ANAHEIM -- The A's spoiled the Angels home opener and extended their winning streak to six games with a 9-5 win in Anaheim. It wasn't the prettiest game, but nine runs have a way of masking even the most glaring mistakes.
With the win, the A's will hold first place or a share of first for four straight days. They only spent one day in first place last season, when they beat the Rangers in Game 162.
At the Plate
The A's sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning. Angels' starting pitcher C.J. Wilson retired the first two batters he faced and then fell apart. He walked Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes and then gave up an RBI single to Derek Norris. Josh Donaldson followed with a single to load the bases and Brandon Moss stroked a two-run single into right field to give the A's a 3-0 lead.
Surprisingly, Coco Crisp didn't factor into the first inning scoring. He saved it for the second frame, when he clubbed his fourth home run in as many games. Crisp also leads Major League Baseball with nine extra-base hits.
The A's offense exploded for five runs in the seventh inning to mask their pitching and defensive deficiencies. John Jaso hit a pinch-hit three-run home run, and Brandon Moss added a two-run shot two batters later to give the A's a 9-5 lead. Moss finished the day with four RBI.
Starting Pitching Report
Wilson wasn't the only pitcher on the mound with control issues. Jarrod Parker only lasted 3 1/3 innings against the Angels. He allowed nine hits and three walks, but only two runs. He threw 74 pitches and 40 strikes.
Parker walked two batters in the first inning and had to pitch his way out of a bases loaded jam. He was able to strikeout Josh Hamilton on three pitches and then get Mark Trumbo to ground into a double play to escape unscathed.
Parker got roughed up in the third inning when he allowed three consecutive singles and two runs. He was removed from the game after hitting Albert Pujols in the back in the fourth inning to load the bases.
Prior to tonight, Parker had been successful in his career against the Angels. He had a 2.60 ERA in four career starts against the Halos before Tuesday.
Chris Resop entered the game in relief of Parker with the bases loaded and one out and worked his way out of the jam. He got Hamilton to hit a weak comebacker that he fielded and threw to first. Then Trumbo grounded out to third to end the inning.
Resop allowed one hit over 1 2/3 innings and struck out two batters. He has been absolutely nails in the A's bullpen not having allowed a run all spring and he has yet to give up any runs this season.
Pat Neshek allowed three runs, but only one was earned.
The A's bullpen had to try and work their way through two errors and a misplayed ball hit to right field that ended up being an RBI triple. They ended up giving up the lead in the sixth inning. Neshek, Jerry Blevins and Ryan Cook were initially hampered by their defense.
After the A's took the lead in the top of the seventh, Cook pitched a scoreless bottom half of the inning with two strikeouts. Sean Doolittle pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Grant Balfour pitched a scoreless ninth frame.
In the Field
The A's made back-to-back errors in the sixth inning. Chris Young dropped a fly ball to right field that allowed Mike Trout to score. Even if he caught the ball the run would have scored on a sacrifice fly. On the next play, Jed Lowrie couldn't glove a routine ground ball. Later in the inning, Young took a bad route on a ball hit by Howie Kendrick that ended up an RBI triple.
Young had never played right field in his Major League career and it showed. If Josh Reddick has to miss an extended period of time, Brandon Moss could be an option in right field. He appeared in 13 games in that spot last season for the A's. Seth Smith can also play right field.
Cespedes caught a line drive hit by Hamilton in the third inning and made a strong throw to the Donaldson, who was able to get the ball to first to double off Pujols.
The Angels announced an attendance of 44,014 for their home opener. They called it a sell out but there were a lot of empty seats in the third deck.
Tommy Milone (1-0, 2.57 ERA) takes the mound against Joe Blanton (0-1, 7.20 ERA).