Paul Blackburn combined with five relievers on a six-hitter, Brent Rooker launched a go-ahead, two-run homer, and the Oakland Athletics made it two in a row over the visiting Los Angeles Angels with a 2-1 triumph Saturday afternoon.
In remaining unbeaten in five career starts against the Angels, Blackburn (4-4) allowed a first-inning run but then shut out the visitors for the next four innings.
In the meantime, Rooker gave Oakland the lead for good with his fourth-inning bomb to left-center field off Angels starter Griffin Canning (7-5), also scoring Ryan Noda, who had singled. The homer was Rooker’s 23rd of the season.
Kirby Snead, Spencer Patton, Sammy Long, Dany Jimenez and Trevor May combined to allow just two hits over four relief innings, with May stranding the potential tying run at third base in the ninth for his 16th save.
Long had the toughest task among the quintet, inheriting a first-and-second, one-out situation in the seventh with Shohei Ohtani coming to the plate. But the lefty got Ohtani to pop out to shortstop before retiring Brandon Drury on a liner to center field, preserving the 2-1 lead.
The Angels‘ threat in the ninth came after pinch-hitter Michael Stefanic led off with a walk. After Kyren Paris sacrificed Stefanic to second and Nolan Schanuel’s infield out advanced the potential tying run to third, May intentionally walked Ohtani before ending the game by inducing a flyball to center from Drury.
Blackburn allowed four hits and three walks in his five innings. He struck out four.
Canning was the hard-luck loser, giving up just two runs and four hits over six innings. He struck out seven without issuing a walk.
The A’s had just five hits in the game, including a double by Seth Brown. That double and Rooker’s homer were the only extra-base hits of the afternoon.
Paris, who grew up just north of Oakland, recorded his first major league hit — a single — leading off the fifth.
The Angels‘ Mike Moustakas was the only player in the game with multiple hits, a pair of singles.
—Field Level Media
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