ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia wants to see his players play hard through the final week of the regular season, and they did just that with an eighth-inning rally to beat the A's in the opener of their final homestand of the year, 2-1.
Albert Pujols scored Yunel Escobar with a dribbler down the first-base line that A's reliever Ryan Dull had trouble fielding.
It appeared that Dull had a chance to get an out at the plate if he fielded the ball cleanly, but the rookie reliever bobbled it and was forced to take the out at first, allowing Escobar to score the deciding run.
Trout opened the scoring with a home run to left leading off the fourth inning. It was the 29th homer of the year for the American League MVP candidate. Trout's solo shot off A's starter Sean Manaea had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled a projected 436 feet, according to Statcast™.
Stephen Vogt tied the game with a solo shot to right with two outs in the sixth off Angels right-hander Deolis Guerra, who relieved starter Jered Weaver to open the inning. Weaver allowed one hit over five innings and was removed after 71 pitches with low back tightness.
Manaea worked seven solid innings for the A's, scattering four hits and striking out three against one walk.
"I was pounding the strike zone with my fastball and just getting ahead of guys -- except for Trout," Manaea said.
The Angels got scoreless innings from three different relievers in Jose Valdez, JC Ramírez and Andrew Bailey, who nailed down his sixth save in as many opportunities since joining the Angels on Sept. 2.
"I think he's rolling with a lot of confidence now," manager Mike Scioscia said of Bailey. "There's no doubt this month he's opened up some eyes."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trout owns the A's: Trout, who went 2-for-2 and walked twice, is hitting .433 (26-for-60) with five homers and 11 RBIs in 16 games against the A's this season. His two walks (one intentional) raised his season total to 112, which is a career-high and one shy of tying the franchise record for a single season, set by Tony Phillips in 1995.
Fumble: After intentionally walking Trout to load the bases with one out in the eighth, Dull induced a dribbler off the bat of Pujols, only to bobble it and take away any chance of a potential play at the plate. Instead, Dull was forced to get the out at first, allowing the go-ahead Angels run to score.
"I was going too fast because I knew I wanted to try anything possible to get the guy at home," Dull said. "It's really frustrating when you know you executed the pitch you wanted and it just didn't go to the exact spot you wanted it to. You get the weak contact and that's all you can ask for."
Weaver exits early: Weaver retired the first 14 batters he faced before allowing a single to Danny Valencia with two outs in the fifth. He said it's something he's dealt with in the past and he expects to start the season finale on Sunday, which could be his last start in an Angels uniform as he heads into an uncertain offseason as a free agent.
"It just started tightening up on me in the fourth," said Weaver. "Stuff I have dealt with in the past. Tried to pitch through it there in the fifth and just kind of guarding against it and couldn't really finish pitches there and just decided that before it got any worse to kind of take a step back." More >
Manaea on cruise control: Manaea's second-half work has been highly encouraging. The rookie left-hander, who needed just 86 pitches to complete seven innings on Monday, has allowed just one run in 18 innings since returning from a back injury that sidelined him for two weeks. Dating back to Aug. 23, Manaea has limited opponents to two earned runs across 28 1/3 innings for a 0.64 ERA over that span.
"He's been everything that we want him to be," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Aside from a few outings early on where he was kind of getting his feet wet and learning the league, he's been borderline dominant at times ever since, and against good lineups too. He did his job and has been doing it for quite a while now."
"I was telling a couple guys it was a little emotional coming down the tunnel here and I tried to say 'hi' to as many workers and things to that effect as I could. It's a weird feeling. I've been here for 11 years and it's all I've know and it's different, for sure. I'm still concentrated on committing myself to getting out there for that last start and it's how I'm going to look at it from now on." -- Weaver on the emotions of what could be his final week with the Angels
A's: Rookie right-hander Daniel Mengden gets the ball in Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. PT matchup with the host Angels. Mengden, who has never faced the Angels, has a 4.25 ERA and .232 opponents average in five starts on the road, compared to a 6.86 ERA and .293 opponents average in eight outings at home.
Angels:Ricky Nolasco (7-14, 4.60 ERA) starts for the Angels on Tuesday against the A's. The Halos have lost both of Nolasco's starts against Oakland since he came over from the Twins at the Trade Deadline. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.
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