OAKLAND — A sizable portion of Saturday’s crowd at the Coliseum went home quite pleased, and that wasn’t a good thing for the A’s.
They lost their handle on a 7-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels during a five-run sixth inning for the visitors. That paved the way to victory for Tim Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young winner who marked his return to the major leagues with six innings of one-run ball.
A large segment of the 25,078 fans in attendance, some clad in Angels red and others in orange, gave the former Giant a standing ovation as he walked off the mound for the final time in the sixth.
Lincecum’s first big start since June 27, 2015 made for a lively atmosphere at the Coliseum. The A’s just wish they hadn’t contributed to such a memorable day for the right-hander.
The A’s are working with a makeshift starting rotation right now. They entered the game with Andrew Triggs starting but knowing they would need a gang of relievers to bring this one to the finish line. Triggs, who was called up from Triple-A for this game and has strictly been a reliever this season, gave the A’s a commendable effort. He went three-plus innings and allowed only Mike Trout’s homer to lead off the fourth.
But things unraveled in the sixth which began with the A’s trailing just 2-1. Andrelton Simmons’ sacrifice fly made it 3-1. John Axford relieved Fernando Rodriguez and walked Shane Robinson to load the bases. Yunel Escobar hit a ball to short that Marcus Semien booted for what was scored an RBI single, with a second run scoring on the E-6. After another walk to Kole Calhoun loaded the bases again, Trout blooped a two-run double to right that fell in front of a diving Billy Burns.
That made it 7-1, and the A’s were on their way to their 11th loss in 15 games in June.
Starting pitching report:
You couldn’t have expected much more from Triggs (0-1), whose only previous start in pro ball came with Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2014. He struck out Trout in the first and stranded a runner in scoring position. He held the Angels off the scoreboard until the fourth, when fell behind Trout 3-1 and the Angels star smacked a solo shot to left that tied the game 1-1. A’s manager Bob Melvin said before the game that the A’s called up Triggs for the start over the expected selection, Zach Neal, because Neal had only three days’ rest after pitching in back-to-back games in relief.
Melvin called on six relievers total to finish things out after Triggs left. Ryan Dull, who has been excellent overall this season, gave up Johnny Giavotella’s homer in the fourth that broke a 1-1 tie and put the Angels up for good. Fernando Rodriguez was charged with three runs in an inning of work, though some of that damage came with Axford on the mound.
At the plate
The Angels pulled away against the A’s bullpen in the sixth, but once again Oakland’s offense was largely nonexistent for the third day in a row. Since Thursday, they’ve combined for just five runs. On Saturday, the A’s mustered just five hits total. Their lone run came home on Danny Valencia’s RBI single off Lincecum in the third.
In the field:
Valencia and Semien were both charged with errors.
The announced turnout was 25,078.
Eric Surkamp (0-4, 8.07) sports the highest ERA in the American League among those with at least 25 innings pitched. The A’s have few alternatives right now with two starters on the D.L., so the lefty will take the hill in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. series finale. Jered Weaver goes for the Angels (5-6, 5.71).