Oakland at Los Angeles

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Oakland (7-2) «10301510011161
L.A. Angels (2-6)1010200105142

Moss drives in five, Athletics extend Angels' slow start

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hitting hasn't exactly been a science for Brandon Moss, whose bat has become one of the Oakland Athletics' most dangerous weapons since he returned to the American League last season.

Moss tied a career high with five RBI, including his second home run in two games, and the A's extended their winning streak to seven games with an 11-5 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

The seven-year veteran first baseman's other five-RBI game was on Sept. 29 against Seattle, when he hit a game-ending, three-run homer in the 10th inning to give Oakland a 7-4 victory. It came during a season-ending six-game winning streak that propelled the A's to their first AL West title since 2006.

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"Obviously, I've hit some balls well," said Moss, who came within a double of the cycle. "But no matter what it might look like, I've just had some hits that have found holes and broken bats and roll-overs that have gone through. Sometimes baseball's like that. There are times where I've felt like I couldn't get out, and then end up going 0 for 10. Then sometimes I have no idea where to even stand in the box, and end up getting a few hits. So you've just got to go up there and battle, and that's all I'm doing right now."

Tommy Milone (2-0) threw 106 pitches over five innings, allowing four runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out five.

Joe Blanton (0-2) was charged with six runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings and did not record a strikeout in his second outing with his new club. The 32-year-old right-hander had made 118 consecutive starts with at least one strikeout since May 31, 2008, when he pitched six innings for the Athletics without one in an 8-4 loss at Texas.

"There were a couple of situations where I tried to put guys away," Blanton said. "I mean, I generally don't try to strike guys out. I try to make the defense work for me. But with [John] Jaso up in the third with a runner at third and two strikes on him, I'm trying to put him away right there. But I ended up hanging a slider instead of throwing a quality pitch."

The A's were the only major-league team Blanton had never faced. He made his first 118 career starts with them between 2005 and 2008, winning a career-high 16 games in 2007.

Moss hit a two-run triple in the third, then extended Oakland's lead to 5-2 in the fifth with a two-out solo homer to right-center. It was the fourth allowed by Blanton, who gave up three in his season debut at Cincinnati after allowing a combined 29 home runs last season with the Phillies and Dodgers.

"I faced him a little bit back when he was with Boston, and I actually played with him for about a month in Philly," Blanton said. "He swings aggressive. He really attacks the ball and doesn't get cheated. So with guys like that, you've really got to move the ball in, move back and forth, keep him off balance and don't mix your speeds."

Moss, who had career highs last season with 21 home runs and 52 RBI in only 84 games, got his fourth RBI on a bases-loaded walk during a five-run sixth. He capped his big night with a broken-bat single in the seventh after Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo dropped a two-out popup by Yoenis Cespedes, allowing Coco Crisp to advance from first to third.

The Angels cut Oakland's margin to 5-4 in the fifth with a two-run single by Howie Kendrick after Milone struck out sluggers Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo.

"It is important to get those shutdown innings, especially after we score. But the goal as a starter is just to keep the team in the game," Milone said. "Obviously, I don't want to go out there and give up four runs every outing. But when we're scoring a lot of runs like that, it makes it a little easier to throw the ball over the plate. And with the stuff I had tonight, I felt like I was able to keep battling."

The A's grabbed a 4-1 lead with three runs in the third after Eric Sogard led off with a single to right and continued to second on Hamilton's error. Jaso, who hit a go-ahead, three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in Oakland's series-opening 9-5 victory on Tuesday night, singled home Sogard with the go-ahead run and Moss' triple delivered two more.

"I felt good coming in, but mechanically I just got a little bit off," Blanton said. "My changeup is usually my go-to pitch, and tonight I was leaving it up in the zone and lost control of it a little bit. I couldn't find it the whole game and I just tried to battle through it."

The Angels got a run back in the bottom half when Albert Pujols singled, Hamilton doubled him to third and Trumbo followed with a run-scoring groundout.

Crisp opened the game with a single, stole second and scored on Jed Lowrie's groundout. The Angels tied it in the bottom half on Hamilton's sacrifice fly, which came after a single by Callaspo and a double by Pujols. The three-time NL MVP hit another double in the fifth for his 1,000th extra-base hit and finished the night 4 for 4.

This is only the second time in 22 years that the A's have won their first five road games. They also did it in 2008.

