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Oakland at Anaheim

W: K. Yabu (1-0) L: F. Rodriguez (1-1)
S: O. Dotel (4)
HR: OAK - None   ANA - None

Athletics 4, Angels 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bench coach Rene Lacheman brought Oakland's lineup card to home plate instead of manager Ken Macha, who normally does it for the first game of a series.

The Athletics were 1-5 in series openers, so Macha wanted to change his team's luck. It worked, but it wasn't easy.

The A's went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position before Scott Hatteberg hit a two-run single off Francisco Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth inning, sending Oakland to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

Scot Shields escaped his own bases-loaded jam in the seventh by retiring Mark Ellis on a groundout, then pitched a hitless eighth to make it 22 consecutive scoreless innings by the Angels' bullpen.

The streak ended in the ninth.

Mark Kotsay and Marco Scutaro opened the inning with singles before Rodriguez (1-1) struck out Eric Chavez and Erubiel Durazo. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch as strike three to Durazo got away from catcher Jose Molina. Hatteberg then slapped Rodriguez's 93 mph fastball the other way to left field on an 0-2 count, scoring both runners.

"I just reacted on the fastball," Hatteberg said. "I didn't know what he was going to throw -- 0-2 is usually kind of a waste pitch. But it was over the plate and someplace he probably didn't want to put it. I really was surprised.

"It's a good confidence builder when you come back against that guy on the mound -- which doesn't happen very often. We had some good at-bats against a very good pitcher," he said.

Rodriguez, who converted his three previous save opportunities, is in his third full season in the majors and first as a full-time closer. The Angels decided he was ready for the role and chose not to re-sign the club's career saves leader, Troy Percival.

"I think every save he's gotten so far has been a tough save, but that's the life of a closer," Angels center fielder Steve Finley said. "I mean, you can't go out there and throw zeros all year. Games like this are going to happen."

Keiichi Yabu (1-0), who spent 11 seasons in Japan, earned his first big league win at age 36. He allowed one hit in two scoreless innings before Octavio Dotel got three outs for his fourth save.

Dotel struck out Jeff DaVanon with a runner on second to end it.

Chone Figgins led off the Angels' sixth with a single against Kirk Saarloos, stole second, advanced on Vladimir Guerrero's infield hit and scored on Garret Anderson's groundout, giving the Angels a 3-2 lead.

Angels starter John Lackey threw 105 pitches in five innings and left with the score tied at 2. He was charged with one earned run and six hits, but it was his fielding error that resulted in an unearned run in the second.

Saarloos allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings with no walks or strikeouts. He has allowed 14 earned runs in 14 innings over his last three starts after pitching six sharp innings in a 9-0 victory at Baltimore in his season debut.

The Athletics pulled even in the fourth when Bobby Kielty hit a broken-bat single and came all the way home on a double by No. 9 hitter Adam Melhuse.

The Angels, who beat out the Athletics for the AL West title on the next-to-last day of last season, scored twice in the second to take a 2-1 lead.

Orlando Cabrera singled, advanced to third on Dallas McPherson's double and came home on Molina's groundout. Then Scutaro ran under DaVanon's popup and into foul territory, lunging in vain for the ball as it fell in short left field for a double as McPherson scored.

DaVanon, the Angels' designated hitter, was dropped from second to ninth in the order by manager Mike Scioscia after getting only four hits in his previous 29 at-bats.

"It doesn't matter where I hit," DaVanon said. "A No. 9 hitter can produce and set the table just as well as the No. 2 hitter. Everything's magnified because it's the beginning of the season, but hopefully things will turn around."

Oakland loaded the bases with none out in the second with two singles and an ugly fielding error by the 6-foor-6 Lackey, who completely missed Ellis' two-hopper as he bent down to field it. The only run of the inning came in when Lackey's 2-2 pitch hit Kielty on the right foot with one out, forcing in Durazo.


Oakland SS Bobby Crosby, last season's AL rookie of the year, agreed to a $12.75 million, five-year contract. He is on the disabled list with stress fractures in two ribs after getting injured on opening day. ... Angels 2B Adam Kennedy, who had reconstructive surgery on his right knee last October, was assigned to Triple-A Salt Lake and will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday. ... Guerrero was 2-for-3 against Saarloos and is 8-for-12 lifetime against him.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

S. Hatteberg
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

O. Dotel
IP 1.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 0
K 2

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Oakland Athletics
Mark Kotsay, CF5120004 .357
Marco Scutaro, SS3110210 .326
Eric Chavez, 3B5000014 .188
Erubiel Durazo, DH4120122 .224
Scott Hatteberg, 1B4032101 .286
Mark Ellis, 2B5000016 .292
Nick Swisher, RF4000023 .226
Bobby Kielty, LF2111100 .063
    Eric Byrnes, PR-LF0000000 .195
Adam Melhuse, C4011013 .143
2B - Mark Kotsay (5, Shields), Adam Melhuse (1, Lackey)
RBI - Scott Hatteberg 2 (6), Bobby Kielty (1), Adam Melhuse (1)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Hatteberg 2 (4), Adam Melhuse (1)
CS - Eric Byrnes (1, 2nd base by Shields/Molina)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Ellis-Scutaro-Hatteberg
Oakland Athletics
Kirk Saarloos 5.1733000 6.30
Ricardo Rincon 0.2000110 2.08
Keiichi Yabu (W,1-0) 2100000 1.17
Octavio Dotel (S,4) 1100020 1.23
IBB - Cabrera by Ricardo Rincon
Pitches-Strikes - Kirk Saarloos 84-54, Ricardo Rincon 12-5, Keiichi Yabu 26-17, Octavio Dotel 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kirk Saarloos 12-3, Ricardo Rincon 1-0, Keiichi Yabu 3-3
Batters Faced - Kirk Saarloos 22, Ricardo Rincon 3, Keiichi Yabu 7, Octavio Dotel 4
Los Angeles Angels
Darin Erstad, 1B4000001 .280
Chone Figgins, 2B4110001 .238
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4020000 .333
Garret Anderson, LF4001001 .292
Steve Finley, CF4010001 .175
Orlando Cabrera, SS3110111 .274
Dallas McPherson, 3B3110013 .154
    Maicer Izturis, 3B1000000 .200
Jose Molina, C3001000 .267
   a- Juan Rivera, PH1010000 .276
Jeff DaVanon, DH4021011 .205
a-doubled for Molina in the 9th
2B - Dallas McPherson (1, Saarloos), Juan Rivera (2, Dotel), Jeff DaVanon (2, Saarloos)
3B - Vladimir Guerrero (1, Saarloos)
RBI - Garret Anderson (14), Jose Molina (2), Jeff DaVanon (4)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff DaVanon (2)
SB - Chone Figgins (5, 2nd base off Saarloos/Melhuse)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Erstad-Figgins
E - Garret Anderson (1, Wild throw), John Lackey (1, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
John Lackey 5621240 6.64
Kevin Gregg 1000010 8.10
Scot Shields (H,4) 2100310 1.69
Francisco Rodriguez (BS,1; L,1-1) 1322020 2.25
HBP - Kielty (by John Lackey)
WP - John Lackey (4), Francisco Rodriguez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 105-59, Kevin Gregg 10-7, Scot Shields 42-21, Francisco Rodriguez 21-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 7-4, Scot Shields 3-1, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0
Batters Faced - John Lackey 24, Kevin Gregg 3, Scot Shields 9, Francisco Rodriguez 6
Game Information
Attendance - 43810
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Chris Guccione, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Paul Schrieber, Third Base - Andy Fletcher