A week after sweeping the A’s, the Angels are swept by Oakland in a shutout

Pitcher Roansy Contreras, center, covers his face with his glove as players gather with coach Ron Washington on the mound
Angels pitcher Roansy Contreras, center, is pulled from the game by manager Ron Washington in the third inning of a 5-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)
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Lawrence Butler homered, JP Sears won for the first time in more than a month, and the Oakland Athletics blanked the Angels on Thursday for a second straight game by the same 5-0 score to complete a three-game series sweep.

Miguel Andujar and Brent Rooker hit back-to-back RBI singles in the third and Tyler Soderstrom added a sacrifice fly in the decisive inning on a hot Independence Day in the Bay Area, with an announced holiday crowd of 11,956.

Oakland’s pitching shut down an Angels lineup that had been on quite an offensive run.

Joey Estes pitched Oakland’s first individual shutout in more than three years as the Athletics beat the Angels.

July 3, 2024

“This offense that we faced had scored five or more runs in (seven) consecutive games, they had won six of their last seven, they swept us in Anaheim, beat a Detroit team at home, came here really confident and really swinging the bats well,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “So our pitching staff really did a great job this series of controlling their offense, keeping the guys that had really been providing the offense at check and not giving away free bases.”


Sears (5-7) struck out six and walked one, allowing two hits over five innings to snap a six-start winless stretch since beating Houston on May 25. The left-hander had dropped his previous four decisions.

Angels center fielder Kevin Pillar leaps against a blue center field wall to rob JJ Bleday of a home run
Angels center fielder Kevin Pillar robs Oakland’s JJ Bleday of a home run during the first inning Thursday.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

“It’s contagious, you just want to do what the guy did before you,” Sears said.

The Angels lost a fourth straight game coming off a 5-0 shutout Wednesday. They were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since June 20-21, 2023 at home against the Dodgers.

The club now has a six-game losing streak at the Coliseum.

“It was just a tough overall series,” said center fielder Kevin Pillar, who made several sparkling catches and said he was close to snagging Butler’s eighth inning drive. “We were playing really good baseball at home, you got that off day, you come here, just playing these guys not a lot of secrets.”

Right-hander Roansy Contreras (1-1) walked two of the first three batters in the third to get in trouble, then gave up the run-scoring singles and a sacrifice fly before another walk — and that was it in his second start for the Angels. He lasted just 2⅔ innings.

The Angels played the first of four straight day games as they head to Chicago to face the Cubs — their first visit to Wrigley Field since 2019.

Injury updates: Angels star Mike Trout hit on the field off a tee during Monday’s off day and is running on a treadmill now as he recovers from a torn meniscus in his left knee. Manager Ron Washington saw the video and said “he looked natural.” ... Third baseman Luis Rengifo was feeling better after exiting a night earlier with an injury on his lower right arm near the wrist after fouling a ball off it in the ninth inning. ... Third baseman Anthony Rendon (left hamstring strain) will return to regular third base duties when healthy, with some games at designated hitter as needed, Washington said.

Up next: Right-hander Griffin Canning (3-8, 4.71 ERA) takes the mound for the Angels in the series opener with the Cubs. Left-hander Hogan Harris (1-2, 3.18) pitches for the A’s in Friday’s series opener against Baltimore, which counters with RHP Albert Suárez (4-2, 2.43).