OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Athletics manager Bob Melvin resisted the urge to telephone the bullpen to get someone warming up after starter Andrew Triggs walked his first three batters on 14 pitches.
It turned out to be the best call Melvin didn’t make.
Triggs bounced back from his shaky start to pitch six innings, Chad Pinder homered and Oakland held on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Wednesday.
“Wow, that was Houdini,” Melvin said after his club completed a 4-2 homestand. “It’s one guy away from getting somebody up in the first inning. And then give us six innings and nothing else. I wouldn’t say I wasn’t expecting it, but it was Houdini-like. It ended up being a great outing for him.”
After Triggs (5-2) walked the bases loaded, he struck out Luis Valbuena, allowed Jefry Marte to hit into a run-scoring forceout and escaped further trouble when Ben Revere flied out on his 27th pitch.
He wound up giving up three hits and pitched out of trouble repeatedly on an afternoon the Angels went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
“It was kind of bizarre, but the ball was dancing on me a little bit,” Triggs said. “I didn’t make the adjustment quick enough, but I’m glad I was able to before things got out of hand there.”
Liam Hendriks, Ryan Madson and Santiago Casilla finished the four-hitter, with Casilla striking out his first two batters in a one-hit ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.
Jesse Chavez (2-5) allowed two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in the first start against his former club. The Angels were without sluggers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
“Jesse really pitched a strong game,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “A broken-bat base hit, and then Pinder launched one that got up in the jet stream. I think at night time no way would that ball going to carry. He pitched really well for us.”
Mark Canha had two of Oakland’s five hits in his first start since returning from the minors, and Khris Davis added an RBI single that helped the A’s to their fourth win in five games.
Pinder hit a two-run homer in the fifth following Mark Canha’s leadoff single. The A’s second baseman also had to extend to make a running catch on Juan Graterol’s liner up the middle, ending the seventh.
Oakland had lost six of the previous nine games between the teams this season.
Backup catcher Bruce Maxwell left as a precaution after taking a foul tip off his facemask in the first inning. It was the third time Maxwell has been hit in the past week. That left the A’s with no one behind Stephen Vogt, who took over after Maxwell left in the fourth inning. Melvin, a major league catcher for 10 years, was asked after the game who the A’s would have turned to in an emergency. “Me,” he deadpanned before noting infielders Adam Rosales and Trevor Plouffe were his options.
Angels: Trout (left hamstring) missed his fifth consecutive game but manager Mike Scioscia is hopeful the center fielder will be in the lineup Thursday. Pujols was given the day off. C.J. Cron, who was hit in the right wrist by a pitch earlier this week, is expected to hit off a tee Thursday.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (left shoulder strain) allowed one run over four innings with five strikeouts in a rehab start with Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday. … RHP John Axford threw batting practice before the game and is to begin a rehab assignment Saturday.
Angels: RHP JC Ramirez (3-2) is to start against Detroit on Thursday in the opener of a seven-game homestand. He has a 0.69 ERA in two starts at Angels Stadium this season.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (1-2) may be pitching for his spot in the rotation when Oakland begins a three-game series in Texas on Friday following an off day.