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Athletics avoid sweep by topping Angels in 10

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics avoided what would have been another sweep by the Los Angeles Angels because outfielders Vernon Wells and Peter Bourjos weren't able to avoid each other.

Cliff Pennington opened the 10th inning with a triple off Wells' glove and scored on Conor Jackson's groundout, helping the Athletics win 2-1 Wednesday.

Former Angels closer Brian Fuentes was credited with the victory despite giving up the tying run in the bottom of the ninth after an error by third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff.

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"They got a break to tie the game and we got a break to win the game," Oakland manager Bob Geren said.

In the 10th, the switch-hitting Pennington sliced a pitch from right-hander Jordan Walden (0-1) toward left-center. Wells, playing left field this season after winning three Gold Gloves as a center fielder with Toronto, tried a sliding catch and the ball went off his glove as he nearly collided with Bourjos.

"It was just two aggressive guys with speed, and both of them can get to the ball. So something like that is bound to happen," said nine-time Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter, who has been playing right field since Bourjos was promoted from the minors last August. "It's probably the first time that they've ever had a close call like that out there.

"It's difficult to make the call on a ball like that," Hunter said. "With a guy throwing 97 [mph] to a left-handed hitter, he's going to be a little late on his swing. And if you're in center field, you've got to know that the ball is going to tail back to left with a little sink to it. Peter's so fast, he got there early. I mean, speed is good, but sometimes you get to balls that nobody expects you to get to. You've just got to give them a little more time playing with each other."

Daric Barton was intentionally walked with one out, and Jackson delivered the run with a high shopper to shortstop.

Oakland's Tyson Ross scattered four hits over seven innings and induced three double-play grounders in his second start for the injured Dallas Braden. The right-hander, who turned 24 years old last Friday, walked one and did not allow a runner bast second base in his fourth major league start before handing 1-0 lead to the bullpen.

"I was pretty happy with my results," Ross said after his 76-pitch effort. "I made an adjustment from my last start and just tried to simplify my motion. I attacked the zone early, got my sinker over the plate and got a lot of groundballs. The only thing that matters is that we got the W, and it's going to be a nice plane ride home."

Grant Balfour pitched a perfect eighth and Fuentes (1-2) took over in the ninth. Pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis reached on Kouzmanoff's fielding error, Mark Trumbo went in to run for him and Bobby Abreu doubled home the tying run on a 3-2 fastball.

"He's a good hitter in any situation," Fuentes said.

The blown save was Fuentes' second in eight attempts. The 35-year-old lefty is handling the closing chores in place of Andrew Bailey, who has yet to pitch this season because of a forearm strain that occurred during an exhibition game on March 14.

Fuentes, a four-time All-Star who posted four seasons with 30 or more saves after becoming a full-time closer with Colorado in mid-May 2005, led the majors with a career-best 48 in 2009 for the Angels -- who traded him to Minnesota last August.

Brad Ziegler retired the side in order in the 10th for his first save of the season.

Dan Haren got a no-decision despite giving up an unearned run and three hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks. The three-time All-Star, who won 44 games during his three seasons with the Athletics, remained 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five career starts against Oakland. He lowered his season ERA to 1.23, second in the AL behind teammate Jered Weaver's 0.99 mark.

Oakland scored its first run in the third inning without the benefit of a hit. Landon Powell walked on a full count, Kouzmanoff reached on a fielding error by first baseman Howie Kendrick, David DeJesus got hit on the foot with an 0-2 pitch and Barton hit a sacrifice fly.

"I was all over the place in the beginning and falling behind in too many counts, trying to be careful," Haren said. "I didn't do us any favors with a couple of leadoff walks, and then I hit a guy 0-2 after the error and pitch out of that. So I was bending but not breaking. The last couple of innings was as good as I've felt all year."

Notes

  • After the game, the Angels optioned RHP Matt Palmer to Triple-A Salt Lake in anticipation of activating LHP Scott Downs from the 15-day DL on Friday.
  • Weaver will make his next start on Sunday with an extra day's rest. He finished April 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA, after beating Kansas City on March 31 with 6 1/3 scoreless innings for the first of his six consecutive victories.
  • DeJesus extended his errorless streak to 262 games, the longest among active outfielders. Hunter had an errorless streak of 265 games that ended on Sept. 18, 2009, when he was still playing center field. He has committed only three errors since that one.
 
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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Catcher Hank Conger throws out Conor Jackson of the Athletics during the eighth inning of the Athletics' win.  (AP)
Catcher Hank Conger throws out Conor Jackson of the Athletics during the eighth inning of the Athletics' win. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

D. Haren
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 5
Oakland

T. Ross
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 3
 

Related Video

Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, RF4010001 .232
Daric Barton, 1B3011100 .205
Conor Jackson, LF5001005 .255
Hideki Matsui, DH4000122 .241
Mark Ellis, 2B4010021 .200
Ryan Sweeney, CF4010011 .222
Landon Powell, C3100111 .263
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4010011 .222
Cliff Pennington, SS4110003 .236
Totals3526237  
Batting
2B - Daric Barton (7, Takahashi)
3B - Cliff Pennington (1, Walden)
SF - Daric Barton (1)
RBI - Daric Barton (5), Conor Jackson (8)
SB - Mark Ellis (3, 2nd base off Haren/Conger)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Pennington-Barton, Pennington-Ellis-Barton, Pennington-Barton
E - Kevin Kouzmanoff (6, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tyson Ross 7400130 2.76
Grant Balfour (H,6) 1000010 3.00
Brian Fuentes (BS,2; W,1-2) 1110110 3.75
Brad Ziegler (S,1) 1000000 0.00
IBB - Hunter by Brian Fuentes
WP - Tyson Ross (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tyson Ross 76-47, Grant Balfour 11-7, Brian Fuentes 29-15, Brad Ziegler 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tyson Ross 9-6, Grant Balfour 2-0, Brian Fuentes 2-1, Brad Ziegler 3-0
Batters Faced - Tyson Ross 23, Grant Balfour 3, Brian Fuentes 6, Brad Ziegler 3
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Erick Aybar, SS3000002 .326
Bobby Abreu, DH3011100 .247
Torii Hunter, RF3000121 .210
Vernon Wells, LF4010012 .178
Alberto Callaspo, 3B4010003 .282
Howard Kendrick, 1B-2B4000011 .280
Hank Conger, C4000010 .275
Peter Bourjos, CF4010000 .318
Alexi Amarista, 2B2010000 .400
   a- Maicer Izturis, PH1000000 .333
    Mark Trumbo, PR-1B0100000 .229
Totals3215125  
a-grounded out for Amarista in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (5, Fuentes)
SH - Erick Aybar (1)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (8)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Kendrick-Aybar
E - Howard Kendrick (1, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dan Haren 7310250 1.23
Hisanori Takahashi 1100000 4.22
Rich Thompson 1100010 2.70
Jordan Walden (L,0-1) 1111110 0.79
IBB - Barton by Jordan Walden
HBP - DeJesus (by Dan Haren)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 111-72, Hisanori Takahashi 13-10, Rich Thompson 17-11, Jordan Walden 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 5-11, Hisanori Takahashi 2-1, Rich Thompson 1-1, Jordan Walden 2-0
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 27, Hisanori Takahashi 4, Rich Thompson 4, Jordan Walden 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37247
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Tim Timmons, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Eric Cooper, Third Base - Mark Carlson