Taylor Ward and Griffin Canning lift Angels to victory over Athletics

Taylor Ward hits a two-run home run during the Angels' 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium.
Taylor Ward hits a two-run home run during the first inning of the Angels’ 5-1 win over the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium on Monday night.
(Eric Thayer / Associated Press)
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Taylor Ward hit a two-run homer, Griffin Canning pitched seven strong innings and the Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Monday night.

Ward gave the Angels a 2-0 lead with his drive to right field in the first inning and he had a ninth-inning leaping catch at the wall for the second consecutive game. He did the same at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

“Very poetic,” Angels manager Ron Washington said of Ward’s performance. “We certainly needed what he gave us in the first inning and we needed to stop the momentum back there in the ninth inning.”


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Zach Neto, Luis Rengifo and Willie Calhoun each had a pair of hits and Neto scored twice.

The Angels, 25th in the majors with their 4.03 runs per game, got more than enough Monday thanks to Canning’s strong outing.

Canning (3-8) gave up one earned run and struck out five. He gave up just five hits, including Tyler Nevin’s first-pitch home run in the second inning, and consistently pitched from ahead in the count.

“I’m just proud of that,” Canning said. “That’s what we preach and I haven’t necessarily done that very well this year. I’m super happy about it.”

The A’s have lost three straight games and four of the last five. The Angels had lost three of four. In the two-run third, Logan O’Hoppe drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Ward scored on an error.

Luis Medina, who made his major league debut for Oakland in Anaheim a year ago, was chased after three innings. Medina (1-3) gave up four runs, three earned, and struck out four.


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“He had zero command tonight,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “It’s tough when you go out there and don’t have command and can’t execute pitches. He gave everything he had. Eighty pitches in three innings is a lot of work to give up four runs. We’ll go back to taking a dive into figuring out what’s causing this and make corrections.”

Canning, on the other hand, had one of his best outings of the season.

“He was outstanding,” Washington said. “At one point, he was nine for nine on first-pitch strikes. Over the game, he threw 20 of 25. I congratulated him when I told him that. It was awesome. He was in control the whole night, even though he threw close to 100 pitches.”

Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh took in Angels batting practice and chatted with Washington and players.

Up next: Oakland right-hander Mitch Spence (4-3, 3.86 ERA) is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA over his last four starts after he went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA through his first three starts. Angels left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-7, 2.48 ERA) is ranked fifth in the AL with a 2.08 ERA.