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Angels spring to life late, punish A’s bullpen in comeback win

The A’s may take pride in their bullpen, but they couldn’t get the job done Friday night, giving up six runs to Angels hitters in the final two innings to sink Oakland, 6-2.

Marco Estrada (ND, 6 IP, 0-0, 2.45 ERA) pitched a solid six innings without allowing a run, and was able to pitch out of a bases-loaded fourth inning jam.

Joakim Soria, though, endured a tough night in just five eighth-inning pitches, allowing four earned runs.

Jonathan Lucroy and Brian Goodwin singled to open the eighth, before Kole Calhoun smacked the first pitch he saw to center, doubling to score Lucroy. After Soria intentionally walked Mike Trout, Ryan Buchter came in to relieve Soria, his only job to get out the lefty Albert Baur.

Buchter would walk Baur to bring in a run, then Liam Hendricks entered and gave up a single to Andrelton Simmons that brought home both Calhoun and Trout for a 4-2 lead in the top of the eighth.

Soria said the outcome was tough to see, especially after the start Estrada displayed:

“Basically you go into the game and try to keep that same score but they went after it. I just threw five pitches and I gave up four runs. It’s tough to digest but you have to make quality pitches in order to get outs.”

Bob Melvin said he has faith in Sorio, but it just didn’t happen tonight:

“Sorio always seems to get out of it, today just wasn’t the case… They had three good swings on him right away so we tried to match up after that.”

Buchter was not happy after the game and talked about the umpires:

“… at the end of the day they (the umpires) can do whatever they want, call balls strikes, and there is no repercussions, there is no fines, they have absolute job security, but that’s baseball. … We still have, I think the number is 159 plus playoffs, so.”

A Khris Davis two-run homer in the sixth gave the A’s the lead after Matt Chapman crushed a 107-mph line drive off the wall to right field for a double. But once Estrada came out, the bullpen struggled.

In the ninth inning, Trout hit a double over Laureano’s head in deep center off the wall to score Goodwin and Calhoun, who had both hit two-out singles off Fernando Rodney.

Estrada pitched well, and you could tell he wanted to keep going:

“You always wanna go deeper, you never wanna come out of the game. I wanted to keep going. … You don’t blame the manager for having a short leash right now.”

Estrada continued:

“Six innings, but you know I would rather go a little longer, but that bullpen is a very very good bullpen.”

Up Next

The A’s play the Angels Saturday night at 6:07 p.m. for the third game of this four-game series with lefty Brett Anderson taking on Angels starter Felix Pena.


Manager Brad Ausmus got his first win as Angels new skipper. … Angels started the season going 16 scoreless innings. … … In his debut with the Angels, Matt Harvey allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. … Khris Davis has 3 homers in 4 games this season for a share of the early AL lead.

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