After a rough two and four opening home stand for the Angels, many were anxious to see how pitcher Nick Tropeano, brought up from Salt Lake City to fill in for an injured Andrew Heany, would perform matched with Oakland’s ace, Sonny Gray. Tropeano held his own, pitching out of jams in the second, third and fifth innings, as the first five innings turned the game into a pitcher’s duel with no runs scored.
Everything changed in the sixth inning as the halo offense came to life. The Angels broke through with the first run of the game as Yuniel Escobar hit a one out double to right field driven in with a single by Daniel Nava. Mike Trout followed with a two-run blast well over the wall in straight-away center field, his first homerun of the season.
After a lead-off walk in the sixth by Tropeano, Mike Scioscia decided to go to the bullpen bringing in Fernando Salas who was able to get the job done. After Albert Pujols lead off the eighth with a single and a stolen base, ironically the first stolen base of the season for the Angels, the fourth and final run for the Angels was added as Pujols scored off a flare single to right by Andrelton Simmons.
The Bullpen held a shutout until the bottom of the ninth. A two-out single by Marcus Semien off of Angel reliever Joe Smith scored Jed Lowrie from second base for the A’s only run of the game. Houston Street was brought in to close out the game and earned his second save of the season.
All in all, five pitchers combined for the Angels’ third win of the season and a good start to this long roadtrip. The Angels have to be pleased with what Nick Tropeano was able to do with his first start of the season against a tough pitching match up. Tropeano completed five plus innings allowing no runs on six hits, striking out six and walking only two, including one intentional. Another bright spot was Pujols getting some defensive work in at first base for the first time this season.