Angels 8, A's 3

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


OAKLAND -- With the A's all the rage, turning heads with a nine-game winning streak as surprise contenders, the Angels arrived on Monday with their own message: Don't forget about us.
Los Angeles strapped on its work boots on Labor Day, belting three homers along the way, to snap Oakland's win streak with an 8-3 decision with 20,180 in attendance.
The Angels have won six of seven and 10 of 13 to pull within 4 1/2 games of second-place Oakland in the American League West.
Oakland, which lost for only the second time in 13 games, saw the tables turned after outscoring opponents 72-22 during a nine-game streak in which it trailed for only seven innings.
The Angels roughed up A's starter Tommy Milone, who made his earliest exit in 26 starts this season. The left-hander consistently left his fastball over the plate after failing to establish anything off-speed.
And the Angels were sitting on it.
Vernon Wells' 10th home run of the season, a tape-measure shot to dead left, came on Milone's 67th and final pitch to start the fourth inning, a blast that gave the visitors a 5-0 lead. A's starters came into the game 8-0 with a 2.34 earned-run average over the previous eight games.
A double play and flyout rescued Milone in the first after the first two Angels singled, but he would have no such luck in subsequent innings. Alberto Callaspo's hit-and-run single on a full-count set the table with a first-and-third, and Wells drove in the first run with a single to left. Chris Ianetta followed with an RBI hit during the two-run second.
Torii Hunter led off the third with his 13th homer, a solo shot to deep left-center on a grooved fastball. Erick Aybar's second single in as many innings drove in Howie Kendrick to cap a two-run third.
Milone's shortest outing of the season included 10 hits allowed and five runs, all earned with but one strikeout.
Angels starter C.J. Wilson was meanwhile in complete command. He faced the minimum through three innings, throwing only 36 pitches, before getting touched for a run in the fourth.
Jonny Gomes stroked a one-out double to the base of the wall in left-center and scored when Josh Reddick blooped a single to left one batter later. Reddick killed a potential big inning when he made a poor base-running decision on Yoenis Cespedes' grounder to short and got cut down trying to advance to third.
Oakland extended a streak of hitting at least one home run in 10 straight games when Josh Donaldson connected on a 1-1 pitch to start the fifth for a solo homer to dead center. Donaldson's sixth of the season was just out of the reaching of a leaping Mike Trout.
But Wilson buckled down after a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases by inducing Reddick to pop out to second. Wilson's days was done with his five innings and 89 pitches.
The Angels went back to work in the sixth, scoring three times on two hits. Ianetta added a two-run homer to his three-hit day, a blast that followed a one-out walk to Wells. Trout walked, stole his 43rd base and scored on Hunter's fly ball to right to make it 8-2.
Ianetta, a triple shy of the cycle, continued his recent hot stretch that includes 22 hits in 57 at-bats over 16 games to raise his average from .194 to .266. Ianetta led all American League catchers with a .306 average last month and has eight multi-hit games since coming off of the disabled list.
The Angels received solid middle-inning relief as Garrett Richards and Scott Downs combined to strike out four over two scoreless innings. Oakland stranded seven runners between the fourth and seventh innings.
Chris Carter hit his 14th homer to left-center with one out in the eighth off of LaTroy Hawkins to cap the scoring.
NOTES -- With one more home run to reach 30 for a record 12th straight season to start a career, Angels' Albert Pujols will join Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx as the only players in MLB history to have hit 30 homers in at least 12 consecutive seasons at any point in their careers. Bonds (1992-2004) and Rodriguez (1998-2010) had streaks of 13 straight seasons while Foxx (1929-1940) reached 12. ... Tuesday marks the 10-year anniversary when Oakland won its 20th straight game on Sept. 4, 2002. ... Monday started a stretch in which seven of the Angels' next 10 games are again the A's.