Posted September 24, 2013 on AP on Fox
Jed Lowrie hit a three-run homer, Brandon Moss added a two-run shot and the Oakland Athletics kept rolling toward the postseason with their fifth straight victory, 10-5 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. Tommy Milone pitched into the sixth inning and Seth Smith had an early RBI double for the AL West champions, who have won 11 of 13. Seven A's drove in a run at the Big A as Oakland (94-63) moved to a season-high 31 games over .500 with the majors' second-best record, just behind Boston (95-62). Howie Kendrick homered and hit a three-run double for the Angels, who have lost two straight after winning 21 of 28. They hadn't lost by more than three runs since Sept. 3. The A's have scored 49 runs in their last five games, and the offensive barrage didn't let up after the club clinched its second consecutive division title Sunday. Lowrie hit his 15th homer in the third inning in Anaheim, and Moss followed with his 28th in the fifth. Milone (12-9) struck out eight while giving up five hits and two earned runs in his second start since Aug. 27. He pitched two innings of relief last Friday, but got this spot start in A.J. Griffin's place. Garrett Richards (7-7) gave up eight hits and seven runs while failing to get out of the fifth inning in his worst start since joining the Angels' rotation full-time in late July. Oakland and Los Angeles have been the majors' two best teams since Aug. 23, but the A's are playoff-bound while the Angels are finished Sunday because Oakland didn't waste the season's first 4 1/2 months. The Angels, with a payroll roughly twice the size of Oakland's, will finish in third place in the AL West for the third time in four years after winning five of the previous six division titles. Richards got rocked in his final home audition for a rotation spot in 2014. The right-hander had allowed more than three runs just twice since in 11 starts taking Joe Blanton's spot in the rotation midway through this season. Josh Reddick, Smith and Stephen Vogt delivered consecutive two-out hits off Richards in the second inning, scoring two runs. Kendrick replied in the bottom half with his first homer since July 6. The Angels' second baseman missed 33 games with a hyperextended left knee, but has hits in eight of his nine games since returning. Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson then opened the third with singles before Lowrie's homer into the elevated right-field stands. Los Angeles loaded the bases in the third on Kole Calhoun's walk, and Mike Trout struck out before Kendrick pounded a line drive high off the wall in right, matching his season high with four RBIs. Oakland kept piling on with Moss' homer and Eric Sogard's RBI single in the sixth. Former Angels infielder Alberto Callaspo had an RBI single for the A's in the ninth. After going 1 for 10 in last weekend's series against Seattle, Trout struck out three times against Milone before beating out an infield single in the eighth. He is 13 hits shy of 200 for the season. NOTES: Angels 1B Mark Trumbo, stuck in an 0-for-16 slump, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. ... Griffin's start was pushed back to Tuesday against Los Angeles LHP Jason Vargas. Angels ace Jered Weaver is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday after missing last week's turn with tightness in his forearm. ... Angels RHP Tommy Hanson made his first career relief appearance in the seventh, pitching 2 1-3 innings in his first action since a demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake in mid-August.
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