TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Barry Zito’s spotless spring ended when he gave up three home runs to the Los Angeles Angels in the third inning Tuesday, but the Oakland Athletics also had a big day at the plate in a 13-10 victory.
Zito, trying a comeback after sitting out last season, had thrown 13 scoreless innings in Cactus League play before Collin Cowgill, Kole Calhoun and David Freese went deep for the Angels. Mike Trout also doubled in the four-run third.
“It’s just a bad note to end on because I felt pretty good throwing the ball all spring,” said Zito, who breezed through his first two innings Tuesday.
The left-hander was tagged for eight hits and seven runs in four innings as his spring training ERA climbed from 2.30 to 5.03. Making his sixth appearance and second start, he struck out two and walked one.
The 36-year-old Zito, a three-time All-Star, began his career in Oakland and won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award with the A’s.
“They had one tough inning where they made some good swings on him,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “He was really one pitch away from getting out of the inning where three runs scored.”
Mark Canha hit his fifth homer and Luke Carlin also connected off Angels closer Huston Street in the top of the third. Street, who had 17 saves and a 1.71 ERA in 28 games with Los Angeles last year, allowed four earned runs in one inning — his worst outing of the spring.
Athletics: Zito told reporters he feels he can be a major league starter again.
“It’s a shame it had to end on this note,” he said. “Things had been consistent day to day. I’m happy where I’m at right now. I’ll just come back business as usual tomorrow and wait until I hear something.”
Melvin also said he could see Zito pitching in the majors again.
“Based on what I saw he can,” Melvin said. “He was on such a roll and then he had one tough inning. I don’t think it will demoralize a guy like him. You put a lot of stock in taking a year off and performing the way he has and to have it end on a sour note. We see past that, too. He’s done really well for us.
“He basically had only one bad inning for me. He’s had a pretty good spring. It’s been terrific,” the manager added. “That’s the only inning we saw guys putting really good swings against him. You have to look at the entire body of work not just one inning.”
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver went 6 1-3 innings and allowed four hits and two runs with two walks and five strikeouts in a Triple-A game vs. San Francisco.
With Weaver pitching on a minor league field, LHP Jose Alvarez allowed one hit with two strikeouts over two innings in his sixth appearance and first Cactus League start.
Alvarez might have a chance to stick with the Angels as a long reliever. He missed much of 2014 due to elbow surgery after coming over in a deal with Detroit.
Athletics: Melvin said OF Coco Crisp was bothered by a couple of swings in his latest effort in an intrasquad game Tuesday. Crisp has been out with an injured elbow and could be headed to the disabled list by opening day.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez faces the Angels on Wednesday before both teams break camp and head home to California.
Angels: RHP Drew Rucinski is on the mound against the A’s in Mesa.
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