KEY MOMENT: The managerial wheels spun early, with Oakland's Bob Melvin pulling the left-handed-hitting Josh Reddick for pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the fourth inning. The Angels' Mike Scioscia countered by pulling left-hander Michael Roth for unheralded right-hander Yoslan Herrera, who got Gomes to hit a slow roller to second baseman Howie Kendrick, who turned an inning-ending, unassisted double play to preserve a scoreless tie.
AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols led off the fourth with a single, and with one out, Kendrick reached on shortstop Eric Sogard's fielding error. Erick Aybar singled to right field, but Sam Fuld had trouble getting the ball out of his glove, giving him no shot to throw out Pujols, who scored for a 1-0 lead, or to get Kendrick at third base. Jeff Samardzija bounced a wild pitch past catcher Derek Norris, who fielded the carom off the backstop and had time to get Kendrick. But his throw sailed well over the pitcher's head, Kendrick scoring for a 2-0 lead.
ON THE MOUND: Samardzija, the former Chicago Cubs ace who was acquired in a July 5 trade, pitched good enough to win, limiting the Angels to two runs — one earned — and four hits in eight innings, striking out nine and walking none.
CIRCUS CATCH: Lost amid a series of superb defensive plays Friday night was an acrobatic effort by Pujols, the first baseman who made a leaping grab of third baseman Gordon Beckham's throw on Sogard's bunt and an around-the-back tag of Sogard as he crossed the bag. Sogard was ruled safe, a call upheld by instant replay, but “I'm telling you, I know I tagged him,” Pujols said. Either way, “it was an incredible play,” Scioscia said. “This guy is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman.”
SPEED DEMON: An intriguing addition to the club when rosters expand on Monday will be triple-A speedster Tony Campana, who could have the same kind of impact that pinch-running specialist Chone Figgins had in September 2002. Campana was acquired from Arizona in the Joe Thatcher trade. Also expected to join the Angels are first baseman C.J. Cron, outfielder J.B. Shuck, catcher John Buck and relievers Vinnie Pestano, Cam Bedrosian and Michael Kohn.
EXTRA BASES: To make room for Roth, the Angels optioned utility player Efren Navarro to triple A, but Navarro will return when rosters expand for Tuesday's game at Houston. … Oakland is 12-15 in August, snapping a streak of 14 straight months with a winning record, the second-longest streak in franchise history.
UP NEXT: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (13-4, 3.33 ERA) will oppose Oakland left-hander Scott Kazmir (14-6, 3.08) on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Angel Stadium. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times