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Headhunting Angels bullpen blows rubber match game against the A’s

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Back below .500 we go

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 7 Athletics 8

The Angels took a cue from the Rays in using and “opener” to start this game. In this case, it was Taylor Cole who made his first every big league start - and probably one he wants to forget. Cole hit two batters in the first inning and allowed 3 runs. Those 2 hit batters were just the start...

Things were looking up when the Angels answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, and and two more in the second to tie it up. But after a quiet third inning, Jim Johnson, who hadn’t allowed a run in his last 6 appearances, decided to crap all over the mound and give up 4 runs, effecting putting this game out of reach (he was saddled with the loss).

The Angels weren’t completely without offense in this one with Jose Miguel Fernandez notched 2 hits, Francisco Arcia hit another home run and 2 hits, Justin Upton had 2 hits, Kole Calhoun hit a double, David Fletcher had a double, and 6 different players logged an RBI.

Shohei Ohtani who was 0 for 4 with 3 Ks and 5 left on base going into the 8th inning was batting cleanup. This time, against Jeurys Familia, Ohtani drove the ball up the middle for a 2 RBI single and put the Angels within 1 run of the A’s. The hope of a comeback was cut down fast with an Albert Pujols groundout following by Blake Treinen striking out the side in the 9th.

7 Angels pitchers combined to strike out 15 A’s hitters and also managed 5 hit batters (1 short of the MLB record) in the process. They may have won, but here is what the A’s dugout looked like after Angels pitchers got through with them:

Big “long” road trip to San Diego tomorrow.