Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels slides back to the bag as Yonder Alonso catches a pickoff throw. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels slides back to the bag as Yonder Alonso catches a pickoff throw. (Emma Marie Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)

A’s offense goes quiet as Angels find fair ground

OAKLAND — Jharel Cotton showed some of the promise that appeared in September, but the Los Angeles Angels lineup nickel-and-dimed its way past the young right-hander to hand the Oakland Athletics a 5-0 loss on Wednesday night at the Coliseum.

Cotton, the 25-year-old rookie from the Virgin Islands, dazzled with his changeup, but Andrelton Simmons and the bottom of the Angels lineup combined for soft hits to undo Cotton, who allowed eight total in 4 1/3 innings.

After a one-out, second-inning single by C.J. Cron and a Cameron Maybin walk, Simmons gently stroked a ball that landed just fair along the right field line for an RBI double. Danny Espinosa, who hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning on Tuesday, followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0.

Back-to-back RBI singles by Trout and Albert Pujols in the fifth inning chased Cotton. He struck out four, including Trout twice, and repeatedly induced weak contact, something he did plenty in five September 2016 starts, when he carried a 2.15 ERA.

In addition to sparking the three-run rally, Simmons carried the Angels on defense. He robbed Matt Joyce on a diving stop in the third inning and made another impressive play on a Jed Lowrie grounder to end the inning. Simmons capped off his night with a backhanded play on a Stephen Vogt grounder in the ninth.

After hitting five homers and scoring 10 runs in the first two games, the A’s offense was held scoreless on Wednesday. Garrett Richards allowed three hits over 4 2/3 innings before leaving the game with a biceps cramp.

Frankie Montas, who was acquired along with Cotton from the Dodgers in the Josh Reddick deal at the trade deadline, made his first A’s appearance. He allowed two hits over 2 2/3 scoreless innings and made a stellar play on a liner from Simmons. Daniel Coulombe also made his first appearance of 2017, pitching two scoreless innings.andrelton simmonsBaseballjharel cotton los angeles angelsMLBOakland Athletics

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