A's let one slip away after blowing lead in ninth 

click to enlarge A's closer Grant Balfour, above, gave up the game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth. - KYLE TERADA/USA TODAY SPORTS
  • Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports
  • A's closer Grant Balfour, above, gave up the game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth.

OAKLAND — Josh Hamilton hit a game-tying, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning then hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in 11th, lifting the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory Wednesday afternoon over the A's.

Leading off the top of the 11th, Angels left fielder J.B. Shuck ripped a double off the base of the right-field wall against A's right-hander Jesse Chavez. Erick Aybar moved Shuck to third with a sacrifice bunt and reached safely when baseman Josh Donaldson couldn't bare-hand the ball and was charged with an error.

Chavez retired Mike Trout on a fly ball to right, but Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly to deep left off left-hander Jerry Blevins, bringing Shuck home with the go-ahead run. Blevins had struck Hamilton out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning Tuesday night in a 2-1 A's win.

The Angles and A's combined to hit four two-run homers. Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes each hit a two-run homer for the A's, while Trout and Hamilton hit two-run blasts for the Angels.

The A's took a 4-2 lead into the top of the ninth and sent closer Grant Balfour to the mound. But Aybar grounded a leadoff single to left and, with one out, Hamilton launched a two-run homer into the right-field seats as the Angels pulled even. The home run was Hamilton's 21st of the season.

Balfour blew his third save in 41 opportunities. He did not allow a run in his past three outings after giving up seven in his previous six.

Chavez pitched a perfect 10th inning before giving up an unearned run in the 11th.

Angels right-hander Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless 11th for his 35th save. Right-hander Juan Gutierrez got the win, pitching a scoreless 10th.

Oakland A's right-hander A.J. Griffin appeared headed for his fifth straight win before Hamilton struck in the ninth. Griffin gave up a two-run shot to Trout in the first when the Angels grabbed a quick 2-0 lead.

That was the first and last hit that Griffin gave up.

Griffin allowed just the one hit and two runs over six innings. He got a no-decision, but his four-game winning streak survived. Griffin struck out six and walked two.

Cespedes and Crisp slugged two-run homers during a four-run rally in the third inning off Angels left-hander Jason Vargas as the A's took a 4-2 lead.

NOTES: Cespedes (right shoulder tendinitis) started at designated hitter for the third straight day and continued to rest his throwing arm. ... Second baseman Grant Green started against the A's for the first time since they traded him to the Angels for infielder Alberto Callaspo.

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