OAKLAND (AP) — Andrew Triggs had trouble spotting his fastball early. He felt better after escaping a jam — and early burst by his Oakland teammates helped, too.
Triggs pitched into the sixth inning for his second major league win, Ryon Healy homered and the Athletics beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 Thursday for an opening four-game split.
“When he’s throwing the ball over the plate … it’s got so much movement on it, he’s just a tough guy to get a good swing on,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “As the game went along it seems like his stuff got a little better, then (he) got a lead and got some confidence behind it.”
Triggs (1-0), who won at St. Louis on Aug. 28, allowed an unearned run, four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander gave up Albert Pujols’ RBI groundout in the third and left after consecutive singles in the sixth.
“It was about getting my fastball command a little bit more honed in as things got along there,” Triggs said. “That inning by us was absolutely huge with Healy really breaking it open.”
Healy homered during a four-run third.
Liam Hendricks, Santiago Casilla and Sean Doolittle combined for hitless relief.
Tyler Skaggs (0-1) had gotten a victory in his first start each season from 2013-16 but that streak came to an end as he gave up five runs, five hits and three walks in 5 1-3 innings.
“I was rushing out of the stretch and I let some pitches get away from me,” Skaggs said. “The one to Healy … I wanted the pitch outside and it was right down the middle. I have to pitch to my strengths and not their strengths.”
Adam Rosales scored from first when Marcus Semien’s routine single to center deflected off Mike Trout’s glove and rolled to the wall for an error. Khris Davis hit a sacrifice fly and Healy hit a two-run homer with two outs that landed halfway up the bleachers in left.
Trevor Plouffe added an RBI single in the sixth.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia had to dip into his bullpen a lot more than he wanted to in this series because none of his starters got past the sixth inning. “We know there are some things that have to evolve,” he said. “Once we can get there, we can get our bullpen where we want to be on a nightly basis.”
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards was feeling better, a day after leaving his first start of the season with cramping in his biceps. He missed most of last season with an elbow injury and his appearance Wednesday was his first in 11 months. “Our medical staff is going to look into things,” Scioscia said. “They’re confident that it’s not connected to his other situation last year. Garrett’s comfortable when he talks about it so hopefully this is just a little bump in the road.” … 3B Luis Valbuena (right hamstring strain) has been hitting in the batting cage and could begin running on the field early next week.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (shoulder strain) is scheduled to throw his second bullpen session Friday when Oakland plays in Texas. . RHP John Axford has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain in his right shoulder. He has been told not to throw for at least seven days.
Angels: RHP Jesse Chavez is to make his Angels debut on Friday against Seattle when Los Angeles opens a six-game homestand.
Athletics: RHP Raul Alcantara is slated to make his third career start against the Rangers on Friday in Texas. Alcantara went 1-1 against the Rangers last season.
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