OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Josh Hamilton hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth inning then put the Angels ahead with a sacrifice fly in the 11th, leading Los Angeles over the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Wednesday.
Hamilton connected against Grant Balfour, who blew his third save of the season. Jesse Chavez (2-4) was the loser.
Mike Trout added a two-run home run for the Angels, who won for the fourth time in five games.
Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes each hit two-run home runs for the A’s, who lost for the third time in 12 games. But they have a six-game lead over Texas in the AL West. The Rangers play Tampa Bay.
Juan Gutierrez (1-4) pitched the 10th for the win. Ernesto Frieri worked the 11th for his 35th save in 39 chances.
A’s starter A.J. Griffin gave up Trout’s homer with one out in the first. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced.
Griffin allowed two runs on one hit. He walked two and struck out six.
Angels starter Jason Vargas allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five.
J.B. Shuck doubled leading off the 11th against Chavez. Josh Donaldson mishandled Erick Aybar’s sacrifice bunt for an error, putting runners on first and third. After Trout flew out, Hamilton followed with a towering drive to the warning track in left field against Jerry Blevins that put the Angels ahead 5-4.
Following Jed Lowrie’s single leading off the fifth, the A’s were held to one hit the rest of the way.
Griffin, who gave up his major league-leading 35th homer, faced three over the minimum. He walked leadoff hitter Shuck and got Aybar to fly out to center ahead of Trout’s 26th home run. The only other baserunner was Mark Trumbo, who walked with two outs in the fourth.
Vargas hit Donaldson, who delivered the winning hit Tuesday night, sparking a warning to both teams from home plate umpire Jerry Meals.
Josh Reddick led off the third with a single. One out later, Crisp tied the score with a drive over the left field wall. Donaldson flew out but Lowrie followed with a single ahead of Cespedes’ 24th home run.
NOTES: Trout homered in all three games of the series. … INF Grant Green started at 2B as the Angels look for ways to get him experience around the infield. He’s likely to get time at third, but not this season. … Angels INF Howie Kendrick was given a scheduled day off. … RHP Jered Weaver (10-8, 3.36) will make the start for the Angels in Seattle on Friday. He’s 13-8 in 27 games against the Mariners. … RHP Dan Straily (10-7, 4.11) starts for the A’s when they open a series against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night. He’s won his last four starts. … Crews were still cleaning up the mess left by Tuesday night’s sewage problem in the A’s dugout. … A’s owner Lew Wolff talked to the media beforehand about the playoff situation and extra seating available with the third level tarp being removed.
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