OAKLAND -- Mike Trout robbed A's first baseman Ike Davis of a game-winning hit with a remarkable catch in center field to close the book on a 6-5 Angels victory at the Coliseum in Thursday's series finale.
Davis, who lined a ball Trout's way with the bases loaded off of Angels closer Huston Street, said he was "hoping it was" over his head.
"Once Mike got back and started to settle and started his jump, we felt good that he was going to get it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"They play so deep, and he's really good," Davis added. "I thought he made a good catch."
Right fielder Kole Calhoun aided the Angels' cause with a bases-loaded single, driving in two runs to spark a three-run fifth inning in the series-clinching win. He added an RBI single in the seventh in support of right-hander Garrett Richards, who was responsible for just one run and four hits in six-plus innings. A's starter Jesse Chavez allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings.
A's left fielder Mark Canha collected three RBIs, launching a two-run home run to left field in the seventh and notching a run-scoring single in a three-run ninth. The A's dropped to 9-14, including 0-8 in day games, and they've lost six of seven and close out April five games under .500.
The Angels finished April with an 11-11 record -- not bad for a team that had a really hard time scoring runs throughout the season's first month.
"I think it was a pretty successful April, given the circumstances," Calhoun said. "It's nice to be .500."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Leap of faith: Trout saved the game and locked down a victory with a leaping catch up against the center-field fence. The bases were loaded with two outs and the A's trailing by one when Davis got a 1-2 changeup out over the plate and sent it to straightaway center. Trout drifted back, felt the warning track beneath his feet, leaped toward the wall, cocked his left arm behind his head and secured the ball in his glove, keeping the Angels from blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning. More >
Staff infection: Chavez needed 95 pitches to get through just five frames, forcing four innings from a beleaguered A's bullpen. Lefty Eric O'Flaherty, pitching for the first time in six days, retired each of his first two batters but would face just two more, walking Taylor Featherston and surrendering an RBI double to Erick Aybar to finish April with an 11.57 ERA. Right-hander Ryan Cook, who was on the hook for three runs in Wednesday's loss, surrendered another in the seventh, continuing the bullpen's woes.
A's manager Bob Melvin said O'Flaherty's been dealing with a minor shoulder issue but is OK now.
"Could've pitched last night, but we wanted to wait until today," said Melvin. "Looked like the ball was moving pretty well. I haven't seen any video from it yet. I think I saw 90-91, some decent sliders, but we felt like we wanted to get him in what was a low-leverage situation at the time and see how he responded. Everything I'm hearing right now, he's fine."
Sac bunting is good: That's a controversial statement, but it did help the Angels produce a couple of key runs in the top of the fifth. With two on and none out, Johnny Giavotella decided on his own to lay down a sacrifice bunt, even though he was batting .328 and it meant Trout would get intentionally walked behind him. But Calhoun, making his fourth career start at the cleanup spot, followed with a two-run single to the right side, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead that proved big at the end.
"I like it," Calhoun, typically the leadoff hitter, said of batting behind Trout, a necessity because Albert Pujols is dealing with a hamstring injury. "It was a little weird seeing him walk up to the plate before me when we're both standing in the on-deck circle, but it's good.
"Awful homestand. We felt like, 'We get some momentum, come back here at home and win some games,' then we get swept [by the Astros] and lose two out of three here. We gotta play better than that, and we gotta do it soon. Now, certainly, the last inning was pretty spirited, and we have a way of coming back and fighting to the end, but still not a win." -- Melvin, on his team's homestand More >
"I knew today was the day. It's kind of weird. I'm just ecstatic. Blessed, honestly. You know this day is going to come, you just don't know when. Now that we got it out of the way, I can just enjoy the moment. And we got a win out of it, which makes it even better." -- Featherston, on getting his first career hit
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Opposing hitters are batting just .200 against Richards since the start of 2014. Among pitchers who have had at least 600 at-bats against them since then, only Johnny Cueto of the Reds (.191 batting average against) and Felix Hernandez of the Mariners (.197) are better. Richards gave up one run on four hits and three walks in six-plus innings, striking out five. He's 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his first three starts.
REPLAY REVIEW David Freese was ultimately ruled safe after umpires overturned an initial out call on what would've been an ill-timed pickoff. Freese was caught between second and third with two outs and a one-run game in the fourth, but sprinted toward third when catcher Josh Phegley's throw went to second and slid under the tag of A's third baseman Brett Lawrie. Scioscia moved to 4-for-9 in challenges, but Freese didn't score.
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: The Angels next play their first Interleague series of the season, but won't have to leave their hotel to do so. Their six-game road trip shifts from Oakland to neighboring San Francisco over the weekend, with C.J. Wilson getting the ball and eventually batting against Giants righty Chris Heston. Wilson gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings against the Rangers Saturday, then had fluid drained from his left elbow and felt much better.
Athletics: The A's begin their second consecutive three-city road trip Friday, set to make stops in Texas, Minnesota and Seattle over a 10-game stretch. Left-hander Scott Kazmir, who has a 0.99 ERA through his first four starts, gets the ball for Friday's series opener at Globe Life Park, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. PT. He'll be opposed by Rangers righty Colby Lewis.