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A’s fall to Angels in wild series finale

Ohtani too much for A’s who drop third straight

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics battled back from a five-run deficit, but again came up short in an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Shohei Ohtani got off to a fast start retiring the first nine hitters he faced, striking out five of them. JP Sears matched him through the first two innings before things went sound in the third.

Sears walked Chad Wallach to begin the inning. Taylor Ward followed with a single to center field and moving Wallach into scoring position. Ohtani then brought him home with a double on a sharp line drive to center to make it 1-0. After Anthony Rendon was hit by a pitch, Hunter Renfroe popped out on a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Ward to make it 2-0. Brandon Drury provided the big blow in the inning with a three-run homer to left center that extended the lead to 5-0.

The A’s answered back in the fourth as Esteury Ruiz was hit by a pitch and then stole his tenth bases of the season. With Ruiz on second base and Conner Capel on first after drawing a walk, the red-hot Brent Rooker homered to cut the Angels’ lead at 5-3.

Oakland kept it going as Ohtani inexplicably hit Jace Peterson before Shea Langeliers crushed a ball to center for his sixth home run of the season to tie the game.

Sears tossed a scoreless fourth and retired Ohtani to start the fifth, but exited in favor of Chad Smith after an Anthony Rendon single. Smith was ineffective as Hunter Renfroe singled and Brandon Drury walked to load the bases. Smith then walked Luis Rengifo with the basis loaded to put the Angels back in front 6-5.

Mark Kotsay replaced Smith with Domingo Acevedo. The Angels added another run on ground out by Gio Urshela before Acevedo got Wallach to fly out to end the inning.

Sears’ start was a mixed bag. He allowed six hits and six runs in just 4 1/3 innings. He finished the game with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Angels added another run in the sixth as Ohtani tripled with two outs and then came in to score on a double by Rendon to make it 8-5.

Oakland battled back again in the eighth. Shea Langeliers and Jesus Aguilar hit back-to-back singles with one out. Aledmys Diaz then reached on an error by second baseman Luis Rengifo. Langeliers scored on the play to make it 8-6. Carlos Perez followed with a pinch-hit single to score Aguilar to cut the deficit to 8-7. Diaz moved over to third on a balk by Aaron Loup. Kevin Smith then grounded to Urshela at short who fired home in time to cut down Diaz, who elected not to slide, at the plate. Ruiz grounded out to end the inning.

The Angels threatened to add to the lead in the eighth, but Richard Lovelady got Ohtani to fly out and then struck out Rendon to strand the runners. Jordan Diaz singled with two outs in the ninth, but Carlos Estevez got Langeliers to fly out to left to end the game.

The A’s drop their third straight game and fall to 5-21 on the season. They will return home on Friday where they will begin a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.