By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – It’s September and a crucial time in baseball. After sweeping the falling Boston Red Sox, the A’s welcome the Anaheim Angels back for a Wild Card showdown.
Unfortunately, for Oakland the Angels offense turned the tables and got the 8-3 victory. The win now puts them 4 1/2 games back of the first place A’s in the American League Wild Card race.
“We came in and got a game on our terms and held the lead,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “That’s what we need.”
The Halos took over the game early, four runs scored in the second and third innings. Oakland’s pitcher Tommy Milone allowed six hits in 1.2 frames which included two single RBI’s from Vernon Wells and Chris Ianetta.
Torii Hunter blasted his 13th home run of the season to leadoff the third and Erick Aybar scored in a run when he hit a single to center field. Milone gave up eight hits out of the twelve batters he’s faced.
“From the first inning on, I didn’t feel comfortable and was struggling to keep the ball low,” said Milone. “I forced myself to throw sticks and I left it up in the zone. I felt like the first few hits were just ground balls that found holes and that’s just baseball. But it just got worse from there.”
Getting worse was an understatement, he surrendered another leadoff home run to start the fourth and Tommy’s day came to an end. Tommy gave up ten hits, five runs (all earned), two home runs and one strike out in three frames. Obviously, not they type of pitching this team has been used to in recent games.
“This is not what we’re used to seeing from him,” manager Bob Melvin said. “They had some good at-bats off him right away and made him work pretty hard.”
The A’s got back into the ball game when CJ Wilson gave up to back-to-back doubles in the fourth. Josh Reddick’s RBI double sparked some life into the crowd who began chanting “Let’s go Oakland”! But that did little for the offense.
Oakland had an opportunity to change the direction of the game when Josh Donaldson hit a solo home run to leadoff the fifth. Wilson loaded the bases with two walks and one single. With two outs, Reddick returned to the plate and popped out to second baseman Howie Kendrick leaving two runners stranded to end the inning.
The Halos scored three runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 8-2 and totaled 14 hits. They dug a hole so deep that the A’s had a slim very slim chance to rally back. Oakland is still in a good position but must protect their first place lead for the next two games in this series.