Canha hits 2-run HR, Anderson sharp as A's top Angels 4-2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Back stateside and back on their home field, the Oakland Athletics starters have found quite a groove.
As in three straight scoreless outings of six innings. Brett Anderson followed up Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada with another steady performance.
"Any time a guy has a good start you want to go out there and you want to try to replicate it as best as possible," Anderson said.
Mark Canha hit a two-run homer in the fourth that held up for Anderson, and the A's beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Saturday night.
Stephen Piscotty added a two-run single in the third. Anderson (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his first start of the year after the lefty signed as a free agent for his third stint with the A's. Anderson, who also pitched for Oakland last year and from 2009-2013, allowed three hits, struck out four and walked two.
Oakland starters have three consecutive scoreless outings of at least six innings for the first time since Aug. 24-26, 2005, by Kirk Saarloos, Barry Zito and Joe Blanton.
A's manager Bob Melvin wanted to give Canha a start — his first of 2019 — given how well he swung the bat in Tokyo and the preseason Bay Bridge Series against the Giants earlier in the week.
"We know that when he gets consistent at-bats, he tends to be pretty good," Melvin said.
Canha's first homer of the year chased starter Felix Pena (0-1), who was tagged for four runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings after retiring the first eight hitters in order. Pena struck out three and walked one.
Mike Trout had as sacrifice fly in the eighth and Andrelton Simmons followed with an RBI single. A's All-Star closer Blake Treinen relieved J.B. Wendelken and gave up Albert Pujols' single before retiring the next two hitters, including Justin Bour on a called third strike.
"I have no one to blame but myself. I didn't get it done," Bour said. "You can argue balls and strikes and all that stuff. Really at the end of the day it's a matter of getting it done, and I haven't and didn't there. Was it in the zone? No, but I still didn't get the job done."
Treinen worked a perfect ninth for his first save and sixth career of five outs or more. Melvin would rather not use Treinen for multiple innings this early, but with a couple of relievers unavailable, he went ahead with the move.
"A little extreme to do it this early in the season but at the time we felt like we needed to do it," Melvin said.
Pujols, who at 39 has 633 career homers and is beginning his 19th season, got his first hit of the year with a two-out single in the sixth.
The A's avoided what would have been just their second 1-4 start in 21 years, doing so in 2011.
Piscotty hit his second single of the night in the seventh for Oakland, which began a stretch of 18 straight games with Thursday's stateside opener against the Angels. Oakland dropped two games to the Mariners in Tokyo last week.
As A's third base coach Matt Williams prepared to throw batting practice, Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson hopped into the cage — and not to hit. He squatted into a crouch and began catching Williams' warmup throws. Just behind him was the logo of the field named for him and his No. 24, "Rickey Henderson Field."
"Every day I see it," he said. "It's an awesome blessing to me."
Angels: Shohei Ohtani will continue to rehab in Anaheim when the team returns home from this season-opening six-game trip that includes games at Seattle on Monday and Tuesday. He began hitting on the field this week and is throwing three times a week. At some point, Ohtani is expected to go on a rehab assignment once he is ready to face live pitching.
Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin gave CF Ramon Laureano a day off until he entered for defense in the ninth. Laureano is batting .118 (2 for 17) with nine strikeouts in four games. "I think maybe just a little anxious, trying to get it all back with one swing," Melvin said. "He's got some power. He'll figure it out." Canha started in center and was set to play first base Sunday against a lefty starter.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs takes the mound for his season debut for the Angels.
Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas makes his first 2019 appearance and first career start against the Angels in the series finale.