Los Angeles at Oakland

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Los Angeles (76-52)000000100161
Oakland (76-52) «01000001x261

Crisp scores on wild pitch as A's beat Angels 2-1

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Baseball Writer
  •  

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Athletics are hardly relishing being back in a first-place tie with the rival Los Angeles Angels.

Both clubs know this division race is far from over, with five meetings remaining before August ends and another three in late September. And with a margin of error so slim, one miscue might be the difference.

Coco Crisp scored the go-ahead run on Joe Smith's wild pitch with two outs in the eighth inning, and the A's beat the Angels 2-1 on Saturday night to move into a share of the lead atop the AL West.

''We can't get caught up in the standings or the playoff picture,'' closer Sean Doolittle said.

Luke Gregerson (3-2) pitched a perfect eighth, and Doolittle finished for his 20th save. The closer felt something in his right side nearer to his back, but was able to go through some twisting exercises and other postgame tests with no problem. He doesn't consider it serious.

The division co-leaders (76-52) have the most wins in baseball. The Angels lost their fifth straight game this season at the Oakland Coliseum.

Smith (5-2) threw wildly to pinch-hitter Brandon Moss moments after plunking Derek Norris.

On Monday in Boston, the Angels moved into sole possession of the division's top spot for the first time since May 15, 2011. Losing the first two games of this series has things all tied up again.

Jon Lester and C.J. Wilson had a nice pitchers' duel but left with no-decisions in a tie game.

Lester struck out seven in seven innings, including Mike Trout three times as the slugger's five-game home run streak at the Coliseum was snapped.

Lester bounced back from his first defeat in nearly 2 1/2 months and first since joining the A's from Boston at the trade deadline. The lefty threw a combined 18 pitches in the fifth and sixth innings, 14 for strikes. He then allowed three straight hits in the seventh, including a double by Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar's RBI single that made it 1-1.

The A's have struck out Trout three or more times in one game six times for his career, most by any team.

''Maybe we were able to get him off his game a little bit, get him frustrated and to swing at bad pitches,'' Lester said.

Lester was helped by a nice play from left fielder Craig Gentry in the seventh. David Freese hit a leadoff single off the wall and headed toward second as Gentry quickly retrieved the ball and threw him out.

Wilson allowed one run on five hits, struck out three and walked three in 6 1-3 innings.

''The A's do a lot of things well. They pitch well and they have a good bullpen. It was another close game and we didn't get a couple of things done,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We have to keep moving forward.''

Scioscia challenged in the third that Albert Pujols beat out an infield hit rather than recording the third out. The call was overturned in 2 minutes, 4 seconds, and ruled a single.

In the sixth, umpires went to review again on a challenge by A's manager Bob Melvin. He believed Josh Donaldson, who held up briefly at second, was safe at home on a headfirst slide in which he reached to touch the plate with his left hand as catcher Chris Iannetta tried to tag him. The ruling stood after 3:40.

The crew chief then reviewed Sam Fuld's caught stealing in the seventh, per Melvin's request. The ruling was confirmed in 1:05.

NEW FACE

Los Angeles 3B Gordon Beckham joined his new team, two days after being acquired by the Angels from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash. He earned a start and batted ninth, going 0 for 3 with a pair of called third strikes.

''Gordon will help in a lot of ways,'' Scioscia said. ''Hopefully he'll give us depth at some key positions.''

The Angels optioned RHP Cam Bedrosian to Triple-A Salt Lake.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: More should be known about Doolittle's status Sunday. ... An MRI exam revealed 1B Kyle Blanks has tendinitis in his left Achilles tendon. He had pain in both feet and his lower legs while on a rehab assignment. ''He's going to be shut down for a while,'' Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Angels: The series has shifted game times from 7:05 p.m. to 6:05 and now 5:05 for the series finale. RHP Jered Weaver (13-7, 3.70 ERA) tries again for his first win of 2014 against the A's, going 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA in his first two outings.

Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (14-5, 2.73) starts the finale. The A's expect to call up Drew Pomeranz to start Wednesday at Houston and push Friday winner Sonny Gray to Thursday to keep this weekend's rotation the same for a four-game road series next week with the Angels.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Los Angeles

H. Kendrick
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Oakland

J. Lester
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 7
 

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Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Collin Cowgill, RF3000000.270.349.387
   a-Kole Calhoun, PH-RF1000000.289.344.476
Mike Trout, CF4000031.287.373.555
Albert Pujols, 1B4010000.272.330.471
Josh Hamilton, LF4000022.265.338.422
David Freese, DH4010010.259.326.362
Howie Kendrick, 2B4120000.283.339.375
Erick Aybar, SS4021001.274.313.380
Chris Iannetta, C2000100.262.371.410
Gordon Beckham, 3B3000023.219.261.333
C.J. Wilson, P0000000.000.333.000
   Kevin Jepsen, P0000000.000.000.000
   Joe Smith, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals3316118    
a-fouled out for Cowgill in the 8th
Batting
2B - Howie Kendrick (25, Lester)
RBI - Erick Aybar (53)
SB - Erick Aybar (14, 3rd base off Lester/Norris)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Josh Hamilton 1, Mike Trout 1
DP - Beckham-Kendrick-Pujols
E - Howie Kendrick (11, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
C.J. Wilson 6.1511330 4.45
Kevin Jepsen 0.2000010 2.15
Joe Smith (L,5-2) 1111000 2.17
WP - Joe Smith (2)
HBP - Parrino (by C.J. Wilson), Norris (by Joe Smith)
Pitches-Strikes - C.J. Wilson 110-64, Kevin Jepsen 6-3, Joe Smith 18-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.J. Wilson 6-8, Joe Smith 2-1
Batters Faced - C.J. Wilson 26, Kevin Jepsen 1, Joe Smith 5
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLG
Coco Crisp, CF4110012.258.351.403
Craig Gentry, LF4010000.265.327.299
Josh Donaldson, 3B3000102.247.335.455
Derek Norris, C3010011.284.379.453
Jonny Gomes, DH2110111.232.330.339
   a-Brandon Moss, PH-DH1000001.248.340.466
Nate Freiman, 1B2000102.235.291.549
   Stephen Vogt, 1B0000000.324.353.514
Alberto Callaspo, 2B3010001.240.306.303
Sam Fuld, RF3011001.260.345.354
Andy Parrino, SS1000000.160.241.280
   b-John Jaso, PH1000010.264.337.430
   Eric Sogard, SS0000000.215.302.269
Jon Lester, P0000000.000.000.000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000.000.000.000
   Sean Doolittle, P0000000.000.000.000
Totals2726134    
a-fouled out for Gomes in the 8th
b-struck out for Parrino in the 7th
Batting
2B - Derek Norris (18, Wilson)
RBI - Sam Fuld (24)
SB - Craig Gentry (19, 2nd base off Wilson/Iannetta)
CS - Sam Fuld (4, 2nd base by Jepsen/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Craig Gentry 1
E - Nate Freiman (2, Missed catch of throw)
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester 7511170 2.53
Luke Gregerson (W,3-2) 1000000 2.17
Sean Doolittle (S,20) 1100010 2.28
WP - Jon Lester (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 109-75, Luke Gregerson 10-7, Sean Doolittle 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 7-7, Luke Gregerson 1-2, Sean Doolittle 1-1
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 27, Luke Gregerson 3, Sean Doolittle 4
Game Information
Attendance - 36067
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Adrian Johnson, Third Base - Bill Miller