ANGELS (24-28) AT ATHLETICS (28-25)
4:07 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, FS-W, MLB.TV
When it comes to baseball player names, Skye Bolt has to be right up there with the best.
The Oakland Athletics rookie outfielder got his first major league start Sunday afternoon against visiting Seattle. Bolt went 0-for-3 with a walk and scored a run as the A’s extended their winning streak to nine consecutive games with a 7-1 victory.
They’ll go for No. 10 in a row Monday afternoon when they open a three-game series at home against the American League West rival Los Angeles Angels.
Sunday capped a travel-laden week for Bolt, who took a red-eye flight to join the A’s in Cleveland only to find that designated hitter Khris Davis wasn’t quite ready to go on the 10-day injured list. Bolt returned to Triple-A Las Vegas without officially being called up.
“That was hectic,” Bolt told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But they’d explained what might happen. I got back to Vegas at 2 a.m., got two at-bats that day and got on a plane and I was right back (with the A’s). But I was prepared for it.”
Bolt rejoined the team in Oakland on Friday when Davis, after further medical examination, went on the IL with a hip/oblique contusion.
Bolt made his big league debut earlier this month as a pinch hitter in Pittsburgh and doubled in his second game.
The 25-year-old was Oakland’s fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft out of North Carolina.
“We didn’t want him sitting around too long,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of starting Bolt on Sunday. “A youngster, used to playing every day, at some point in time, it’s diminishing returns if we don’t get him in there.”
Bolt got the start in part because right fielder Stephen Piscotty missed his second consecutive game because of the stomach flu.
“It’s exciting to get in and contribute,” Bolt told The Chronicle. “To get a first start at home, in Oakland, it’s great.”
Melvin said Piscotty was available off the bench if needed Sunday, so it’s likely he’ll be back in the starting lineup Monday.
The Angels were originally planning on using an “opener” Monday and then bringing on right-hander Felix Pena, who is 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five appearances since April 24, when the team first brought him in for the second inning.
But Pena pitched a scoreless inning of relief Sunday, striking out three, as the Angels defeated the visiting Texas Rangers 7-6, leaving right-hander Trevor Cahill to start against his former team on Monday.
“We’re gonna have to figure out the starting rotation moving forward a little bit,” said Angels manager Brad Ausmus, “but the only thing we can control is today’s game, and I felt like he could help us win the game once we got the lead.”
A 2006 second-round pick of the A’s who pitched three seasons in Oakland (2009-11) and was a 2010 All-Star, Cahill is 2-4 with a 6.43 ERA this season, but he’s coming off a solid outing, allowing one run on two hits in five innings against Minnesota on Tuesday. He is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA in two career starts against the Athletics.
The A’s are scheduled to start right-hander Chris Bassitt (2-1, 2.48), who is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in four career games against the Angels, starting two of those.
The Angels rallied for a 3-2 victory Saturday night against visiting Texas, earning their first walk-off win of the season on rookie Jared Walsh’s bloop single. That snapped a five-game losing streak.
Los Angeles rallied again Sunday, as Andrew Heaney struck out eight over five innings in his season debut, and Mike Trout homered. The Angels overcame a 5-1 deficit with a six-run seventh inning.
Justin Anderson pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
“That was awesome,” Anderson told the Orange County Register. “Those guys kept fighting, fighting and fighting, throwing up run after run after run. You get that momentum shift.”
–Field Level Media