For two teams that were similar, the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim went back and forth until the eighth inning.
Billy Burns was tonight’s designated hitter. Eric Surkamp faced Jered Weaver, who threw a three-hit shutout against the Oakland Athletics last week.
The Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim faced each other 102 times in the last six seasons and had 51 wins apiece, but the A’s had the upper hand tonight. This fact was pretty cool. I don’t mind any southern California team falling behind. I’ll tell you that.
Stephen Vogt hit what appeared to be a solo home run, which led to the umpires requesting a replay review to see if there was fan interference. The call on the field stood and the Oakland Athletics took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Vogt got the A’s offense going early, which was a bright sign for the struggling ball club.
However, the Oakland Athletics’ lead was short-lived. With one strike and two outs, Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run to give the Angels a 2-1 in the bottom of the first, tying Harmon Killebrew for 11th place on the All-Time Home Run list with his 573rd home run. Mike Trout helped the Angels to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second after reaching on a throwing error by pitcher Eric Surkamp.
Burns made it a one-run game in the top of the third with a line drive single to left. Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin pulled Surkamp after 3 2/3 innings. I respect Melvin’s decision because Surkamp gave up four runs (two earned). The A’s bullpen provided 5 1/3 shutout innings.
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In the bottom of the fourth, Trout singled again, making it 4-2 Angels in the bottom of the fourth. If you thought the Angels had this game, you were wrong. In the top of the fifth, the Oakland Athletics ended the deficit with a Max Muncy groundout that scored Yonder Alonso. The A’s went on to tie the ballgame 4-4, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Burns.
This time, the Oakland Athletics never looked back. The ball met Khris Davis, who crushed a three-run homer to break the tie and put the A’s ahead 7-4 in the top of the eighth. This was enough for the A’s to pick up their second straight win.
As a whole, the Oakland Athletics had a trio of defensive gems that kept them in the game —Muncy, Davis and Marcus Semien — Well played A’s!
Left-handed prospect Dillon Overton will be promoted from Triple-A Nashville to start on Saturday in his Major League debut for the Oakland Athletics. Overton (7-0, 1.40 ERA) seems to be an excellent pitcher. The A’s will definitely keep him around if he does well in the majors.