Bay Area Sports Drive
Oakland A's News
LACKEY DOMINATES, A’S LACK OFFENSE IN 3-1 LOSS
Andy Lopusnak, Bay Area Sports Drive
John Lackey missed the first forty games this season for the Los Angeles Angels due to injuries. He showed no signs of any injury in his dominating performance against the Oakland Athletics. Lackey pitched seven innings, allowing four hits and a home run. He also struck out five in the Angels’ 3-1 win over the Athletics. Since returning from the disabled list, Lackey (2-1) has an ultra-low 1.70 ERA and raised his career record against Oakland to 13-3. He allowed just a single hit in the first five and a third innings.
Aside from giving up a home run on the game’s third pitch, Athletics starting pitcher Joe Blanton had one of his strongest games of the year in the loss. He pitched seven innings, allowed seven hits, gave up two earned runs and tossed strikes 71% of the time. Blanton (3-8) entered the game with a 2.39 ERA in June since 2005 – the fourth best in the majors during that timeframe – and exited with a 1.56 ERA for the game. On the year, Blanton has won just one of his last seven outings and leads the MLB in home losses (six).
Angels shortstop Maicer Izturis scored the game’s opening run on his first career lead-off dinger three pitches into the contest. Two innings later, designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, who missed the Halos’ previous three games, batted in the second run of the game. He ended the game with his 35th career multi-hit contest.
Los Angeles upped the score to 3-0 when catcher Jeff Mathis singled to left field that allowed right fielder Gary Matthews Jr. to score.
Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki, who was the featured player of the game-day giveaway of a bobble head to the first 15,000 of the announced 25,120 in attendance, ended an almost five-inning hitting drought when he hit his eighth double of the season in the bottom of the sixth, but the A’s failed to capitalize after Jack Hannahan grounded out and Bobby Crosby, who had Oakland’s first hit, struck out.
On the first pitch after the seventh-inning stretch, Oakland left fielder Jack Cust launched his team-leading tenth moon shot of the season to put the home-standing A’s on the board. Two batters later, first baseman Daric Barton hit a double, his seventh on the year, however, for the second-straight inning, the A’s had a player strikeout to end the inning when right fielder Travis Buck swung away on strike three. Neither team had a hit the remainder of the game.
The loss snapped the A’s four-game winning streak and put the team four and a half games out behind Los Angeles for first in the AL West – the furthest back the team has been all season. Oakland hosts two more games against Los Angeles before ending its nine-game home stand next week against the New York Yankees. The Angels own the league’s longest winning streak, which is now at six games.
- The A’s (four) and Angels (five) entered the game with the longest winning streaks in the American League.
- Los Angeles’ win was the team’s 316th since 2005, which is tied with the New York Yankees for the most in the majors.
- Oakland ended the sixth and seventh innings on double plays on defense.
- There was just one total walk in the entire contest – Garret Anderson, who is hitless in his last 15 at bats, by Joe Blanton.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The Angels have been based in the great Los Angeles area for their entire 48-year history, but have had many names in that timeframe. The team was the Los Angeles Angels from 1961-65 then was the California Angels until the 1997 when Disney bought the team and changed the name to the Anaheim Angels. In 2005, the team’s current owner decided that Los Angeles needed to be part of the team’s name and thus the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were born. Also, eight years ago tonight, the Angels’ famous Rally Monkey was born (June 6, 2000) when the team used a two-run rally to come-from-behind to beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5.
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