ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Daric Barton and Rajai Davis each had three hits and two RBIs, No. 9 batter Cliff Pennington added a three-run homer, and the Oakland Athletics sent the Los Angeles Angels to their fourth straight defeat with a 10-4 victory Friday night.
Pennington's homer, which gave Oakland a 10-2 lead, was the 10th allowed by Angels pitchers during their first five games. The three-time defending AL West champs, coming off a 10-1 loss to Minnesota on Thursday, are 1-4 for the first time since 1988. The club hasn't opened 1-5 since its inaugural 1961 season, when manager Bill Rigney's squad lost eight in a row after winning the opener.
Gio Gonzalez (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits over six-plus innings in his season debut, striking out six and walking one.
The left-hander, who began each of the previous two seasons at Triple-A before getting called up to the big club, got the chance to start this year on the 25-man roster because of an impressive spring training and an injury to Trevor Cahill.
Matt Palmer (0-1) was charged with seven runs — five earned — and eight hits over five-plus innings in a spot start for Scott Kazmir, whose spring training was interrupted because of hamstring and shoulder injuries.
Kazmir pitched 6 1-3 innings in a tuneup with Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday night, allowing three runs and eight hits while striking out six. He is expected to return to the rotation next week at Yankee Stadium.
It was a profoundly somber anniversary for the Angels, one year after promising young pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed in a car accident.
Adenhart, only 22, had just thrown six scoreless innings against the A's in a no-decision at Angel Stadium with his father watching from the stands. He went out to celebrate his best big league outing but was killed in an early morning crash that also took the lives of his friends Henry Pearson and Courtney Stewart, and seriously injured former Cal State Fullerton catcher and infielder Jon Wilhite.
Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki, a teammate of Wilhite's at Cal State Fullerton who helped raise funds for his friend's rehabilitation, had an RBI single to help the A's win their fourth in a row following an opening night loss at home to Seattle. The 4-1 start is their first since 2004.
Hideki Matsui, back in the DH slot for the Angels after playing left field for the first time since June 2008, drove Gonzalez's first pitch of the second inning for his second homer this season and 600th RBI in the majors. The eight-year veteran drove in 889 runs during 10 seasons in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants.
NOTES: RHP Jered Weaver was presented with the inaugural Nick Adenhart Award in a pregame ceremony. It will be given annually to the Angels' most successful pitcher of the season, as voted on by his teammates. Weaver was the winning pitcher in the Angels' first game after Adenhart's death. ... Angels RHP Bobby Cassevah made his big league debut after getting promoted from Triple-A, allowing only a broken-bat single over the final 2 1-3 innings. The Athletics got him from the Angels in the winter meeting draft last December before returning him to their division rivals.