A’s bullpen squanders late lead in 5-4 loss to Angels

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 11:21 AM

m. Tuesday night. It'd be a fast turnaround to the daytime finale of the series, but for Sean Doolittle there was still work to be done at the Coliseum."I’m going to be here for a while tonight," the A’s closer said.

A’s bullpen squanders late lead in 5-4 loss to Angels

OAKLAND -- The A’s 5-4 loss to the LA Angels ended shortly before ten p. m. Tuesday night. It'd be a fast turnaround to the daytime finale of the series, but for Sean Doolittle there was still work to be done at the Coliseum.

"I’m going to be here for a while tonight," the A’s closer said.

Doolittle’s first work Tuesday had been to defend a one-run A’s lead in the ninth inning. Instead, he’d given up a two-run residence running to Angels catcher Geovany Soto that was the disagreement in the A’s losing a game they’d never trailed until that point.

It was Doolittle’s first blown rescue of the season, but the second residence running he's allowed in five outings. Both have arrive in the ninth inning of one-run losses. Both have been hit by right-handed batters -- Chicago’s Jimmy Rollins had the first -- on Doolittle’s fastball.

"I’m going to look the video and look what adjustments I can make," Doolittle said after Tuesday’s game. "I perceive love the stuff is there. The execution has just not been as consistent as I necessity it to be. It’s early in the season, but that’s twice already. We’ll have to go to the drawing board and look some film and look what adjustments we can make."

Doolittle has never allowed more than two residence runs at the Coliseum in a single season, and he's already there through six residence games in two thousand-sixteenth. The pitch Soto jumped on was an 0-1 fastball that Doolittle said he actually located too low in the strike zone.

"The way my fastball tends to ride it’s weird, I obtain in trouble sometimes when the ball is down," he said. "I didn’t upraise that pitch enough, and you saw what happened."

The A’s had led the game 4-1 going into the eighth inning before the Angels scored twice against set-up man Ryan Madson. Yunel Escobar and Daniel Nava both hit one-out singles, and after Madson struck out Mike Trout swinging at a changeup, Albert Pujols pulled an 0-2 changeup down the left-field line for a double that scored both runners.

"I knew it was kind of a secure pitch if I got it in there and just let him draw it foul or maybe swing over the top of it," Madson said. "But it was up too much to where he could obtain his bat on it and obtain sufficient on it to lay it in there for a double."

While the fashion of the loss was reminiscent of latest season -- when the A’s led the majors in one-run losses and had the league’s highest bullpen ERA -- there was a willingness in the A’s clubhouse Tuesday night to regard it as an aberration this year.

Madson was one of several veteran relievers brought in to make better the bullpen over the offseason. And for the first ten days of the season the unit has been markedly better. A’s relievers went into Tuesday’s game with a collective 1.86 ERA in twenty-ninth innings.

"(The Angels) had some beautiful excellent hitters obtain some excellent at-bats off them," said A’s manager Bob Melvin. "Both guys (Madson and Doolittle) looked excellent out there … I think the bullpen has been great. You’ve got to give (the Angels) some credit, too."

The first seven innings had been something of a blueprint for how the A’s hope to win a lot of games this season. Starter Kendall Graveman gave them six innings, allowing one running while scattering four hits. Shortstop Marcus Semien hit two residence runs. Leadoff hitter Billy Burns reached base three times, stole two bases and scored twice.

Reliever John Axford pitched a scoreless seventh with an assist from Josh Reddick, who started a double play with a diving capture on Soto’s sinking line drive in right field. Still, for Doolittle, all that only made Tuesday’s outcome more difficult.

"We get a lot of pride in what we do," Doolittle said. "And we were handed a lead late in the game, and I couldn’t obtain the job done."

It left the closer facing a longer night. But across the room, a tiny while later, Madson stood at his locker and lent some perspective. The veteran right-hander was pitching in Philadelphia in two thousand-eighth when teammate Brad Lidge recorded forty-eight saves in forty-eighth chances, including the postseason.

"I’ve only seen one guy go perfect in my whole career, and that was beautiful amazing," Madson said. "He won a lot of awards for it.

"So yeah, it’s one game. It hurts because the guys played so well and Grave threw so well. It’s portion of our work to reward then. We weren’t able to bring it residence for them. But they realize that’s portion of the game, and all parts gotta go."

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