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A’s Knock Angels Out Of AL West Race

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Jemile Weeks #19 of the Oakland Athletics is greeted by third base coach Mike Gallego as he rounds third base after hitting a home run to lead off the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 23, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Jemile Weeks #19 of the Oakland Athletics is greeted by third base coach Mike Gallego as he rounds third base after hitting a home run to lead off the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 23, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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ANAHEIM (CBS / AP) — Gio Gonzalez outdueled Jered Weaver and the Oakland Athletics scored the go-ahead run on an eighth-inning error, beating the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 Friday night and eliminating them from the AL West race.

The Angels’ defeat clinched the division for Texas. The loss also dropped Los Angeles 3 ½ games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race.

Los Angeles lost for the fifth time in eight games, blunting its charge toward a playoff spot. The Angels have only five games left to catch the Red Sox.

Gonzalez (15-12) matched his win total of last season, allowing a run and three hits in 7 1-3 innings. The left-hander is 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA in seven starts after going 0-5 with a 7.90 ERA in his previous five.

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Jemile Weeks and David DeJesus homered for the Athletics.

It was 1-all in the eighth when Kurt Suzuki led off with a single against Weaver (18-8). Suzuki moved up on a sacrifice by Scott Sizemore, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a fielding error by third baseman Maicer Izturis on Weeks’ grounder.

Gonzalez, who leads the AL with 88 walks, departed in the bottom half after one-out walks to Erick Aybar and pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo. Izturis grounded out against Grant Balfour, and another walk to Peter Bourjos loaded the bases.

The Angels’ threat ended when Howie Kendrick hit a foul fly to right field that was caught by DeJesus.

DeJesus chased Weaver in the ninth with his 10th home run.

Andrew Bailey pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.

Weaver gave up with three runs—two earned—and six hits while striking out eight and walking none. The right-hander, who led the majors last season with 233 strikeouts, needs two more to become only the second Angels right-hander with consecutive 200-strikeout seasons. Nolan Ryan fanned 200 or more seven times in an eight-year span between 1972 and 1979 and set a modern major league-record with 383 in 1973, a mark that still stands.

The loss made Weaver 14-1 with a 1.36 ERA in the last 24 starts in which he has pitched at least seven innings. It was his first defeat under those circumstances since Sept. 4, 2010, when he dropped a 3-1 decision at Oakland against Trevor Cahill.

Rookie Mark Trumbo’s one-out single in the second inning was the Angels’ only hit off Gonzalez until the seventh, when Torii Hunter tied the score 1-all with a one-out homer on the first pitch. It was his 22nd of the season and 79th RBI for the four-time All-Star, who had only four hits in 24 career at-bats against Gonzalez before that at-bat.

One night after hitting his first major league home run in Oakland’s 4-3 win over Texas, Weeks got his second one when he drove Weaver’s third pitch of the game into the seats above the 18-foot wall in right-center.

NOTES: The crowd of 39,217 increased the Angels’ home attendance figure to 2,965,557, guaranteeing them that they will finish with a higher total than the Dodgers for the first time in the franchise’s 50-year history. The Dodgers completed their home schedule Thursday night with a total of 2,935,139. … This was the eighth time in Weaver’s 177 career starts that he has given up a home run to the first batter he faced (2-3 with three no-decisions). The other leadoff batters who did it to him were Ichiro Suzuki, Curtis Granderson (twice), Shannon Stewart, Jacoby Ellsbury, Grady Sizemore and Rafael Furcal. … Oakland SS Cliff Pennington’s two-base throwing error on Vernon Wells’ routine grounder in the fifth was his 22nd of the season, the second most in the league behind Elvis Andrus’ 25 with the Rangers.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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