Trout homers as Angels beat Athletics 2-1
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
Mar. 31, 2018
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Tyler Skaggs felt so good he even managed to sneak a changeup past a left-handed hitter.
"Which I never do," Skaggs said. "It was one of those things where everything was clicking tonight."
Skaggs pitched into the seventh inning, Mike Trout homered and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 on Friday despite a rocky finish for closer Blake Parker.
Skaggs (1-0) tossed 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball in his first win over the A's in six career starts. The left-hander, who missed 85 games last season due to a strained oblique, allowed only one runner past first base.
It also was Mike Scioscia's 1,571st win, tying him with Hall of Famer and former A's and Angels manager Dick Williams for 21st all-time.
"That's as good as you can pitch," Scioscia said. "Tyler was on top of it all night and finished strong. Got to almost 100 pitches and maintained his stuff."
Parker nearly let it slip away in the ninth.
He issued a leadoff walk to cleanup hitter Khris Davis and Matt Olson followed with a single to right. After striking out Stephen Piscotty and Matt Chapman, Parker allowed Jonathan Lucroy's RBI single before he got Matt Joyce to ground out to second for the save.
"I think I was a little amped up," Parker said. "Trying to place some pitches instead of letting it rip."
Japanese two-way player Shohei Ohtani, who singled in his first at-bat in the majors on Thursday, was held out because the A's started a left-hander. Ohtani is scheduled to make his pitching debut Sunday.
Trout homered off Sean Manaea (0-1) in the first. He also reached on a fielder's choice in the ninth and scored from first when left fielder Joyce short-hopped Justin Upton's single and the ball rolled to the fence.
It was Trout's 26th career home run against the A's and 14th at Oakland Coliseum.
"I took some good swings and hit some balls hard," Trout said. "That's always a positive."
Skaggs and the bullpen made it stand up after Los Angeles lost on opening day in 11 innings after blowing a four-run lead.
"Felt like I threw the ball well tonight," Skaggs said. "It just feels good, especially after my last outing in spring training, just to kind of correct some mechanical problems. I felt great."
The Angels also helped themselves with a pair of sparkling defensive plays.
Right fielder Kole Calhoun made a diving catch to rob Marcus Semien of a hit leading off the sixth. Catcher Martin Maldonado also picked off Lucroy at first base to end the seventh.
Manaea allowed four hits over 7 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts. He retired 12 straight and 20 of 21 after Trout's home run.
"I was going in and out and up and down, throwing my two-seam for strikes and the changeup was really good today," Manaea said. "I left that changeup up to Trout but other than that everything else was working."
Angels: Leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler started at second base after sitting out the final two games of spring training and Thursday's opener with a groin injury, but left due to fatigue in the ninth. ... Andrew Heaney, on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation, threw a bullpen session before the game.
The A's held a 20-minute pregame ceremony to honor members of their 50th anniversary team. Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson and Rollie Fingers were among 27 players who attended the event, which featured video tributes from former A's players Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Josh Reddick and Dennis Eckersley.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols grounded into a double play and struck out twice in three at-bats against Manaea. He is 0 for 15 in his career against the lefty.
"I grew up watching that guy play and now I get to face him," Manaea said.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker pitches Saturday in his first regular-season start since going down with a season-ending forearm strain June 14.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden is coming off an injury-plagued season after being limited to seven starts a year ago.