ANAHEIM -- A's starter Andrew Triggs seems well aware that initial impressions last the longest.The right-hander looked solid to open the season once again Saturday night, when he worked his way through a pesky Angels lineup long enough to build the base of a 7-3 victory at Angel Stadium, Oakland's
ANAHEIM -- A's starter Andrew Triggs seems well aware that initial impressions last the longest.
The right-hander looked solid to open the season once again Saturday night, when he worked his way through a pesky Angels lineup long enough to build the base of a 7-3 victory at Angel Stadium, Oakland's first road triumph in two tries this season.
The odds were long that Triggs would match his eye-popping start to last season, when he didn't allow an earned run over his first 17 2/3 innings. After all, it was the club's longest season-opening streak of no earned runs from a starting pitcher on the Opening Day roster. Yet, the start to this campaign has been impressive in its own right. Triggs now has consecutive effective outings to start the year, giving up two runs over 5 2/3 innings, after giving up one run over five innings Monday against the Rangers.
"The confidence that he gained last year for a guy who has never been a starter before, basically his entire career, I think lent to the fact that he knows he can do that," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He has a funky arm angle, and if you haven't seen him much he's kind of an acquired taste. He doesn't have to just throw the sinker, he has a good breaking ball to keep you off balance, too."
While Triggs might not have an extended scoreless streak to boast about this time around, this season could have something the last one did not: The chance to actually finish what he started. Triggs made just 12 starts last season with his season ending following hip surgery in July.
He was 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA over his first eight outings last year, but went 0-4 with a 9.64 ERA over his last four starts as the injury took its toll.
A full season in good health portends good things, and Triggs would figure to remain intent on pushing past both his career best for starts in a season (12) and games pitched (24). But he is trying to leave both the good and bad about last season in the past.
"That meant more last year when things were going well and I think at this point, my goal is to do this all the way through October," he said. "Obviously it was nice and encouraging last year, but right now it's time to get to work and get this team where we know we can be."
Finishing off Triggs' solid start was an Oakland bullpen set on redemption after some struggles in Friday's series opener. The relievers allowed eight runs Friday as the A's were unable to protect an early six-run lead. Five of those eight runs were unearned, though.
In backing up Triggs on Saturday, Ryan Buchter, Emilio Pagan and Blake Treinen combined to allow just one run over the final 3 1/3 innings. Treinen took the loss Friday when an error and a Justin Upton home run did him in, but he returned a day later with a two-inning save, his second.
"Being able to get a win like this, it means a lot," Treinen said. "I think last night left a pretty sour taste in everybody's mouth."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Late runs shine bright:Matt Chapman's RBI triple in the eighth inning ended up giving the A's some insurance runs they craved. Angels left fielder Upton seemed to lose Chapman's hard liner in the lights and he shied away from the ball at the last second. The ball rolled to the wall and Matt Olson scored from first base. Chapman scored on a single from Bruce Maxwell, giving the A's a late 6-3 lead.
Keeping it together, just in time: Triggs wiggled out of a fifth-inning jam to maintain Oakland's lead. With two runners aboard, Triggs uncorked a two-out wild pitch, giving the Angels two men in scoring position. But the right-hander got Zack Cozart on a routine fly ball to center field, ending the threat and maintaining Oakland's 4-2 advantage.
"Our offense is always going to be potent, but the fact they are clicking at the right time is nice to have. And Triggs goes out and gives us what, five strong innings? When you have starters go out and give you a chance to win a game, it makes it easier on the bullpen and the offense is more relaxed. Overall, it was just a well-played game." -- Treinen
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The A's compiled a season-high 10 walks on Saturday, the first time they had 10 walks in a game since Sept. 9, 2017, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Astros. They now have five or more walks in five of the first 10 games of the season, with four of those five-walk games in the first six contests against the Angels.
CHAPMAN ADDS TO STREAK
Chapman has reached base safely (hit or walk) at least twice in his last eight games, going back to March 31. It is the longest streak by an A's player in one season since Billy Butler reached base safely on hit or walk at least twice in nine consecutive games during the 2015 season.
The A's will send right-hander Kendall Graveman (0-1, 8.10 ERA) to the mound Sunday in the finale of the three-game series at Angel Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 1:07 p.m. PT. The four home runs Graveman has allowed in his first two starts were tied for the most in the AL, and he has allowed at least four runs in each of his first two outings.
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Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the A's on Saturday.