ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker pitched seven strong innings and two of his rookie teammates, Jett Bandy and Jefry Marte, gave him just enough run support with a couple of big home runs, leading the Angels to a 5-4 victory over the A's on a Tuesday night in which all runs scored on long balls.
The Angels, coming off a 15-11 July, trailed, 2-0, against lefty Sean Manaea midway through the fifth inning. But Bandy sent a first-pitch fastball out to left field for a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth, and Marte lifted a three-run shot -- on a 1-0 fastball right down the middle -- in the sixth.
"That's one of many opportunities I'm going to get hitting behind those guys," said Marte, who starts at first base against lefties. "Usually, when they're facing Trout and Pujols, pitchers prefer to put them on base and face me. That's when I have to come up big and stay focused. Thankfully I was able to do that today."
The A's hit three home runs of their own, including a prodigious solo shot from Khris Davis in the second, a ball that traveled a projected 419 feet and left his bat at 110 mph, according to Statcast™. Coco Crisp added a solo homer in the top of the fifth. And Yonder Alonso cut the A's deficit to one in the eighth, with a line-drive home run just barely over the short fence in right field off reliever JC Ramirez.
Cam Bedrosian, who is expected to get most of the save opportunities with Huston Street on the disabled list, held the Angels' one-run lead in the ninth, striking out the side to pick up his first career save. Bedrosian has struck out eight consecutive batters, matching the club record set twice by Nolan Ryan, in 1972 and '73.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Taking advantage: With first baseman C.J. Cron (right hand) and Geovany Soto (right knee) both on the disabled list, and the club 11 games below .500 by the end of July, young players like Marte and Bandy figure to get plenty of opportunities to put their imprint on the roster down the stretch. Marte's homer gave him seven hits in his last 18 at-bats, three of them for extra bases, while Bandy has batted .294 with three home runs over his last 15 starts behind the plate.
"These guys are in the big leagues to help us win games now, and that's going to be our focus," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I really believe by doing that we're going to get a read on these guys and hopefully they'll help us win now and improve for the future." More >
Bobbled away: With a runner on and nobody out in a tie game in the sixth inning, Pujols grounded into what looked like the club's league-most 106th double play, but Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien bobbled the ball and everyone was safe. Two pitches later, Marte drove his three-run homer into the left-field stands to give the Angels a 5-2 lead. Semien had trouble with another routine ground ball in the seventh, allowing Yunel Escobar to reach base to lead off the inning.
"I think I should've went and got it," Semien said. "With Albert, you really want to focus on catching the ball since he's not running as good, and that was just a quick decision I didn't make. I tried to do the best I could without going back, but I just didn't catch it."
Still going strong: Shoemaker gave up a pair of home runs and wasn't as sharp as he had been, issuing three walks and striking out only four. But he gave up three runs or fewer for the 12th time in his last 15 starts. Shoemaker has a 2.85 ERA in that stretch, striking out 103 batters and issuing only 16 walks in 101 innings. The home run Shoemaker allowed to Davis ended a stretch of 25 consecutive scoreless innings at Angel Stadium.
"His command of his split, he lost it a little bit at some points in the game," Scioscia said. "But when he needed to he made some great pitches. Three walks are uncharacteristic for Shoe in his run of 10 or 11 games, but when he needed to make pitches, he did."
That escalated quickly: Manaea got off to a strong start Tuesday, retiring 12 of the first 14 batters he faced and striking out four of them. Things quickly fell off for him in the fifth, when he allowed Bandy's two-run homer to left and just avoided another threat. In the sixth, he allowed three more to score on Marte's homer and walked another batter before being removed. It marked the first time since July 5 that he'd allowed more than three runs in a start.
"Early in the game, [Sean] looked really good, like we'd seen him at his best," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It just ended up being two pitches. The one with Bandy, he tried to get it in there but couldn't get it quite in there, and then the three-run homer to Marte." More >
"Of course [it stings]. That would've been a solo homer [if I hadn't committed the error]. I think we would've turned two on that if I catch it clean. Of course it hurts. I want to make every play I can. It just didn't happen." -- Semien, on his sixth-inning error that led to the Marte home run
"I've been impressed with him all year, frankly. I think he's got a great head on his shoulders. The stuff obviously is there. But this year he's really continued to attack the zone, attack the zone, and force the issue from the other end. If he continues to do that, I think he should be successful." -- Street, on Bedrosian, whose ERA is down to 0.90
FOR THE HIGHLIGHT REELS
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons started a double play by cleanly fielding a very tricky hop to begin the seventh inning. The two-time Gold Glove Award winner entered the game with 10 Defensive Runs Saved despite spending more than 30 games recovering from thumb surgery this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With two outs in the second inning, a Shoemaker fastball high and inside appeared to hit Athletics center fielder Jake Smolinski on the hand, but was ruled a foul ball. After a review on Oakland's challenge, however, the call was overturned and it was ruled that the ball did in fact hit Smolinski. The next batter, Ryon Healy, flew out to end the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics: Right-hander Kendall Graveman (7-7, 4.15 ERA) is rolling, and he'll pitch in the second game of the three-game set on Wednesday. He's gone 6-1 with a 3.34 ERA over his last 11 starts. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.
Angels:Jered Weaver (8-8, 5.14 ERA) takes the ball for the second of a three-game series, looking to build on a start in which he gave up just one run in 5 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. Weaver has allowed four runs in 13 2/3 innings against the A's this season.