OAKLAND — When it’s a warm day game, balls fly out of the Oakland Coliseum as easily as they would in Coors Field. But it was the A’s who got the clutch base hits that made the difference.
Yoenis Cespedes hit the go-ahead two-run single and Chris Carter added a two-run homer in the sixth inning for the A’s, who edged the Los Angeles Angels 9-8 on Wednesday afternoon.
“We have a lead, we fall behind, that can be a little demoralizing and to come back again it was a bit of a heavyweight fight in the end,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “The more we go along and the more we win and the more we compete with the teams that are considered the best teams the more confidence we’re going to have.”
Said Carter: “It’s good to get wins against the Angels, because they’re in the division and we’re battling them for the wild-card spot.”
The Angels tied a season high with five home runs. Kendrys Morales hit a pair of homers and drove in three runs. Chris Iannetta, Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo also went deep, but the Halos have lost six of their last eight games.
The problem is, the bullpen hasn’t done the job. LaTroy Hawkins (2-3) gave up five runs in the sixth inning and cost the Angels a chance at a .500 road trip.
In the top of the ninth, closer Ryan Cook made it interesting. He gave up a leadoff single to Albert Pujols.
With one out, Morales singled to right. After a groundout by Alberto Callaspo put both runners in scoring position, Howie Kendrick hit a two run single and the Angels trailed by one run. Kendrick stole second but Erick Aybar grounded to short as the Athletics outlasted the Angels to win the rubber game.
“You go back and look at our nine game losing streak and we never quit on each other even then,” Cook said. “Things looked up from there and every good team goes through that. You see who you are and see what you’re all about and when you rise above it like that, you know you’re doing it for everybody.”