ANAHEIM It wasnt an offensive explosion like the previous night, but the As continued to swing the bats well and were finally rewarded.
As starter Andrew Triggs received an early three-run cushion and made it stick, allowing just two runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a 7-3 victory over the Angels Saturday night to pick up his first win of the season.
We needed a win here to feel good, As manager Bob Melvin said. We didnt get that many hits. But defensively, pitching, it was a well-played game all around by us.
The As offense has been ignited, now having scored 25 runs over the past four games. But with seven hits Saturday night, the As turned in a Moneyball-like performance by drawing 10 walks.
Stephen Piscotty gave the As an early lead in the second inning, doubling off JC Ramirez to bring in Matt Chapman for the first run of the game. Later in the inning, Marcus Semien drove home two more runs with a single to center. While Semiens single was the flashy play, Melvin said it was all set up by the at-bat before him when Matt Joyce was able to draw a walk.
We have the ability to do that. We target guys that can get on base. Theyre significant, Melvin said. Joyces walk was huge in that inning. We end up scoring two runs. Its not the sexiest thing in the world sometimes, but when somebody gets a hit like Marcus did and knocks in two runs, its because of at-bats like that.
After a poor performance all around by As pitchers the night before, it looked like Triggs could have been headed down that same path in the fourth when he surrendered a two-run homer to Justin Upton. But Triggs recovered well from the big fly, retiring the next two batters in order to end the inning and keep the As ahead 3-2.
Triggs was pulled for Ryan Buchter after recording two outs in the sixth, leaving Sean Manaea as the only starter who has been able to complete six innings this season. It wasnt as deep as Melvin would like to see his starters go, but it was a step in the right direction and enough to get the job done.
I would like to go more than 5 2/3 and give this bullpen a little bit of a break because theyve been working their butts off, Triggs said. But overall Im pleased. The goal is to win every series and we have a chance to do that now.
After an uncharacteristically bad night from the bullpen the night before, Buchter, Emilio Pagan, and Blake Treinen combined to allow just one run on three hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. Treinen entered in the eighth and recorded the final six outs for his second save of the season.
For the second night in a row, Treinen had another late-inning showdown with Upton.
Having surrendered a backbreaking three-run homer to Upton the previous night, Treinen got some revenge this time around as he struck him out to end the eighth.
It was nice. I thought Upton fouled off a pitch that I would like to have back, Treinen said. I thought he put that one on the line and I would have been frustrated with myself letting two get away from me in two nights. Hes hot right now and to get him out in that situation was pretty satisfying.
Jed Lowrie homered for the second consecutive night. His solo shot to center off Akeel Morris in the fourth extended the As lead to 4-2 and provided Triggs with a little more breathing room.
Chapman pushed his career-best hitting streak to nine games, going 1 for 3 with a triple that drove home Matt Olson in the eighth to push the As lead to 5-3.
After frustrating games early in the season where either the hitting is going well and the pitching is not, or vice versa, the As were finally able to put together a game where every facet was firing on all cylinders. It gave them an insight as to the type of team they believe they possess.
Thats the type of team we can be, Triggs said. Today was just a good win for everybody and you try to take that into tomorrow the rest of the road trip.