A’s use two big innings to topple Angels

Brent Rooker and Lawrence Butler homered in a four-run fourth inning, Mitch Spence pitched effectively into the sixth and the Oakland Athletics defeated the visiting Los Angeles Angels 7-5 on Tuesday night to open a three-game series.

In the rematch of a 3-0 Angels sweep last week in Los Angeles, the A’s also used a two-run double by Brett Harris to create a cushion en route to just the second win in their last nine games.

Returning from the disabled list, Jose Soriano (4-6) matched zeroes with Spence until Rooker bombed his 16th homer, a solo shot, to center field with one out in the fourth.

A single by Shea Langeliers and two-out walk to Zack Gelof then set the table for Butler, whose third home run of the season made it 4-0.

Nolan Schanuel’s first of a career-high four RBIs, a sacrifice fly, closed the gap to 4-1 in the fifth. But that was the last scoring the Angels mustered off Spence (5-4), who ended a personal five-game winless streak that included a 7-5 loss in Los Angeles last week.

The right-hander allowed six hits in his 5 1/3 innings Tuesday. He walked one and struck out five.

Pitching for the first time in 20 days after suffering an infection in his abdomen, Soriano was pulled after four innings, charged with four runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Harris’ double came as part of a three-run sixth that broke the game open. JJ Bleday completed Oakland’s scoring with an RBI single later in the inning.

Schanuel added a two-run single in the seventh and a two-out RBI double in the ninth, the latter getting the Angels within 7-4.

After Luis Rengifo followed with a run-scoring single, A’s reliever Mason Miller had to face Taylor Ward as the potential tying run. The Oakland closer recorded his second strikeout of the inning to wrap up the save-less win.

Butler finished with two hits, two runs and three RBIs for the A’s, who won despite getting out-hit 11-7. Gelof also scored twice.

Brandon Drury scored three times after a single and two walks, while Schanuel, Rengifo and Logan O’Hoppe had two hits apiece for the Angels, who lost their second straight after six consecutive wins.

–Field Level Media