Athletics 3, Angels 1

Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND -- Derek Norris hit a pinch two-run home run and left-hander Tommy Milone allowed one run over seven innings as the Oakland A's came from behind Saturday to beat the Los Angeles Angels, 3-1, at the Coliseum.
Josh Hamilton gave the Angels a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his 17th home run of the season, a blast off Milone. But the A's moved ahead, 2-1, in the seventh on Norris' home run.
The A's had a runner on first and one out against right-handed reliever Dane De La Rosa in the seventh with left-handed hitting catcher Stephen Vogt due up when Angels manager Mike Scioscia made a pitching change.
Left-hander Scott Downs, whose 29-game shutout streak was one shy of the franchise record, replaced De La Rosa. A's manager Bob Melvin countered that move by sending up Norris, a right-handed hitter, to bat for Vogt.
Norris had never had a pinch hit of any kind, let alone a home run. He was 0-for-12 with two walks as a pinch hitter, but he lined Downs' first-pitch slider over the left-field fence for his seventh home run of the season -- all against lefties -- giving the A's a 2-1 lead.
The A's weren't done in the seventh. Coco Crisp singled with two out and Jed Lowrie drove him home with a double off the right-field wall to make it 3-1.
Milone (9-8) allowed only four hits while striking out six and walking four as the A's beat the Angels for the second straight time after losing the opener of this four-game series on Thursday.
Angels right-hander Garrett Richards returned to the rotation Saturday, replacing Joe Blanton, and made his first start since April 30, when he gave up a season-high seven earned runs on eight hits in a 10-6 loss to the A's at Oakland.
This time, Richards blanked the A's for five innings on three hits, striking out four and walking two. He left the game only because his pitch count hit 78.
In his previous 26 appearances, all out of the bullpen, Richards never threw more than 63 pitches or 3 2/3 innings. In four April starts, Richards went 1-2 with a 5.54 ERA.
The Angels were without slugger Albert Pujols for Saturday's game. He aggravated his injured left foot in the ninth inning Friday night while running to first on a two-run single and returned to Southern California to be examined by doctors.
Pujols has been battling plantar fasciitis all season.
"It's sorer than anything he's dealt with, what he's been playing through," Scioscia said before the game. "We'll just see what happens."
With Pujols out, Mike Trout dropped down one spot in the order and hit third.
Hamilton entered the game hitting .158 against left-handers this season with one home run. But he was hitting .429 for his career against Milone with six hits in 14 at-bats, including a home run.
Milone threw him an 0-and-1 fastball down the middle of the plate, and Hamilton launched it high and deep into the right-field seats.
After Milone exited, Ryan Cook pitched a scoreless eighth and closer Grant Balfour pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save.
NOTES: A's LHP Brett Anderson (stress fracture right foot, sprained right ankle) threw a 51-pitch bullpen session Saturday with a break in the middle, simulating the break between innings in a game. "It was good," Anderson said. "Going into it I felt like there weren't going to be any problems, but you never know how you're going to react to sitting for a potential inning. I felt good. All my pitches were good. I felt strong. My body's a non-issue." Pitching coach Curt Young said that pitching a simulated game "is probably the next step" for Anderson. ... Former A's left-hander Vida Blue threw out the first pitch on "1969 Turn Back the Clock Day" at the Coliseum. Both teams wore throwback uniforms. The A's rocked a bright green and gold combination and sleeveless jerseys. The Angels sported halo caps.

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