Calhoun lifts Angels to slugfest win over A’s
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels say they are willing to do whatever it takes to win a game as they battle down the stretch for a wild-card playoff berth.
On Monday afternoon, it took an American League-record 12 pitchers, two home runs from Martin Maldonado, a three-run shot by Luis Valbuena and Kole Calhoun’s two-run, tiebreaking triple in the 11th inning to beat the Oakland Athletics 11-9 at the Oakland Coliseum.
At the end of a grueling four hours and 38 minutes, the Angels had their fourth straight win this season against Oakland, which lost for a season-high seventh time in a row overall.
“That’s what it took today,” Calhoun said of the Angels using 12 pitchers. “That’s what it took to get a win today. Hopefully tomorrow’s not exactly like that, but everybody in here battled and just never said die.”
Athletics reliever Blake Treinen (1-3) walked Justin Upton with one out in the 11th and hit Eric Young Jr. with a pitch, bringing Calhoun to the plate. Calhoun ripped a 96 mph fastball inside the first base line and into the right field corner.
“I was just looking for a good pitch to hit,” Calhoun said. “I laid off that slider first pitch, and then the fastball got a lot of the plate. Just excited to see it sneak inside first right there.”
Treinen, Oakland’s seventh reliever of the game, took the loss. He is 1-5 overall this year counting his time with the Washington Nationals.
The Angels used three pitchers in the 11th, including hard throwing Keynan Middleton, who recorded his third save of the season. He got Khris Davis to ground into a game-ending double play with runners on first and second.
Fernando Salas (2-2) pitched a scoreless 10th inning for the win.
The A’s trailed 9-7 entering the bottom of the ninth inning and faced right-hander Blake Parker, who posted saves in each of his four most recent appearances.
After Jed Lowrie singled to left with one out, Parker struck out Davis, and the A’s were down to their last out. However, Matt Olson sent Parker’s 1-1 splitter into the left field seats for an opposite-field, two-run homer, his second long ball of the game.
“Having a losing streak isn’t fun by any means,” Olson said. “Losing a game like that isn’t fun by any means. But it says something the way we stayed in that game the entire time, still fighting in the bottom of the 11th right there, possibly a chance to win it.”
Maldonado crushed a solo home run in the second inning and a two-run blast in the fourth, giving him 14 for the season, an ongoing career high. The multi-homer game was the second of his career.
Valbuena hit his 18th homer in the second inning.
Olson hit his 13th and 14th home runs for the second multi-homer game of his career. Olson has homered in five of his past seven games and has six blasts in that span.
Angels right-hander Parker Bridwell lasted only three-plus innings and had a no-decision in his second straight rough start, both against Oakland. He gave up six runs on seven hits, including one home run, struck out five and walked one.
“I thought his tempo was a little bit off today,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Just didn’t go about it with the aggressiveness he has been when he’s been pitching well.”
A’s right-hander Chris Smith allowed seven runs on seven hits, including three home runs, over 3 1/3 innings in a no-decision. In his previous start, Smith yielded seven runs (six earned) on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings in an 8-2 loss to the Angels.
“Home run ball got me from the start,” Smith said. “I tried not to let their main guys beat me ... and then the lower part of the lineup beat me, Maldonado especially.”
The A’s gave Smith a 4-0 lead in the first, but he gave it all back in the second when Valbuena and Maldonado homered. That was just the beginning of a back-and-forth marathon.
“We persevered, we kept going,” Scioscia said.
NOTES: Angels CF Mike Trout fouled a ball off his right foot in the 11th inning and was examined by a trainer but stayed in the game. “I‘m fine,” Trout said. ... Angels RHP Bud Norris (right knee inflammation) pitched a bullpen session Monday, and there’s a chance he could be reinstated from the disabled list on Wednesday, the first day he is eligible, manager Mike Scioscia said. ... The Angels claimed RHP Dayan Diaz off waivers from Houston and assigned him to Class A Orem. Diaz had been pitching for Triple-A Fresno, where he went 4-3 with a 4.13 ERA. For Houston this season, he went 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 10 games, including one start. ... Los Angeles designated RHP Daniel Wright for assignment. ... A’s rookie RHP Paul Blackburn’s season isn’t officially over, but his odds of recovering from a deep bruise to his right hand in time to pitch again this year appear to be extremely long. Blackburn was struck on the hand by a line drive at Baltimore on Aug. 22.