OAKLAND (AP) — The Athletics didn’t show much spark at the plate until slugger Khris Davis slammed down his bat and helmet after striking out to end the seventh inning.
After that, it was a completely different look for Oakland, an abrupt change that manager Bob Melvin’s ballclub has grown accustomed to making lately.
Two days after breaking up no-hitter with four outs to go, the A’s were completely shut down until Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead single during a three-run eighth inning and Oakland rallied to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Tuesday night.
“It’s just kind of the ebbs and flows of the game,” said third baseman Ryon Healy, who had two hits, including an RBI single. “Whether we get 10 hits in the first five innings and lose or get whatever it was in the back half of the game and win, I don’t really care how it happens. I just want to get a victory.”
The A’s didn’t have a hit or a baserunner until one out in the sixth inning before their first five batters in the eighth reached.
Healy, whose single broke up starter Ricky Nolasco’s bid for a perfect game, singled in Yonder Alonso before Wendle lined a hit to right to drive in pinch-runner Arismendy Alcantara and Marcus Semien.
It was just the third career hit for Wendle, who was making his fourth start at second base after being called up from the minors on Aug. 31.
“We save our at-bats for when they really count,” Melvin said. “For a guy that just got called up, that really makes him settle in. We liked him in the spring. Now he’s getting an opportunity.”
John Axford (5-4) pitched two innings to get the win. Ryan Madson retired three hitters for his 28th save.
Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons had two hits apiece for the Angels, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Los Angeles wasted a mostly strong outing by Nolasco (5-13).
Coming off a four-hit shutout against Cincinnati, Nolasco retired the first 16 batters against Oakland to extend his streak to 28 until Healy’s single to center on a 1-2 pitch. The Angels right-hander faced one over the minimum through seven before the A’s batted around in the eighth.
Nolasco allowed three runs, two hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
“It looked like he lost his release point,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He didn’t get the ball where he wanted.”
The Angels did all of their scoring in the second. Simmons doubled in Mike Trout, and Pujols scored on a sacrifice fly.
A’s starter Zach Neal allowed two runs over six innings in one of his best starts of the season. Neal, who struck out five and walked one in his longest stint of the year, bounced back following a rocky outing against the Red Sox.
“He’s had some really good efforts for us after what was a difficult start for him with us,” Melvin said. “He figured it out in the bullpen over a stretch and now he’s got a lot more confidence.”
Athletics: Infielder Alcantara was called up from Class A Stockton before the game. Alcantara, who began the year with the Chicago Cubs, had been in the minors since Aug. 29.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker was released from a Seattle-area hospital following emergency surgery after he was hit in the head by a line drive by the Mariners’ Kyle Seager on Sunday. Shoemaker remained in the Pacific Northwest and could return to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Angels: RHP Alex Meyer (0-1) makes his Angels debut in the afternoon finale of this three-game series at the Coliseum. Meyer had been in the minors since arriving as part of the Nolasco trade.
Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton (0-0) will be called up from Triple-A Nashville to make his major league debut Wednesday. Cotton was part of the trade that sent outfielder Josh Reddick to the Dodgers. He’ll be the third pitcher from the Virgin Islands to appear in the majors.