OAKLAND -- Left fielder J.B. Shuck had his best all-around defensive game of the season Wednesday in the Angels' 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Shuck went to the gap for Chris Young's second-inning single and made a strong one-hop throw to second base to get the outfielder, who was trying to stretch the hit into a double. It was Shuck's team-leading seventh outfield assist.
In the fifth inning, Shuck made a leaping grab of Young's drive toward the corner to prevent a potential run-scoring double. In the eighth inning, with a runner on first, he made a spectacular diving catch on the warning track of a Derek Norris drive.
And in the 11th inning? Shuck was removed for defensive purposes, Collin Cowgill taking over in left field for the final three outs.
"It is what it is," Shuck said. "We won. That's all I care about. If they want somebody else to go in, that's fine, as long as we win and I have a chance to contribute in some way. That's all I worry about."
It wasn't the first time this season that Manager Mike Scioscia has pulled Shuck for defensive purposes after Shuck has made a superb play or two.
"As good as J.B. is, Collin Cowgill is as good as you can get defensively," Scioscia said. "We're going to try to upgrade it any way we can, especially when you have a flyball pitcher like Ernie [Frieri] coming into the game late."
Shuck also walked and scored on Mike Trout's first-inning home run and doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Josh Hamilton's sacrifice fly in the 11th to help the Angels win for the 19th time in 26 games. But his biggest contributions were with his glove and arm.
"It's always fun to be able to help the pitcher out, to take away a play they think is a hit, or when they get a hit, cut one off in the gap and throw them out at second," Schuck said. "It's a lot of fun to be able to make defensive plays.
"I guess I'm not looked at as having a great arm, but I'm pretty accurate. That's big for me. Guys think they can run. I like the challenge. It's fun to have those opportunities to make the plays."