OAKLAND — Before the Oakland Athletics’ 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night, manager Bob Melvin hinted that it was no sure thing Santiago Casilla would get the call should a save situation arise.
Hours later, with the A’s commanding a 6-4 advantage, Melvin turned to Ryan Dull to nail down the ninth. Instead, the right-hander served up a three-run blast to Danny Espinosa and the guests claimed a come-from-behind win.
“We were very comfortable with the matchups in the ninth for Ryan,” manager Bob Melvin said, explaining that Casilla was unavailable out of the pen. “And it just didn’t work out.”
With the A’s staring at a one-run deficit in the seventh, Rajai Davis produced what was briefly the game-changing hit.
Davis sliced a line drive off the glove of Angels’ first baseman Jefry Marte that scored two runs and then raced home himself, following an errant throw to third.
Davis’ triple got Sean Manaea off the hook after the 25-year-old left-hander allowed four runs over six innings.
For much of the night, Manaea looked like the pitcher who spun a 2.67 ERA in the second half of 2016. The trouble for the new No. 2 was finding the third out in the second and fifth innings. All four runs that Manaea surrendered came with two outs during those frames.
“He was just a little out of sync,” Melvin said.
“I thought he recovered from maybe not having his best stuff — especially in the second inning,” the manager added.
Ryon Healy had staked his fellow Oakland sophomore to a 1-0 advantage in the first, bashing a 420-foot homer off the batter’s eye in center.