On a Monday night when both teams broke out for big innings, Oakland’s was just a bit bigger, enough to hang on to an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The A’s are now a season high 14-game over .500 after one of the worst starts in Oakland A’s history.
Both teams batted around the order but the A’s (41-27) scored five runs in theirs to the Angels’ four. The Angels (33-33) outhit the A’s 14-9, but left 13 runners stranded.
LHP Sean Manaea (W, 6-2, 2.99 ERA) struggled quickly when he walked Justin Upton to start the game, but struck out Shohei Ohtani and player of the week Max Stassi before allowing back-to-back sloppy singles to load the bases but escaped the first scoreless. Juan Lagares smacked a 90 mph sinker for a solo shot in the second inning, his first homer of the season, to put the Angels up 1-0.
Sean Murphy spoke about what a great job his starter did Monday night:
“It was a great job by him. He wasn’t his sharpest tonight and I am sure he will tell you that but he went out there and made pitches when he had to and made a great defensive play … he did awesome. He got into some trouble and then he got himself out of it and that is the name of the game, he didn’t let it snowball.”
Dylan Bundy (L, 1-7, 6.98 ERA) gave up Mitch Moreland‘s 1,000th career hit when he singled in the second right before Sean Murphy (7) launched the ball to right-center to give the A’s a 2-1 lead. Bundy started on the mound in the third but could only get one out before he was relieved.
Murphy spoke about how great it felt to finally hit a home run for the first time in a while:
“Good, wish I could do it more often. It was good I got pitched in the middle and I was able to square it up.”
Oakland’s big inning was the third. Mark Canha led off the third and was hit for the thirteenth time to get on first. Tony Kemp hit a line drive down the right field line and Taylor Ward made an error retrieving the ball after it bounced off the wall, which scored Canha and put Kemp on third. Matt Olson sacrificed the A’s fourth run when he lined out to right to make it 4-1. Jed Lowrie walked and Matt Chapman doubled to left to put runners in scoring position with one out. Moreland hit a ground ball that rolled under the glove of David Fletcher but it was somehow ruled a hit . Two runs scored to make it 6-1 before Bundy’s night came to an end.
Bob Melvin said he always feels like his team can contribute up and down the lineup but it has become more of a statement this week. He spoke about his team’s offense with so many injuries and always having a different hero each night:
“You’re going to go through soft spots with anybody and guys are going to go through some tough times but if you can get contributions at the bottom, like we have here recently, it makes up for a couple of guys maybe, you know, not swinging their best.”
James Hoyt tried to get the final two outs of the third inning but it took a while. Murphy singled to left and Seth Brown hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with two outs. Elvis Andrus singled to right on an 0-2 count to make it 7-1. Canha walked to load the bases but Kemp struck out to end the inning. All seven runs were earned and belonged to Bundy, who allowed seven hits, one being a homer. He hit a batter, walked two and struck out three in his 2-1/3 innings.
Hoyt was relieved after he pegged Murphy with a 90 mph sinker to lead off the fifth. LHP Alex Claudio entered the game and Chad Pinder pinch hit for Brown, doubling down the third base line. The ball landed in the left field corner for a standing double which drove in Murphy from first to make it 8-1.
Manaea had 28-pitch first inning but gave up just the homer in the second, his first run allowed in three appearances. He was relieved in the sixth after a two-out double to Fletcher on his 103rd and final pitch of the night. Burch Smith relieved Manaea and struck out Justin Upton to end the inning. Manaea threw 5-2/3 innings where he allowed one run (solo homer) on nine hits, struck out five and walked one batter.
Melvin thought Manaea was effective despite a tough start:
“He threw 50 pitches in the first two innings. I did not think he would get past five at one point. After throwing, I think 111 pitches in both his last two outings, I didn’t want him to get to that point. So I knew. Another inning would have been nice for us, obviously, but gave us two-thirds. He gave up some hits, but he found a way to pitch around it and get out, like we’ve seen him do quite a bit. A little differently how he pitched tonight, but still effective.”
Junior Guerra took the mound for the Angels in the sixth and threw the Angels first perfect inning striking out Chapman and Moreland and escaped the inning in just seven pitches.
Smith came back out for the seventh, and the Angels scored three runs. The rally started when Smith hit Stassi with a 95 mph fastball then gave up a José Iglesias single before Jared Walsh doubled with two outs to clear the bases to make it 8-3. Smith walked Taylor Ward and then Lagares hit a ground ball to the right side infield, Lowrie made a great stop but the throw was not in time and a run scored to make it 8-4. Sergio Romo relieved Smith for the final out in the seventh with runners on first and second. It took four pitches before he gave up an RBI single before striking out Upton to end the batted around, five-run seventh inning.
Guerra hit Murphy with an 82 mph slider then nailed Pinder in the neck with an 81 mph sinker to follow. Pinder’s helmet came off and he laid on the ground kicking both feet in pain and eventually exited the game. Skye Bolt pinch ran for Pinder before Canha, who was hit by a pitch in the third, hit into a double play to end the inning up 8-5.
Murphy didn’t get to speak to Pinder after the incident but prays he is okay. Melvin explained the track record Pinder has when it comes to concussions:
“I think if you saw the replay, his helmet was actually coming off and hit him in the back behind his ear. He’s not in concussion protocol right now. We’ll see how he is tomorrow, but pretty scary because he’s had a few concussion issues in the past. I mean, it’s scary for any anybody, but somebody who’s had some issues in the past, even a little more concerned. So we’ll see how he is tomorrow. We’ll monitor him tonight.”
Jake Diekman allowed a walk and single in the eight but escaped the inning scoreless. Guerra did the exact same, Olson picked up his first hit in his final at-bat and Chapman drew a full-count walk but Guerra escaped the eighth scoreless. Lou Trivino took the mound in the ninth with his team up 8-5 and picked up his eleventh save of the season.
Melvin said Trivino has been great while closer Trevor Rosenthal rehabs from rib removal surgery:
“He’s been fantastic for us all year and gets more and more comfortable. That’s ideally what you want to see are 1, 2, 3 innings. He’s been doing that and it seems like he’s getting better as the season goes along.”
Oakland A’s Frankie Montas (6-6, 4.37 ERA) will start game two of the three game series against the Los Angeles Angels LHP Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.37 ERA) Both starters have the same earned run average, for now. First pitch set for 6:40 p.m.
David Fletcher was 4-for-4 with a double and three singles… José Iglesias had four singles… Sean Murphy was 2-for-2 and hit by two pitches… Chad Pinder exited the game when he took a sinker to the neck. … The A’s and Angels were tied with the Milwaukee Brewers with 9-2 records in the month of June. The Brewers and Angels lost Monday night giving the Oakland A’s the best record in the month of June just two weeks in but there are two more games left in the series and plenty of baseball left in the month of June. … Five batters were hit by pitches Monday night. Four of them were A’s players but Melvin said there is nothing you can do and it happens, was not intentional, all breaking balls … Anthony Rendon was pulled from the game in the bottom of the sixth and Kean Wong played third base for the remainder of the night.