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Oakland at Anaheim

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Oakland (48-52) «1100001104110
L.A. Angels (57-42)000100020360

Athletics 4, Angels 3

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Rookie Travis Buck seemed to be all over the place.

Oakland's leadoff batter had a hand in all the Athletics' runs and made a critical catch in the outfield Tuesday night in a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

He went 4-for-5, scored the first run in the opening inning, had an RBI double in the second, a solo home run in the seventh, then capped the Athletics' scoring with a run-scoring single in the eighth inning.

That last run turned out to be the difference, as Los Angeles rallied for two runs in the eighth to close within a run.

Lenny DiNardo, a converted reliever who pitched into the seventh inning and held the Angels to three hits, had already been pulled when Buck made a diving catch to end the Angels' uprising in the eighth. But he certainly appreciated it.

"He busts his hump every day, so I'm getting used to it," DiNardo said. "His plays are extraordinary, but he's making them look easy.

"He saved me tonight. All I can ask for is for him to keep doing it."

A's manager Bob Geren believes he just might.

"This guy is going to be a really good player. You can see it," Geren said of the 23-year-old Buck. "(He) was obviously the big offensive hero tonight.

"He did a tremendous job hitting the ball to the opposite field and showing power to the opposite field."

Even the Angels' Kelvim Escobar, who gave up an RBI single and solo homer to Buck, paid him his due.

"He had a great game," said Escobar, who lost for the first time in his last six decisions. "He's a very talented young guy."

One place Buck couldn't be found, however, was in the clubhouse. He didn't show up to speak with reporters.

DiNardo (5-6) walked one, struck out two and gave up one run in 6 2/3 innings. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts.

The 27-year-old DiNardo, who has limited opponents to two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, lowered his overall ERA to 2.41, including 1.38 in his 12 relief appearances.

He is 4-5 in 10 starts this year, and is coming off an outing when he held Texas to three hits and no walks over seven innings of Oakland's 6-0 victory last Wednesday.

The start was his 17th in the majors, with the other seven coming with Boston in 2005 and 2006. He has appeared in 65 games since making his big league debut with the Red Sox in 2004.

"Lenny pitched extremely well. It seemed like he pitched inside and tied up a lot of the right-handed hitters," Geren said.

Alan Embree got the final four outs for his 11th save in 13 chances.

Escobar (11-4) gave up three runs on eight hits over seven innings.

The Angels closed to 4-3 in the eighth against Santiago Castilla on Chone Figgins' sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Casey Kotchman's RBI single. Vladimir Guerrero kept the inning going before Kotchman's hit, beating a two-out infield single to shortstop Marco Scutaro.

Scutaro had replaced Bobby Crosby in the eighth, after Crosby was hit on the left hand by a Justin Speier pitch in the top of the inning and removed for a pinch-runner. Buck prevented the tying run from scoring - and the possible go-ahead run - with his diving catch in right-center on a drive by Gary Matthews Jr.

The Angels earlier this month had the best record in the majors, but they're 4-7 since the All-Star break. They still hold a 2½-game lead over Seattle, which lost both ends of a doubleheader at Texas on Tuesday.

Despite winning the first two of the three-game set in Anaheim, Oakland is 4-8 since the break and 9½ games behind the Angels.

Buck's homer was his seventh of the season and first in his last 28 games.

Notes

Los Angeles RHP Bartolo Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young winner, went on the 15-day DL with a sore right elbow. He left Monday night's game after pitching the first inning against Oakland, when he gave up four runs in the Angels' 12-6 loss. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after Tuesday's game that there was a "silver lining" regarding Colon's injury, which was diagnosed as an impingement in his elbow. "It's some irritation in there. It's not like it's a ligament or something like that," the manager said. ... Geren said Crosby had a deep bone bruise, was going to have X-rays and "it doesn't look good. We'll know more in the morning." ... The Angels optioned INF Kendry Morales to Triple-A Salt Lake and called up right-handed pitchers Greg Jones and Marcus Gwyn from Salt Lake.

 
Copyright 2015 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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Players of the Game
Oakland

T. Buck
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 3
Anaheim

V. Guerrero
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Oakland Athletics
Travis Buck, RF5243001 .286
Nick Swisher, 1B4010122 .255
Shannon Stewart, LF5020005 .307
Mike Piazza, DH4011001 .286
Mark Ellis, 2B5000014 .262
Mark Kotsay, CF4000112 .210
Marco Scutaro, 3B-SS5010002 .242
Bobby Crosby, SS2120100 .226
    Eric Chavez, PR-3B0100000 .240
Kurt Suzuki, C2000203 .217
Totals36411454  
Batting
2B - Travis Buck (14, Escobar)
HR - Travis Buck (7, Escobar)
SF - Mike Piazza (1)
RBI - Travis Buck 3 (26), Mike Piazza (14)
2-OUT RBI - Travis Buck (14)
SB - Travis Buck (2, 2nd base off Speier/Napoli), Shannon Stewart (9, 2nd base off Escobar/Napoli), Bobby Crosby (10, 2nd base off Escobar/Napoli)
Team LOB - 12
Oakland Athletics
Lenny DiNardo (W,5-6) 6.2311120 2.41
Santiago Casilla (H,5) 1322110 1.35
Alan Embree (S,11) 1.1000000 3.74
Pitches-Strikes - Lenny DiNardo 93-64, Santiago Casilla 30-17, Alan Embree 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Lenny DiNardo 11-7, Alan Embree 1-3
Batters Faced - Lenny DiNardo 24, Santiago Casilla 7, Alan Embree 4
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 2B-3B3001001 .320
Orlando Cabrera, SS4110001 .311
Vladimir Guerrero, RF4030000 .327
Robb Quinlan, 1B3001001 .261
   a- Casey Kotchman, PH-1B1011000 .289
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4000023 .271
Garret Anderson, DH4000001 .292
Mike Napoli, C4000010 .254
Brandon Wood, 3B2000000 .118
   b- Maicer Izturis, PH-2B1100100 .252
Reggie Willits, LF2110100 .302
Totals3236323  
a-singled for Quinlan in the 8th
b-walked for Wood in the 8th
Batting
2B - Vladimir Guerrero 2 (32, DiNardo, DiNardo), Reggie Willits (14, Casilla)
SF - Chone Figgins (2)
RBI - Chone Figgins (32), Robb Quinlan (18), Casey Kotchman (44)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Kotchman (13)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Reggie Willits 1
DP - Willits-Izturis
Los Angeles Angels
Kelvim Escobar (L,11-4) 7933231 2.91
Justin Speier 1111210 2.11
Scot Shields 1100100 2.45
HBP - Crosby (by Justin Speier)
Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 113-71, Justin Speier 31-16, Scot Shields 20-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 6-12, Justin Speier 1-1
Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 32, Justin Speier 7, Scot Shields 4
Game Information
Attendance - 43784
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Andy Fletcher, Third Base - Mike Reilly