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Los Angeles at Oakland

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L.A. Angels (74-63) «003000004781
Oakland (76-60)001000000151

Angels complete sweep; line drive hits A's pitcher McCarthy in head

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels gave themselves a chance with a mini-roll heading into a pivotal series against the Oakland Athletics. Then three dominant days in the Bay Area put them right back in the AL wild-card mix.

Torii Hunter drove in three runs and the Angels completed a three-game sweep at Oakland by rolling to a 7-1 victory after Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a liner off his head in the fourth inning.

"We needed it bad," said Dan Haren, who allowed one run and three hits in six innings. "We knew we needed to get all three. Our will to win these last three games has been different from the rest of the year."

McCarthy (8-6) was sent to the hospital after he was struck by Erick Aybar's comebacker. The team said he never lost consciousness.

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Howie Kendrick doubled and hit a two-run single to help the Angels pull within 2½ games of Oakland for one of two AL wild-card spots. Haren (10-10) struck out seven and walked three.

The Angels outscored Oakland 21-5 in the series. Los Angeles (74-63) has won eight of nine to move a season-best 11 games over .500.

"It's awesome," Hunter said. "[Oakland] was one of the hottest teams in baseball. To come in here and take three from the hottest team, it shows a lot about this ballclub."

Seth Smith's single in the third drove home Oakland's only run. Four relievers held the A's scoreless over the final three innings, including three consecutive strikeouts by Nick Maronde on his 23rd birthday.

Oakland, which had won a season-best nine consecutive games entering the series, had not been swept at home since dropping three straight to the Yankees from May 25-27.

"They came in, they pitched well, they got some timely hits and won some games," A's second baseman Cliff Pennington said. "Same thing we've been doing for a while."

Just not in this series.

The Angels grabbed control with three runs in the third. Alberto Callaspo hit a leadoff single, moved to second on Bobby Wilson's sacrifice and scored on Hunter's two-out single. After Albert Pujols doubled and Kendrys Morales was walked intentionally, Kendrick tacked on a two-run single.

Haren almost handed the lead to Oakland until he found his groove.

He walked Derek Norris and Pennington to start the bottom of the third. Coco Crisp grounded to first, and Morales' throw sailed wide to pull Aybar off second and allow Pennington to slide in safely.

Smith singled to right to slice the Angels' lead to 3-1. Haren then struck out Josh Reddick and got Yoenis Cespedes to ground out to end the threat.

Hunter added a two-run single in the ninth with the bases loaded.

"This team is playing where we hoped it would," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And pitching is the reason."

The A's and the Angels were shaken by a scary sequence in the fourth when McCarthy had almost no time to react to Aybar's liner on a 91-mph cutter. The ball bounced off the right side of McCarthy's head, knocking the pitcher down. He also landed on his head on the infield grass.

Third baseman Josh Donaldson picked up the deflected ball and threw out Aybar for the second out of the inning.

McCarthy curled up in a ball and was writhing in pain. Team trainers checked on McCarthy for several minutes as A's players huddled around the infield and on the top step of the dugout.

Aybar also stood on first base and looked on with concern. He was later seen in the Angels' dugout sitting with his head down and his hands over his head. He said he would try to call McCarthy soon.

"You feel really bad," Aybar said in Spanish. "He's a good guy. You never want to hit anybody over the head, and he's a good guy. Hopefully everything turns out all right and, God-willing, that he gets better soon."

McCarthy eventually sat up and stroked his hands through his hair and around his head. He walked off the mound under his own power to an ovation from the Oakland Coliseum crowd and was taken to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland for precautionary tests.

"You try not to let it linger, but it's human nature for it to," said Norris, the A's catcher. "Your heart goes out to your teammate. You battle with them throughout the course of the season, but we try our best to motivate us to win it for Mac."

Notes

  • Angels ace Jered Weaver returned to Southern California for further examination of his bruised right arm. He likely will miss his next start Friday against Detroit.
  • Pujols' double in the third was his 40th this season. He had 29 doubles last year with St. Louis.
  • Oakland LHP Jordan Norberto (shoulder tendinitis) is expected to start throwing again in the next few days.
  • Both teams are off Thursday.
 
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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Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols celebrate after scoring on Howie Kendrick's single in the third inning.  (AP)
Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols celebrate after scoring on Howie Kendrick's single in the third inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

T. Hunter
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Los Angeles

D. Haren
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 7
 
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mike Trout, CF-LF4000124 .330
Torii Hunter, RF5123011 .305
Albert Pujols, DH5110022 .287
Kendrys Morales, 1B2010301 .276
Howard Kendrick, 2B4022012 .293
Mark Trumbo, LF3000023 .271
    Peter Bourjos, CF0100100 .227
Erick Aybar, SS4110003 .279
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3210000 .250
Bobby Wilson, C2000000 .218
   a- Maicer Izturis, PH0101100 .257
    Chris Iannetta, C0000000 .268
Totals3278668  
a-walked for Wilson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (40, McCarthy), Howard Kendrick (25, Blackley)
SH - Alberto Callaspo (3), Bobby Wilson (13)
RBI - Torii Hunter 3 (70), Howard Kendrick 2 (52), Maicer Izturis (19)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter (32), Howard Kendrick 2 (23)
SB - Mike Trout (44, 2nd base off Neshek/Norris), Torii Hunter (9, 2nd base off Miller/Norris), Maicer Izturis (16, off Miller/Norris)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Haren-Aybar
E - Kendrys Morales (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dan Haren (W,10-10) 6311370 4.46
Garrett Richards (H,1) 0.1100100 4.65
Nick Maronde (H,1) 1000030 0.00
Kevin Jepsen (H,13) 0.2000020 3.16
Ernesto Frieri 1100010 2.11
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 98-58, Garrett Richards 9-3, Nick Maronde 15-11, Kevin Jepsen 12-6, Ernesto Frieri 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 4-7
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 24, Garrett Richards 3, Nick Maronde 3, Kevin Jepsen 2, Ernesto Frieri 4
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4010022 .253
Seth Smith, LF4011022 .248
    Adam Rosales, 2B0000000 .219
Josh Reddick, RF4000024 .256
Yoenis Cespedes, DH4000013 .290
Chris Carter, 1B4010030 .276
Josh Donaldson, 3B4000001 .226
Stephen Drew, SS4000021 .203
Derek Norris, C1110300 .201
Cliff Pennington, 2B1000102 .207
   a- Brandon Moss, PH-LF2010011 .258
Totals32151413  
a-singled for Pennington in the 7th
Batting
RBI - Seth Smith (45)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Josh Reddick 1
DP - Drew-Rosales-Carter
E - Derek Norris (5, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Brandon McCarthy (L,8-6) 3.2533130 3.24
Travis Blackley 3100220 3.67
Pat Neshek 0.1000000 0.73
Ryan Cook 1132210 2.62
Grant Balfour 0.1111110 2.77
Jim Miller 0.2000010 2.19
IBB - Morales by Brandon McCarthy
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon McCarthy 49-33, Travis Blackley 44-30, Pat Neshek 6-4, Ryan Cook 17-9, Grant Balfour 15-9, Jim Miller 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon McCarthy 5-2, Travis Blackley 2-5, Ryan Cook 2-0, Jim Miller 1-0
Batters Faced - Brandon McCarthy 16, Travis Blackley 12, Pat Neshek 1, Ryan Cook 6, Grant Balfour 3, Jim Miller 2
Game Information
Attendance - 15404
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Brian O'Nora