Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Young, Smith lead A’s past Angels 7-5

TEMPE, Ariz. — This early in spring training, the Oakland Athletics want to be careful with even the slightest twinge.

Especially on a chilly afternoon with temperatures in the upper 50s.

Chris Young doubled home a run before leaving with a leg cramp in Oakland’s 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

Seth Smith had two RBIs and Coco Crisp added a pair of hits for the A’s in a game that took 3 hours, 44 minutes. Young doubled and scored in the first inning but got a cramp in his quadriceps while running down a fly ball in the bottom half and was removed as a precaution.

“It’s a cramp more than anything else,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin, adding that Young would be back on the field in two days. “He had a nice hit. He made a nice play. It’s something you don’t mess around with.”

Young, acquired from Arizona during the offseason, is expected to play all over the outfield this season because the A’s already have three regulars in Yoenis Cespedes, Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick.

Oakland starter Travis Blackley allowed three hits in a scoreless inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Tommy Field in the first but picked him off.

“I’ll take any zero I can get right now, as ugly as it may be,” Blackley said. “It was a tough day to pitch. My cutter was really good today. My pickoff is still there. It saved me.”

Blackley said strong wind that included gusts of more than 25 mph throughout the day nearly pushed him off the mound while he was in the stretch. The left-hander went 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 24 games (15 starts) for Oakland last year after he was claimed off waivers from San Francisco in May.

Angels starter Barry Enright managed only two outs. He gave up three runs and four hits in the first inning.

Young doubled in Crisp, who had singled to open the game, for a 1-0 lead. Smith followed with an RBI double and scored later on Scott Sizemore’s sacrifice fly. After Daric Barton’s single, Angels manager Mike Scioscia lifted Enright.

“You just grit your teeth and get through it,” Enright said. “It’s a little discouraging to come out like that.”

Enright, obtained from Arizona last July, has a 7-11 career record in the majors with a 5.13 ERA in 140 1-3 innings.

NOTES: Scioscia said many of his top players, specifically newcomer Josh Hamilton, would begin playing toward the middle of this week. “(Hamilton) doesn’t need 70 or 80 at-bats to be ready,” Scioscia said. “They’ll (all) be on schedule.” … Angels 1B Albert Pujols is expected to get back on the field in mid-March. He is recovering from offseason knee surgery.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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