OAKLAND, California — Athletics manager Bob Melvin got his first look at a handful of young pitchers on the day major league rosters were expanded. He liked what he saw.
Cody Martin (0-1) pitched three-plus innings and lost in his first major league start, Ryan Dull threw a scoreless inning in his major league debut and R.J. Alvarez was impressive in his inning of work as Oakland dropped a 6-2 decision to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
Martin, who made 21 relief appearances with the Atlanta Braves earlier this season, got through two innings unscathed before things fell apart.
The first five batters in the third reached safely against him, and he allowed four runs as the Angels erased an early 1-0 deficit.
"I gave up a fastball right down the middle to (Carlos) Perez to start that inning and I started centering pitches, trying to do too much," Martin said. "I threw a lot of good pitches early and then I made a few mistakes and they took advantage. The mental error getting to first base didn't help."
Dull pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out C.J. Cron, the first batter he faced.
"It was exactly the way I thought it would," Dull said. "As a kid, that's what I dreamed about doing. You can't draw it up any better than that."
Dull's effort brought a smile to Melvin's face.
"He looked good," Melvin said. "He looks like someone's 12-year-old out there and didn't seem to be affected by nerves."
Alvarez, in his fourth stint with the A's this season, struck out two in a perfect ninth.
"His stuff is there and he threw the ball over the plate," Melvin said. "It's all about confidence and throwing strikes."
David Freese singled and scored in his return to the Angels' lineup after missing more than a month with a fractured right index finger. Perez added two hits while Mike Trout also singled and scored to help manager Mike Scioscia to his 1,397th career win.
Shoemaker (7-9) gave up five hits and one run over seven mostly crisp innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list. He struck out five, walked two and allowed only two runners past first base.
Brett Lawrie homered for the A's, a solo shot off Shoemaker in the first.
The Angels were 2-5 on this nine-game road trip and coming off their first losing month in more than two years before breaking out with four runs in the third.
Calhoun had an RBI infield single, Albert Pujols was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded while David Murphy and Cron also drove in runs during the inning.
Freese scored on a double play in the fourth to make it 5-1.
Calhoun homered off Dan Otero leading off the seventh.
Angels: RHP Colby Rasmus also returned from the disabled list after missing two weeks with a right forearm strain. ... INF Taylor Featherstone (upper back strain), LHP Matt Joyce (concussion) and INF Colin Cowgill (right wrist) were activated from the DL as well.
Athletics: OF Sam Fuld (back spasms) did not play and will likely sit out Wednesday's game. ... RHP Jesse Hahn (forearm strain) was transferred to the 60-day DL. ... RHP A.J. Griffin was recalled from Triple-A Nashville and transferred to the 60-day DL. ... RHP Angel Castro was outrighted to Nashville.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (5-2) pitches the series finale Wednesday and is winless in his previous six starts. Opposing hitters are batting .304 against him during that stretch.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (12-6) has three wins in his four starts against the Angels this season. Gray also has the lowest ERA in the AL but has only two wins in his previous six starts.