Geovany Soto and Hector Santiago lead Angels to 6-5 win
By David Rice
The Los Angeles Angels came out strong and finished strong to gain a 6-5 victory over the Oakland A’s. Hector Santiago looked in mid-season form for most of the game as he held Oakland to one hit through four innings before giving up a solo homer to Danny Valencia leading off the 5th inning in all Santiago pitched six innings giving up six hits with three runs with four strikeouts.
“He really pitched well, on a day we thought it would be tough really to pitch with the wind blowing out,” Angels Mike Scioscia said to Jose Mota of Fox Sports. “He had a really good breaking ball he was using and got that fastball in the zone early.”
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons also looked really good both in the field and at the plate. In the first inning he leaped high into the air to snag a line drive off the bat of Josh Reddick, then the defensive wizard started two double plays to aid Santiago in both the second and third innings. Then in the bottom of the third Simmons turned on a Kendall Graveman fastball and drove it out of the park to left for a two-run homer giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.
“He looked great in the field and got a big home run early,” Scioscia said to Jose Mota of Fox Sports.
After the Valencia homer cut the Angels lead in half the Angels came back and scored two in the bottom of the fifth as Daniel Nava continued his torrid hitting with an RBI-single to drive in Carlos Perez, who had singled and then Mike Trout followed with a single to drive in Rey Navarro who had also singled to extend the Angels lead to 4-1.
With the Angels leading 4-2 in the top of the 7th Fernando Salas blew the lead quickly giving up a to Billy Butler after Santiago had given up a lead-off single by Danny Valencia. With runners on second and third Jed Lowrie hit a two-run triple to tie the game at 4.
Greg Mahle, who has been making a case to be make the roster as a left-handed specialist came in and game up a bloop single to Steph Vogt to give Oakland a 5-4 lead, but then induced a double play ball by Marcus Seimen and he struck out Yonder Alonso to end the 7th.
Mahle also pitched a scorless 8th despite giving up two singles and a walk. Mahle lowered his Spring ERA to 2.00 pitching two scoreless innings giving up three hits and he recorded two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the 8th Geovany Soto led off with a solo homer to tie the game at 5. In the bottom of the ninth the Angels loaded the bases on three walks and with two outs Soto walked on a 3-1 pitch to take a 6-5 victory.
Top performers beside the ones mentioned before Ji-Man Choi got a double and a single in four at-bats. Rey Navarro also went one for three replacing Yunel Escobar in the lineup as he was scratched due to left eye irritation. Navarro scored three runs as well. A.J. Achter pitched a scoreless inning of relief to get the win.
It was also announced that Tyler Skaggs will make his Spring debut in relief on Thursday against the White Sox and Jered Weaver will also pitch in a minor league game Thursday. C.J. Wilson still has no time table as to when he will be back on the mound.
The Angels game vs. Triple-A Affiliate Salt Lake City Bees was cancelled due to snow. The Angels will have an off day Wednesday and on Thursday they will play against the Chicago White Sox.