EditorsNote: tweaked 1st graf
Sean Murphy rebounded from being called for catcher’s interference to homer in his first major league game Wednesday night, and the Oakland Athletics won their second straight game against the visiting Los Angeles Angels, 4-0.
Oakland right-hander Tanner Roark continued his impressive form at his new home, tossing 6 2/3 innings of five-hit ball.
Jurickson Profar and Marcus Semien also homered for the A’s, who have opened a six-game homestand with a pair of wins after completing a seven-game trip last week with a pair of losses.
After Profar gave the A’s a 1-0 lead with his 19th homer in the second inning off Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (0-2), Murphy nearly dug Oakland a hole when he was called for catcher’s interference during a Shohei Ohtani at-bat with two outs and two on in the third.
The miscue loaded the bases for Justin Upton, who had homered in the series opener, but Roark got the slugger to ground out to retain the slim lead.
Murphy’s homer came in his second at-bat, a blast to right-center field in the fifth inning that increased the Oakland lead to 2-0.
The 24-year-old former third-round pick was called up after rosters expanded to 40 this week.
The homer came off Angels reliever Jake Jewell, who took over for Sandoval in the fourth inning after the rookie reached a pitch limit. Sandoval threw 52 pitches, allowing one run and one hit in 3 1/3 innings with one walk and three strikeouts.
Sheldon Neuse, another recent Oakland call-up, followed Murphy’s homer with a single, and Semien then made it 4-0 with his 26th homer of the season.
That was more than enough support for Roark (9-8), who stranded five Angels in scoring position in the first four innings, but finished strong, retiring 11 of the last 12 men he faced.
Roark walked two and struck out six.
Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria and Liam Hendriks completed the shutout, which improved Oakland’s record to 4-0 in Roark’s home starts since he was acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline.
The A’s finished with just five hits, but four went for extra bases.
The Angels’ David Fletcher was the only batter in the game with two hits, a pair of singles. Los Angeles also totaled five hits in losing for a seventh straight time on the road.
—Field Level Media