After a promising start which saw the A’s take a 4-1 lead, the Angels came back to win 9-7.
Liam Hendricks got the night off to an auspicious starter in the “opener” position, throwing a clean, scoreless first inning. He’s been stellar in that role, with this being his sixth scoreless outing.
Daniel Mengden took over from Hendriks and went on to throw four solid innings. The only blip was a seemingly-obligatory Mike Trout solo home run in the fourth inning, and Mengden allowed just one additional hit and two walks in the rest of his outing, striking out three.
Jed Lowrie led off the A’s half of the fourth with a walk, and Khris Davis followed with a single. Stephen Piscotty followed with another walk, then Matt Olson and Marcus Semien struck out. Mark Canha came through with a clutch double on an 0-2 fastball, clearing the bases. Jonathan Lucroy scored Canha with a single, and Ramon Laureano flied out to end the inning.
The sixth is when things got weird.
Sean Kelley walked Jose Fernandez to start the inning, and then Fernandez advanced to second on a wild pitch. Justin Upton followed with a single, and that was it for Kelley.
Ryan Buchter took over, promptly allowing a single to Shohei Ohtani to load the bases. Lou Trivino took over, and thus ensued one of the more blatant instances of fan interference you’ll ever see, but also one of the more tough calls to make. I’ll just leave this here:
Don't wanna put this woman on blast and show her face, but damn pic.twitter.com/AOlIOYQQe8— Alex Espinoza IV (@AlexEspinozaIV) September 19, 2018
Discuss as you will.
After that fan interference was not called, Andrelton Simmons singled, scoring both Fernandez and Upton. Trivino then hit Taylor Ward. After a mound visit, he gave up a grand slam to Kaleb Cowart on an 0-1 fastball right down the middle, giving the Angels a 7-4 lead.
The A’s bats were quiet in the bottom half, and Yusmiero Petit threw a clean top of the seventh.
Corey Gearring took the mound in the 8th, giving up a leadoff walk to Shohei Ohtani. Simmons followed with another single. Taylor Ward bunted Ohtani into a force-out, but it was misplayed by Chapman, allowing Simmons to score and Ward to advance to second.
Then, Gearrin threw a wild pitch, advancing Ward to third, and the suddenly-good Kaleb Cowart tripled to score Ward. Angels lead 9-4.
Despite things looking over-and-done-with, the A’s still had some fight left in the bottom of the eighth. Lowrie led off with a walk, and then Davis struck out. Piscotty and Olson followed with back-to-back singles, scoring one. Semien walked, and Martini struck out with the bases loaded. Dustin Fowler pinch-hit for Josh Phegley, laying down a single and scoring two more. A’s trailed 9-7 after eight innings.
Fernando Rodney allowed one hit (to Trout, OFC), in an otherwise easy ninth. The A’s went down in order in the bottom half.
FINAL: Angels 9, A’s 7.
With the loss, the A’s fall to 5.5 back of the Astros and 2.5 back of the Yankees with 11 games left to play.