OAKLAND -- Faint "MVP!" chants could be heard at the Coliseum on Wednesday night, moments after Mike Trout extended the Angels' lead with another well-struck line drive. One night after an 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance, the superstar center fielder came back with a vengeance, blasting a 454-foot home run in the third and a two-run double in the seventh to lead the Angels to a 6-3 win over the A's.
Matt Shoemaker, pitching on eight days' rest after being placed on the bereavement list, departed the game with two outs and a one-run lead in the sixth, but A's right fielder Josh Reddick lined an RBI single off Cesar Ramos to tie the game at 3. The next half-inning, though, Johnny Giavotella hit an RBI single up the middle off Ryan Cook and Trout added a bases-loaded double off Evan Scribner two batters later to give the Angels a 6-3 lead.
Fernando Salas, Joe Smith and Huston Street kept the A's (9-13) off the scoreboard in the final three innings, splitting the first two of this three-game series and putting the Angels at 10-11 on the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Johnny G. Good: Giavotella continued his solid start to the season with another timely hit. The latest came in the seventh, with runners on the corners and one out in a tied game. Giavotella fouled off a couple of two-strike pitches from Cook, then lined a slider up the middle to give the Angels their second lead of the game, 4-3. Giavotella's nine RBIs this season are second in the Majors among No. 9 hitters.
"I take pride in my two-strike approach, battling, competing," Giavotella said. "I'm glad I was able to come through with a big knock right there and that we got a win tonight."
Not so mighty 'pen: Oakland's bullpen woes continued, as the Angels scored three runs on a trio of relievers in the seventh inning. All three runs were charged to Cook, who walked Matt Joyce to lead off the frame. Cook was pulled after giving up Giavotella's tiebreaking single, Fernando Abad walked the bases loaded and Trout laced his two-run double against Scribner. The A's have a 4.50 bullpen ERA this season.
"We've struggled late in games here recently and we have to go about putting that behind us," said A's manager Bob Melvin. More >
Shoemaker solid in return: Shoemaker was knocked around by the A's his last time out, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks in just three innings on April 20. On Wednesday, the 28-year-old right-hander pitched around only six hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings, leaving with the lead and ultimately getting charged with three runs. His ERA dropped to 6.00.
"Being away for those few days, watching the games on TV, it felt wrong," Shoemaker said. "It was nice to be back. We got the win today. That's the important part."
"If you want to define pressing, you're going to just point to Chris right now. This guy wants to help so bad. He takes on the burden of the whole game plan and what he does behind the plate. He's done a good job with that. And at the plate, he's just really struggling to get anything to fall in." -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Chris Iannetta, whose batting average fell to .093 after an 0-for-4 night
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Trout's homer, on a 90-mph fastball from Jesse Hahn, traveled 454 feet, per Statcast tracking technology. That distance ties Trout with Giancarlo Stanton for the seventh-longest home run this season. More >
INJURY REPORT Albert Pujols' left hamstring grabbed on him after a sixth-inning single, forcing the Angels' first baseman to come out of the game. Pujols seemingly felt better after loosening his leg once he got to first base, but was replaced by Grant Green nonetheless. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Angels:Garrett Richards makes his third start of the season in Thursday's 12:37 p.m. PT series finale from the Coliseum. Last time out, Richards earned his first win since rupturing his left patellar tendon eight months earlier, giving up just two runs on three hits and three walks in seven innings against the Rangers.
A's: Oakland will turn to Jesse Chavez as it tries to win its first day game of the season. Chavez will make his second start, and first since taking over Kendall Graveman's spot in the rotation. The right-hander was charged with a hard-luck loss against the Angels on April 23, when he gave up two runs (one earned) on a hit and three walks over six innings.