Angels beat A's to climb within 2 1/2 of wild card

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

ANAHEIM, Calif (AP) - Jerome Williams won his fourth straight decision since joining the Angels last month, and Torii Hunter homered and drove in three runs Saturday night in a 4-2 victory over Oakland that kept Los Angeles' flickering AL wild card hopes alive.

The Angels, who were eliminated from the AL West race on Friday night with Jered Weaver's 3-1 loss to Gio Gonzalez, are 2 1/2 games behind Boston and one behind Tampa Bay for the wild card with four games remaining. The Red Sox lost 9-1 at New York and Tampa Bay beat Toronto 6-2.

Williams, who improved to 4-0 in six starts, allowed a run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out two and walked two. It's the first time the 29-year-old right-hander has won four consecutive decisions since a 5-0 stretch in 2003 as a rookie with the San Francisco Giants, who selected him in the first round of the 1999 draft.

Williams did not pitch in the majors the previous three seasons after going 0-5 with a 7.20 ERA in six starts with Washington in 2007.

Roookie Jordan Walden followed Hisanori Takahashi and Scott Downs out of the bullpen and finished up for his 32nd save after giving up Jemile Weeks' second RBI single of the game.

Rookie Guillermo Moscoso (8-10) was charged with four runs - three earned - and five hits in seven innings. Hunter's RBI single in the first was the Angels' only hit through the first 5 1-3 against the 27-year-old right-hander, who held Detroit to just one hit over six innings in his previous start on Sunday.

Erick Aybar bunted his way on with one out in the sixth and got to second after Howie Kendrick hit a liner off Moscoso's right hip and was thrown out by the pitcher. Bobby Abreu followed with a seeing-eye ground single into right field that snapped a 1-all tie, and Hunter made it 4-1 two pitches later with his 23rd homer and second in two nights.

The A's scored their first run when Williams gave up singles to his first three batters in the fifth, including an opposite-field hit to left by Weeks that drove in Scott Sizemore.

Hideki Matsui hit what should have been an inning-ending double-play grounder to second, but first base umpire Ron (Mea) Kulpa got the call wrong after the relay throw from shortstop Aybar beat the runner. TV replays confirmed that Matsui was out, but the Angels survived the bad break as Josh Willingham flied out with a runner at third.

Matsui, who has spent the majority of the season as Oakland's designated hitter, made his 26th start in left field and committed a two-base error that enabled his former club take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Aybar led off with a pop fly down the line, and Matsui overran the ball into foul territory while trying to avoid a collision with shortstop Erik Sogard. The ball landed just inside the chalk beyond Matsui's outstretched left arm, and Aybar ended up at second. The error was Matsui's first since May 8, 2008, when he misplayed a single by Detroit's Ryan Raburn that allowed him to take an extra base in a game against the Yankees at Comerica Park.

Hunter capitalized on the miscue with an opposite-field RBI single. It was the 11th unearned run charged to Moscoso and the 82nd against the Athletics' staff, the most since they gave up 83 in 2000. As a team, the A's have an AL-worst 124 errors - their highest total since 2001 (125). The last time they led the league in that department was 1998 with 141.

NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia texted congratulations to his former bench coach and third base coach, Ron Roenicke, a day after Roenicke's Milwaukee Brewers clinched the NL Central title in his first season as a big league skipper. "It's very impressive. Ron's done a great job with them," Scioscia said. "He was ready for this opportunity. I know Ron was excited when he got the position, and he felt Milwaukee was a very talented team." ... Angels 1B Mark Trumbo, who leads the club with 29 homers and 87 RBIs, was presented with the team's MVP trophy during a pregame ceremony. The only other rookies in franchise history to win that honor were 2B Bobby Knoop (19634) and RF Tim Salmon (1993). No rookie has led his team in homers and RBIs at the end of a season since Jody Gerut in 2003 with Cleveland. ... The crowd of 41,113 pushed the Angels past the 3 million mark in home attendance for the ninth straight season. ... A ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Joe Rudi, who played four seasons for the Angels and helped them win their first division title in 1979 after spending his first 10 big league seasons with the Athletics - including their final year in Kansas City. ... When Moscoso fanned Kendrick in the first inning, it was the 1,125th strikeout by the A's staff and broke the previous modern-day (since 1901) franchise record that was set in 2009. ... Hunter is just two strikeouts short of tying his career high of 123, which he had in 2001 with Minnesota - his first full big league season.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment