Kaleb Cowart hit his first home run of the season, a sixth-inning grand slam that rallied the visiting Los Angeles Angels from a deficit to a 9-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
Mike Trout also homered for the Angels, who sent the A’s (90-61) to their third straight defeat, allowing the Tampa Bay Rays (84-66) to climb within 5 1/2 games in the race for the second American League wild-card spot.
Oakland’s Mark Canha had a bases-clearing double and then scored on a single by Jonathan Lucroy in a four-run fourth inning that produced a 4-1 lead.
However, a walk, an error and a Shohei Ohtani single loaded the bases for the Angels in the sixth, setting up a two-run single by Andrelton Simmons that closed the gap to 4-3.
After Lou Trivino (8-3), the fifth Oakland pitcher, hit Taylor Ward with a pitch to again load the bases, Cowart unloaded with the slam, the first of his career, to give the Angels a lead they never relinquished.
The homer was Cowart’s first since last August, and just the sixth of his career.
Cowart made it a career-best, five-RBI night with an eighth-inning triple that capped a two-run inning and increased the lead to 9-4.
The Angels (75-76) needed the cushion as the A’s closed within 9-7 in the bottom of the inning on RBI single by Matt Olson and two-run single by pinch hitter Dustin Fowler.
However, Ty Buttrey escaped further damage in the eighth and pitched a hitless ninth to record his fourth save.
Noe Ramirez (6-5) was credited with the win.
Neither starter was around long.
Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs, reinstated from the disabled list earlier in the day after missing more than a month with a groin strain, was pulled after three no-hit, no-run innings. He walked two and struck out three in his 51-pitch comeback.
A’s “opener” Liam Hendriks worked just one inning, retiring the Angels in order with one strikeout.
Trout’s homer was his 35th of the season. He finished with two hits, as did Cowart.
Simmons scored twice, had three hits and drove in two runs for the Angels, who improved to 8-6 against the A’s this season.
Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty scored twice apiece for the A’s, who had won their previous four home games.
—Field Level Media