Pratt's Instant Replay: Athletics 3, Angels 1

September 11, 2012, 4:32 am
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ANAHEIM -- The A's are on another one of those rolls. They have won four games in a row and reached 20 games over .500 for the first time since the 2006 season. After getting swept by the Angels in lopsided fashion in Oakland, the A's silenced the doubters by steamrolling through Seattle and opening the series in Anaheim with a 3-1 win. Oakland has now won 10 consecutive road contests.At the PlateIn the previous series against the Angels, Oakland never held a lead. They wasted no time jumping in front on Monday night. Coco Crisp started the game with a leadoff triple that crashed off the scoreboard in right field, then scooted home when Seth Smith hit an RBI groundout to first base. That one run seemingly made all the difference.
Brandon Moss also did some damage while leading off an inning. He connected on a solo homer to right field that cleared the high scoreboard. Torii Hunter tracked the ball to the wall and stopped with his glove up as if the ball was coming to him and then turned and watched it sail over his head. He must have been messing with Moss. It was his 17th home run of the season and it gave the A's a 2-1 lead.Another A's run, another big leadoff hit. Cliff Pennington started the sixth inning with a solo homer to right field. Pennington is hitting .482 (14-29) in his last nine games. Jemile Weeks is going to have a tough time prying second base away from Pennington at this rate.The A's were able to get Dan Haren out of their hair relatively early. He left the game with one out in the seventh inning. After he left the game the A's rallied to load the bases against two different Angels relievers. The third and final pitcher of the inning, Jason Isringhausen, struck out Stephen Drew and then snared a Pennington come-backer to end the inning.Starting Pitching ReportJarrod Parker was exceptional on Monday. He only allowed one run to the powerful Angels lineup over seven innings of work. He struck out two batters and walked two, giving up three hits. Parker threw 98 pitches, 58 of which were thrown for strikes.Parker was playing with fire in the third inning when he issued a two-out walk to Mike Trout. The American League leader in stolen bases took off for second, advanced to third when catcher George Kottaras' throw got away from Cliff Pennington, and scored when Torii Hunter hit an opposite field double to right. In a streaking blur of red, the Angels tied the game at one. Really the only mistake Parker made was walking Trout who has 45 stolen bases this season.Parker pitched out of a fourth inning jam with two runners on base and one out thanks to a little help from his friends. He got Mark Trumbo to ground into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. The play was particularly impressive on Pennington's part. He hung in there at second in order to complete the throw to first and he didn't budge as Erick Aybar attempted the takeout slide.Parker became the 10th rookie in Oakland history to reach double-digit wins.Bullpen ReportThe A's bullpen has been exceptional this season.They haven't blown a save in the last 26 games. Despite the best efforts of the rally monkey they stumped the Angels.Grant Balfour pitched the ninth inning with a two-run lead. He sat down the Angels in order. He is now 10-for-10 in save opportunities since taking over the A's closer role.Ryan Cook has not allowed a run in 11 of his last 12 outings, though had little trouble with the Angels in the eighth inning. The only reason he allowed a base runner was because Trout legged out an infield single with his freakish speed.In the FieldIn the third inning Yoenis Cespedes made a ranging catch up against the barrier in left field foul territory to take the bat out of the hands of Alberto Callaspo.The A's made three errors but none of them proved costly.AttendanceThe Angels announced an attendance of 36,064.Up NextThe Angels shook up their pitching rotation prior to Monday's game. Jerome Williams (6-7. 4.59 ERA) will make a spot start on Tuesday to allow Jered Weaver to slip back into the rotation for the series finale on Thursday. Weaver missed his last start with right shoulder tendonitis. Williams hasn't started a game since July 19.Dan Straily (1-0, 3.18) will take the mound for the A's. It will be his first start since getting recalled following Brandon McCarthy's injury. Straily gave up four home runs in his last outing against the Angels despite an A's victory.