Athletics 5, Angels 2
Trevor Cahill spent the past week peppering his Oakland teammate Andrew Bailey with questions about the All-Star game, imploring the closer to find a way onto the team even if it meant giving up his own spot in return.
In a roundabout way, that's exactly what happened.
Cahill scattered five hits over seven innings while Bailey pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save, and the A's beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Sunday.
Cahill (9-3) was replaced on the All-Star roster by Angels starter Jered Weaver, who lost for only the second time in his last six starts. Since he also pitched Sunday, Weaver was taken off the roster and replaced by Bailey, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year who will make his second straight trip to the All-Star game.
''We live together and for the past week he's been like, 'You gotta make the team, you gotta make the team,''' Bailey said. ''He's excited about it and I'm excited to go with him. To be able to hang out with him and share that experience with him is going to be cool.''
Even though Cahill won't pitch in Tuesday's game, he'll attend the festivities in Anaheim coming off one of his most impressive outings of the season. The Oakland right-hander allowed an unearned run in the fifth after shortstop Cliff Pennington's throwing error, but was otherwise solid after getting shelled by the Yankees on July 6.
''After the last game I put a little more pressure on myself and I wanted to end the first half on a positive note, especially going to the All-Star game,'' Cahill said.
Cahill scattered five hits over seven innings and worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth without allowing a run to earn the win.
Jack Cust homered for the second time in three games, Adam Rosales added a two-run single and Kurt Suzuki went 3 for 3 to provide the run support.
Bobby Abreu homered for the second straight day for the Angels, who ended a dismal road trip 1-6. It's the first time since 2006 that Los Angeles entered the break outside of first place in the AL West. They remained 4 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers.
''The last 10 games have not been good,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''We have guys who have underperformed and we need them to do what they are capable of doing.''
Cahill saved his best for the sixth, after Abreu's leadoff double, a walk to Torii Hunter and a single by Hideki Matsui loaded the bases. He got Mike Napoli to ground into a 5-2-3 double play and struck out Cory Aldridge to preserve the A's 3-1 lead.
Oakland then scored twice in the bottom of the inning on Rosales' two-out single to break the game open. It's the A's second straight win after getting swept by the Yankees and dropping the first game of this series against the Angels.
With the rest of the division losing, Oakland pulled within 7 1/2 games of leader Texas.
''It's a little bit of a confidence builder,'' manager Bob Geren said. ''After losing the first one, coming back to win the next two was a real nice accomplishment going into the break. ''
It's the second time Oakland has tagged Weaver (8-5) with a loss this season.
The Angels starter, who was beaten by the A's on June 8 in Oakland, allowed an RBI double to Suzuki in the first and Cust's two-run homer in the fourth. He left one batter after Rosales' two-run single made it 5-1 in the sixth.
Weaver had been solid in his previous five starts, going 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA. With seven strikeouts against the A's, the righty passed Seattle's Felix Hernandez and San Francisco's two-time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum for the major league lead with 137.
The Angels scored one run in the eighth off Oakland reliever Craig Breslow and had the tying run at the plate with two outs before Michael Wuertz struck out pinch-hitter Paul McAnulty.
Bailey then worked the ninth, allowing Erick Aybar's one-out single before retiring Howie Kendrick and Abreu to end the game. He and Cahill then made a short car trip to the Oakland airport to board their plane for the All-Star game.
''It was funny because I had heard some stuff about it, that if Trevor threw a pitch Weaver was going to take his spot, and if Weaver threw a pitch I was going to take his spot,'' Bailey said. ''I was down there cheering each and every first pitch. Guys in the bullpen were giving my high-fives and stuff. It was exciting.''
Notes: Geren said LHP Dallas Braden could return from the DL against Boston on July 20. Braden, who pitched a perfect game May 9, has been sidelined with elbow stiffness. ... A day after getting the first hit of his major league career, Aldridge went 0 for 3 ... Cust recorded his fifth career stolen base in the sixth. ... Abreu's homer is his fifth against the A's this season. ... The Angels have lost three straight series for the first time since 2007 ... Los Angeles IF Kevin Frandsen is hitless in his last 19 at-bats.