OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – The Los Angeles Angels cleared the fences and provided manager Mike Scioscia with some encouraging signs for an offense that has been far from consistent.
Yunel Escobar hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, Albert Pujols and Ben Revere added solo shots and the Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Tuesday night.
Pujols isn’t ready to say this game will be some kind of turning point, but it was a good start in the process.
“That was great obviously after a tough loss last night,” Pujols said. “We just came back and scored first, then they took the lead but we put some good at-bats. … We know what kind of team we have. That thing comes and goes. The best thing is everybody goes out and tries to put good quality swings. We can’t just go out there and try to hit the ball out of the park.”
Yonder Alonso homered twice for Oakland, raising his career-best total to 11 with his second career two-homer game – four days after his first.
“What are we in, early May? It’s been impressive,” manager Bob Melvin said. “At this point now you almost expect him to go up there and drive in runs and drive the ball.”
Pujols homered in the first only to see Alonso answer with a two-run drive in the bottom half. Then the Angels hit two more in the second as the first seven runs all scored on long balls.
Escobar added an RBI groundout in the fourth and Cliff Pennington singled in a run to back Alex Meyer (1-1), who earned his first career road victory.
The A’s didn’t have that late-game magic on this night as Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant watched from behind home plate. Oakland had won its previous three games with walkoffs.
Jharel Cotton (3-4) struck out the first two batters of the game before surrendering Pujols’ fifth homer on a drive to left-center.
Cotton, who fell to 0-4 in night games while going 3-0 during the day, allowed eight hits, a season-high seven runs and struck out seven with one walk over five innings.
Alonso homered for a second time leading off the sixth.
“He’s swinging the bat probably hotter than anybody in the game right now,” Scioscia said.
Scioscia’s club managed more than enough runs after the Angels were held to just two in Monday’s 3-2 defeat for the fifth time in nine games.
Meyer struck out seven but walked five over 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits. Bud Norris, the Angels’ fourth reliever who entered after Keynan Middleton started the ninth, earned his sixth save after Oakland threatened in the ninth.
“We need to get the offense going,” Scioscia said. “We’ve had a lot of close games. Our pitchers have had their backs against the wall.”
The Angels are 6-0 this year playing on Tuesday.
Angels: OF Mike Trout sat out a fourth straight game for the first time as a regular major leaguer and missed his fifth game in six with a tight left hamstring. He planned to hit in the cage Tuesday and said he would test the leg running Wednesday. … Angels SS Andrelton Simmons returned to the lineup a day after being hit by a pitch in the first inning later leaving with a bruised left hand and right thumb. His left thumb was still bruised but Simmons said he was able to swing without pain and it shouldn’t affect him throwing. “It feels good enough to hit, it feels good enough to play,” he said.
Athletics: C Josh Phegley (concussion), who played at extended spring training Monday, is tentatively slated to come off the DL when eligible Friday at Texas. … OF Mark Canha was recalled from Triple-A Nashville and OF Jaff Decker was designated for assignment.
SEVEN YEARS LATER
On the seven-year anniversary of Dallas Braden’s perfect game against Tampa Bay on Mother’s Day 2010, several familiar faces from that day were still around and playing Tuesday: Angels second baseman Pennington – then with Oakland – recorded the final out when he fielded a grounder to shortstop and threw to first; A’s center fielder Rajai Davis was in the same spot that day and Oakland shortstop Adam Rosales played second.
Highlights were shown on the scoreboard in the middle of the second.
RHP Jesse Chavez (2-4) faces his former A’s club in the series finale Wednesday afternoon opposite Andrew Triggs (4-3).
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