Mike Trout hit a two-run homer, Shohei Ohtani went 3 for 3 and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-5 on Friday night in their series opener.
Taylor Ward also had a two-run shot for the Angels (79-81). If they can sweep the weekend series, they would finish with a .500 record in what is widely expected to be Mike Scioscia’s final season as manager after 19 years.
The Yankees routed the Red Sox 11-6 earlier Friday to clinch home-field advantage in the AL wild-card game, leaving the A’s to travel cross-country to play Wednesday night in the Bronx for the right to face Boston in the best-of-five Division Series.
Mike Fiers (12-8) entered in the second inning for Oakland and was hit hard.
Taylor Cole (4-2) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked one. Hansel Robles worked the ninth to earn his second save.
The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the second.
Ohtani singled leading off, went to second when Justin Upton got hit by a pitch and stole third before scoring on Francisco Arcia’s RBI groundout. With two outs, Ward homered to the lower left-field seats, scoring Upton, who stole second.
Trout hit his 39th homer to right field on the first pitch in the third, extending the Angels’ lead to 5-0. That gave Trout the sixth 100-run season of his career and made him the seventh player in major league history with that many 100-run campaigns before age 27.
The Angels added a run on Ohtani’s sacrifice fly to the warning track in left in the fifth.
Los Angeles made it 7-0 in the seventh on Ohtani’s two-strike infield single to the pitcher near the third-base line, scoring Kole Calhoun, who doubled leading off.
The A’s didn’t get a hit until Jed Lowrie singled leading off the sixth against Cole, who promptly retired the next three batters on swinging strikeouts.
Oakland broke out for five runs — two on errors — in the eighth to trail 8-5.
Matt Chapman singled and pinch-hitter Mark Canha scored on right fielder Jabari Blash’s throwing error. Chapman scored on Lowrie’s RBI groundout.
Ramon Laureano was safe at first on an error by Ward at third base, scoring Matt Olson. Marcus Semien’s RBI double brought in Oakland’s other two runs.
Jaime Barria tossed 4 2/3 hitless innings, walked six and struck out four. The right-hander became the first Angels rookie to make 26-plus starts in a season since Scott Schoeneweis made 27 in 2000.
Lou Trivino started the game for Oakland and threw 11 pitches in the first inning before turning it over to Fiers. He gave up six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings, struck out three and walked two.
SAY HEY, SHO
Ohtani stole third base in the second inning, giving him the third 20-homer, 10-stolen base rookie season in Angels history, joining Devon White in 1987 and Trout in 2012.
RHP Trevor Cahill (6-4, 3.91 ERA) starts for the A’s on Saturday. His six wins and 20 starts coming in are his most since 2013 with Arizona, but he’s tossed five innings or fewer in his last five starts. LHP Tyler Skaggs (8-9, 3.91) makes his 24th start for the Angels. He is 2-5 with a 4.98 ERA in nine career starts against Oakland.
Source: The Associated Press