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Game #3: Jharel Cotton strikes out Mike Trout twice, but A’s fall to Angels 5-0

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A yawner for the Athletics against the Angels tonight, though Frankie Montas and Daniel Coulombe impressed in multiple innings of relief.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics dropped Game 3 of this four-game set against the Los Angeles Angels tonight by the score of 5-0. Jharel Cotton wasn’t as bad as his line of five earned runs in 4 13 innings would suggest, but I would not call him the dominant pitcher we saw last September. Cotton gave up three runs in the second on a number of opposite field flares to the bottom half of the Angels lineup. In the fifth, he conceded two more on somewhat harder hit singles.

Bleeps and bloops will happen, and runs will score on them, but the best way to come back from those sorts of things is to, you know, score some runs. One is the minimum to win a baseball game, but the A’s couldn’t muster even that on Wednesday night. Instead, the A’s scattered six hits and a walk across their nine frames to disappoint the 13,405 officially announced.

Little victories

You change around that second inning a little bit, and we’re talking about Cotton’s fine performance that stretched into the seventh inning until he was asked to face the top of the Angels lineup for a third time through. He struck out Mike Trout twice with some beautiful offspeed stuff. I’m not worried.

Frankie Montas did well in 2 23 innings, getting key double play liners and grounders to escape a minor jam he inherited from Cotton and a developing one in the sixth. Daniel Coulombe also kept the Angels relatively quiet in the eighth and ninth to rest the top relievers for another day.

And Khris Davis drew another walk! I’m quite impressed that Davis didn’t strike out against the flamethrowing Garrett Richards, even if he could turn that discipline into a dinger tonight. He has two walks in 12 plate appearances now. He had three for the entire month of April last year.

Other notes

Garrett Richards was removed for what was eventually declared precautionary reasons due to bicep cramping after he was seen grabbing his right bicep a couple of times in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Martin Maldonado was the one who signaled Angels trainers to come out to examine Richards, and he was removed one out shy of qualifying for the win. The official scorer gave J.C. Ramirez the win, by rule, as the Angels’ most effective reliever with 2 23 innings of work against the A’s, striking out two.

The A’s come back tomorrow to seek a series split at 12:35 p.m. Tyler Skaggs is scheduled for the Angels against Oakland’s Andrew Triggs. But from Rickey Henderson Field at the Oakland Coliseum tonight, it was Angels 5, A’s 0.