Brown's homer sends A's to 4-2 victory over skidding Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics haven’t shown much power at the plate the first quarter of the season. Yet it was the long ball that played a big role in their victory Friday night.
Seth Brown hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning as the A’s bounced back with a 4-2 win over the skidding Los Angeles Angels.
“We’ve got some guys in the lineup that can do damage. It was good to see the ball go out of the park,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “In this ballpark it does fly a little bit better than Oakland. It was good to see a result.”
After Jed Lowrie walked with one out, Brown drove a fastball from Chase Silseth (1-1) down the right-field line to give the A’s a 3-2 lead. The outfielder began the night batting .186 but is 7 for 16 over the last four games after starting the month with a 4-for-39 slump.
All four of Brown’s homers this season have come on the road, and three have put the Athletics in the lead.
“I’m starting to find a little bit of a rhythm, getting a little bit more comfortable and simplifying things,” Brown said. “Everybody has kind of kept pushing along and it’s good to see the offense come alive.”
Lowrie also went deep and scored two runs for Oakland, which had dropped four of five. Sam Moll (1-0) got the win and Dany Jimenez picked up his eighth save.
It was the first time since April 21 against Baltimore that the A’s hit two or more home runs in a game. They entered next-to-last in the American League with 23, and with the worst batting average in the majors at .205.
“We’ve talked about getting back to how we played offensively the first 10 games. Jed had a big homer and Seth had quality at-bats,” Kotsay said.
Anthony Rendon had two hits and drove in a run for the Angels, who have lost a season-high four straight games.
“We won games up there (last weekend) but didn’t beat them up offensively. We have to be better against them offensively,” manager Joe Maddon said. “A lot of our issues against them the past couple seasons is we didn’t hit them hard.”
Oakland grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Lowrie drove Silseth’s splitter into the right-field seats. The Angels tied it in the home half when Shohei Ohtani drew a walk, stole second and came home on Rendon’s base hit to right.
Los Angeles went ahead 2-1 in the third. Taylor Ward led off with a double and scored on Mike Trout’s double.
Oakland extended its lead to 4-2 in the sixth when Kevin Smith’s sacrifice fly scored Luis Barrera.
TOO MUCH LOOKING
The Angels struck out 13 times, including seven looking. They were held without a hit after Rendon’s two-out double in the fifth. Their only baserunner over the final four innings was when Luis Rengifo walked in the sixth.
“Sometimes we get too picky. We have to get more assertive in the strike zone,” Maddon said. “They threw some quality pitches but we did get too passive at times, too.”
Silseth pitched six scoreless innings in his major league debut at Oakland last Saturday, but struggled at times in his second matchup with the A’s. The right-hander allowed three runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings with six strikeouts.
Oakland right-hander Paul Blackburn narrowly missed out on his fifth win of the season. He went 4 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits with five strikeouts. He has allowed two runs or fewer in seven of eight starts this season.
Athletics: Daulton Jefferies was placed on the injured list due to right arm nerve irritation. Kotsay said the right-hander has been diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, but is seeking a second opinion. Left-hander Kirby Snead was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas, while right-hander Jake Lemoine and left-hander Zach Logue were recalled.
Angels: Ward hit the right-field wall hard after catching Tony Kemp’s fly ball in the ninth inning and came out of the game. Maddon said Ward was being evaluated after the game. … C Max Stassi (COVID-19 list), LHP José Quijada (right oblique strain) and RHP Archie Bradley (left abdominal strain) will begin rehab assignments at Class A Inland Empire on Saturday.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas (2-4, 3.67 ERA) is fourth in the AL in innings pitched (49) and tied for fifth in strikeouts with 53.
Angels: RHP Michael Lorenzen (4-2, 3.57 ERA) has registered quality starts in four of his six outings this season.