A’s hammer Angels after left field wall falls

This one got ugly, and in a lot of ways. Only the game was fairly reasonable.

Excluding that should have been┬ácharged to Brett Lawrie, who played second base, the A’s played a pretty clean game en route to beating the Angels 9-5.

The notable moment in the game was when Angels outfielder Shane Victorino crashed into the left field wall, and the left field wall proceeded to crash onto Victorino.

Only at the Oakland Coliseum.

A man who looked similar to Jake from State Farm, but actually a member of the Oakland grounds crew, ran out with a few others to replace the “a” in the insurance company’s logo, the part of the wall missing.

Players from both sides would eventually retreat to their respective dugouts while the ground crew tried to get the piece of wall back into place.

They did after roughly 10 minutes, though the fix was temporary. The wall was uneven, clearly, and begged for some more thought towards a new stadium.

The night was filled with more delays, and lasted nearly four hours.

Felix Doubront (W, 2-1, 3.99 ERA) got roughed up early by Los Angeles, a 28 pitch first inning to start and three runs allowed in the first three innings.

He limited everything else for the remainder of the eve, though, striking out five in six innings, allowing seven total hits and four walks.

Oakland hammered Hector Santiago (L, 7-9, 3.37 ERA), netting five runs in the third inning and knocking the starter out of the game.

Relative newcomers Danny Valencia and Jake Smolinski knocked in the runs, two for Valencia and three for Smolinski. Both were doubles, and both were hit on fastballs low in the zone.

Both hits also came with the bases loaded, a situation that has ended with A’s jogging to grab their cap and glove, instead of towards home plate too often this season.

A’s relievers allowed two runs to cross in the seventh and eight innings, though one run was charged to Doubront, but escaped further damage.

Like when Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun hit a high fly ball all the way to the track, a ball that would have been a three run dinger with the slightest bit of help.

It’s incredibly likely the A’s would have been in a soured spot had Calhoun’s smash left the park. The A’s, though they’ve shown improvement, have not been winning close ballgames.

Which is why, to possibly over-simplify things, the reason they suck so much.

They’re still the worst team in the American League, and they’ve improved a lot since the start of the season. They’ve actually continued to fall back in the standings.

Lawrie remains a major problem, too, the defensive mistake mentioned earlier in this story that was ruled a hit, is becoming all too common. Lawrie has been on the better side of the official scoring decisions all too often this year, and he still leads third baseman in errors by a large margin.

If there’s a silver lining there, it’s that the overall defense is pretty good. Far from great, but not bad excluding Lawrie. And that’s, at least in part, due to the fact that Valencia is playing third base on a more regular basis.

Another nice thing for the A’s is first baseman Mark Canha getting full-time at bats with Ike Davis on the disabled list.

It was evident early on in the season that Canha would be an asset to the A’s, but his youth was to blame in some inconsistencies preventing him from being more than a role player.

His role now is something like the Hulk. Smash.

Canha hit a three run homer to left field in the eighth inning, which came just after fellow UC Berkeley alumnus Marcus Semien singled to center, knocking in designated hitter Billy Butler.

The next half inning, the last of the game, came with some disappointment. Reliever Evan Scribner left the game after recording one out, with what manager Bob Melvin called left shoulder tightness.

And as if the game couldn’t go longer than it already had, southpaw Drew Pomeranz had to warm up, with a four run lead, one out, and nobody on.

If only Angels manager Mike Scioscia  had the decency to just call it right there.

The A’s won the first game of nine coming back to Oakland. They have two more against the Angels, a day off, three versus Seattle, and then finish the homestand against division leading Houston.

Oakland has now won three straight, but sit 23 games back of the Astros, and sit at 58-74 on the season.


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