The Oakland Athletics avoided their second-straight sweep on Thursday by beating the Los Angeles Angels in extra innings.
The A’s lost their lead in the bottom of the second and didn’t regain it until the top of the 10th when they tacked on two runs in a two-out rally that proved to be the difference-maker in the matchup between the worst teams in the American League West. Oakland won 8-6.
Jesse Hahn returned to the big leagues in the contest and struggled, laboring through four innings in which he surrendered five runs on seven hits and three walks.
Hahn picked up run support as Angels starter Ricky Nolasco struggled getting his high-80s mph fastball past hitters. In the first, Max Muncy stroked a 89 mph 2-seam fastball to right field. Rookie Ryon Healy slammed an 88 mph 4-seam fastball for his third homer of the year in the third frame. Finally, right fielder Danny Valencia turned on a slow challenge fastball in the top of the fourth to kickstart a three-run frame.
In a game that featured five home runs, it was Coco Crisp’s catch robbing Ji-Man Choi of what would’ve been his third in as many at-bats in the bottom of the fifth that was the most eye-popping play. Crisp ranged back, jumped high above the fence, completed the catch and held onto it through the contact with the wall.
With the score tied in the top of the 10th, Valencia hit a single to right field to keep the A’s alive. He was followed by Billy Butler who added a single of his own. Yonder Alonso, who has improved at the plate since the All-Star Break, found the right-center field gap to plate Valencia, the winning run.