OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics are so accustomed to late-game comebacks they were surprised not to pull one off this time against the last-place Angels.
And the A's infield defence has been so steady it was strange to see them commit three errors.
Mike Trout drove in three early runs, then made a key catch late as Los Angeles beat the AL-best A's 4-3 on Saturday to snap Oakland's nine-game home winning streak.
The three-time MVP made a diving grab on Matt Olson’s sinking liner to centre field to start the eighth inning, which had Angels reliever Ty Buttrey clapping his glove in gratitude. Buttrey got six outs for his second save.
Anthony Rendon extended his hitting streak to 12 games for the Angels, who snapped a four-game losing streak with their second victory in the last 10.
Matt Andriese (1-1) relieved starter Griffin Canning in the fifth and pitched 2 1/3 innings for his first win with the Angels.
“He’s the guy that really put us in position to win that game when he came in, got through that moment and then held it down to get to Ty, who was outstanding,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Andriese set it up, absolutely, and then Buttrey finished it off.”
Ramon Laureano scored from first on a double by Olson in the fifth to make it a 4-3 game, but the A's (19-9) didn't have a winning rally in them this time. Oakland had its three-game winning streak snapped.
“I thought for sure if we held them to four runs we were winning the game,” starter Chris Bassitt said. “Unfortunately it didn’t happen today.”
Matt Chapman homered in the fourth to pull the A's to 4-2. Olson and Tony Kemp each hit an RBI double.
Kemp made an error at second base. Chapman, the team's Gold Glove third baseman, and shortstop Marcus Semien also committed miscues.
“When you make three errors it’s sometimes really hard to come back in a game,” Chapman said. “We are upset about that but it's something that you can’t dwell on too much because they happened early in the game and there’s a lot of baseball left.”
Trout gave the Angels a quick lead against Bassitt (2-1) with an RBI groundout in the first. Bassitt had already thrown 52 pitches through two innings but made it through 5 2/3.
Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and walk after getting a day off Friday night to work on his swing.
And with Ohtani playing, 40-year-old slugger Albert Pujols rested. He remains at 659 home runs and one from tying Hall of Famer Willie Mays for fifth place on the career list.
SPECIAL PREGAME INTROS
The A’s had a special moment when their family members introduced them with a greeting on the big screen.
“That was a cool surprise,” said Chapman, whose parents spoke to him.
“It’s awesome,” Bassitt said. “I think everyone’s kind of missing their families.”
SCARE BEHIND THE PLATE
A’s catcher Austin Allen got hit in the right side of the head and lost his helmet when Tommy La Stella’s bat got him in the second inning. La Stella immediately reached back a hand to check on the catcher, who grabbed for his eye but stayed in the game after manager Bob Melvin and athletic trainer Nick Paparesta hustled out to make sure he was OK.
A's first base coach Mike Aldrete rejoined the club after two days away dealing with protecting his home near Monterey that is threatened by a nearby wildfire.
Melvin has switched from a gaiter face covering to a more traditional mask to better keep smoke particles from his mouth and nose — not to mention he's superstitious about whatever one was working during the winning stretch.
Angels: SS Andrelton Simmons had a planned day off after his return Friday night from a left ankle injury he hurt beating out an infield single at Oakland on July 27. Maddon plans to play Simmons in Sunday's series finale, then use him again Monday at Houston before another break Tuesday. ... C Jason Castro was back in the starting lineup. He exited Wednesday’s game after missing time with neck stiffness.
Athletics: Melvin wanted to stay away from closer Liam Hendriks after he pitched three straight days, earning two saves. Hendriks leads the majors with nine saves.
Oakland's opening day starter, RHP Frankie Montas (2-2, 4.74 ERA), pitches the series finale opposite RHP Dylan Bundy (3-2, 2.48).
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Janie McCauley, The Associated Press