Trout, Calhoun HRs in 8th help Angels beat A's 5-4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels won the kind of game that pennant-contending teams need to win on a regular basis. Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun delivered for them when it counted most.
Trout and Calhoun drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with eighth-inning homers, leading the Angels to a seesaw 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
''I think we've got a really good squad here with a bunch of scrappy baseball players,'' Calhoun said. ''You can kind of tell with all the one-run ballgames that we've played this year. So we never feel like we're out of a game - even when we were down six runs in New York in the ninth and lost by one. So we know we've got it in us.''
Josh Reddick had given the A's a 4-3 lead in the seventh with a two-run shot against Fernando Salas. That put starter Jesse Chavez in line for a victory after Brett Lawrie and Josh Phegley supported him with back-to-back homers in the fourth against Hector Santiago.
But Evan Scribner (1-1) served up Trout's 18th of the season leading off the eighth, then retired Albert Pujols on a towering fly to the warning track in left before Calhoun drove a 1-0 pitch deep into the seats in right for his sixth of the season. It was the fourth lead change of the game.
''Today it was all me. Two pitches up in the zone. That's all it was,'' Scribner said in a hushed voice. ''I can't make mistakes to those guys.''
Jose Alvarez (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the victory and Huston Street got three outs for his 18th save in 20 attempts, retiring Reddick on a fly ball to center with his 26th pitch of the ninth and runners at first and second.
Trout led off the sixth with a single, Pujols followed with a double and Calhoun drove them in with a single up the middle on Chavez's next pitch. Johnny Giavotella then barely beat out a grounder to third, but was called out by umpire Chris Conroy.
Television replays confirmed that the runner was safe, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia was out of challenges by then after burning an earlier one in which Oakland's Mark Canha's steal of second base in the third inning was upheld. Scioscia charged out of the dugout after Giavotella's ruling and had a lengthy one-way argument with Conroy before he was ejected.
''That was the first time I've seen that side of him, so it was good to see the fire in him - and it was contagious with us,'' Giavotella said. ''Unfortunately, we didn't have any challenges left, so we were forced to go with whatever the umpire called. I felt like I was safe - and the replay showed that I actually was. Fortunately for us, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun stepped up.''
Santiago threw 106 pitches in 5 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits with six strikeouts and a walk before leaving with a 2-1 deficit. He was 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his six previous career starts against Oakland.
After stranding a runner at second base in each of the first three innings, Santiago retired the first two batters in the fourth before Lawrie ended an 0-for-16 drought with his sixth homer and Phegley hit his second four pitches later.
''Having nine days off with that relief appearance in the middle, it was definitely different,'' Santiago said.
Giavotella led off the second with a double and scored on Efren Navarro's single off Chavez, who allowed three runs and seven hits over seven innings on five days' rest.
IN THE FOLD
The Angels signed C Taylor Ward, four days after making him their No. 1 draft pick. He will report to their rookie-level team in Orem, Utah, on Sunday.
Athletics: Pat Venditte, who last week became the first ambidextrous pitcher to appear in a major league game since Greg Harris in 1995 was placed on the 15-day DL because of a right shoulder strain. The move is retroactive to June 10. Venditte is the ninth player currently on the team's DL. They already have used the DL 17 times this season, one fewer than last year, and 15 players have been on it - including CF Coco Crisp and closer Sean Doolittle twice each.
Angels: 3B David Freese sat out his fourth straight game because of tightness in his right hamstring, although Scioscia said during batting practice that he was available to pinch-hit. ... OF Collin Cowgill continues to experience stiffness in his right hand after two days of batting practice. He has been on the DL since May 28. ... RHP Mike Morin, threw off a mound for the first time since straining his left oblique muscle on May 24.
Athletics: Kendall Graveman (3-2) faced the Angels on April 20 in Anaheim, throwing 73 pitches in three-plus innings and leaving with a 5-3 lead after walking his first two batters in the fourth. But he is 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in his last four starts.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson (3-5) is 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA his last five starts, including a 6-2 loss at Yankee Stadium last Sunday, when he gave up six runs, seven hits and three homers in seven innings.