ANAHEIM -- Eyes red and voice quiet, Matt Chapman was carrying a heavy burden late Friday night.The third baseman was not the only reason the A's fell, 13-9, to the Angels in a wild one at Angel Stadium, where Oakland held a six-run lead in the second inning and finished the
ANAHEIM -- Eyes red and voice quiet, Matt Chapman was carrying a heavy burden late Friday night.
The third baseman was not the only reason the A's fell, 13-9, to the Angels in a wild one at Angel Stadium, where Oakland held a six-run lead in the second inning and finished the game with five home runs, but he was having a hard time removing himself from the equation.
After all, the second-year player with Orange County ties hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning and had just made a diving stop to save two runs and record the second out in the seventh. He was lined up to be a hero on his trip back home.
So when a room-service hop bounded his way for the potential final out of the seventh off the bat of Zack Cozart, the typically solid third baseman was ready to head back to the dugout with a slim two-run lead preserved. But he uncorked a wild throw that first baseman Matt Olson couldn't reel in, and two runs scored as the Angels tied the game, 9-9.
Two batters later, Justin Upton hit a three-run home run, and the Angels never trailed again.
"I just kind of rushed the throw a little bit; I didn't set my feet," Chapman said. "I yanked the throw a little bit, and I know Olson did everything he could to stay on the base. Unfortunately, that's the way it goes sometimes. In a perfect world, I make that play and we're still up two runs. I just have to learn from it and shake it off."
In taking ownership of what went wrong, though, Chapman showed he has already learned plenty on his journey from El Toro High School, less than 20 miles from Angel Stadium, to Cal State Fullerton, just a few exits north on the 57 freeway, and on into the A's system.
There were plenty of other things that went sideways for the A's in the highest scoring game of the season for both teams. Oakland starter Daniel Gossett gave up five runs in just 3 1/3 innings, nearly giving up all of an early 6-0 lead by himself. Gossett revealed after the game that the A's were sending him down, likely to call up a fresh arm after six relievers were called to work the series opener.
The bullpen gave up eight runs, although just three were earned. Chapman's throw was the A's only error, but shortstop Marcus Semien also had a ball go off his glove in the fourth inning on Luis Valbuena's grounder up the middle that was officially ruled a two-run single.
After watching the Angels pull within one run, Chapman's two-run home run in fifth made it 8-5. When Olson hit the fifth A's home run of the night in the seventh, the lead was 9-7. The bottom of the seventh was Oakland's undoing.
"They're battling their butts off," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We swung the bats early and we can't hold it. We score a couple more runs and can't hold it again. So it's frustrating for everybody."
Recognizing the night of wild offensive swings, Melvin even tried to bring trusted right-hander Blake Treinen to take control of the game in the seventh. Not even that worked.
"I needed my best pitcher on the mound in that situation with those guys coming up," Melvin said. "And he made a pitch on Cozart, and the inning just got extended."
After the game, Chapman was responding to texts of encouragement, knowing it was all he had until a new day and a new game arrived.
"It's definitely frustrating, especially defensively, which is something I really take pride in," Chapman said. "I wanted the ball hit to me in that situation. When I saw the ball hit to me, I had all intentions of making that play. Then they got some momentum there and got away with it. It's tough to not think that this one is on me."
Melvin wasn't looking at it that way.
"He's a terrific defender," Melvin said. "He doesn't miss that play too often."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ohtani ignites rally: Shohei Ohtani started the comeback by launching a home run off Gossett to cut Oakland's lead to 6-1. Ohtani's third home run of the season flew off his bat at 112.4 mph and traveled an estimated 449 feet, according to Statcast™. Ohtani, who finished 1-for-4 with two RBIs in his fourth start as the designated hitter, is the first Angels rookie to homer in each of his first three home games.
"Anytime you go down six and you get one of them back pretty quick, that deficit starts to get smaller and smaller," Upton said. "He kind of started it. It was great for us to get that one back."
Less carry, more runs: That new shorter wall in right field at Angel Stadium made its presence felt Friday. Not only did Olson hit a home run in the seventh that would have been in play last year, the Angels took advantage as well. Upton's go-ahead homer hit off the out-of-town-scoreboard in right, which would have been in play in prior seasons, but the yellow home run line is now below the scoreboard.
"I'm definitely feeling good at the plate. And it feels like I'm getting some good luck on my side, too, so I'm definitely just trying to keep that rolling. I think our bats came alive tonight and everybody was doing their part." -- Chapman, on extending his hit streak to eight games, to go along with five consecutive multihit games
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Prior to Chapman's current streak, the last A's player to have five consecutive multihit games was Ryon Healy in September 2016. The last to have six consecutive such games was Danny Valencia in August 2016.
Right-hander Andrew Triggs will start for the A's on Saturday in the middle game of the three-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 6:07 p.m. PT. Triggs might have just 37 games of Major League experience (19 starts), but he is 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA against the Angels in four appearances (three starts). He was tied for fourth in the Cactus League with 25 strikeouts this spring.
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Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.