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Game #55: A's slam, rain their way to 9-5 thumping of Angels

Thearon W. Henderson

It never hurts when 4 batters into the 1st inning you have a 4-0 lead. It was that kind of a night for Garrett Richards, who came in with a 4-1 record and 3.00 ERA but could not get out of the 1st inning. Coco Crisp singled, John Jaso singled, Josh Donaldson walked, and then BOOM. A grand slam off the bat of Brandon Moss on a 2-0 "get me over" (the fence) fastball. Richards hung around just long enough to walk in a run as the A's put 5 on the board.

Wade LeBlanc did yeoman's work in long relief, finishing the 1st inning and then going 6 IP more. One came on a Donaldson HR in the 2nd, another on a Donaldson RBI single in the 3rd, as the A's built an early 7-0 lead.

However, as dominant as Drew Pomeranz looked in the top of the 1st, throwing one ball all inning while retiring Erick Aybar on a weak bouncer to 3B and then striking out Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, the A's lefty wobbled around the second time through the order and barely qualified for the win.

A Trout solo HR in the 4th, a 2-run Howie Kendrick HR the same inning, and it was 7-3. Too close for comfort? Sounds like a job for...Josh Donaldson, who banged his 2nd HR of the night to CF in the 5th to give Oakland a 9-3 cushion.

Here's the thing about Pomeranz. He's been a great story, but tonight was the first time in 13 starts (dating back to 2012) that he lasted more than 5 IP as a SP. He lasted one out into the 6th. He left with two runners on base and when Dan Otero served up a 2-run double to C.J. Cron it left Pomeranz charged with 5 ER.

From there Otero and his successors, Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle, kept the Angels off the board. With the win the A's are 33-22, good for a .600 winning percentage and a 2.5 game lead in the division. Moss did leave the game shortly after hitting the grand slam with what was reported as "calf tightness". Otherwise, a pretty darn good day for the green and gold, on the backs of Moss and Donaldson.