Dustin Moseley got his turn on Friday night and limited the defending AL West champs to a run and five hits in six-plus innings of the Angels’ 5-2 victory.
Moseley (1-0) struck out four and walked none in his third major league start and fourth appearance overall. The right-hander began the season in the rotation along with Joe Saunders because of injuries to Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver.
“There is some added pressure there because you don’t have a solidified spot in the rotation,” Moseley said. “But for the most part, I try to stay within myself, and that’s what I was able to do tonight. If I can keep doing that, I know I can get guys out. I’ve just got to throw strikes and command the zone. Hopefully I can go out there and throw strikes this next outing, try to keep them in the game again and see what happens from there.”
Joe Kennedy (0-1) gave up two runs—one earned—and six hits over six innings for Oakland in his first start since Oct. 2, 2005. The left-hander is 0-9 in his career against the Angels with a 5.82 ERA in 15 appearances, including 10 starts. He missed about half the 2006 season because of shoulder tendinitis and appeared in 39 games as a reliever—the first time in his big league career that he did not have any starts.
“They’ve got my number,” Kennedy said. “I’m 0-9 now against them, but I’ll face them a few more times this year and hopefully my luck will change.”
Scot Shields threw a wild pitch to Eric Chavez with the bases loaded in the eighth, allowing Marco Scutaro to score Oakland’s second run. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his third save, striking out pinch-hitter Bobby Kielty with runners at second and third to end the game.
Rodriguez, who led the majors last season with a franchise-record 47 saves, has only one perfect ninth inning in four appearances this season. The previous two nights, he got out of a bases-loaded jam with only one run scoring, then surrendered a game-winning solo homer to Mike Piazza on Thursday night.
“Frankie’s fine,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “If he’s out there and has to throw 20 pitches, he has the capability to throw 25-30 pitches. You don’t want it to happen very often, but it happened tonight.”
A’s catcher Jason Kendall, who has started more games (993) than any other catcher since the start of the 2000 season, was given a rare night off by rookie manager Bob Geren after he went 2-for-20 in Oakland’s first four games. Adam Melhuse made his season debut and committed a passed ball with the bases loaded in the third, allowing Gary Matthews Jr. to score the game’s first run.
“I wasn’t crossed up,” Melhuse said. “It was just a slider that wasn’t Joe’s normal slider. It just kind of backed up, and instead of breaking down and away to Garret (Anderson), it kind of broke down and in. So it was the exact opposite of what I was expecting. I was actually lucky that I got a little bit of glove on it.”
Melhuse doubled to left in the sixth inning past a diving Anderson and scored on Nick Swisher’s single to cut the Angels’ lead to 2-1. Swisher started in center field in place of Milton Bradley, who was a late scratch because of soreness in his right side.
After Oakland wasted a leadoff double by Eric Chavez in the seventh, the Angels got three in the bottom half on Guerrero’s three-run homer to right-center against Jay Witasick. Kendrick had a leadoff homer into the left-field bullpen in the fourth.
Bobby Crosby, Oakland’s injury-plagued shortstop, left the game after five innings because of back spasms.
Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president for on-field operations, spoke to Angels general manager Bill Stoneman on Friday in response to a blogger’s accusations that Rodriguez had doctored the ball in the Texas series. According to manager Mike Scioscia, Watson told Stoneman that the matter was not being investigated. … Weaver, recovering from biceps tendinitis, allowed a run and two hits over four innings in a rehab start for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He has one more rehab start on Wednesday night before his scheduled return to the Angels’ rotation on April 16 at Boston. … Sunday’s scheduled Oakland starter, RHP Joe Blanton, is 0-6 against the Angels with a 3.77 ERA in 10 appearances— including two complete games last season and a loss on Sept. 28 in his only relief outing of 2006. … Despite his passed ball, Melhuse has not been charged with a fielding error in 91 consecutive games—the fourth-longest errorless streak by a catcher in Oakland history. The longest was 107, by Mike Macfarlane between July 1998 and September 1999.