ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jered Weaver pitched seven innings of five-hit ball, Josh Hamilton drove in two runs, and the Los Angeles Angels did a bit more damage to the Athletics’ home-field playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory over Oakland on Wednesday.
Erick Aybar had three hits in the Angels’ final home game of their disappointing season. Los Angeles is unbeaten in its past 10 series while winning 23 of the past 32 games, including four of six over the two-time AL West champion A’s in the past two weeks.
Dan Straily (10-8) allowed seven hits while pitching into the seventh inning of his first loss since Aug. 17 for the A’s, who began the day trailing Boston by one game for the majors’ best record. The Red Sox play at Colorado later Wednesday.
Weaver (11-8) finished his season impressively after missing last week’s scheduled start with tightness in his right forearm.
The Angels’ veteran right-hander missed nearly two months of the early season with a broken bone in his arm. He bounced back with a 10-4 record since July 2 to become only the third pitcher in AL history to have 10 wins and a winning record in each of his first eight seasons, joining Addie Joss and Andy Pettitte.
Oakland usually has trouble with Weaver, who was 7-1 with an 0.84 ERA in his previous 10 starts against the A’s. His personal string of 29 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings against the A’s ended in the sixth with Jed Lowrie’s sacrifice fly, but Weaver finished strong before Dane De La Rosa and Ernesto Frieri finished.
Frieri pitched the ninth for his 37th save.
After scoring 49 runs in a five-game barrage ending Monday, Oakland managed just 10 hits in the past two games, including Jason Vargas’ four-hit gem for the Angels on Tuesday. The A’s have a day off Thursday before finishing the regular season in Seattle.
Straily struck out five, couldn’t quite match Weaver despite another strong start. Los Angeles scored two unearned runs in the fifth in a rally catalyzed by first baseman Daric Barton’s error.
Mike Trout wasn’t in the Angels’ starting lineup for their home finale. The star outfielder is in a 9-for-52 slump over the past 15 games, seriously endangering his chances of picking up the final 13 hits necessary to reach 200 on the season.
Aybar, who got a rare day off Tuesday, singled and scored the game’s first run in the fourth inning on Hamilton’s grounder. Los Angeles added two in the fifth with a lengthy one-hit rally that included Chris Iannetta getting thrown out at the plate before Aybar and Hamilton singled in runs.
Hamilton, the disappointing $125 million outfielder, had two hits to boost his average to a season-high .248. He also stole a base, just his fourth of the season, in the eighth.
Weaver allowed just two hits in the first five innings, and had retired nine straight before Coco Crisp singled to lead off the sixth and scored on Lowrie’s fly.
Los Angeles went 39-42 at Angel Stadium this season, posting its first losing record at the Big A since 2001. The Angels’ home struggles are just one reason they’re finishing third in the AL West for the third time in four seasons after winning five of the previous six division titles.
NOTES: Los Angeles finishes its season with four games at Texas. Jerome Williams is still scheduled to start Thursday’s opener against Matt Garza. … RHP Bartolo Colon is scheduled to go after his 18th victory when the A’s open their weekend series in Seattle on Friday. … A’s 3B Josh Donaldson got the day off Wednesday, part of manager Bob Melvin’s plan to give his key players a bit of rest this week. Donaldson’s streak of reaching base in 28 straight games ended Tuesday.