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Oakland at Anaheim

Scoreboard
Oakland «203203000111170
L.A. Angels300320110010112

A's warm up for Twins by beating Angels in 10th

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- As unlikely as it appeared throughout the season and again early Sunday, Frank Thomas had a feeling the Oakland Athletics were going to Minnesota.

Fortunately, he knows what to expect.

Thomas homered and drove in four runs, Jeremy Brown scored the go-ahead run on pitcher Brendan Donnelly's throwing error in the 10th inning, and the A's beat the Los Angeles Angels 11-10 Sunday to avoid being swept in a season-ending four-game series.

The A's, who played the finale like an exhibition game, open their best-of-five division series Tuesday at the Metrodome against the Twins, who won the AL Central Division championship on the season's final day.

The Twins went 6-4 against Oakland this season, including 5-1 at the Metrodome, and beat the A's in a division series four years ago before losing to the Angels in the AL championship series.

"We match up well -- great pitching, great defense. They're grinders, we're grinders," Thomas said. "I tell people, they have the ultimate homefield advantage. When you get 50,000 people in there, it's very noisy."

Thomas should know, having played the first 16 years of his career with the Chicago White Sox -- who also play in the AL Central.

The Twins, 25-33 at one stage of the season, needed to beat the White Sox and have Detroit lose to Kansas City in the finale to win the division and nudge the Tigers to wild-card status and a playoff date with the Yankees.

Even when the Tigers led the Royals 6-0 after three innings Sunday, Oakland manager Ken Macha issued a word of caution while speaking before the A's-Angels game.

"We've seen some other leads dwindle also -- some of ours included," he said with a smile.

The Royals beat the Tigers 10-8 in 12 innings and the Twins topped the White Sox 5-1.

The A's (93-69), who clinched the AL West championship last Tuesday, enter the postseason having lost six of their last nine games.

They know that doesn't mean a thing now.

"Our team feels pretty good about themselves," Macha said. "They should, having won a bunch of games and the division."

The Angels (89-73) won seven of their final nine.

Brown started the winning rally by hitting a two-out double off Chris Bootcheck (0-1). Donnelly relieved and walked D'Angelo Jimenez before Jay Payton hit a liner that hit Donnelly in the stomach. The ball bounced toward the third base line before Donnelly picked it up and made a wild throw to first.

Chad Gaudin (4-2) pitched a perfect ninth to earn the victory. Ron Flores, the sixth Oakland pitcher, worked a 1-2-3 10th for his first major league save.

The first five batters in the Oakland lineup were all on the bench by the sixth inning. Thomas hit a three-run homer and a sacrifice fly in his only plate appearances; Mark Kotsay had two hits and a walk, drove in a run and scored three times; and Milton Bradley had two hits and an RBI with a run scored.

Tim Salmon was hitless in four at-bats with a walk and a run scored in the final game of his 15-year career -- all with the Angels.

The 38-year-old outfielder-designated hitter is retiring with franchise-record totals of 299 homers and 986 runs scored along with 1,674 hits and 1,016 RBI. He received a standing ovation from the crowd of 44,107 after popping up in the eighth in his last at-bat.

"About the only word I can think of is finality. It's over," Salmon said. "It just didn't seem like that day would come, but it's starting to sink in now. This whole weekend's been kind of like a dream, in a sense. It's been surreal. It was pretty spectacular. That's why it's special to play your whole career in one organization."

Rookie Jeff Mathis had a career-high three hits, including his second homer for the Angels, who also got home runs from Dallas McPherson and Robb Quinlan.

Oakland's Rich Harden was ineffective in his third start since coming off the disabled list, issuing a season-high six walks and allowing three hits and six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Harden, a possibility to start Game 3 of the division series, threw 91 pitches -- only 44 for strikes.

Los Angeles' Dustin Moseley, making his second big league start, gave up 10 hits and seven runs in four innings.

Notes

  • The first three games in the Oakland-Minnesota division series are day games. The A's were an AL-best 40-21 in day games and the Twins were 27-20. "We're used to playing during the day -- we have the second-most day games in baseball," Macha said. "I don't think it's going to matter."
  • The Angels' 54-29 record since July 1 was the best in the majors.
  • Thomas has hit 235 of his 487 homers as a designated hitter, tying former White Sox teammate Harold Baines for second on baseball's career list. Seattle's Edgar Martinez hit 243 homers as a DH.
  • The Angels finished the season having committed an AL-high 124 errors and 80 unearned runs -- second-most in the majors to Cleveland.
  • Salmon's wife, Marci, threw out the ceremonial first pitch, with Salmon serving as the catcher.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Tim Salmon bids the fans in Anaheim goodbye after 15 years and 299 home runs with the Angels. (AP)
Tim Salmon bids the fans in Anaheim goodbye after 15 years and 299 home runs with the Angels. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

