Athletics fall short despite hitting three homers

Before the Oakland Athletics lost for the fourth time in as many games on Tuesday night, manager Bob Melvin offered a frank assessment of his bosses’ decision to jettison Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“The front office’s job is to balance the now and the future, and we got some significant pieces,” Melvin told reporters in Anaheim. “And we needed to make this trade based on the fact that it didn’t look like we were going to sign either of our guys. But it hurts.”

Sean Manaea then stepped to the mound and reminded the club of the kind of impact those significant pieces can make — at least early on in the night.

The rookie left-hander, who was acquired for Ben Zobrist last July, cruised through the first four innings. In the fifth, Manaea, who had posted a 2.81 ERA in his last seven outings entering the game, ran into trouble.

Staked to a 2-0 advantage after Khris Davis and Coco Crisp connected on solo homers in the second and fifth inning, respectively, shortstop Andrelton Simmons opened the bottom of the fifth with a single.

Simmons’ grounder just escaped the grasp of Manaea on its way into center field and then catcher Jett Bandy tied the game at 2-2, homering beyond the wall in left.

In the sixth, the Angels pulled ahead — in part thanks to a botched double-play ball by Marcus Semien. Manaea walked Mike Trout to begin the inning before Semien misplayed the high chopper off the bat of Albert Pujols. The error was Semien’s seventh in 18 games and his 16th of the season.

Two pitches later, Jefry Marte slammed a three-run homer to left  to give the Angels a 5-2 advantage.

In the bottom of the eighth, Yonder Alonso hit the fifth homer of the night, hooking a line drive just over the 350’ sign in the right-field corner.

With the Angels clinging to a 5-4 lead, Cam Bedrosian made sure the A’s wouldn’t get any closer. The right-hander punched out Max Muncy, Crisp and Jed Lowrie in order and has now struck out 15 of the last 20 batter he’s faced.

How the Warriors use data, analytics to engineer more wins

‘It is a new Moneyball’

By Jeff Elder
Why Steph Curry is the NBA’s leading MVP candidate

It’s never too early to speculate on the league’s top prize

By John Krolik Special to The Examiner
Are the Niners back in the playoff chase?

San Francisco desperately needed past two wins to keep hopes alive