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Alcantara gets in trouble fast, loses big league debut
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OAKLAND (AP) — Raul Alcantara tried to be perfect and he was anything but in a forgettable major league debut for the promising prospect.
He hit three batters and walked another in the first inning, surrendered a home run in the second and was done for the day after the third.
Alcantara (0-1) quickly fell into a three-run hole and the Oakland Athletics’ late comeback attempt fell short in a 10-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
“I think it was because I was trying to make perfect pitches,” Alcantara said.
The 23-year-old right-hander also had a balk in the third that put Andrelton Simmons on third after a double before he scored on Nick Buss’ second sacrifice fly.
It marked the first time in 86 years an A’s pitcher had three hit batsmen and a balk — Howard Ehmke on April 27, 1930 — not the kind of stat Alcantara wanted to start his big league career.
“It’s his first big league start, and then you hit a guy and you hit another guy, you get spooked,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “But toward the end of his outing we saw the stuff that I think we’re going to see.”
Alcantara allowed five runs and five hits with no strikeouts.
Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run in the second inning and Albert Pujols had a two-run double in the fourth in the Angels’ seventh win in their last nine road games.
Khris Davis hit his 35th homer leading off the seventh to pull Oakland within 8-7, but his ninth-inning error in left field allowed Simmons to score an insurance run.
In the seventh, Ryon Healy singled to put the tying run aboard when Jose Valdez entered as the Angels’ fourth reliever. He retired pinch-hitter Chad Pinder on a fly ball before Jake Smolinski’s single and a walk to Bruce Maxwell loaded the bases. But Marcus Semien flied out.
Valdez (1-1) earned his first major league win before former A’s closer Andrew Bailey finished for the Angels in a second straight game. It was just his second save since 2013 with the Red Sox.
“We cracked the door for those guys with walks,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Valencia hit a two-run homer in the first for the A’s, who were nearly no-hit a day earlier by Boston and didn’t have their first baserunner until the sixth inning Saturday against Red Sox ace Rick Porcello.
Joey Wendle had his first career RBI on a single in the fourth, when Maxwell added a two-run double one out later.
Smolinski’s over-the-shoulder running catch in center on Kaleb Colwart’s drive to end the first likely saved Alcantara at least two more runs.
A’s LHP Sean Doolittle received cheers when he took the mound in the seventh for his first appearance since June 25. The closer missed 59 games with a strained throwing shoulder, but he changed his walk-up music to Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes.” For years, it had been the heavy metal band’s “Fight Fire with Fire.”
“I was wondering how it was going to go over. I know some people are pretty attached to it,” Doolittle said. “I kept the same band from the same era, but it was a song I was listening to a lot while I was on the rehab assignment and I liked it, so I switched it. Kind of a new chapter I guess.”
Angels: Pitcher Matt Shoemaker underwent surgery late Sunday after being struck in the right side of the head on a line drive by Seattle’s Kyle Seager. Los Angeles athletic trainer Adam Nevala is staying with Shoemaker until he is able to travel to Southern California later in the week.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray played catch from 120 feet as he recovers from a strained right forearm, and is scheduled to do so again Tuesday. It won’t be determined whether he will pitch again in 2016 until he is able to throw off a mound, but the A’s will be cautious with their star pitcher. ... Rehabbing pitchers Felix Doubront (left elbow) and Chris Bassitt (right elbow) played catch out to 90 feet Monday as they both recover from Tommy John surgery.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-12) is coming off his first win for the Angels after being acquired in an Aug. 1 trade from the Twins. He is 0-1 in two starts vs. Oakland this year.
Athletics: RHP Zach Neal will make a spot start. LHP Ross Detwiler had been scheduled to start Tuesday but pitched three innings in relief Monday.