It's really comforting to know that the Athletics are there for the Halos they are in times of need. This whole weekend will hopefully serve as an example, but at the very least, the hospitable Athletics performed the role of gracious, friendly host very well in tonight's series opener. When I say the Halos were in a time of need, I want referencing them being swept at the hands of the Mariners and therefore it was important that they got a game or two where they could beat up on some lousy ball club, rebuilding some confidence and momentum in the process. That's where the A's came in.
Confidence and momentum is surely in the cards when your team manhandles a division rival like the Angels did tonight to the Athletics, on their own turf, nonetheless. The visiting Halos laid down an eight and Oakland flopped a measly deuce. Those are the type of Friday night smackdowns in baseball that I basically live for, I must say. This particular smackdown was anchored by an absolutely dominant outing from Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, who was practically untouchable, but to make things even better he was backed up by a bevy of Angels runs.
Skaggs mowed down the Oakland lineup so viciously it was akin to someone using a tank to kill a fly instead of a fly swatter. In his 7.0 innings pitched, he did give up seven hits but he he struck out eight batters and gave up zero earned runs. Oakland did get two on the board while he was on the hill, but they were all thanks to some errors in the infield. Hopefully this start gets the Angels rotation back in the habit of rarely letting anybody get any earned runs off of them.
The Athletics were having their own issues with unearned runs tonight, though, giving up three runs off of fielding/throwing gaffes and another run via walk. But the Angels had some traditional ways of scoring up their sleeves, like Ian Kinsler hitting a big fly and Jose Briceno getting a nice RBI knock.
When the fat lady sung, however, the Angels had their convincing 8-4 victory and it was all Tyler Skaggs who should be getting the accolades. On the series opener for the hot Father's Day weekend it was all Skaggs who was the big daddy of the stadium.