Notes

  • Oakland 2B Scott Sizemore has re-torn the ACL in his left knee and is out for the rest of the season after missing last year rehabbing from surgery on it. The injury occurred on Tuesday when he went out to short right field on bloop single by Mike Trout that fell between him and Chris Young. "Unbelievable," manager Bob Melvin said. "It's just awful. He's one of those guys you really pull for, because he's such a good guy and cares so much and wants to win. He's coming off two difficult surgeries in the last several years, and to have a third one is devastating. We're thinking about him, but I can't imagine what's going through his mind right now."
  • Angels SS Erick Aybar was out of the lineup with a bruised left heel that forced him out of Tuesday's game.
  • Crisp's home run streak ended at four games, two shy of the A's record set by Frank Thomas in 2006.
 
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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Players of the Game
Oakland

B. Moss
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 5
Los Angeles

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4210203 .333
John Jaso, C6221004 .360
Jed Lowrie, SS4211101 .412
    Andy Parrino, SS1000000 .000
Yoenis Cespedes, LF5111101 .182
Brandon Moss, 1B4235200 .400
Chris Young, RF6010028 .208
Seth Smith, DH4032100 .412
Josh Donaldson, 3B5021004 .200
Eric Sogard, 2B5220004 .231
Totals4411161172  
Batting
2B - Yoenis Cespedes (1, Frieri), Seth Smith 2 (4, Blanton, Blanton), Josh Donaldson (2, Williams)
3B - Brandon Moss (1, Blanton)
HR - Brandon Moss (2, Blanton)
RBI - John Jaso (6), Jed Lowrie (7), Yoenis Cespedes (6), Brandon Moss 5 (10), Seth Smith 2 (5), Josh Donaldson (4)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Moss 4 (8), Seth Smith 2 (2), Josh Donaldson (2)
SB - Coco Crisp (2, 2nd base off Blanton/Iannetta), Chris Young (1, 2nd base off Blanton/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Lowrie-Sogard-Moss
E - Jed Lowrie (3, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tommy Milone (W,2-0) 5744350 4.50
Chris Resop 1100000 0.00
Jerry Blevins 1200020 0.00
Pat Neshek 1211110 10.13
Evan Scribner 1200000 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Milone 106-62, Chris Resop 15-8, Jerry Blevins 23-18, Pat Neshek 29-18, Evan Scribner 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Milone 6-4, Chris Resop 1-2, Jerry Blevins 1-0, Pat Neshek 1-1
Batters Faced - Tommy Milone 25, Chris Resop 4, Jerry Blevins 5, Pat Neshek 6, Evan Scribner 5
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mike Trout, LF4010012 .278
    J.B. Shuck, LF1000011 .250
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3210201 .300
Albert Pujols, DH4240000 .346
   a- Hank Conger, PH-DH1011000 .400
Josh Hamilton, RF3011023 .156
    Andrew Romine, SS1000002 .000
Mark Trumbo, 1B-RF5011013 .286
Howard Kendrick, 2B5032013 .344
Brendan Harris, SS-1B5010016 .250
Chris Iannetta, C3000202 .222
Peter Bourjos, CF5110015 .318
Totals40514548  
a-singled for Pujols in the 8th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols 2 (3, Milone, Milone), Josh Hamilton (2, Milone), Mark Trumbo (4, Blevins)
SF - Josh Hamilton (2)
RBI - Hank Conger (1), Josh Hamilton (4), Mark Trumbo (7), Howard Kendrick 2 (4)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Conger (1), Howard Kendrick 2 (3)
SB - Mike Trout (1, 2nd base off Resop/Jaso)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
E - Alberto Callaspo (1, Dropped fly), Josh Hamilton (1, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Blanton (L,0-2) 51066201 9.00
Mark Lowe 0.1133200 9.64
Dane De La Rosa 0.2211110 5.40
Jerome Williams 2210110 0.00
Ernesto Frieri 1100100 3.00
IBB - Smith by Joe Blanton
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 90-54, Mark Lowe 19-8, Dane De La Rosa 22-13, Jerome Williams 37-20, Ernesto Frieri 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 10-5, Jerome Williams 2-4
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 27, Mark Lowe 4, Dane De La Rosa 5, Jerome Williams 10, Ernesto Frieri 5
Game Information
Attendance - 36011
Game Time - 3:47
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski