Calhoun's HR helps Angels end losing streak, beat A's 6-2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Now that the Los Angeles Angels have put a miserable August behind them, Matt Shoemaker believes they're ready to make a postseason push.
Shoemaker's last two outings since coming off the disabled list are a good start.
Shoemaker gave up five hits and one run over seven mostly crisp innings and the Angels backed him with a rare offensive outburst in a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
''This team can be so good if we get on a roll,'' said Shoemaker, who struck out five, walked two and allowed only two runners past first base. ''That's all we need to do. If we get on a roll, we're going to be really tough to beat.''
Los Angeles had been sliding before beating Oakland to take an 8-6 edge in the season series between the AL West rivals.
The Angels were just 2-5 on this nine-game road trip and coming off their first losing month in more than two years after going 10-19 in August.
They broke out of their funk quickly in September, scoring four runs in the second inning off Oakland starter Cody Martin.
''We hit a big pothole for a while but they also know that we're a good team,'' Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. ''There are some key things that if we can get them in place, we're going to have a good chance to reach our goal. Part of it's getting starting pitching and part of it's the offense.''
The Angels got both against the A's to end a four-game losing streak.
Kole Calhoun had three hits, including his 21st home run of the season to pace Los Angeles' offense. David Freese singled and scored in his return to the Angels' lineup after missing more than a month with a fractured right index finger. Carlos Perez added two hits while Mike Trout also singled and scored to help Scioscia to his 1,397th career win.
Calhoun had an RBI infield single in the Angels' four-run third. Albert Pujols was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in another run while David Murphy and C.J. Cron also drove in runs during the inning.
Freese scored on a double play in the fourth to make it 5-1. Calhoun homered off Dan Otero leading off the seventh.
''We got the six runs but we pressured them every inning,'' Scioscia said. ''We had opportunities pretty much every inning and didn't cash in on all of them.''
Brett Lawrie homered for the A's, a solo shot off Shoemaker in the first.
The A's were shut down after that. They put two on with two out in the second before Shoemaker set down 15 of the next 17 batters he faced.
Mike Morin, Wesley Wright and Huston Street combined to record the final six outs for the Angels.
Martin (0-1) lasted just three innings in his first major league start that also coincided with his A's debut. He gave up five runs and six hits with one walk.
''It looked like there were some nerves there, especially with traffic out there,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''He didn't want to come in so far to Pujols and hit him. There were nerves.''
Angels: RHP Colby Rasmus also returned from the disabled list after missing two weeks with a right forearm strain. ... INF Taylor Featherstone (upper back strain), LHP Matt Joyce (concussion) and INF Colin Cowgill (right wrist) were activated from the DL as well.
Athletics: OF Sam Fuld (back spasms) did not play and will likely sit out Wednesday's game. ... RHP Jesse Hahn (forearm strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL. ... RHP A.J. Griffin was recalled from Triple-A Nashville and transferred to the 60-day DL. ... RHP Angel Castro was outrighted to Nashville.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (5-2) pitches the series finale Wednesday and is winless in his previous six starts. Opposing hitters are batting .304 against him during that stretch.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (12-6) has three wins in his four starts against the Angels this season. Gray also has the lowest ERA in the AL but has only two wins in his previous six starts.