After the incredible 19 inning affair that started on Monday night, and finished Tuesday morning, both the A’s and the Angels were in desperate need of strong performances by their starting pitchers. Jarrod Parker for the A’s, and Garrett Richards for the Angels took the hill, but neither of them were especially effective, although they did manage to work into the middle innings at least to help spare the arms of their bullpens.
Parker had to work around some defensive miscues by Josh Donaldson and Adam Rosales that led to the game’s first run crossing the plate, but Parker buckled down and induced an inning ending double play off the bat of Albert Pujols. The A’s battle back to tie the game and take the lead when Yoenis Cespedes doubled in Seth Smith, would advance to third on a throwing error by Erick Aybar. Cespedes would score on a wild pitch by Richards. The Angels wouldn’t be done battling though, as they’d retake the lead on a 2-run double from Mike Trout. Parker would be able to limit the damage once again in the inning.
Meanwhile the A’s would prevent the shutdown inning for Garrett Richards, and would ultimately score 3 more runs on a bloop double by John Jaso and a Yoenis Cespedes triple to make it 5-3 in favor of the Athletics.
Parker would face just 1 batter in the 7th inning, whom he walked. That runner would eventually score on Mike Trouts RBI triple allowed by Evan Scribner. Parker’s line would end up being 6 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts as he collected his first win of 2013. Scribner, who was just brought back from Sacramento as Dan Straily was sent out again, was here for one purpose, to spare the bullpen after Monday’s 19 inning game. But Scribner couldn’t get the job done, lasting only 0.2 innings and allowing 2 ER on 3 hits before Sean Doolittle bailed him out. Doolittle would add another clean inning (He only threw 4 pitches in the previous game so he was fully available). Grant Balfour would come on to close out the game in a non-save situation and a final score of 10-6.
The A’s have now taken this series with the Angels, and are now 5-0 on the season versus their rivals from Orange County. Yoenis Cespedes continued his potent offensive output since returning from the DL, tonight he went 2 for 4 with a double, a triple, and a career high 4 RBI on the night. The A’s have won all three games since his return. Seth Smith continued his hot start, adding a huge 3-run double that blew the game open and added what would ultimately be some very important insurance runs. Derek Norris went 2 for 3 tonight with a couple runs scored and a stolen base (his second of the season). Josh Reddick posted another ofer, going 0 for 4 with a strikeout as he continues to struggle badly at the plate. Josh Donaldson took the night off from the basepaths as well, but he’s earned the right to do that after his hot hitting over the last week.
The A’s go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon as Tommy Milone (3-2, 3.38 ERA) takes on the always hated C.J. Wilson (2-0, 4.30 ERA). Right now, the A’s should be beating the badly struggling Angels, and putting them in a deeper hole to dig out of over the course of the season is always a good thing.