Zack Cozart and Mike Trout provided a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup, leading the way for the Los Angeles Angels in an 8-3 victory Saturday afternoon over the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum.
Cozart doubled, tripled, scored twice and drove in two from the leadoff spot, while No. 2 hitter Trout doubled twice, singled, scored twice and drove in two. In all, the Angels had 12 hits, seven of which went for extra bases.
Angels starter Matt Shoemaker was stellar through five innings before seeming to lose his command in the sixth inning. The A’s Stephen Piscotty drove in two runs with a two-out single to chase Shoemaker. Matt Chapman followed with a double off reliever Cam Bedrosian to get Oakland within 7-3.
In the seventh, the A’s sent the potential tying run to the plate when Matt Olson came to bat with the bases loaded and two out. But Angels reliever Jim Johnson, a former Athletic, struck out Olson looking to end the threat.
Shoemaker (1-0) gave up three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to get the victory. He walked four and struck out four. A’s starter Daniel Mengden (0-1) gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five.
Chapman and Khris Davis each had two hits in a losing effort for Oakland.
Los Angeles quickly took a lead against Mengden. Cozart led off the game with a triple and scored on Trout’s double.
The Angels added to their lead with two runs in the third inning. Catcher Rene Rivera, getting his first start of the season, led off the inning with a double, one of his two hits in the game. A key play in the inning came when Trout struck out but reached first after the pitch from Mengden got away from catcher Bruce Maxwell for a wild pitch.
Rivera went to third on the play, then scored on an RBI fielder’s choice grounder by Justin Upton, with an errant throw by A’s shortstop Marcus Semien leaving all runners safe. Albert Pujols followed with a single that scored Trout, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead.
Trout and Pujols teamed up again in the fifth. Trout doubled with one out and scored on Pujols’ two-out double, putting the Angels up 4-0.
Shoemaker was sharp against Oakland through the early innings, but it should come as no surprise. He entered the game with a career mark of 5-2 and a 3.50 ERA against the A’s, the five wins his most against any opponent.
Shoemaker retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced, the only blemish being Chapman’s infield single in the third. He shut the A’s out through five innings, but they knocked him out of the game with three runs in the sixth.
—Field Level Media