|L.A. Angels (74-63) «||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||4||7||8||1|
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.
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."
|Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols celebrate after scoring on Howie Kendrick's single in the third inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Mike Trout, CF-LF||4||0||0||0||1||2||4||.330|
|Torii Hunter, RF||5||1||2||3||0||1||1||.305|
|Albert Pujols, DH||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.287|
|Kendrys Morales, 1B||2||0||1||0||3||0||1||.276|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||0||2||2||0||1||2||.293|
|Mark Trumbo, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.271|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.227|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.279|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Bobby Wilson, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.218|
|a- Maicer Izturis, PH||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||.257|
|Chris Iannetta, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.268|
|a-walked for Wilson in the 9th|
|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|
|DP - Haren-Aybar|
|E - Kendrys Morales (1, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Dan Haren (W,10-10)||6||3||1||1||3||7||0||4.46|
|Garrett Richards (H,1)||0.1||1||0||0||1||0||0||4.65|
|Nick Maronde (H,1)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||0.00|
|Kevin Jepsen (H,13)||0.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.16|
|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|
|Coco Crisp, CF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.253|
|Seth Smith, LF||4||0||1||1||0||2||2||.248|
|Adam Rosales, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.219|
|Josh Reddick, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.256|
|Yoenis Cespedes, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.290|
|Chris Carter, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||3||0||.276|
|Josh Donaldson, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.226|
|Stephen Drew, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.203|
|Derek Norris, C||1||1||1||0||3||0||0||.201|
|Cliff Pennington, 2B||1||0||0||0||1||0||2||.207|
|a- Brandon Moss, PH-LF||2||0||1||0||0||1||1||.258|
|a-singled for Pennington in the 7th|
|RBI - Seth Smith (45)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Josh Reddick 1|
|DP - Drew-Rosales-Carter|
|E - Derek Norris (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Brandon McCarthy (L,8-6)||3.2||5||3||3||1||3||0||3.24|
|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|
|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|