OAKLAND – After a good defensive game through four innings, the Los Angeles Angels opened up their offense and scored four runs in the fifth. Alex Cobb had a solid day on the mound while Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon got big hits off Frankie Montas.
“He kept us off balance,” said Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin on Cobb. “He had a really good split that he throws in any count. He’s got a good sinker. He’s got a high ground ball rate. Throws just enough curve balls early in counts for strikes and just had us off balance the entire game.”
The A’s got shutout 4-0 by the Angels, Wood was so good they couldn’t muster one run against him. After going four frames with no score, Montas made a few crucial mistakes that proved costly in the fifth, especially back-to-back singles to both Ohtani and Rendon.
Jose Rojas led off the frame with a walk and a wild pitch advanced him to second. Anthony Bemboom singled putting two on in the corners with one out. David Fletcher bunted, first baseman Matt Olson came in for the out at home plate, but the ball tipped off the glove of catcher Aramis Garcia, Rojas was safe at home.
Montas threw a passed ball and both runners advanced to third and second base. Ohtani who went 2-for-5 at the plate, singled and cleared the bases driving in both Bemboom and Fletcher to make it a 3-0 game. Rendon got his second hit of the game and drove in Ohtani to extend their lead 4-0.
“I feel like the pitch to Ohtani was in, he’s a good hitter, he was able to put a good swing on it,” said Montas. “And Rendon, you know he’s been doing this for so long, he’s a good hitter. He knows how to take pitches and deal with good pitches.
To be honest, this is the best I felt in general. I felt like I was able to go out there and throw all my pitches for strikes, especially my splitter and my fastball was good. It was just one inning that I got caught up in the moment and messed up my whole game.”
Montas allowed four runs on six hits, walked one while striking out seven over 5.2 frames pitched. He has given up six hits and four runs in back-to-back starts. Montas walked one batter for the fifth time this season. He made his 11th start of the season, which matches the second most of his career (16 in 2019).
“I thought he pitched good, it was just that one inning,” Melvin said. “And I don’t think any of them were earned. We execute a play and only makes a great play on the safety squeeze, then might look a little bit different. It just got out of hand a little bit after that. But again, he’s one walk and seven strikeouts and pitched probably better than he deserved, but when you don’t score any runs it really doesn’t matter.”
Cobb allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight over a season-high 7.0 innings pitched. He’s 2-2 in five career games at the Coliseum and threw a season-high 101 pitches. Cobb was brilliant on the mound and kept the A’s guessing all day. Oakland’s now hit into eight double plays in this series, three today and five in the first two games.
The three hits today came from Mitch Moreland and Tony kemp. Moreland went 2-for-2 after being reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Thursday, snapping an 0-for-5 hitless streak. He recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the season.
Kemp knocked a single to right field in the fourth. He advanced to second on a pop play but got too aggressive trying to head to third base. Second baseman Kean Wong stayed with him, without Kemp realizing Wong was behind him as he got caught off the bag for the out.
“He [Kemp] made a great play tagging up and gets to second, he sees that nobody is at third,” explained Melvin. “And your instincts tell you to go and then the ball is right there behind them, but it was more of an instinctive play where he’s looking ahead, just probably got ahead of himself just a hare.”
“The first part of the play was definitely good, tagging up when Rendon was going to foul territory,” Kemp said. “Got to second and all was vacated, didn’t really concern myself with Wong, just that Rendon was so far away. And right when I made my first two steps, that’s when Cobb moved and I saw through my peripheral, by the time I turned around it was too late. Just too aggressive right there.”
The A’s lost to LA for the second time this season and snapped a three-game win streak. Oakland leads the season series 4-2, having won the first two games of this series and taking two of three at Anaheim last weekend.
Photo by A’s photog, Kevin Mistry