Right-hander allows 2-run homer in first start vs. former team
By Alex Espinoza
Special to MLB.com |
OAKLAND -- Facing his former club for the first time as a starter, Angels right-hander Jesse Chavez turned in a solid start during Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the A's. Though he went 5 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on only three hits and two walks while striking out five, Chavez said he wasn't content with his outing.
"Today was a little bit of trying to be too fine." Chavez said. "That's basically what I can sum it up [as]. One mistake -- a cutter that stayed up and didn't cut on me -- it got up in that jet stream and went out."
That mistake? It ended up in the right-field bleachers in the fifth inning when A's second baseman Chad Pinder belted a two-run homer that bounced off the top of the fence before leaving the ballpark.
Chavez, who made 101 appearances and 47 starts with the A's between 2012-15, said he didn't feel any extra comfort returning to the mound at the Coliseum. Though he felt great physically on Wednesday, Chavez said he had problems figuring out his pitching motion. Still, he threw a season-high 111 pitches.
"[I felt] just a little bit too good, I guess," Chavez said "Just wake up, early morning, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, ready to rock instead of having the day drag into a night game, I don't know. Today I felt really good."
On an afternoon when sluggers Mike Trout (left hamstring) and Albert Pujols (rest day) stayed on the bench, the Angels' offense was handcuffed. Perhaps the best opportunity came in the first inning, when A's starter Andrew Triggs walked the bases loaded to begin the game. But Los Angeles was able to get just one run out of the frame when Jefry Marte beat out a 6-4-3 double play to score Yunel Escobar.
"I think a lot of the game we left behind early," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We had a lot of chances with guys in scoring position. The first inning was big for us. Give Triggs some credit. He made some pitches to get out of it. He almost got out of it with [no runs] but the ball was bobbled over at third base. We just didn't pressure them enough offensively. We did get some guys in scoring position. [Going] 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position didn't help."
Los Angeles has now averaged three runs per game in the five contests that Trout has missed, though he is expected to return to the lineup on Thursday, per Scioscia.
"He'll come and go through his pregame and we'll see how he feels," Scioscia said.
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.