batters, the franchise's most in a nine-inning game since April 21, 2006.
J.C. Ramirez (0-2) and his first two relievers issued eight walks and hit a batter in the first five innings alone. Oakland went up 3-0 on Stephen Piscotty's RBI double and Semien's key single in the second, and Ramirez didn't return for the third after throwing 55 pitches and walking five of his 12 batters.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Ramirez felt tightness in his right forearm.
"When you're uncomfortable throwing the ball, it's not going to be the way you want it," said Ramirez, who walked five of his 12 batters. "I was just trying to survive today, and that happened."
Another injured starter is exactly what the Angels don't need with Matt Shoemaker and Andrew Heaney already on the shelf in their six-man rotation, but it's no surprise for a team that struggled with injured starters throughout the previous two seasons.
"You walk 10 guys, and you're not going to be in many games," Scioscia said. "We were only OK because our bullpen kept it close."
Upton's two-run homer in the fourth was his third in four games and his second of this weekend series. He added a double in the sixth, giving him five hits in six at-bats since Friday.
Mike Trout went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and a double-play groundout, dropping to 1 for 18 on the Angels' homestand. The two-time AL MVP is batting .184 after nine games.
Trayce Thompson joined the A's at Angel Stadium after Oakland claimed him off waivers from the Yankees earlier in the week. The former Dodgers outfielder is from Orange County, as is his brother, Golden State Warriors' All-Star Klay Thompson. He'll return to Dodger Stadium next week when the A's play a two-game interleague series.
After Parker Bridwell flopped Friday in his first start of the season and left the Angels short of fresh arms, Los Angeles optioned him and infielder Nolan Fontana to Triple-A Salt Lake. The Angels also recalled infielder Ryan Schimpf and right-hander Akeel Morris, who threw 2 1/3 solid relief innings in his Angels debut. Schimpf struck out to end the game as a pinch-hitter in his own Angels debut.
Athletics: Kendall Graveman (0-1, 8.10 ERA) has given up four homers in two starts this season. He gave up five runs in five innings against the Angels on opening day in Oakland.
Angels: Ohtani (1-0, 4.50 ERA) faces the A's for the second time this season. The right-hander pitched six innings of three-hit ball in Oakland in his strong big-league debut, although Matt Chapman connected for a three-run homer.

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