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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A rookie pitcher and his new battery mate combine to help cool off the Los Angeles Angels.
Paul Blackburn limited the Angels to five hits in 6 2/3 innings and Dustin Garneau had two RBIs to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 5-0 victory on Saturday night.
Blackburn (3-1) was in control all night against an Angels team that had won four straight and scored at least five runs in seven consecutive games. The 2012 No. 1 draft pick of the Cubs didn't walk a batter. Just called up July 1, Blackburn, 23, has a 2.60 ERA in seven starts.
"He's been about as consistent as anyone we've had for the period of time he's been here," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "He's a guy you really look forward to getting on the mound now."
Garneau, just claimed off waivers from the Colorado Rockies on Friday, started at catcher and singled in two runs.
"It's one thing coming to a new team and getting there that day and being in the lineup," Melvin said. "It's another thing calling a shutout with four pitchers."
Tyler Skaggs (1-2) went four uneven innings for the Angels, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. He threw 83 pitches in his first start since going on the disabled list April 29 with an oblique strain.
The A's scored the only run they would need in the first when Rajai Davis singled, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch. Davis had three stolen bases on the night.
"After the first inning — obviously Rajai Davis does what he does — Skaggs settled down and made some good pitches the next couple of innings," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "It looked like he lost his feel for his curveball a little bit. He threw a lot of pitches and was behind the count tonight.
"But he'll be better next time and hopefully we'll start to get a little length."
Relievers Ryan Dull, Santiago Casilla and Blake Treinen worked the final 2 1/3 innings to complete the fourth shutout of the season for Oakland.
The A's stole home for the first time in nine years in the sixth. With runners on the corners, Davis broke for second. When catcher Martin Maldonado came up throwing, Mark Canha broke for home on a delayed steal to complete the double steal.
"That's not typically in our playbook but we got the opportunity," Melvin said.
The catcher played at nearby Cal State Fullerton and went to high school about 40 minutes away. He made a nice first impression on his new teammates.
"You definitely want to show these guys you can at least catch and call a good game," he said. "The two RBIs are just a little bonus on top."
Athletics: Right-hander Bobby Wahl, who hasn't pitched for Oakland since going on the disabled list May 24, made five rehab appearances before being shut down again with a sore shoulder. Melvin said the injury flared up again in his last rehab appearance and he is scheduled to be examined by team doctor William Workman.
Angels: It's looking more as if right-hander Matt Shoemaker's season may be over. The Angels announced Friday they were now exploring surgery for his compressed forearm nerve, and Scioscia said Saturday it appeared the only remaining option.
Athletics: Left-hander Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.90 ERA) allowed six runs (two earned) on nine hits in three innings against the Giants in his last start. In four career starts against Los Angeles, he is 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA.
Angels: Inconsistent right-hander Ricky Nolasco (5-12, 4.90 ERA) will attempt to duplicate his last effort (one run on six hits in six innings against Toronto) against the A's. In 10 starts against the A's, he is 4-3 with a 3.26 ERA.
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