ANAHEIM (CBS / AP) — Torii Hunter threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh inning and doubled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth, leading the Los Angeles Angels over the skidding Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Monday night.
Bobby Abreu grounded into a fielder’s choice after former Angels closer Brian Fuentes (1-7) opened the inning by walking Erick Aybar. Hunter greeted Michael Wuertz with a double to the wall in right-center on a 2-2 pitch, easily scoring Abreu.
Jeff Mathis capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single off Wuertz, who came in holding opponents to a .103 batting average— the best mark among AL relievers.
Fuentes has been charged with the loss in each of his last four appearances, setting an Oakland record. The A’s have dropped six straight overall.
Scott Downs (2-1) worked a scoreless eighth, retiring David DeJesus on a groundout after giving up two-out singles to Hideki Matsui and Conor Jackson. Rookie reliever Jordan Walden pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.
Angels ace Jered Weaver failed in his fifth attempt to become the major leagues’ first seven-game winner—this time with a hard-luck no-decision after four straight losses.
The right-hander, whose previous victory was a shutout at Oakland on April 25, allowed one run and six hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks against a starting lineup that had seven players batting .255 or lower.
Weaver, the AL pitcher of the month for April, has one more chance to get his first victory in May. A loss or a no-decision next Saturday at Tampa Bay would make him the first major league starter to win at least five games without a loss one month—and then lose four or more the following month without a win—since July-August 2003, when current teammate Joel Pineiro did the swift about-face with St. Louis.
The score was tied 1-all in the seventh when Adam LaRoche and Cliff Pennington singled against Weaver with two outs, and Coco Crisp lined a single to right field on a 1-2 pitch. Hunter charged the ball while third base coach Mike Gallego frantically waved LaRoche around, but Mathis slapped the tag on LaRoche while falling backward.
Josh Outman allowed a run and five hits in seven innings after getting recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make a spot start for injured Brandon McCarthy in the opener of a four-game series between the AL West rivals.
Outman, making his first big league appearance since June 19, 2009, made 16 previous starts for Oakland before missing last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old left-hander won his last four starts with the River Cats before getting recalled.
After four straight games in which each of their starting pitchers allowed only one run, the A’s fell behind 1-0 in the first on an RBI single by Abreu. Matsui, who spent last year with the Angels, tied it in the third with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly— his first RBI against the Angels this season after 22 fruitless at-bats.
Athletics right-hander Guillermo Moscoso, who began the season in Sacramento, will make his first big league start Tuesday night in place of injured Tyson Ross. Ross was filling in for Dallas Braden, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last week.
NOTES: The Athletics designated LHP Jerry Blevins for assignment to make room for Outman on the 25-man roster. Blevins appeared in 15 games with a 4.40 ERA. … Moscoso, acquired in a trade with Texas in January, made 11 relief appearances for the Rangers over the previous two seasons with a 4.30 ERA. Opposing him will be former A’s RHP Dan Haren, whose 1.84 ERA is the third-lowest in the AL. … Five players on Oakland’s roster came in batting no higher than .200 lifetime against Weaver with at least 19 at-bats—Crisp (4 for 21), Pennington (2 for 21), Daric Barton (6 for 30), Mark Ellis (5 for 32) and Kevin Kouzmanoff (3 for 19). Ellis and Kouzmanoff got the night off. … The A’s haven’t lost more than six straight games since a season-ending seven-game skid in 2009. … Oakland is three games behind first-place Texas in the AL West, the smallest deficit for any last-place club. The defending AL champion Rangers are two games over .500.
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