ANAHEIM – An early instant replay reversal hurt the A’s badly Tuesday night.
If only Oakland could have undone numerous plays after that.
In one of the sloppier games they’ve played in recent seasons, the A’s were routed 14-1 by the Los Angeles Angels. Things started bad and got worse.
An inning-ending double play that got reversed in the bottom of the second opened the gates to four runs that inning off A’s lefty Drew Pomeranz. That essentially decided the outcome, as the A’s mustered just five hits off Hector Santiago and two Angels relievers. But things took a turn for the hideous in the sixth inning.
Two errors, two wild pitches and a couple other clumsily defended plays helped the Angels to a six-run inning, and a competitive game turned into a rout.
The A’s committed three errors altogether and wiped away the good vibes built up a night earlier in a series-opening victory. They’ve strung together back-to-back victories just once over the first 15 games.
Starting pitching report:
Take away his marathon second inning, and Pomeranz’s night wasn’t terrible. But a replay call in that second altered the course of his night. The A’s had turned what appeared to be an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, but the Angels challenged the out call on C.J. Cron at first base. The play was overturned. Pomeranz proceeded to give up Chris Iannetta’s single, then No. 9 hitter Johnny Giavotella cranked a three-run homer to left to snap a scoreless tie.
Pomeranz would allow a walk and two more hits, including Erick Aybar’s RBI single, before Pomeranz escaped the inning. The lefty threw 22 extra pitches in the inning after the replay overturn. He left after five-plus innings, giving up eight hits and getting charged with five runs (four earned). His pitch count hit exactly 100.
R.J. Alvarez relieved Pomeranz after Cron’s leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth. An omen of the nuttiness that would ensue that inning came on Alvarez’s third batter, when Kole Calhoun drilled a liner that appeared to hit second base umpire Mike Winters squarely in the groin area. It was ruled a single. Alvarez uncorked a wild pitch that put runners at second and third, and after an intentional walk to Mike Trout, another wild pitch brought a run home. David Freese soon would follow with a two-run single.
The Angels batted around that inning and were helped by errors from shortstop Marcus Semien and center fielder Craig Gentry. Alvarez wound up charged with seven runs (six earned) and three walks in just one-plus inning. Fernando Abad relieved him and surrendered a three-run homer to Calhoun in the seventh.
With the A’s short in the bullpen, first baseman Ike Davis took the mound and pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighht. He became the first A’s position player to take the mound since infielder Frank Menechino on July 18, 2000 at Colorado.
At the plate:
The A’s generated just five hits on the night. Gentry’s prolonged struggles have got to be a growing concern for the A’s. He struck out in all four of his at-bats from the leadoff spot and is now 0-for-22 on the season. That’s the longest hitless streak of his career. Billy Butler’s solo homer in the third was the A’s lone offensive highlight. It was Butler’s second home run of the season.
In the field:
The A’s could have ended Los Angeles’ four-run fourth a little earlier, but Semien let Albert Pujols’ two-out liner glance off his glove for an error that scored a run. He committed two errors on the night, and his six errors total are most among American League shortstops.
A crowd of 32,137 showed up to this one, and they enjoyed themselves. At least those rooting for the home team did.
Sonny Gray (1-0, 2.11) gave up a career-high 11 hits in his last outing. Perhaps a return to AL West competition will serve him well Wednesday. He’s allowed just one earned run in two starts (15 1/3 IP) against the division so far this season. Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.61) takes the mound for the Angels in a 7:05 p.m. game.