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A's 8, Angels 1

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- A.J. Griffin pitched eight strong innings, and the Oakland A's extended their winning streak to eight games with an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium.

The A's not only completed a three-game sweep of the Angels, but they also finished their first road trip of the season with a 6-0 record. It marked only the third time in club history the A's have gone undefeated on a trip of at least six games, the last time coming in 2002, when they went 10-0 on a trip during their 20-game winning streak.

Every player in the starting lineup had at least one of Oakland's 16 hits, led by Seth Smith's four hits. The A's have had at least 10 hits in all eight games during the winning streak, a feat accomplished only once before in club history (2002).

At 8-2, Oakland has the best record in the American League. It's the first time the A's have won eight of their first 10 since 1992.

Griffin (2-0) shut down the Angels' new-look offense -- Mike Trout was moved from leadoff to the No. 2 spot -- allowing just one run and five hits.

The A's got home runs from Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes and a clutch two-run double by Chris Young that extended Oakland's lead to 5-1 in a pivotal four-run sixth.

On the flip side, things couldn't get much worse for the Angels. At 2-7, they're off to their worst nine-game start since the franchise's first season, 1961, when those Angels went 1-8 while playing their home games in South Los Angeles' Wrigley Field.

Jason Vargas (0-1) gave up five runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Trout, in his new spot in the lineup, went 0-for-4, and leadoff hitter Alberto Callaspo went 0-for-3. Josh Hamilton had two hits to raise his average to .200 (7-for-35) for the first time all season.

The A's took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Second baseman Andy Parrino, just called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday, doubled to lead off the inning and scored two outs later on a single by Jed Lowrie.

The Angels tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth but missed an opportunity to take the lead. With one out, Hamilton and Mark Trumbo hit back-to-back singles. Howie Kendrick, who went into the game leading the club with 11 hits, doubled into the left-field corner to score Hamilton, Trumbo holding at third.

But Griffin struck out Chris Iannetta for the second out of the inning, then retired Peter Bourjos on a grounder to third, keeping the game tied at 1-1.

NOTES: Going into Thursday's game Trout was hitting .278 with no homers, one RBI and 10 strikeouts. ... Callaspo led off Thursday, but that job should fall to Erick Aybar once Aybar returns from a bruised heel. Aybar, who hurt himself running out an infield hit Tuesday, has improved significantly and could return to the lineup this weekend. ... Angels right-hander Ryan Madson, recovering from Tommy John surgery last April, made 30 pitches during a bullpen session Thursday and felt good afterwards. Madson, who was signed to be the club's closer, said he'd be happy if he could return to the active roster before the end of April. ... A's right fielder Josh Reddick was not in the starting lineup for the third game in a row. Reddick, who sprained his right wrist running into the fence trying to catch a ball in Houston on Sunday, launched several baseballs into the right-field seats during batting practice. A's manager Bob Melvin, though, said he preferred to err on the side of caution. Reddick was available for pinch-hitting duties and is expected back in the starting lineup Friday in Oakland against the Tigers.
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