Aybar, Figgins key Angels' rout of A's
Although most of the Angels already were on the bus back to the hotel after another improbably impressive offensive game, catcher Mike Napoli needed an answer to a semi-serious question.
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"Why are we still scoring runs, man?" Napoli asked All-Star infielder Chone Figgins as they dressed in the mostly empty Coliseum locker room following Los Angeles' 14-hit effort in an 11-6 win over Oakland. "How is that possible?"
"What, are we supposed to stop?" Figgins replied.
Even without injured sluggers Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero in the heart of their lineup - and even after losing cleanup hitter Juan Rivera to a third-inning injury - it seems nothing can stop the Angels from scoring more than enough runs to take charge of the AL West.
Erick Aybar drove in a career-high four runs Saturday, and Figgins hit a leadoff homer while reaching base four times in Los Angeles' fifth win in six games. Every starter got a hit and six drove in a run for the division-leading Angels, who capitalized on four Oakland errors and survived a rare poor start by Jered Weaver with their glamourless, relentless offense.
Los Angeles has scored 49 runs in its last six games, usually by doing nothing fancy.
"We keep putting pressure on," said Figgins, who tied his career high by scoring three runs, increasing his AL lead in the category. "We keep having good at-bats and getting people on base. We're not one of those teams that hits lots of homers. We hit line drives. ... If we can keep that train going, we're still going to score some runs."
Oakland rookie right-hander Vin Mazzaro (2-6) yielded Figgins' seventh career leadoff homer on his fourth pitch before facing 10 batters in the Angels' six-run third. Aybar had a two-RBI single after leaving Friday's loss to Oakland with dizziness, and the shortstop added another two-run single in the seventh.
The Angels' combustible bullpen also pitched five scoreless innings until Cust's two-out homer in the ninth to bail out Weaver, who felt seriously ill after the first inning. He eventually fell apart in the fourth inning of his shortest start this season, yielding eight hits and five runs while walking three and never looking comfortable.