OAKLAND (CBSLA/AP) — Back home from an 0-2 trip to Japan, the slugging Oakland Athletics got “comfy.”
Reigning homer run champion Khris Davis went deep for the second time this season , Marcus Semien added a solo shot and the A’s beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 on Thursday for their first win after a pair of losses to Seattle last week in Japan.
“It was important to us to get that first win out of the way and it feels good that we showed up today and got the job done,” Davis said. “I think guys are over the jet lag. I’m glad we could bounce back. … Just a better rhythm. We’re just kind of back in tune to what’s going on over here. It was kind of a circus. I like the way we responded today. A little more comfy at home.”
Before the game, Davis stood behind the cage with Make-A-Wish Foundation friend Anthony Slocumb , who was wearing a Davis jersey signed by the boy that the slugger wore Aug. 20 against Texas when he hit homer No. 37 of his 48 last year.
Mike Trout singled and walked going 1 for 3 in his first game since signing a $426.5 million, 12-year contract, and manager Brad Ausmus lost his Angels debut after taking over for Mike Scioscia.
Stephen Piscotty added an RBI double as the A’s backed Mike Fiers (1-1), who lost in Japan last week in his first opening-day start.
Fiers allowed one hit — not until Tommy La Stella’s one-out double in the fifth — struck out two and walked three in six innings. Three relievers completed the three-hit shutout that breezed by in 2 hours, 18 minutes.
Trout drew a trainer and Ausmus out in the eighth after he made a hard slide into second and jarred his right leg. He said first hurt the same leg sliding into second after drawing a leadoff walk in the fourth.
“Then I put a pad on it and had a little bit of compression on my calf and my calf cramped up a little bit,” Trout said. “That’s what scared me. But it’s all good. Other than that I have a strawberry, that’s it.”
Albert Pujols went 0 for 3 with a strikeout as he began his 19th season. Pujols has 633 homers and is back at 39 after season-ending left knee surgery in August and a right elbow procedure in September to remove bone spurs,
Angels starter Trevor Cahill (0-1) allowed four runs and six hits over six innings against his former A’s club.
Chad Pinder followed Jurickson Profar’s second-inning triple with a sacrifice fly to put his team ahead.
The Angels have won five straight series from the A’s, who are coming off a 97-win season and returned to the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014.
The Angels, meanwhile, have lost six straight openers.
With his seventh start in center field on opening day, Trout became the first Angels player to do so at the position. Tim Salmon holds the franchise record for most starts at any spot with 11 consecutive starts in right field from 1993-2003.
Late Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who attended high school in Oakland, was remembered with a tribute on the big screen before the game.
STRATTON’S NEW TEAM
New Angels fifth starter Chris Stratton stayed in the Bay Area after being traded by the Giants late Tuesday, joining his new Los Angeles teammates for a dinner Wednesday night.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney will see a doctor after feeling something in his elbow during a bullpen session earlier this week. Heaney, who had Tommy John surgery in 2016, had been experiencing discomfort in the elbow and missed a week earlier this month. “I’m a little concerned,” Ausmus said. … DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani hit on the field for the first time Wednesday since Tommy John surgery Oct. 1.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea played catch on flat ground from 90 feet Monday and Wednesday and is scheduled to do so again Friday in his throwing progression as he works back from shoulder surgery. A 12-game winner before the September operation, Manaea pitched a no-hitter against Boston last April 21. He is expected to be out until around the All-Star break. … New INF Kendrys Morales was available off the bench after arriving in time for first pitch following his trade from Toronto a day earlier. Morales is set to start at first base Friday. To clear roster room, INF Franklin Barreto was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Based on sales, Mike Trout is the fourth most-popular jersey that fans buy with MLB players names on the back, according to MLB. He’s only outsold by Bryce Harper (Phillies), Aaron Judge (Yankees) and Mookie Betts (Red Sox.)
Angels: RHP Matt Harvey makes his Angels debut after signing an $11 million, one-year contract in December.
Athletics: New RHP Marco Estrada (0-0, 5.40 ERA) pitches in front of the home fans for the first time after giving up two homers in his initial A’s start, a no-decision during last Thursday’s 12-inning loss to Seattle in Japan.
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