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Healy's HR helps A's gain split with Angels

April 6, 2017

OAKLAND -- Ryon Healy crushed a two-run home run off Tyler Skaggs to cap a four-run outburst in the third inning, leading the A's to a 5-1 victory over the Angels in Thursday afternoon's finale at the Oakland Coliseum, which salvaged a split of the season-opening four-game series.With light rain

OAKLAND -- Ryon Healy crushed a two-run home run off Tyler Skaggs to cap a four-run outburst in the third inning, leading the A's to a 5-1 victory over the Angels in Thursday afternoon's finale at the Oakland Coliseum, which salvaged a split of the season-opening four-game series.
With light rain drizzling on the field, Adam Rosales hit a leadoff single to ignite the big inning, and he later scored from first when Michael Trout misplayed Marcus Semien's single to center field. Semien raced to third on the play and then came home on Khris Davis' sacrifice fly to put the A's ahead, 2-1. Healy subsequently delivered the biggest blow of the inning, blasting a 1-0 fastball from Skaggs halfway up the left-field bleachers for his second home run of the season.
Healy's shot had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled an estimated 430 feet, according to Statcast™.

"The ball does make a little bit different sound off his bat," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You watch him on a day-to-day basis and you see him take batting practice and how seriously he takes his work, pre and leading up to the game, it gives him confidence."
Healy's power display music to A's
Oakland extended its lead to 5-1 in the sixth after Davis doubled and scored on Trevor Plouffe's RBI single to center.

The A's offense backed a solid effort from starter Andrew Triggs, who allowed one run (unearned) on four hits with three walks and one strikeout over 5 2/3 innings in his season debut.
"It was about getting my fastball command a little bit more honed in as things got along going there," Triggs said. "That inning by us was absolutely huge, with Healy really breaking it open."
The Angels scored their lone run in the third with the help of an error by center fielder Rajai Davis, who fumbled a leadoff single from Yunel Escobar, allowing the Angels' third baseman to take second base. Jose Pujols later plated Escobar with a run-scoring groundout to second, briefly giving the Halos a 1-0 lead.

Skaggs was uneven in his first regular-season outing for the Angels, giving up five runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old southpaw, who dealt with shoulder fatigue during Spring Training but was cleared to open the season in the rotation, issued three walks and struck out five in the 89-pitch outing.
Skaggs takes positive view of outing
The Angels have yet to have a starter get through six innings in their first four games of the season.
"We've got confidence in our rotation, but they're going to do a little better job to get deeper into games," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "Once we can get there, that will help to get our bullpen where we need to be on a nightly basis. But I think there's some things that we know have to develop as we move forward to the season. The first four games, I think some guys are settling, and hopefully getting into their game. I think we'll start to see some improvements in those areas."
Shutdown inning: In recent years, the A's have had trouble closing the door on opponents after posting a big inning. Triggs had no such problems Thursday. After Oakland broke the game open with four runs in the third, Triggs came out in the top of the fourth and delivered a 1-2-3 inning, part of a stretch where he retired 10 straight Angels.
"It was big," Triggs said of his nine-pitch frame. "Obviously, putting up the zero. But also, doing it in reasonably efficient fashion, after having thrown quite a few pitches in the first, second and third. That was a nice boost on my end to keep the pitch count down."
Thursday's game was the first in MLB history to feature two pitchers -- Skaggs and Triggs -- with a last name ending in "ggs," according to an Angels spokesman. 
Angels manager Mike Scioscia unsuccessfully challenged a call in the top of the sixth inning, after Ben Revere was thrown out at second base on a close play to end the frame. With two outs and two on, Andrelton Simmons grounded a ball to shortstop Semien, who flipped it to second for a quick force out. After reviewing the bang-bang play, crew chief Ted Barrett confirmed the out call. Instead of having the bases loaded, the Angels had to take the field for the bottom of the inning.

Angels: The Angels return to Southern California to host the Mariners in their home opener Friday night at Angel Stadium. Right-hander Jesse Chavez, a free-agent addition who earned a spot in the Halos' rotation after posting a 3.06 ERA this spring, will make his season debut. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. PT.
Athletics: The A's will hit the road for their first time this season, starting a three-game series in Texas on Friday (5:05 p.m. PT) before heading to Kansas City. Young right-hander Raul Alcantara is set to make his season debut after securing the No. 5 spot in the rotation out of Spring Training. Alcantara went 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in two starts against the Rangers last September.
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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to