Recap: Angels @ A’s Game 103
Wrap: Oakland 6, Los Angeles 4. A’s 60-43 (1st Place, 4 games ahead)
The A’s beat up on Los Angeles/Anaheim/Whatever today and coupled with a Texas loss expanded their division lead to four games. The A’s had timely hitting, I hate saying that but it fits, so despite falling down 2-0 with no one retired they came back and won this one issue free. Bartolo Colon did not look great but was good enough to get his 14th win which is ties Matt Moore and Max Scherzer for the MLB lead. Given that pitcher wins is such a useless stat let’s double down on it with an ESPN-esque fact that Colon leads the MLB in wins by a Latino pitcher in 2013, or wins by a player whose first name starts with something other than an M.
The A’s got ten hits, scoring six runs – typically enough for a win and good enough in this ballgame. The offense was led by Lowrie who quickly got the A’s back into the game after a Mike Trout two run home run set them back to begin the top half of the first, with a solo shot of his own in the bottom half. A two run single in the bottom of the second inning by Lowrie gave Oakland a lead they would not relinquish. Vogt who has not been much of an offensive force in his short stint in MLB ball also homered – a two run shot – that iced the win in the sixth inning as a part of his 2-for-4 night. Coco and Reddick (who also had a double and inched his batting average up with a 2-for-3 night with a double, walk, strikeout and two runs scored) both stole a base off of Williams and Angels backstop Hank Conger. Coco also had an outfield assist in this matchup when Trout tried to test him and tag up to second on a fly out.
Colon was not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, six innings allowing seven hits, scoring just two earned runs (both off that Trout home run), with two walks and two Ks. His 96 pitches was a bit inefficient, and the Angels inability to capitalize on any opportunities aided him greatly. Cook and Doolittle both then pitched shutout innings, both allowing a baserunner. Blevins came in and he has not been sharp as of late and again retired no one, though it was runners he left to Balfour that would come around to score not on his watch. Balfour meanwhile allowed those runs, one a basehit by Albert Pujols, but got the A’s out of the jam and preserved the save.
Lowrie was responsible for getting the A’s a run back in the bottom half of the first. While hardcore sabermetricians will scoff at momentum and psychology, I take a much more liberal approach and feel that getting a run back in the bottom half of an inning has to do something for the collective psyche, so that was a big hit. Lowrie then also singled home two runs in the next inning and went 3-for-4 on the evening, there is no faulting him for not doing enough in this ballgame.