A's score 9 unanswered to top Halos
OAKLAND -- Danny Valencia and Jake Smolinski contributed to a five-run third inning and Mark Canha provided the dagger in the sixth, launching a three-run homer to help the A's beat the American League West-rival Angels, 11-5, at the Coliseum on Monday night.
The free-falling Angels (65-66) have dropped 26 of their last 37 games and are below .500 for the first time since June 10. They finished August with 19 losses, their highest total that month since 1999, but remained 3 1/2 games back of the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot.
"These guys are all good in here," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said when asked about clubhouse morale. "The issue is production on the field."
The Angels got on the board with an RBI single by Erick Aybar in the first and took a 3-0 lead off A's lefty Felix Doubront in the third, on a sac fly by Aybar and a steal of home by C.J. Cron. But Hector Santiago couldn't get out of the bottom of the third, giving up a two-out, two-run double to Valencia and a three-run double to Smolinski two batters later.
"To be down again in the fashion that we were and get it all back plus two in one inning and then be able to add on along the way, we've got a lot of guys swinging the bat really well," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
The A's, now 58-74 after their third straight win, made it nine unanswered runs on Canha's homer, which made the Angels' rallies in the seventh and eighth innings easier to absorb.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Doing the splits: Josh Reddick, limited in action against left-handers this year, got a rare start against one and responded with a sharp double to right field that kick-started the A's five-run third inning. Reddick improved to 18-for-54 (.333) with seven extra-base hits off left-handed pitching since June 10, after hitting .120 off southpaws to begin the season.
"They've been a lot better at-bats, getting deeper in counts, not feeling like he has to swing early in the count at the first fastball," Melvin said. "He really got us going there. And you look at the numbers here recently, he's gotten quality at-bats against them and driven some balls, seeing the ball and laying off some sliders, breaking balls away. It's been impressive."
Out of sync: Santiago was the Angels' best starting pitcher of the first half, posting a 2.33 ERA while making his first All-Star team. But the 27-year-old left-hander hasn't been the same since. Santiago has a 5.93 ERA since the All-Star break and hasn't completed five innings in any of his last three starts. He cruised through the first two frames on Monday, then gave up three doubles and three walks and was pulled with two outs in the third inning, putting his ERA at 3.37 on the year.
"It's one of those times in the season when things go wrong and things kind of pile up on top of each other," Santiago said. "You try to make adjustments, and you overthink some situations and overwork throughout your bullpen days, and try to change things that you don't need to change. It's like a hitter. They go 0-for-25, and then they go 25-for-50." More >
Yes he Canha: Canha culminated a breakout month with his 11th homer of the season. His three-run shot essentially put the game out of reach in the sixth, but he added a sac fly in the eighth for good measure, giving him 54 RBIs for the season -- most among AL rookies -- spanning 325 at-bats. He finished August 29-for-94 (.305) with 21 RBIs in 25 games.
"I got in a good hitter's count, so I just tried to a get a fastball and I timed it up perfectly," Canha said of his home run, his first this season against a left-hander. "When you do that, good things will happen." More >
Weight room: The Angels entered Monday ranked last in the Majors in basically every offensive statistic in August, but they racked up 10 hits and came a couple of feet from some potential game-changing extra-base hits. Chris Iannetta, 6-for-43 in the month entering the game, drove a Doubront offering to deep center field, but Billy Burns made a leaping catch up against the fence to end the sixth. Kole Calhoun skied a Fernando Abad pitch to deep right, but Reddick caught it at the edge of the warning track to end the eighth and strand two runners.
"Chris hit it to center, and it just didn't go," Scioscia said. "Kole got under it a little bit to right-center. We swung the bats better, and that's encouraging. The fact we've played too many games where we're playing catchup and also relying on guys in our bullpen a lot, we're paying a price for that, and you can see it tonight."
"That was a crazy night. Did we set a record for longest nine-inning game? I think we might have." -- Canha, talking about the 3 hour and 34 minute nine-inning game that also included the 10-minute delay
MADE YOU LOOK
As soon as A's catcher Josh Phegley threw to second to try to get Shane Victorino on a stolen-base attempt in the third inning, Cron broke home, scoring without a throw to give the Angels a 3-0 lead. It was only Cron's second stolen base in 162 career Major League games. More >
DELAY IN GAME
A 10-minute "broken fence delay" unfolded in the fifth inning, when Victorino crashed into the left-field wall while attempting to get a glove on Valencia's RBI double, causing a section of the fence to fall down. All players cleared the field while the grounds crew attended to the matter. More >
Angels: Matt Shoemaker (6-9, 4.48 ERA) starts the second game of this three-game series on Tuesday, with first pitch slated for 7:07 p.m. PT. Shoemaker gave up 13 runs over a two-start stretch from Aug. 10-15, prompting a brief demotion to Triple-A. But the 28-year-old right-hander redeemed himself when called up to pitch against the Tigers on Thursday, giving up just one hit and one walk in 7 1/3 scoreless innings.
A's: The A's are expected to recall right-hander Cody Martin from Triple-A Nashville for his first big league start Tuesday at the Coliseum. The A's acquired Martin from the Braves for an international bonus slot on July 2, and he's since posted a 5.33 ERA in 10 starts over 54 innings for the Sounds.
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