Jesse Chavez didn’t get the win, but he kept the Oakland Athletics in the game with his third terrific start in a row and John Jaso powered a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth to lift the A’s to their third straight win Monday night over the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Chavez fanned nine and allowed two runs—one earned—in seven innings on just four hits and did not walk a batter, lowering his ERA to 1.35 in his three starts this year.
The Angels (6-7) took a lead in the first inning when Albert Pujols singled off Chavez to drive in Kole Calhoun, who led off with a single and moved up to second on a passed ball by catcher Derek Norris.
Pujols then put Los Angeles up 2-0 with a line shot into the left-center field seats in the bottom of the third.
The A’s (9-4) got one back in the fourth when Yoenis Cespedes went opposite field for his third homer of the season, this one off Angels starter Hector Santiago. That was the only run Santiago allowed in seven innings, surrendering five hits and a walk while striking out three.
Closer Ernesto Frieri (0-1) came on to close it out in the ninth, but allowed a leadoff single to Josh Donaldson to start the inning. With one out, left-handed swinging Jaso came on to pinch-hit for Norris against the right-handed Frieri and lined a 1-2 fastball over the wall in right field to give Oakland the lead.
Chavez had made just two starts in parts of six seasons in the bigs, both of them with Toronto in 2012, when he allowed 10 runs in 8.2 innings. He has allowed three earned runs in three starts this season, but has taken no-decisions in all three games. He allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings on April 3 against the Mariners and allowed one run on six hits in seven innings at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Not bad for the 30-year-old from Fontana who came into the season with a 5.48 ERA in 191 career appearances.
After injuries took out projected starters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin in spring training, Chavez earned one of the open spots in the rotation with a strong spring, as he allowed seven runs and struck out 25 batters in 28.1 innings.
Tags: Oakland Athletics