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Angels upended despite Upton's home run

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- A Justin Upton two-run home run in the fourth inning, one of his two extra-base hits on the night, and a Luis Valbuena solo shot were not enough to compensate for JC Ramirez's erratic night on the mound Saturday night as the Angels' three-game winning streak was snapped in a 7-3 loss to the A's at Angel Stadium.

Ramirez was pulled after two turbulent innings, in which the right-hander walked five batters and gave up three earned runs.

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ANAHEIM -- A Justin Upton two-run home run in the fourth inning, one of his two extra-base hits on the night, and a Luis Valbuena solo shot were not enough to compensate for JC Ramirez's erratic night on the mound Saturday night as the Angels' three-game winning streak was snapped in a 7-3 loss to the A's at Angel Stadium.

Ramirez was pulled after two turbulent innings, in which the right-hander walked five batters and gave up three earned runs.

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Ramirez, who underwent stem-cell therapy to treat a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow last summer, confirmed after the game that he had experienced some forearm tightness during Saturday's game -- enough for manager Mike Scioscia to pull the plug on him after just 55 pitches. He will be evaluated by the Angels medical staff Sunday, Scioscia said.

"It didn't seem like he was comfortable from the get-go," Scioscia said.

In 2017, Ramirez averaged 95.9 mph on his fastball -- on Saturday, the highest he reached was 92.5 mph. Besides his velocity and control issues, Ramirez hung his slider a few too many times, the impetus of both Stephen Piscotty's RBI double and Marcus Semien's two-run single in the second inning.

"When you're uncomfortable throwing the ball, it's not going to be the way you want to throw," Ramirez said. "All my pitches weren't the way that I wanted today. I was trying to survive."

Andrew Triggs picked up his first win of the season after holding the Angels to two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out six.

The Angels had one promising opportunity to tie the game in the fifth inning. Down 4-2 with runners on second and third and one out, Triggs quelled the situation by inducing a Rene Rivera lineout and a Zack Cozart flyout. The Angels were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A's add insurance on Upton's defensive miscue:
 Matt Olson began the eighth inning against Blake Parker with a four-pitch walk. The next batter, Matt Chapman, lined a bullet to left field, where it looked as if Upton would make the routine catch. Instead, he lost the ball in the lights, allowing Chapman to slide into third with a triple, bringing Olson home from first base. This miscue was Upton's second defensive mistake this week; he also permitted Cleveland's Edwin Encarnacion to circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run on Monday. Two pitches later, Maxwell singled to left field, scoring Chapman from third.

Video: OAK@LAA: Chapman hits RBI triple past Upton

Bittersweet Angels debut: Akeel Morris made his season debut for the Angels mere hours after being called up from their Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees. The 25-year-old U.S. Virgin Islands native contributed 2 1/3 innings and struck out Olson, but also gave up two walks and a solo home run to Jed Lowrie. More >

Video: OAK@LAA: Morris makes a nice barehanded play, throw

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
For the second time in his career, Upton hit both a double and a home run in back-to-back games. His first was done Sept. 14-15, 2008, against the Reds and Giants.

WHAT'S NEXT
Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will make his second start on the mound in Sunday's series finale against the A's at 1:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. The 23-year-old rookie impressed in his pitching debut against Oakland on Sunday, allowing three runs and striking out six over six innings.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Justin Upton