OAKLAND -- Should Sean Manaea turn in more outings that mirror Friday's superb effort against the Angels, the A's will surely win the majority of them.Michael Trout simply got in the way of this one, and the A's couldn't counter with any oomph to back Manaea, who was saddled with
OAKLAND -- Should Sean Manaea turn in more outings that mirror Friday's superb effort against the Angels, the A's will surely win the majority of them.
Michael Trout simply got in the way of this one, and the A's couldn't counter with any oomph to back Manaea, who was saddled with a tough-luck loss on Opening Night at the Coliseum.
Manaea, engaging in a pitchers' duel with Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs, fanned seven and didn't issue a walk, his lone blemish a Trout solo homer with one out in the first inning. The blast helped the Angels outdo the A's by a 2-1 margin and even this four-game set at the Coliseum at one game apiece.
Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs did his part with 6 1/3 scoreless, while Manaea proved just as efficient as he was effective and got through 7 2/3 innings, falling one out shy of tying his career high for innings. He retired 19 of 20 batters at one point and 21 of his final 23.
"Sean was phenomenal," A's outfielder Matt Joyce said. "Really excited to see him in his first start pitch the way he did tonight. He did a great job attacking the strike zone, changing speeds, keeping hitters off-balance, and obviously that's a tough lineup to go through and he managed it very well."
The A's lefty proved to be a tough assignment for everyone not named Trout, who quickly atoned for his first career 0-for-6 showing in Thursday's Opening Day matchup. Trout worked a full count against Manaea, who maneuvered a changeup that straddled the bottom of the strike zone.
"I had conviction in it and I thought it was the right pitch, but thinking back on it," Manaea said, "that's pretty much where Trout wants it. Next time I face him I won't be making that pitch again."
Manaea was otherwise spectacular, totaling 95 pitches.
"I watched him warm up in the bullpen and the ball was jumping out of his hand, and that's kind of always the difference for him, not a real low arm slot," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When his arm's a little higher, it means his back's feeling good, so we're encouraged with what we saw tonight from him.
"He didn't want to come out of the game when he did … But boy he gave us plenty."
The Angels tacked on an insurance run in the ninth, with help from left fielder Joyce's error, and a ninth-inning A's rally, which featured a Jonathan Lucroy RBI single, fell short opposite Angels righty Richard Parker.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Calhoun robs Semien: Skaggs received some help from Kole Calhoun in the sixth inning, as the Gold Glove Award-winning right fielder made an outstanding diving catch to take a leadoff hit away from Marcus Semien.
Misplayed: Joyce's ninth-inning error proved critical. With one out in the inning, the A's left fielder let a screaming Justin Upton line drive skip past him to allow Trout to score from first base, giving the Angels a dose of breathing room. The veteran outfielder had an opportunity to make up for the miscue in the bottom half of the inning, when he stepped to the plate with two outs and runners at the corners, but he grounded out to end the game.
"Man, he hit that extremely hard," Joyce said. "Off the bat, it was blowing out to the point where I thought it was just going to be a routine one-hop, and when it passed [shortstop Marcus] Semien, it just kind of hit another gear and, for me, I kind of got caught in between. I was like, maybe I could catch it, so I took a step in, and as soon as you get caught in between on a ball like that, it's tough to recover. At that point, I'm just trying to knock it down. Unfortunately nicked it, didn't get enough to keep it in front and that's tough, it's a tough play, and obviously late in the ballgame, with a one-run lead, something like that can't happen."
Angels:Matthew Shoemaker, who logged a 4.53 ERA over 14 starts in an injury-shortened 2017 campaign, will make his season debut on Saturday afternoon as the Angels continue their four-game series with the A's at the Coliseum. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT.
A's: The A's will send right-hander Daniel Mengden to the mound for the third game of this four-game set, scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT at the Coliseum. Mengden posted a 3.14 ERA in seven starts over two stints with the big league club last year.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.