J. Mathis
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Oakland

M. Scutaro
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Oakland Athletics
Jason Kendall, C3110002
   a- Adam Melhuse, PH-C1001102
Mark Kotsay, CF2221100
    Hiram Bocachica, PR-RF2100101
Milton Bradley, RF3121001
    Dan Johnson, PR-1B3101010
Frank Thomas, DH1114000
   b- Jeremy Brown, PH-DH4120001
Eric Chavez, 3B3011010
    D'Angelo Jimenez, 3B1000200
Jay Payton, LF-CF5031101
Nick Swisher, 1B-LF4000004
    Bobby Kielty, LF0000000
Marco Scutaro, SS4230203
Mark Ellis, 2B5120014
Totals411117108319 
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Kendall in the 6th
b-grounded out for Thomas in the 4th
Batting
2B - Mark Kotsay (, Moseley), Milton Bradley (, Moseley), Jeremy Brown 2 (, Romero, Bootcheck), Mark Ellis (, Romero)
HR - Frank Thomas (, Moseley)
SF - Adam Melhuse (), Frank Thomas ()
SH - Bobby Kielty ()
RBI - Adam Melhuse (), Mark Kotsay (), Milton Bradley (), Dan Johnson (), Frank Thomas 4 (), Eric Chavez (), Jay Payton ()
2-OUT RBI - Mark Kotsay (), Milton Bradley (), Eric Chavez (), Jay Payton ()
SB - Mark Kotsay (, 2nd base off Moseley/Mathis), Marco Scutaro (, 2nd base off Moseley/Mathis), Mark Ellis (, 3rd base off Romero/Mathis)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Scutaro-Ellis-Johnson, Scutaro-Ellis-Johnson
Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden 3.2366631
Brad Halsey 1.1422101
Jay Witasick (H,) 2111111
Huston Street (BS,) 1311100
Chad Gaudin (W,-) 1000010
Ron Flores (S,) 1000010
IBB - Kennedy by Huston Street
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 91-44, Brad Halsey 25-18, Jay Witasick 23-13, Huston Street 21-10, Chad Gaudin 10-7, Ron Flores 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 4-3, Brad Halsey 1-2, Jay Witasick 2-2, Huston Street 1-2, Chad Gaudin 2-0
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 19, Brad Halsey 8, Jay Witasick 7, Huston Street 7, Chad Gaudin 3, Ron Flores 3
Los Angeles Angels
Maicer Izturis, SS5121101
Reggie Willits, CF3110211
Tim Salmon, DH4100105
Adam Kennedy, 2B3111210
Robb Quinlan, 3B-LF5122003
Kendry Morales, 1B3101100
Curtis Pride, LF1100101
    Dallas McPherson, 3B3111010
Jeff Mathis, C5233020
Tommy Murphy, RF4010111
Totals36101199612 
Batting
2B - Jeff Mathis (, Street)
HR - Robb Quinlan (, Witasick), Dallas McPherson (, Halsey), Jeff Mathis (, Harden)
SF - Kendry Morales ()
SH - Reggie Willits ()
RBI - Maicer Izturis (), Adam Kennedy (), Robb Quinlan 2 (), Kendry Morales (), Dallas McPherson (), Jeff Mathis 3 ()
2-OUT RBI - Dallas McPherson ()
SB - Maicer Izturis (, 2nd base off Halsey/Kendall)
CS - Tommy Murphy (, 2nd base by Harden/Kendall)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Izturis-Kennedy-Morales, Kennedy-Izturis-Morales, McPherson-Kennedy-Morales
E - Brendan Donnelly (, Throwing), Reggie Willits (, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Dustin Moseley 41077211
J.C. Romero 1.2333100
Greg Jones0000100
Chris Bootcheck (L,-) 4311320
Brendan Donnelly 0.1100100
HBP - Kielty (by Brendan Donnelly)
Pitches-Strikes - Dustin Moseley 93-54, J.C. Romero 28-12, Greg Jones 5-1, Chris Bootcheck 74-45, Brendan Donnelly 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dustin Moseley 4-5, J.C. Romero 2-3, Chris Bootcheck 2-7
Batters Faced - Dustin Moseley 22, J.C. Romero 9, Greg Jones 1, Chris Bootcheck 17, Brendan Donnelly 4
Game Information
Attendance - 44107
Game Time - 3:45
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Ramon Armendariz, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - Wally Bell