Kendrick homers twice in Angels win

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Erick Aybar’s(notes) defense, speed and quick decision-making gave the Angels a rare late lead at the Oakland Coliseum. Howie Kendrick’s(notes) power made it stand up.

Aybar scored the go-ahead run on a wild throw home in the seventh inning and Kendrick homered twice, including a two-run insurance blast in the ninth, to lift Los Angeles to a 6-3 win over the Athletics on Tuesday night.

“We need contributions from a lot of guys and we need guys to start producing the way they can,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Howie gave us a big boost with both his home runs. We need some other guys to start following suit and we can get a little more momentum going.”

The Angels can’t afford many hiccups down the stretch.

Los Angeles remains three games behind division-leading Texas, which beat Cleveland earlier in the day. The Angels and Rangers finish the regular season with a three-game series in Anaheim.

Maicer Izturis(notes) added two hits and an RBI and Aybar also had two hits for the Angels, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Aybar, batting .476 over his last six games, singled leading off the seventh and was sacrificed to second. Hank Conger’s(notes) hit moved Aybar to third before Izturis hit a grounder off Fautino De Los Santos(notes) (2-2) to shortstop Cliff Pennington(notes). Aybar broke for home on the play and made it safely when Pennington’s throw was wide of the plate.

“We definitely some guys to start moving forward and carrying some momentum for us in these last couple weeks,” Scioscia said. “We’ve seen glimpses of it … but right now there’s a finite amount of games (left) and there’s a premium on us scoring the runs that are going to let us get games under our control.”

Hisanori Takahashi(notes) (4-3), the first of four Los Angeles relievers used in the game, pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win while rookie Jordan Walden(notes) worked the ninth for his 30th save.

The Angels combined for seven walks but matched their season high of four double plays to limit the damage and win for only the third time in their last 13 games at the Coliseum.

It was also Los Angeles’ sixth victory on the road since Aug. 1.

Kendrick hit a two-run home run in the third off starter Guillermo Moscoso(notes), then added another two-run blast in the ninth.

“Accidents,” Kendrick said. “A couple mistakes out over the plate. All I was trying to do was put a good swing on it.”

Josh Willingham(notes) doubled and drove in two runs for the A’s, who had won five of six against their AL West rivals before Tuesday’s loss.

The A’s left the bases loaded in the fifth and stranded eight runners overall.

“We had way too many opportunities to blow that game open and we didn’t come through with runners in scoring position,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Guys that normally come through for us didn’t, and on top of that we hit into double plays. It was a rough night for us offensively.”

Neither starter was around for the decision.

Oakland’s Guillermo Moscoso carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his previous start against Kansas City on Sept. 7 and retired the first six Angels before Aybar’s double in the third.

Peter Bourjos(notes) followed with a foul pop-up near the Angels bullpen that first baseman Brandon Allen(notes) chased down. Aybar wisely tagged up at second and beat Allen’s throw to third, then scored when the ball skipped past Oakland third baseman Scott Sizemore(notes) and Moscoso backing up on the play.

Izturis singled to keep the inning going, and Kendrick capped it with his 17th home run of the season to give the Angels a 3-0 lead.

Angels’ right-hander Jerome Williams(notes) had control problems in the bottom of the frame and nearly gave it all back.

A former first-round pick of the San Francisco Giants, Williams gave up an RBI double to Jemile Weeks(notes) and a bases-loaded walk to Josh Willingham—one of three free passes he issued in the inning.

Williams continued to struggle, giving up back-to-back walks in the fifth. Josh Willingham then doubled in front of diving right fielder Torii Hunter(notes), scoring Cliff Pennington with the tying run.

Kendrick’s second home run came off reliever Michael Wuertz(notes). The Angels slugger, who has four multi-home run games in his career, has 18 homers this season.

Notes: Oakland CF Coco Crisp(notes) had an MRI on his sore right foot and Melvin said he expects Crisp play again this season. … Scioscia kept rookie 1B Mark Trumbo(notes) out of the lineup because he felt the veteran might be pressing a little. “This is a good time for him to catch his breath and hopefully finish strong,” Scioscia said. “The last 10 at-bats you’re seeing a little tighter grip on the bat. To reach our goal we need him to get back to where he could be. … RHP Jered Weaver(notes), second to Detroit’s Justin Verlander(notes) for lowest ERA in the AL, pitches for the Angels on Wednesday. Weaver (16-7) has a three-game losing streak on the road. … RHP Rich Harden(notes) (4-2), who last beat Los Angeles more than a year ago, goes for Oakland. … Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour threw out the first pitch.

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