ANAHEIM - Entering this series the Angels were known as the aggressive team on the base paths, forcing opponents into mistakes.
Maybe they should switch scouting reports with the A's.
It was Oakland that took a page from Angels manager Mike Scioscia's book, pulling off a double steal that had Mark Canha breaking for home as Rajai Davis stole second in the sixth inning Saturday. Canha was safe at the plate as Kaleb Cowart rushed a wild throw from second, giving Canha the A's first steal of home since Carlos Gonzalez did it in 2008. It provided a little cushion in a 5-0 win at Angel Stadium.
"I kind of trusted myself and told myself to be super aggressive," Canha said, "and if he makes an excellent pump fake and I'm running down third with my pants down so to speak, then that's how it goes. But I was gonna be aggressive there and just kind of gambled."
The Angels entered this three-game series leading the majors in stolen bases. But on Saturday, it was Davis, the A's speed demon, who ran wild. He stole second and third in the first inning and scored on a wild pitch. Then he nabbed another base on the double steal, and there's no doubt his speed occupied the thoughts of Angels catcher Martin Maldonado, giving Canha his opportunity from third.
Davis, seeing most of his playing time in center against left-handed starters, is finally impacting games the way the A's envisioned when they signed him in the offseason. He's hitting .339 with 13 stolen bases over his past 23 games.
"Anytime you get a guy like Rajai out there, taking big leads and getting pitchers thinking about him, speed can kill you," Canha said. "Rajai was wreaking havoc out there today. I think he deserves more of the credit than I do."