Angels slug back at A’s to even series

Punches were traded all night, but Floyd Mayweather was nowhere to be seen.

The A’s, though, were ultimately defeated by the Angels 6-3 Wednesday, largely due to a three-run seventh inning for Los Angeles.

Oakland starter Jesse Hahn only made it five innings, allowing three runs to cross and five men to get aboard. Ryan Cook, one of the A’s best relievers, helped Oakland to their seventh bullpen loss of the season.

After walking Matt Joyce and allowing C.J. Cron to a single in the top of the seventh, Cook battled with second baseman Johnny Giavotella. Down two strikes, Giavotella stayed alive by fouling a pitch back and staying patient through two pitches just outside of the zone.

Giavotella proceeded to single on a slider that Cook had overthrown, a grounder up the middle, scoring Joyce to take a 4-3 lead. Fernando Abad relieved Cook, but walked the first batter he faced, outfielder Kole Calhoun.

Evan Scribner came in to supplant Abad, but his work was cut out with the bases loaded. Reigning MVP Mike Trout was the man he needed to get out to prevent runs, but that didn’t happen.

Trout doubled off the left field wall, scoring Cron and Giavotella. The three runs would all be charged to Cook.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

Manager Bob Melvin said:

“It is (deflating). But there’s not much you can do about it. We’ve struggled late in games here recently, and you have to go about putting that behind you. Offensively going up there with conviction and get yourself back in the game.”

The A’s bats couldn’t muster enough to overcome the deficit, struggling all night to advance runners. There wasn’t a problem getting men on base, though, with shortstop Marcus Semien going 3-for-4 and scoring two of Oakland’s three runs.

One of the nights only bright spots, Semien has been consistent over the last three weeks for the A’s, and hasn’t missed a single inning of ball this season. And besides Mike Trout, Semien was the only point of praise Melvin could offer.

Cleanup hitter Billy Butler was held to nothing on four at bats, as was leadoff hitter Sam Fuld.

And while some silence, lack of high spirits and overall jubilance has been hard to find in the A’s clubhouse, an air of desperation seems to be sneaking its way in.

And while there has been no mention of a team meeting, it may yet be on the horizon.

Hitting has been an issue all season, or more appropriately, all month for the A’s lineup. Butler and Semien have solid starts, but the rest of the lineup has been hit and miss.

Almost nobody on the roster has shown a propensity to work a count, and 10-pitch at bats have been absent.

In fact, Oakland only had two hits in the final three innings Wednesday night, with no walks. Compounded by the bullpen struggles, and Oakland relievers holding a league-worst 4.83 ERA, there hasn’t been enough to get on top.

Hahn made his first start in two weeks and was a bit rusty, but made it out in decent shape considering the full spectrum. But the full spectrum is, and was, unforgiving.

Oakland falls to 9-13 this season, and will wrap up the series with Los Angeles Thursday afternoon.

Notes

Ike Davis is 20-for-56 over his last 17 games, … Oakland has been outscored 85-37 in their 13 losses. … Catcher Stephen Vogt has thrown out an attempted base stealer on back to back nights after beginning the season 0-for-9, but the two are the only such outs of the season. … Josh Reddick has a seven game hitting streak going, and is hitting .360 in 55 plate appearances.


Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Athletics.