Jed Lowrie’s two-run home run capped a four-run fourth inning to help lift the Oakland A’s to an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels Sunday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif.
Lowrie also doubled in the game as part of Oakland’s 12-hit attack. Marcus Semien had three hits while Nick Martini and Matt Olson each added two more, as Oakland won two of three in the series against the Angels and moved to within 2 1/2 games of the Houston Astros for first place in the American League West.
Oakland also maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over Seattle in the race for the second A.L. wild-card spot, setting up a big series between the two teams beginning Monday in Oakland.
Because of a lack of healthy and available starters, the Angels were forced to go with a “bullpen” game, stringing together a series of relievers, and the A’s immediately took advantage.
Taylor Cole (0-3), who had never started a major league game, started Sunday and got tagged for three runs in the first inning. The Angels, however, got the runs back against A’s starter Trevor Cahill.
Albert Pujols singled home a run in the bottom of the first, and Los Angeles added two more in the second on an RBI groundout by Kole Calhoun and an RBI single by Justin Upton.
The Angels were on their third pitcher of the game in the fourth inning when the A’s snapped the 3-3 tie and took a 7-3 lead. Angels reliever Jim Johnson gave up an RBI single by Martini, a sacrifice fly by Matt Chapman, and Lowrie’s two-run homer, his 18th of the season.
Oakland increased its lead to 8-3 on an RBI single by Chad Pinder in the fifth before the Angels started to creep back into it. Jose Fernandez had an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth and Francisco Arcia hit a solo homer in the sixth, cutting Oakland’s lead to 8-5.
In the eighth, a two-out, two-run single by Shohei Ohtani off A’s reliever Jeurys Familia narrowed the Angels’ deficit to 8-7. But Blake Treinen pitched scoreless ninth for his 30th save.
Fernando Rodney (4-2), the fifth of six Oakland relievers, got the victory in his second appearance with Oakland after being traded from Minnesota on Thursday.
—Field Level Media