How the Angels won: A pair of home runs, a bases-loaded walk and a shutout performance by the ace helped the Angels to a 4-0 win over the Oakland A’s on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
It’s the fourth-straight win by the Halos and their fifth in six games. The win extends the Angels’ AL West lead to three games. No matter the outcome of the series’ final game, the A’s cannot regain or tie their lead this weekend.
Jared Weaver pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, and the dominant performance was badly needed: Since July 24, Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Richards are the only two starters on staff who have made it through a full seven innings. Weaver needed a few defensive plays, but he managed to pitch himself out of a bases-loaded sixth for his American League-leading 15th win of the season.
"It’s nice to have your defense play behind you and it’s nice to have some run support," Weaver. "It’s always my M-O to get as deep in the game as possible and I obviously haven’t lived up to that as much as I would like to this year but it goes back to me just trying to keep us in games."
Stud of the game: Weaver earned two straight wins against the A’s. Five days ago, he gave up three earned runs but struck out eight. He struck out only two Friday night, but he recorded his second shutout of the season in a much sharper outing.
"Well it’s really tough for a pitcher to do, face a team consecutively in five days," Scioscia said. "There’s a little chess match that goes on and some adjustments to the game plan. I thought Weave had much butter stuff tonight than he did in Oakland and he took advantage of it."
Dud of the game: The A’s offense went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The Halos’ arms didn’t give them much of a chance as only Josh Donaldson recorded an extra-base hit. Small ball attempts were ineffective, and although Jon Lester (13-9) kept the A’s in the game for the mostpart, his defense didn’t leave him much room for error.
Since arriving in Oakland, the A’s, who once looked unbeatable, are just 12-15.
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Key moment: Iannetta squared up and launched a deep fly to center field and Coco Crisp leaped made a spectacular catch at the wall. But Crisp came down hard and hurt, without the ball in his glove. The impact of his body hitting the wall knocked the ball loose from his glove over the wall.
The two-run homer was good for Iannetta; but Crisp left the game with a strained neck.
"I saw Coco go up and I knew if he had a chance to catch it he was probably going to," Iannetta said. "That would have been a great play by him."
The home run snapped the catcher’s 56-game homer-less drought; and he set a season-high with three RBI.
Key stat: The A’s snapped a stretch of 14 straight months with a winning record. Despite their best efforts to acquire every high-profile rental for a World Series run, the club is skidding badly.
They said it: Weaver had no idea that his 15th win tied him for the AL lead.
"I do?" He said. "Really? I don’t know, you would have never guessed that."
What’s next: After four days of speculation, the Angels have a starter for Saturday’s game: Cory Rasmus.
Rasmus will make his first big league Saturday night, in the third game of the four-game bill. Jeff Samardzija (4-3, 3.86) will be taking the hill for the A’s.