Butler homers in 5-run 7th as A's beat Angels 

click to enlarge Billy Butler
  • Mark J. Terrill/AP
  • The A's Billy Butler, center, is congratulated by Stephen Vogt, left, after hitting a two-run home run in the A's win over the Angels on Wednesday.
ANAHEIM — Sonny Gray outpitched Jered Weaver with seven innings of two-hit ball, and Billy Butler homered during a five-run seventh inning that carried the Oakland Athletics to a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

Gray (2-0) struck out seven, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third and retired his last 14 batters. The right-hander faced the Angels in three of his final eight starts last season, going at least seven innings each time.

Eric Sogard greeted Fernando Salas (0-1) with a leadoff single in the seventh, stole second and advanced on Marcus Semien's sacrifice bunt before Stephen Vogt delivered the go-ahead run with a single through the right side off Cesar Ramos with one out and runners at the corners.

Vinnie Pestano came in to relieve and threw a wild pitch to Butler that allowed Sam Fuld to score. Butler drove a 3-1 pitch to center field for his 14th career homer against the Angels, and Brett Lawrie's run-scoring infield hit capped the rally.

The A's tacked on three more runs in the eighth and finished with 18 hits. They have outscored their opponents 62-5 in their eight victories, and have been outscored 56-21 in their eight losses — including a 14-1 drubbing Tuesday night.

Oakland stole three more bases, making the A's 10 for 10 over their last eight games — after playing their first eight games without attempting a stolen base.

Weaver threw 25 of his 93 pitches in the first inning and was done after six, allowing a run and eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks. The three-time All-Star, who won 18 games last year, is 0-2 in four starts with a 5.24 ERA. It's the first time in Weaver's 10 big league seasons that he was winless in his first four outings.

The score was tied 1-all in the third when the Angels loaded the bases on a one-out single by Johnny Giavotella and two walks. But Gray struck out Albert Pujols on a pitch in the dirt and retired David Freese on a popup.

Pujols began last season 0 for 13 in bases-loaded situations. The three-time NL MVP, who has 12 grand slams among his 523 career home runs, finished 3 for 18 with nine RBIs under those circumstances in 2014.

NOTES: CF Coco Crisp, recovering from arthroscopic elbow surgery, took dry swings from both sides of the plate. ... 2B/OF Ben Zobrist missed his third straight game because of an injured left knee. ... LHP C.J. Wilson, Thursday's scheduled starter, was pushed back to Saturday night against Texas because of elbow stiffness. ... Manager Mike Scioscia pulled back slightly from his statement on Tuesday that injured LF Josh Hamilton would begin extended spring training in Arizona during the weekend. "I was probably commenting a little bit more on the aggressive side of what the window could be, and it might not happen in that timetable. But there's really no confusion," Scioscia said. "I think the timetable for him to get to Arizona is really fluid. I don't think there are any mixed messages."

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