Cespedes hits two-run double as Lowrie scores twice
Bullpen candidate Chavez starts, pitches 2 2/3 scoreless against AL West-rival Angels
TEMPE, Ariz. -- New Angels starter Hector Santiago gave up one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings Sunday and A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run double in Oakland's 3-2 win against the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Joe Blanton, fighting for a role after posting a 6.04 ERA in 132 2/3 innings last year, gave up back-to-back singles to Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson in the fifth before Cespedes drove in both with a line drive over the head of left fielder Raul Ibanez to give the A's a three-run lead. Blanton retired the next seven of the next eight batters in order, but the Angels did not score until the eighth.
Santiago, acquired as part of the three-team trade that sent Mark Trumbo to the D-backs in December, pitched around two Angels misplays and his own two walks to allow only a first-inning run, giving up one hit and striking out three in a 49-pitch outing.
"Little erratic in the first 15, 20 pitches, but after that I was able to settle down," Santiago said. "That's just more adrenaline, just getting out there and competing against hitters with an umpire back there and getting in a game situation."
Seven regulars were in the A's lineup: Coco Crisp, Lowrie, Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Stephen Vogt, Eric Sogard and Cespedes. Crisp went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, Lowrie scored two runs and Moss worked two walks. Outfielders Michael Taylor and Sam Fuld, both competing for a spot off the bench, went hitless.
The Angels also had seven regulars in their lineup: Erick Aybar, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, David Freese, Howie Kendrick, Chris Iannetta and Ibanez. Aybar reached base twice with a single and a walk, and outfielder Brennan Boesch -- competing for a bench spot after signing a Minor League contract -- notched two singles.
Facing lefty Joe Savery with one out in the fifth, Trout drew a walk to load the bases, but Pujols grounded into a 5-3 double play to end the inning and cap an 0-for-3 day.
Right-hander Jesse Chavez, competing for a spot in the A's bullpen, pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings to start the game, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out two. Reliever Dan Otero pitched a 1-2-3 sixth, then allowed two hits and struck out two in the seventh before exiting.
Up next: Right-hander A.J. Griffin, who threw 200 innings for the A's last year, makes his Cactus League debut Monday against the visiting Dodgers at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in a 12:05 p.m. PT contest. Outfield prospect Billy Burns, acquired from Washington for Jerry Blevins this offseason, has impressed early in camp, and he'll be in the starting lineup, batting leadoff and playing center field for Oakland. The game is available live on MLB.TV.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.