Willingham helps A's down AngelsJul 16, 2011 - 6:35 AM Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Josh Willingham went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the third inning to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 5-3 win over the Angels in the opener of a four-game series.
Jemile Weeks, Conor Jackson and Hideki Matsui picked up RBI singles for the Athletics, who snapped their four-game skid.
Brandon McCarthy (2-5) worked 5 1/3 innings to record his first win since April 10 against the Minnesota Twins. Andrew Bailey tossed a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save of the season.
"He got a little bit out of sorts there with his command," A's manager Bob Melvin said of his starter. "He was big for us tonight though."
Erick Aybar went 2-for-5 with an RBI double, while Mike Trout recorded his first career RBI for the Angels, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Dan Haren (10-6) went 6 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits.
The A's opened the scoring in the third, plating three runs. Kurt Suzuki led off the inning with a double into the left field corner and advanced to third on a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt from Cliff Pennington. Weeks followed with an RBI single. One out later, Willingham belted a ball deep into the seats in left for his 12th home run of the season.
"He's the guy in the lineup that can hit it out of any park," Melvin said. "That's what we have been looking for from him."
Oakland expanded its lead in the fourth. David DeJesus ripped a one-out double to center and came around to score on an RBI single by Jackson to give the A's a 4-0 lead. Suzuki singled to right, but Jackson was thrown out at home even though replays showed Jackson's hand making contact with the plate before he was tagged by catcher Jeff Mathis.
The Angels got one back in the fifth. Russell Branyan walked and Mathis roped a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Aybar then laced an RBI double into the gap in right-center field with one out. McCarthy battled back to fan Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter to end the inning.
The Angels added two more runs in the sixth, to pull within a run. Alberto Callaspo slapped a one-out single to left. Michael Wuertz was called upon out of the Athletics bullpen in relief of McCarthy, but did not fare well. Wuertz walked Mark Trumbo and Branyan to load the bases with one out, then walked pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis.
The inning continued when Joey Devine was summoned from the A's bullpen, and got to a 3-1 count on Trout before being pulled after favoring his back. Brad Ziegler was then called on to finish the at-bat and Trout got the best of him, as he poked a single into right for his first major league RBI to cut Oakland's lead to 4-3. Ziegler then got Aybar to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
"We're a long way where we were three weeks ago, maybe a month ago on the offensive side," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's not going to happen every night, it didn't happen tonight, but hopefully we can bounce back and do a better job tomorrow."
Bobby Abreu doubled in the seventh and went to third on a two-out wild pitch, but Craig Breslow retired Callaspo on a fly ball.
The A's picked up an insurance run in the eighth when Willingham hit a one-out double, advanced to third on a wild pitch by Michael Kohn and scored on a single by Matsui.
Prior to Friday's action, the A's recalled infielder Eric Sogard from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned infielder Chris Carter to the farm club...Since the 2004 season, the Angels have the most road wins in baseball at 336...Oakland is 14-16 against the AL West, while Los Angeles is 13-12 against intra- division competition...The A's are 29-15 when they score first in 2011...The Angels placed outfielder Peter Bourjos on the 15-day DL due to a tight right hamstring.
- LOS ANGELES: 3
Jul 16 1:11 AM
- Hideki Matsui single to center scored Ryan Sweeney with one out. Runner on first and Scott Sizemore due up.
Angels 3, Athletics 5 Bot 8, 1 OutJul 16 1:03 AM
- Mike Trout single to right scored Mark Trumbo with one out. On the play, Maicer Izturis advanced to second and Russell Branyan advanced to third. Bases loaded and Erick Aybar due up.
Angels 3, Athletics 4 Top 6, 1 OutJul 16 12:43 AM
- Pinch-Hitter Maicer Izturis walk scored Alberto Callaspo with one out. Bases loaded and Mike Trout due up.
Angels 2, Athletics 4 Top 6, 1 OutJul 16 12:41 AM
- Erick Aybar double to center scored Russell Branyan with one out. On the play, Jeff Mathis advanced to third. Runners on second and third and Howie Kendrick due up.
Angels 1, Athletics 4 Top 5, 1 OutJul 15 11:36 PM
- Kurt Suzuki singled to right. On the play, Conor Jackson thrown out at home. Runner on first with two outs and Cliff Pennington due up.
Angels 0, Athletics 4 Bot 4, 2 OutsJul 15 11:23 PM
- Josh Willingham two-out, two-run Home Run (12) to left scored Jemile Weeks. Hideki Matsui due up.
Angels 0, Athletics 3 Bot 3, 2 OutsJul 15 11:04 PM
- Jemile Weeks single to center scored Kurt Suzuki with one out. Runner on first and Coco Crisp due up.
Angels 0, Athletics 1 Bot 3, 1 OutJul 15 10:59 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 15 10:09 PM
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