KEY MOMENT: The A’s were one out away from escaping a two-on, none-out jam in the fourth inning when pitcher Jesse Chavez got Erick Aybar to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. But Raul Ibanez, who entered with a .143 average and hadn’t driven in a run since May 15, blooped a run-scoring single to shallow left field that gave the Angels a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
AT THE PLATE: Mike Trout drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third and a run-scoring double in the fifth, a drive to right-center field that was initially ruled a two-run homer but reduced by instant replay — and fan interference — to a double. The Angels took advantage of third baseman Josh Donaldson’s third error to tack on an insurance run in the eighth on Hank Conger’s single. Conger and Ibanez each had two hits.
ON THE MOUND: Setup man Joe Smith, who gave up seven earned runs and five hits in 22/3 innings of four appearances agains the A’s this season, retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out two, and Ernesto Frieri struck out all three of his batters in the ninth with 94-mph fastballs.
IN THE FIELD: Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp sprinted to the wall and made a spectacular leaping catch of Trout’s third-inning laser, holding on despite a violent collision with the fence. Angels left fielder Josh Hamilton raced into the corner to pluck Brandon Moss’s sixth-inning fly ball before crashing into the fence in foul territory. Moss, the A’s right fielder, gunned down Aybar attempting to go from first to third on Ibanez’s sixth-inning single.
SWIFT RETRIBUTION: It didn’t take long for the A’s to retaliate for a high-and-tight Richards fastball that knocked down Donaldson in the third. Chavez drilled Conger in the right elbow with his first pitch of the bottom of the third, as tension between the teams mounted. There were no further incidents, though Chavez did graze Howie Kendrick with a waist-high pitch in the fourth.
UP NEXT: Left-hander Hector Santiago (0-6, 4.82 ERA) will oppose Oakland left-hander Drew Pomeranz (5-3, 2.20 ERA) at Angel Stadium on Tuesday at 7 p.m. On the air: FS West; Radio: 830.