The Oakland Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-5 on a windy day at Tempe Diablo Stadium, and they are now 1-1 after their first two games of Cactus League play.
Bob Melvin got a good look at his team as a whole. The lineup that took the field to start the game could possibly be seen on Opening Day, but the younger players on the roster saw playing time after the fourth inning and finished out the game.
The A’s had the bats going from the start, scoring three runs in the first inning off of doubles by Chris Young and Seth Smith and a sacrifice fly from Scott Sizemore.
Young would be replaced by Michael Taylor after getting a quad cramp in the second, possibly suffered after making a nice catch to end the inning. By the fourth inning the game was tied 4-4, and it stayed that way until the seventh when shortstop Darwin Perez hit a double to right field off of Angels pitcher Andrew Taylor, scoring Michael Choice and Eric Sogard for a 6-4 Athletics lead. Choice contributed an RBI single in the eighth for the final Oakland run of the game.
There were definitely encouraging signs throughout the game for Oakland. The timely hitting that was so prominent in the A’s run last year seemed to pick up right where it left off, Scott Sizemore looked sharp in his return to the infield, and management got a good look at players like Choice and top prospect Addison Russell, who could both be prominent contributors in the future success of the ball club.
It’s early in spring training, so of course this was more of a “feeling out” game. As things get more competitive towards the start of the season, it’ll be interesting to see the response of the non-roster invitees who get to play in big league situations.
Jed Lowrie got a chance to acclimate to his new surroundings, and he’ll get another start tomorrow when the A’s take on the Cleveland Indians. Starting pitcher Travis Blackley gave up three hits in one inning of work, but had a nice move to pick off Tommy Field at first base. Daric Barton went 2-for-2. I’m sure all of this means something, and that in eight months when the A’s are getting ready to play in the World Series, I’ll point to this game as the start of it all.
Until then, we’ll continue to look for morsels of insight that will keep you up-to-date on everything related to the Oakland A’s. Stay tuned.