OAKLAND (AP) — Angels manager Mike Scioscia had no idea he called upon an American League-record 12 pitchers to win on Labor Day.
“Both teams or us?” he asked. “If I had needed a couple more innings, we would have used probably 13 or 14. Hopefully not too often.”
Instead of extending the game Monday, Kole Calhoun delivered with a two-run triple in the 11th inning as the Angels outlasted the Oakland Athletics 11-9.
Fernando Salas (1-0), the ninth Angels pitcher, tossed a perfect 10th for the victory. Keynan Middleton came in as the third pitcher of the 11th and got his third career save as Los Angeles tried to move up in the wild-card race.
“That’s big. It takes momentum into tomorrow,” Calhoun said.
The A’s have lost a season-high seven in a row.
Three Angels pitchers didn’t record an out. The 12 pitchers overall topped the previous AL mark of 11 done four times, most recently by Tampa Bay in 2013. The Colorado Rockies set a major league record by using 13 pitchers in 2015 during a 16-inning game.
“Thank God for September,” said Jesse Chavez, who pitched the fourth for Los Angeles and praised the versatile staff. “That just goes back to how we are in spring training. ... We don’t let anybody feel neglected.”
Angels star Mike Trout fouled a ball off his lower right leg in the 11th but stayed in the game after being checked by Scioscia and a trainer.
Matt Olson homered twice for Oakland, including a tying, two-run drive with two outs in the ninth against Blake Parker.
“Losing a game like that isn’t fun by any means,” Olson said. “But it says something the way we stayed in that game the entire time, still fighting in the bottom of the 11th right there.”
Blake Treinen (1-3) gave up Calhoun’s go-ahead hit.
Martin Maldonado hit two home runs for the Angels, his second multihomer game this season. Luis Valbuena added a three-run drive.
Albert Pujols had three hits and drove in a run. He has 12 RBIs over his last five games and 23 in the past 21.
While Los Angeles starter Parker Birdwell didn’t get a decision while pitching into the fourth, the Angels improved to 14-2 in his outings this year.
Khris Davis hit a three-run double and Bruce Maxwell added an RBI single in the first inning to A’s starter Chris Smith a nice cushion. But Smith couldn’t hold the lead, and has surrendered 10 home runs over his last five starts.
A’s hitting coach Darren Bush was ejected in the fifth after Matt Chapman was called out on strikes.
GOING THE DISTANCE
The Angels’ last four games have gone: 4 hours, 33 minutes, 4:09, 3:49 and 4:38 Monday. The club will have optional batting practice Tuesday “so they can regroup, rebound,” Scioscia said.
Chavez made a thoughtful pregame gesture on his way to the field to throw in warmups: He carried a load of food for Diamond Level concession worker Connie Burgin, who called the former A’s player a “sweetie.” She said she didn’t ask for assistance, he kindly offered. After the game, Chavez noted that his long arms were an asset in this situation and he saw that the woman was trying to pick up the large tray.
“He’s the best,” Scioscia said.
Angels: RHP Bud Norris threw a bullpen session as he works back from his second stint on the disabled list with right knee inflammation. He could be activated as soon as Wednesday when eligible. ... 3B Yunel Escobar took some swings as part of his rehab from a strained right oblique. ... The Angels claimed RHP Dayan Diaz from the Astros and designated for assignment RHP Daniel Wright to clear room on the 40-man roster. Diaz was optioned to rookie-level Orem.
Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn, on the DL since Aug. 23 with a bruised pitching hand, might not play again this season given the bone bruise is deep enough it’s comparable to a fracture. Blackburn is set to compete for a rotation spot in spring training 2018, manager Bob Melvin said.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the year five months to the day after an April 5 outing at Oakland in which he strained his right biceps muscle in his season debut. He is expected to throw just 50 pitches.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (4-4, 4.54) had a no-decision against the Angels on the road his last time out in a 10-8 loss last Wednesday.