A’s Raul Alcantara struggles in major league debut

Labor Day proved to be a rough first outing for A’s right-handed prospect Raul Alcantara, who was tagged for five earned runs in three innings of work in the A’s 10-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

The A’s might have hoped to get more out of their young pitcher — who posted a sterling 1.18 ERA at Triple-A — but the game started poorly for Alcantara (L, 0-1, 15.00 ERA) and he wasn’t able to recover.

The Angels loaded the bases in the first and scored after Alcantara hit first baseman Jefry Marte with a pitch. Alcantara then walked shortstop Andrelton Simmons to allow another run to score. Center fielder Nick Buss added a sacrifice fly, and the A’s started the game down 3-0.

Athletics third basemen Danny Valencia responded to the Angels’ initial barrage with power of his own, a two-run blast off Angels’ starting pitcher Jered Weaver, Valencia’s 16th of the season.

The second and third brought more struggles for Alcantara. In the second, right fielder Kole Calhoun smashed a solo homer, and in the third, a Buss sacrifice fly plated Andrelton Simmons for a 5-2 Los Angeles lead.

Alcantara’s day ended with five hits and one walk, and he wasn’t able to strike out a batter. Ross Detwiler replaced him and promptly gave up another three runs in the fourth inning. An Albert Pujols double scored two more runners and a Marte single two batters later put the Angels up 8-2.

The A’s clawed within striking distance, scoring three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth.

Weaver struggled as well over four innings, allowing five runs alongside four hits and three walks.

In the fourth, Weaver worked himself into a pickle, and second baseman Joey Wendle took advantage with a single that scored outfielder Khris Davis and advanced first baseman Yonder Alonso. The RBI was Wendle’s first of his major league career. Two batters later, catcher Bruce Maxwell smacked a double to left to score Alonso and Wendle and trim the Los Angeles lead to 8-5.

In the seventh, Davis crushed his 35th home run of the season on a belt-high fastball, a solo shot which put the A’s within a run at 8-7. The A’s loaded the bases later in the inning, but shortstop Marcus Semien stranded all three runners by lining out to center field.

The A’s failed to capitalize with a runner in scoring position again in the eighth inning, when third baseman Ryon Healy popped out to first, stranding Valencia on second.

The Angels added insurance in the bottom of the eighth to go up 10-7. Former A’s closer Andrew Bailey sealed up the Halos’ win in the ninth for his second save of the season.

The last-place A’s (58-79) face Ricky Nolasco (5-12, 4.95 ERA) in the second game of this three-game series Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. The A’s have yet to announce their starter.