Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Angels battle, surge late but fall to A's in finale

MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- Injuries have frayed the Angels' rotation depth to the point where they had no better alternative than to rely entirely on their bullpen in Sunday's series finale against the A's. But a parade of relievers couldn't stop a parade of A's runs and a late rally fell just short, culminating in an 8-7 loss at Angel Stadium.

After trailing by five runs in the fifth inning, the Angels slowly chipped away at the deficit and managed to pull within one on Shohei Ohtani's two-run, two-out single off Jeurys Familia in the bottom of the eighth. Still, Familia escaped further damage by coaxing an inning-ending groundout from Albert Pujols. Blake Treinen then struck out the side in the ninth to seal the win for Oakland.

View Full Game Coverage

ANAHEIM -- Injuries have frayed the Angels' rotation depth to the point where they had no better alternative than to rely entirely on their bullpen in Sunday's series finale against the A's. But a parade of relievers couldn't stop a parade of A's runs and a late rally fell just short, culminating in an 8-7 loss at Angel Stadium.

After trailing by five runs in the fifth inning, the Angels slowly chipped away at the deficit and managed to pull within one on Shohei Ohtani's two-run, two-out single off Jeurys Familia in the bottom of the eighth. Still, Familia escaped further damage by coaxing an inning-ending groundout from Albert Pujols. Blake Treinen then struck out the side in the ninth to seal the win for Oakland.

View Full Game Coverage

Taylor Cole gave up three runs over 1 1/3 innings in his first career MLB start, but the Angels rallied to tie the game on Justin Upton's RBI single in the second inning. The deadlock didn't last long, though, as the A's came back to score four runs off Jim Johnson in the fourth and added an insurance run off Hansel Robles in the fifth to surge to an 8-3 lead.

Video: OAK@LAA: Upton smokes an RBI single to center

"You try to do your best to kind of put guys in good spots, but right now, we're not there," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're looking at whoever is available to give us innings. We tried to line them up as best we can, but it's just not as efficient as it is if you have at least the functionality of having starters that are getting to a certain point of the game."

After Francisco Arcia launched a solo home run to bring the Angels within three in the sixth, the offense briefly stirred, with Kole Calhoun and Upton drawing back-to-back walks off Lou Trivino to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. Trivino then struck out Ohtani swinging on a 98-mph fastball to extinguish the threat.

Video: OAK@LAA: Trivino whiffs Ohtani to escape the jam

The Angels went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base on Sunday. After winning the first four games of their six-game homestand, the Angels (59-60) dropped the final two to slide back under .500.

While the battle for the American League West is setting up to be a wild three-way race between the Astros, Mariners and A's, the Angels are firmly on the outskirts of contention, falling 11 1/2 games back for the second AL Wild Card spot.

Video: OAK@LAA: Calhoun knocks in Arcia on groundout

Cole, who filled in for the injured Nick Tropeano, entered Sunday with a 1.59 ERA and hadn't allowed a run in his last 6 2/3 innings as a reliever, but he couldn't extend that success against the A's.

After striking out Nick Martini on three pitches to open the game, Cole hit Matt Chapman and then yielded a double to Jed Lowrie to put runners on second and third. Khris Davis opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Matt Olson and Marcus Semien followed with RBI singles to push Oakland's lead to 3-0.

The Angels got on the board in the bottom of the first after Calhoun doubled and scored on Pujols' two-out RBI single. They then tied the game with a pair of runs in the second. After Arcia singled and Eric Young Jr. doubled, Calhoun plated Arcia from third by grounding out to right side of the infield. Upton subsequently singled up the middle to score Young.

Video: OAK@LAA: Pujols singles up the middle to score a run

The A's appeared to break the game open with a four-run fourth that was highlighted by Lowrie's two-run home run off Johnson, but the Angels got runs back on Jose Fernandez's RBI double in the fifth and Arcia's third home run of the season in the sixth, setting the stage for their late-inning drama.

"Bottom line is you've got to give your offense a chance to work," Scioscia said. "At times when we've had bullpen games, we have. This afternoon, we weren't able to do that."

Video: OAK@LAA: Fernandez knocks in Upton on double to right

UP NEXT
The Angels will head to San Diego and open a three-game Interleague series against the Padres on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. PT at Petco Park. Left-handers Andrew Heaney (7-7, 3.96 ERA) and Clayton Richard (7-10, 5.13) will match up in the series opener. Heaney, who is slated to make his first career appearance against the Padres, is 0-5 with a 5.30 ERA in 10 road starts this season. The Padres lead the all-time series against the Angels by a 15-13 margin.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Francisco Arcia, Taylor Cole