OAKLAND (AP) — Oakland right-hander Sonny Gray thought he threw a good sinker to Mike Trout in the sixth inning. The pitch ended up somewhere beyond the center field fence.
Gray coasted through five scoreless innings before running into trouble against the top of the Angels order, and it cost the Athletics.
Trout hit his first home run of the season, Gray allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings and the A’s fell to the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 on Monday night.
Trout struck out looking twice but homered on the first pitch he saw from Gray in the sixth, a towering two-run shot that ricocheted off the right side of the bleachers just below the luxury suites in left-center field.
“When I threw it, I thought it was a good sinker, but it sunk a little too much and went right to his barrel,” Gray said. “You can make good pitches and guys like Trout can do some damage for sure.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin said there are only a handful of hitters who can handle a pitch like that.
“For anybody else that’s not a bad pitch,” Melvin said. “Trout likes it down and in and he usually takes the first pitch except in certain situations and against certain pitchers. Most guys roll over that. He doesn’t.”
Gray (1-1) was sharp in his second outing but lost for just the second time in 12 April starts. He struck out six and walked three.
“Three pitches didn’t go our way and they capitalized, big time,” Gray said. “My stuff was really good but it was three pitches and they score three runs.”
Trout’s at-bat impressed A’s catcher Stephen Vogt.
“It’s ridiculous what he’s able to do with that,” Vogt said. “I mean, the movement on that pitch alone gets most people to extend on it. But he kept his hands inside because that’s just what Mike Trout does. The location wasn’t terrible, but to Trout that’s not where you want the ball.”
Nick Tropeano pitched five scoreless innings in his season debut, and Daniel Nava and C.J. Cron added RBI singles to help the Angels win their second straight following a 1-4 start.
Marcus Semien singled in Oakland’s lone run in the ninth.
Felix Doubront, projected to be Oakland’s No. 5 starter, will have Tommy John surgery Tuesday to repair a torn elbow ligament. “Felix made his mark here and I think he found a home for himself based on what he did last year, the versatility he brings us in any particular role we put him in,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “I feel bad for him.”
Melvin didn’t sound too concerned about Khris Davis’ slow start at the plate. Davis went into the game batting .174 with 13 strikeouts in 23 at-bats before going 1 for 4 against the Angels. “You watch his batting practice, he hits the ball the other way almost every pitch,” Melvin said. “The strikeouts probably stand out with him right now but I think he’ll be fine.”
Angels: Trout’s home run was his 17th against the A’s. ... Albert Pujols made his 2016 debut at first base after being the designated hitter in Los Angeles’ first six games. He also got his first stolen base of the season.
Athletics: Coco Crisp made his third consecutive start in center but is likely to rest Tuesday. Crisp played in only 44 games in 2015 due to neck issues. ... Chris Coghlan was Oakland’s DH, his fifth straight start at a different position. Coghlan started at second base, right field, left field and third base in his previous four games.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (0-1) pitches against Los Angeles hoping to end a six-game losing streak, longest by an Oakland pitcher since 2012.