The Los Angeles Angels were unable to make seven strong innings from Hector Santiago stand up as the Oakland Athletics came from behind with one out in the ninth on the strength of a John Jaso two-run pinch-hit homer, taking the series opener 3-2.
Josh Donaldson led off the ninth with a single off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri. A couple batters later, pinch hitting for A’s catcher Derek Norris, Jaso smacked a 1-2 fastball into the seats in right field.
Albert Pujols provided the Halos with two big hits on Monday starting with a first inning single to drive in Kole Calhoun. The RBI single extended the former MVP’s hit streak to 10 games in which he is now hitting .286 (12-for-42) with four homers and eight RBIs.
In the third inning Pujols tacked on his 496th career home run to stake the Angels to a 2-0 lead.
Santiago had given up four earned runs in each of his first two starts this season before Monday. The left-hander’s only mistake came on a Yoenis Cespedes solo homer in the fourth inning. Until the seventh inning the A’s didn’t have two runners on in the same inning as Santiago scattered the five hits while striking out three and walking one.
A’s starter Jesse Chavez has been great this season and has yet to give up more than one earned run in his three starts this season. Chavez limited the Angels to only four hits and struck out nine with no walks.
The Angels (6-7) have not had a record over .500 since they won on opening day of last season. Monday was the first time this season that the Angels lost after their starter went at least seven innings.