OAKLAND -- Left-hander Sean Manaea shut out the Angels' sizzling offense over six innings as the A's snapped a season-high eight-game losing streak with a 3-1 win in Wednesday afternoon's series finale at the Coliseum.
Khris Davis launched his 39th homer of the season, a solo shot off Tyler Skaggs that opened the scoring in the fourth, to become the American League leader in home runs heading into Wednesday night's slate of games, moving ahead of Aaron Judge.
"We've played well enough to win a lot of these games, and when you keep getting slapped in the face when you feel like you've played well enough to win, and on top of that you have a losing streak going on, there's a lot of tension," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "So it's good to just get a win and a well-played game on top of it."
The Angels entered Wednesday having scored at least six runs in seven straight games, but they were flummoxed by Manaea, who allowed just five hits while walking three and striking out six in the 116-pitch effort.
"I knew going into this game I needed to go somewhat deep, and I just kept telling myself that I was going to," Manaea said. "I think just having that mindset definitely helped. I was in the 'attack mode' all day. That stemmed from just having that attitude."
With cleanup hitter Jose Pujols out of the lineup with a sore left knee, the Angels were held scoreless through seven innings before Kole Calhoun produced their lone run of the game with an RBI triple in the eighth. The loss dropped the Angels a half-game behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Skaggs, who had recorded a 5.86 ERA in his first six starts since returning from an oblique injury, took a step forward by allowing three runs over six innings and matching his career-high with nine strikeouts.
"It's definitely a positive step," Skaggs said. "I worked my [butt] off these last four days. I threw a 50-pitch bullpen on a day game in Texas. I was just out there, working on everything. The fruits of my labor showed today, but I still have a long way to go."
Tempers flared in the fourth, when A's third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt following a dispute with Angels catcher Juan Graterol. Renato Nunez entered the game to replace Chapman and made his season debut for Oakland.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Davis puts the A's on the board: Skaggs blanked the A's through the first three innings, but he started the fourth by surrendering a solo shot to Davis, who crushed an 0-1 fastball to the opposite field to put Oakland ahead, 1-0. Davis' homer had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled a projected 393 feet to right field, according to Statcast™.
"That's a line drive for anybody else, and it probably doesn't even reach the wall, let alone go over it," Melvin said. "Pretty special talent as far as the power goes."
Upton's costly miscue: The A's tacked on another run in the fifth after Marcus Semien doubled and scored on Chad Pinder's one-out single. After retiring Ryon Healy, Skaggs induced a routine fly ball from Davis, but Justin Upton lost it in the sun and missed the ball, allowing Pinder to score from first to extend Oakland's lead to 3-0.
Angels: The Angels will head to Seattle and rest on Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the Mariners on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who is 1-0 with a 4.07 ERA in his four outings against the Mariners this year, will start the opener for the Halos.
A's: The A's will enjoy an off-day Thursday before beginning a four-game series with the first-place Astros at the Coliseum on Friday. Right-hander Jharel Cotton, who has a 4.09 ERA in two starts against Houston this season, will take the mound in the 7:05 p.m. PT opener.
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