ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jason Vargas
threw his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career to lead the Los Angeles Angels
to a 3-0 victory over the Oakland A's Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
Vargas gave up four singles, walked one and did not allow an A's baserunner to get past first base. He got help from his defense, which turned two double plays, and from center fielder Josh Hamilton
, who threw out Alberto Callaspo
trying to stretch a single into a double in the eighth inning.
Then in the ninth, impressive defensive plays by first baseman Mark Trumbo
and left fielder Collin Cowgill ensured the shutout.
Hamilton also came up with the key hit of the game, a two-run single off A's starter A.J. Griffin (14-10) in the third inning. Howie Kendrick
's solo homer in the first inning accounted for the Angels' other run.
With the win, Vargas snapped a streak of four starts without a win during his roller-coaster season. He was 5-0, including his first shutout of the season on May 3 against Baltimore, on the way to being named the American League pitcher of the month. But he missed two months because of surgery for a blood clot in his armpit area, and he was just 2-3 with a 5.61 ERA in eight starts since returning from the disabled list before Tuesday's gem.
The A's missed a chance to tie Boston for the best record in the American League and remained one game back.
Griffin gave up three runs and five hits in five innings to get the loss, his first in his last six starts going back to Aug. 21.
Kendrick homered with one out in the first inning to give the Angels a 1-0 lead. It was the 36th home run of the season allowed by Griffin, the most in the majors and fourth most in Oakland A's history for a single season.
The Angels increased their lead to 3-0 in the third, as Hamilton's single with the bases loaded drove in two runs.
Meanwhile, Vargas was sharp. He allowed two hits -- both singles -- through five innings and retired 11 in a row after giving up a leadoff single to Derek Norris in the second inning.
NOTES: A's RHP Grant Balfour has allowed nine runs (eight earned) in his past 11 outings (10 2/3 innings) for a 6.75 ERA. During that stretch he has six saves, two blown saves and one loss. ... A's 3B Josh Donaldson entered the game having reached base safely via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 28 consecutive games. It is the longest such streak by an A's player in the past five years. ... Trumbo needs one homer and one RBI to reach 35 and 100 for the season. No Angel has done it since Vladimir Guerrero in 2004. ... Angels RHP Ernesto Frieri has 36 saves this season, including a major league-high seven saves of more than three outs. It is the most saves of more than three outs since Brian Wilson had 10 and Carlos Marmol had eight in 2010.
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