A’s Knock Angels Out Of AL West Race
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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.
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.
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