ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -
pronounced it a very fine opening day for the
Los Angeles Angels
''I don't think you could ask for more,'' Kendrick said after the Angels got good pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting
in a 3-0 victory over the
Kendrick hit a solo homer and singled in another run.
, filling in for
, checked Oakland on three hits over 6 2-3 innings.
followed and didn't allow a baserunner. Fuentes, replacing
, earned his first save with the Angels.
out at third on the front end of an attempted double steal in the third inning, and center fielder
and third baseman
also came up with good defensive plays.
''Give the defense an A-plus,'' Saunders said after his first opening-day assignment. ''It was an honor just for me to be
''Then the fans gave me a standing 'O.' It was special.''
Saunders, whose 17-7 record was the Angels' best last season, and
are the only two regulars in Los Angeles' rotation. Lackey,
are on the disabled list and expected to miss at least the first month.
Los Angeles manager
, who took Saunders (1-0) out of the game after he got the first two batters in the seventh and ran his pitch count to 93,
was pleased with the left-hander's performance.
''That gives us a big lift, especially when some of the guys we're counting on (in the rotation) are not available now,''
Scioscia said. ''It was a great effort. His stuff was alive, and he was right on the money.''
singled in the second inning and former Angels shortstop
led off the sixth with a double for Oakland's only hits.
, up and down between Oakland and the minors the past two seasons, allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings.
The 25-year-old Braden (0-1) was making just his 25th big league start. He drew the opening-day assignment because staff ace
is coming back from arthroscopic elbow surgery.
Braden labeled his outing as ''extremely average.''
''If you're going to pitch in the one slot, it's got to be better than that,'' he said. ''You're going to be competing against
guys who hold offenses to one and two runs all year long.''
The shutout was the Angels' first in an opener since 1978 - when they beat the A's 1-0. Oakland was blanked for the third
time in its last five season-opening games.
had RBI singles in the third, and Kendrick drove a 2-1 pitch from Braden over the wall in right-center in the fifth.
The Angels have won the AL West four of the past five years and are coming off a 100-win season that was the best in the majors,
although they again lost to Boston in the first round of the playoffs. Los Angeles finished spring training with a 26-8 record
that also was baseball's best.
The A's finished 75-86 last year, third behind Texas in the West.
Notes: Holliday became the 10th different opening-day starter in left field for the A's in as many years. ... Saunders is
the first left-hander to get the nod for the Angels on opening day since
in 2002. They went on to win their only World Series that season. ... Hunter will receive his eighth consecutive Gold Glove
before Tuesday night's game.