ANAHEIM (AP) — It had been more than three weeks since an Oakland Athletics starting pitcher got a win. In the 17 games during that stretch, the A’s won just four times.
Kendall Graveman gave the rotation a needed strong out Thursday night, limiting Los Angeles to two runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Athletics held on for a 5-4 victory over the Angels.
Graveman (3-6) got the first win for an A’s starter since June 1 after the rotation had combined to go 0-9 in the 17-game winless stretch. He has now allowed two runs or fewer in six of his last seven outings.
“He’s really found his sinker the last few games,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That’s his strength.
“Not only does he have sink, but with pretty good velocity at 93-94 mph. That’s kind of what gives him his mojo out there.”
Graveman was supported by home runs from Marcus Semien and Khris Davis. Semien’s was a three-run shot, his 13th, in a four-run second inning that spoiled the Anaheim Stadium debut of Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum (1-1), making his second start for the Angels after missing nearly a full year following hip surgery and his release by the San Francisco Giants, gave up four runs and seven hits while throwing 83 pitches in three innings.
“They were just good at putting the ball in play and hitting it where we weren’t,” Lincecum said. “Give them credit for making adjustments.”
Lincecum’s first start in his comeback was also against the A’s. He held them to one run and four hits in six innings Saturday in Oakland.
“He probably hung some balls,” Melvin said. “And we were a little more aware of what he was going to try and do today.”
The A’s finished with nine hits on the night — one by each starter — and the two homers were the only ones for extra bases. After the Angels scraped together a pair of runs in the fourth to pull within two, Davis hit a solo home run, his 17th on the season.
The Angels made it interesting in the ninth when Jett Bandy hit a two-run homer of Sean Doolittle. It was Bandy’s first home run of the season. Doolittle recorded the final two outs to earn his fourth save of the season.
With the loss, the Angels (31-42) fell to both a season-high 11 games under .500 and 16 games behind Texas in the AL West.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said despite the disappointing record, his injury-riddled team is still competing hard.
“They prepare for every game as well as any team I’ve ever seen,” Scioscia said. “They don’t use excuses. There’s nobody in that room looking around for guys who are there. They know what’s left in that room. They still have a good team and we will play better.”
Home plate umpire Paul Emmel was hit in the top of his head by Jefry Marte’s bat with two outs in the ninth when the pinch-hitter lost control of it on a follow-through. Emmel fell to his knees before leaving the field with a towel held to his bleeding head. The game was completed by the remaining three umpires, with Quinn Wolcott moving from third base to behind the plate.
The Angels said after the game, their training staff had stopped the bleeding and Emmel — fully alert — was being taken to a hospital for stitches.
A’s: With 10 players on the disabled list, Oakland expects to get OF Josh Reddick (left thumb fracture) back on Monday. ... LHP Rich Hill (left groin strain) is scheduled to make his first rehab start Monday for Class-A Stockton.
Angels: 1B Albert Pujols returned to the lineup after missing two games with an injured left hamstring. ... RHP Joe Smith (left hamstring) threw a simulated game Thursday and could make his first rehab appearance Sunday.
A’s: LHP Eric Surkamp (0-5) will face the Angels for a second consecutive start. Surkamp allowed two runs on six hits and two walks against the Angels Sunday in Oakland. His last victory in the majors came Sept. 16, 2014 as a reliever for the White Sox.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (6-6) is coming off his best game of the season in his last start against the A’s. Weaver threw a three-hit shutout Sunday in Oakland. He had allowed 11 runs in the 11 1/3 innings of his two previous starts.