Angels hold off Oakland comeback, power past Athletics
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A day earlier, Jered Weaver watched the frightening play as teammate Matt Shoemaker went down when hit in the head by a screaming line drive.
“It was kind of a weird game yesterday, it’s almost like you don’t know what to do as far as, ‘Do we keep playing this game or what?’” Weaver said.
He then got hit himself Monday, initially staying in after taking a third-inning line drive from Danny Valencia in the right hip and back side during Los Angeles’ 10-7 victory against the Oakland Athletics.
It was another scare for an Angels starter after Shoemaker’s ordeal. He suffered a small skull fracture in Seattle and needed surgery to stop bleeding on his brain.
While his behind is bruised and sore, Weaver had no concerns about making his next turn.
“It was like pitching on one leg, really, I couldn’t really drive off my back side, so I figured it was a good idea to bring in somebody who had fresh legs,” Weaver said. “It’s more like I sat on the toilet for too long.”
Weaver joined Chuck Finley and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers to reach 2,000 innings in an Angels uniform. The bullpen then took over and handled things for the Angels again in their third straight win.
Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run in the second inning, Albert Pujols had a two-run double in the fourth and Nick Buss added two sacrifice flies in the Angels’ seventh win in their last nine road games.
Khris Davis hit his 35th homer leading off the seventh to pull Oakland within 8-7, but his ninth-inning error in left field allowed Andrelton Simmons to score an insurance run.
In the seventh, Ryon Healy singled to put the tying run aboard when Jose Valdez entered as the Angels’ fourth reliever. He retired pinch-hitter Chad Pinder on a fly ball before Jake Smolinski’s single and a walk to Bruce Maxwell loaded the bases. But Marcus Semien flied out.
Valdez (1-1) earned his first major league win before former A’s closer Andrew Bailey finished for the Angels in a second straight game. It was just his second save since 2013 with the Red Sox.
“We cracked the door for those guys with walks,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Valencia hit a two-run homer in the first for the A’s, who were nearly no-hit a day earlier by Boston and didn’t have their first baserunner until the sixth inning Saturday against Red Sox ace Rick Porcello.
Joey Wendle had his first career RBI on a single in the fourth, when Maxwell added a two-run double one out later.
Raul Alcantara (0-1) plunked three batters in the first inning alone with a walk while quickly falling behind 3-0. He had a balk in the third that put Simmons on third after a double before he scored on Buss’ second sacrifice fly.
It marked the first time in 86 years an Athletics pitcher had three hit batsmen and a balk — Howard Ehmke on April 27, 1930 — not the kind of stat Alcantara wanted in his forgettable debut.
“I think it was because I was trying to make perfect pitches,” Alcantara said.
He was done after three innings, having allowed five runs and five hits with no strikeouts.
Smolinski’s over-the-shoulder running catch in center on Kaleb Colwart’s drive to end the first likely saved Alcantara at least two more runs.
A’s LHP Sean Doolittle received cheers when he took the mound in the seventh for his first appearance since June 25. The closer missed 59 games with a strained throwing shoulder, but he changed his walk-up music to Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes.”
Angels: Shoemaker underwent surgery late Sunday after being struck in the right side of the head on a line drive by Seattle’s Kyle Seager. Los Angeles athletic trainer Adam Nevala is staying with Shoemaker until he is able to travel to Southern California later in the week.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray played catch from 120 feet as he recovers from a strained right forearm, and is scheduled to do so again Tuesday. It won’t be determined whether he will pitch again in 2016 until he is able to throw off a mound, but the A’s will be cautious with their star pitcher. ... Rehabbing pitchers Felix Doubront (left elbow) and Chris Bassitt (right elbow) played catch out to 90 feet Monday as they both recover from Tommy John surgery.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-12) is coming off his first win for the Angels after being acquired in an Aug. 1 trade from the Twins. He is 0-1 in two starts vs. Oakland this year.
Athletics: RHP Zach Neal will make a spot start. LHP Ross Detwiler had been scheduled to start Tuesday but pitched three innings in relief Monday.