BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Four unearned runs in the fifth inning was all the offense Alex Cobb and the Angels bullpen needed as Los Angeles scored a 4-0 win against the Athletics Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum.
Cobb (3-2, 3.78) was masterful in his first start against Oakland since joining the Angels following an off-season trade from Baltimore. The right-hander had the A’s off-balance all afternoon, only allowing three hits over seven shut out innings while striking out eight batters. Los Angeles’ defense also came thru with three double plays behind Cobb.
Tony Watson and Raisel Iglesias each came on to pitch perfect innings to help end Oakland’s modest three game winning streak.
The Angels were able to break open a pitchers duel between Cobb and Frankie Montas in the fifth when catcher Aramis Garcia’s fielding error at the plate on a throw from Matt Olson allowed David Fletcher to score the first run of the game.
It was a costly error for the A’s as Shohei Ohtani followed with a single driving in two runs before Anthony Rendon came through with another RBI single to score Ohtani. All four runs were unearned but it was of little consolation for Montas (5-5, 4.45) who struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings while absorbing the loss.
“To be honest, this is the best I’ve felt in general,” said Montas. “I felt like I was able to go out there and throw all my pitches for strikes, especially my splitter. It was just one inning that I got caught up in the moment and that messed up my whole game.”
The series concludes Sunday afternoon at 1:05PM with Cole Irvin (3-6, 3.92) taking the mound for Oakland against the Angels José Quintana (0-3, 7.92).
Bob Melvin remains tied with Tony La Russa as the winningest manager in Athletics history since the team settled in Oakland.
Saturdays’s game was the 54th of the season for the A’s, which is the one-third mark of the season. At 31-23 the team is on pace for 93 wins.
Ramón Laureano, missed his second straight game due to right groin tightness. Melvin said he was hopeful the outfielder could return Sunday.
Jesus Luzardo will be reactivated from the Injured List tomorrow and pitch out of the bullpen. A.J. Puk was also activated from the IL and optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.