- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows his team’s disappointing start has left them 11 games under .500 and 16 games behind Texas in the AL West.

After Los Angeles’ 5-4 loss to Oakland on Thursday night, the Angels are now just a half-game ahead of the cellar dwelling A’s. The season is not yet to the half-way mark, but already the odds have grown daunting.

Yet, Scioscia is still hopeful that better days and games await his team.

“They understand we need to play better baseball if we’re going to be where we want to be,” Scioscia said. “And they’re going to come out here (Friday) and play better. That’s their mindset.

“They prepare for every game as well as any team I’ve ever seen. They don’t use excuses. There’s nobody in that room looking around for guys who are there. They know what’s left in that room. They still have a good team and we will play better.”

The Angels have been slowed by injuries all season. They have an entire rotation on the disabled list, including their top two starters, Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney.

One of their hoped-for rotation solutions was to sign two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum. But after a strong first start against the A’s Saturday, but couldn’t repeat it while facing them again.

Lincecum, who was out almost a year after hip surgery and being released by the San Francisco Giants, labored through out his brief start. He threw 83 pitches in his three innings, allowing four runs and seven hits with two walks.

“I relied too much on my fastball and changeup early and waited too long to go to my slider and curveball,” Lincecum said. “At that point, they already had me with a large pitch count.

“They were just good at putting the ball in play and hitting it where we weren’t. Give them credit for making adjustments.”

The A’s scored all four of their runs against Lincecum in the second inning, the big blow a three-run homer from A’s shortstop Marcus Semien. It was his 13th home run of the season.

The Angels pulled within two when they scored twice in the fourth against Kendall Graveman (3-6). Johnny Giavotella’s bloop single scored one run and Jett Bandy’s sacrifice fly scored a second.

That’s all the offense the Angels could manage against Graveman, who became the first A’s starter to earn a victory in 18 games.

Khris Davis added a solo home run, his 17th on the season, off reliever Deolis Guerra in the fifth for what proved the winning run.

Bandy pulled the Angels within one in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run homer - his first of the season - off Oakland’s Sean Doolittle, but the reliever got the final two outs to earn his fourth save of the season.

UMPIRE SCARE

Home plate umpire Paul Emmel was hit in the top of his head by Jefry Marte’s bat with two outs in the ninth when the pinch-hitter lost control of it on a follow-through. Emmel fell to his knees before leaving the field with a towel held to his bleeding head. The game was completed by the remaining three umpires, with Quinn Wolcott moving from third base to behind the plate.

The Angels said after the game, their training staff had stopped the bleeding and Emmel - fully alert - was being taken to a hospital for stitches.

TRAINER’S ROOM

A’s: With 10 players on the disabled list, Oakland expects to get OF Josh Reddick (left thumb fracture) back on Monday. … LHP Rich Hill (left groin strain) is scheduled to make his first rehab start Monday for Class-A Stockton.

Angels: 1B Albert Pujols returned to the lineup after missing two games with an injured left hamstring. … RHP Joe Smith (left hamstring) threw a simulated game Thursday and could make his first rehab appearance Sunday.

UP NEXT

A’s: LHP Eric Surkamp (0-5) will face the Angels for a second consecutive start. Surkamp allowed two runs on six hits and two walks against the Angels Sunday in Oakland. His last victory in the majors came Sept. 16, 2014 as a reliever for the White Sox.

Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (6-6) is coming off his best game of the season in his last start against the A’s. Weaver threw a three-hit shutout Sunday in Oakland. He had allowed 11 runs in the 11 1/3 innings of his two previous starts.

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