Oakland at Los Angeles

Athletics stun Angels on Jaso's pinch-hit home run in ninth

CBSSports.com wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- John Jaso came up big again as a pinch-hitter with a home run against Los Angeles Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, a year and five days after doing the same thing to Kevin Jepsen at Angel Stadium -- a place where Jaso just loves to hit.

Jaso's go-ahead, two-run shot in the ninth inning sent the Oakland Athletics to a 3-2 victory Monday night. Yoenis Cespedes also went deep for the A's, offsetting Albert Pujols' 496th home run.

Frieri (0-1) was trying to preserve a 2-1 lead for starter Hector Santiago when Josh Donaldson led off the ninth with a single and Cespedes flied out. Jaso batted for Derek Norris and drove a 1-2 pitch deep into the right-field seats for his first homer of the season and the first by an A's pinch-hitter.

"Donaldson hit that ball hard to start off the inning, and it kind of started there," Jaso said. "I think Cespy just missed a pitch, too, so we definitely had some good swings going and some good momentum against Frieri.

"He showed me one changeup earlier in the at-bat and got a strike, so I thought he was going to go back with an off-speed pitch -- especially after I fouled off a couple of his fastballs," Jaso added. "But he came back with another heater and left it out over the plate. My timing was a little bit better on that particular pitch, and it looked really good to hit."

Jaso has six home runs and 21 RBI at Angel Stadium along with a .424 average, the highest by any player with at least 75 plate appearances at the "Big A."

"He got a really good pitch to hit and the ball went out," Frieri said. "In that situation, he's looking for something middle-in to drive in the air -- especially when they have a man on base. He hit a mistake pitch. Don't get me wrong, he made good contact, but I was trying to go down and away."

It appeared Frieri needed more consoling from Santiago than vice versa.

"I closed in 2012, so I know how it is, man. You've got to have a short memory and forget about it," Santiago said. "He's going to close more games than he blows. He said 'Sorry' to me, but I told him: 'No, don't worry about it, man. We're all out here battling.' I could have given up a two-run homer and given up the lead in the seventh."

Santiago allowed a run and five hits while striking out three in his fourth start for the Angels after spending his three previous big league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. A two-out home run by Cespedes in the fourth was Oakland's only run against the left-hander.

The Angels lost a replay challenge in the ninth after Howie Kendrick was ruled out by first-base umpire Chris Segal on a grounder in the hole that second baseman Nick Punto bobbled before throwing to Daric Barton.

Jim Johnson (1-2) got the victory with a scoreless eighth, and Luke Gregerson earned his second save.

Jesse Chavez allowed two runs -- one earned -- and four hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. Oakland's starting pitchers have yielded three earned runs or fewer in every game so far, the second-longest streak by an A's rotation at the beginning of a season since a 16-game stretch in 1981, when manager Billy Martin's starters were Mike Norris, Rick Langford, Matt Keough, Steve McCatty and Brian Kingman.

"It certainly hurts to lose two important guys like [Jarrod] Parker and [A.J.] Griffin," manager Bob Melvin said. "But when you have guys like Jesse Chavez and Tommy Milone that are going to step in and hold the fort down and compete at a high level, that's what we expect from those guys. So we have the depth."

Pujols, closing in on 500 home runs, a celebrated milestone achieved by 25 players in major league history, has four home runs and eight RBI in his past six games after driving in only one run in 30 at-bats over his first seven games.

The three-time NL MVP also had an RBI single in the opener of a 19-game season series between the AL West rivals, who have combined to win 11 division titles during the past 14 years. The two-time Gold Glove first baseman frustrated the A's in the eighth by starting a slick double play on Jed Lowrie's grounder.


Oakland CF and leadoff hitter Coco Crisp didn't play because of tightness in his left hamstring. ... Los Angeles 3B David Freese was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He has five hits and 13 strikeouts in his first 43 at-bats with the Angels.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Minutes before a lunar eclipse, John Jaso looks skyward to follow the arc of his game-changing home run in the ninth inning.  (Getty Images)
Minutes before a lunar eclipse, John Jaso looks skyward to follow the arc of his game-changing home run in the ninth inning. (Getty Images)

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Oakland Athletics
Craig Gentry, CF3010000 .200
   a-Brandon Moss, PH-LF0000000 .295
Jed Lowrie, SS4000002 .216
Josh Donaldson, 3B4120011 .241
Yoenis Cespedes, LF-CF3111102 .240
Derek Norris, C3000001 .240
   b-John Jaso, PH-C1112000 .308
Alberto Callaspo, DH4030000 .394
Nick Punto, 2B4010002 .238
Josh Reddick, RF4000024 .100
Daric Barton, 1B4000012 .080
Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   Jim Johnson, P0000000 .000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
a-hit by pitch for Gentry in the 8th
b-homered for Norris in the 9th
HR - Yoenis Cespedes (3, Santiago), John Jaso (1, Frieri)
RBI - Yoenis Cespedes (10), John Jaso 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Yoenis Cespedes (3)
SB - Craig Gentry (1, 2nd base off Santiago/Conger)
Team LOB - 6
E - Daric Barton (2, Throwing)
PB - Derek Norris (1)
Oakland Athletics
Jesse Chavez 7421091 1.35
Jim Johnson (W,1-2) 1100000 9.95
Luke Gregerson (S,2) 1000000 1.17
WP - Jesse Chavez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jesse Chavez 100-77, Jim Johnson 9-6, Luke Gregerson 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jesse Chavez 8-5, Jim Johnson 2-1, Luke Gregerson 2-1
Batters Faced - Jesse Chavez 26, Jim Johnson 4, Luke Gregerson 3
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
Kole Calhoun, RF4120011 .222
Mike Trout, CF4000023 .296
Albert Pujols, 1B4122001 .259
Raul Ibanez, DH4000010 .186
Howie Kendrick, 2B4000022 .226
David Freese, 3B4000022 .140
J.B. Shuck, LF3000000 .294
   Collin Cowgill, LF0000000 .333
Hank Conger, C3000010 .294
Erick Aybar, SS3010000 .214
Hector Santiago, P0000000 .000
   Joe Smith, P0000000 .000
   Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
   Jose Alvarez, P0000000 .000
2B - Kole Calhoun (3, Johnson)
HR - Albert Pujols (4, J. Chavez)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (4)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols, Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols-Pujols-Aybar
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
Hector Santiago 7511131 4.96
Joe Smith (H,2) 1000000 0.00
Ernesto Frieri (L,0-1; BS,1) 0.1422001 6.75
Jose Alvarez 0.2000010 0.00
HBP - Moss (by Joe Smith)
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Santiago 101-65, Joe Smith 11-7, Ernesto Frieri 25-18, Jose Alvarez 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Santiago 5-12, Joe Smith 1-1
Batters Faced - Hector Santiago 26, Joe Smith 3, Ernesto Frieri 5, Jose Alvarez 2
Game Information
Attendance - 37120
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Chris Segal, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Todd Tichenor