ANAHEIM (AP) — Jarrod Parker pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, Brandon Moss and Cliff Pennington homered, and the Oakland Athletics snapped the Los Angeles Angels’ six-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory Monday night.
Coco Crisp hit a leadoff triple and scored for the A’s, who opened a key four-game series against their California rivals with a measure of revenge for the Angels’ three-game sweep in Oakland last week. Those are the only losses since Aug. 23 for the A’s, who have won 13 of 16.
With his second straight impressive start against Los Angeles after a hard-luck loss last week, Parker (10-8) and his bullpen held the Angels’ surging lineup to four hits. Los Angeles scored just one run for only the second time in its last 22 games.
Ryan Cook worked the eighth, and Grant Balfour finished uneventfully for his 17th save.
Dan Haren (10-11) pitched into the seventh inning, allowing just four hits and striking out four. But Oakland turned those hits into three runs, and Haren took his first loss since Aug. 16.
Torii Hunter drove in Mike Trout with a third-inning double for the Angels (77-64), who had won 11 of 12 and 15 of 18 in their desperate late surge to join the playoff race.
With its first home loss in seven games, Los Angeles blew a chance to pull within a half-game of Baltimore (78-62) for the second AL wild-card spot. Tampa Bay (77-63) is between the Orioles and the Angels.
Oakland (80-60), which is in the first wild-card slot, is 20 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2006 season — also the year of the A’s last postseason appearance. The A’s also pulled within three games of idle Texas (83-57) atop the AL West.
Oakland has won eight of the clubs’ last 11 meetings at Angel Stadium.
Crisp hit Haren’s first pitch of the night high off the right-field wall, easily reaching third before scoring on Seth Smith’s groundout. Oakland didn’t lead at any point in last week’s three losses to the Angels, who outscored the A’s 21-5 in the East Bay.
Trout and Hunter evened it in the third inning when Trout walked, stole second, advanced on an error and trotted home on Hunter’s double down the right-field line.
Hunter was greeted each inning in right field by a long row of fans wearing fluorescent-yellow T-shirts and holding up signs spelling “Keep Torii!” The beloved outfielder can become a free agent this winter.
Haren retired 12 straight A’s on just 38 pitches after Crisp’s triple, but Moss led off the fifth with his 17th homer. Pennington added his fifth of the season in the sixth inning, also reaching the elevated stands above right field.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar was grateful to hear more good news about A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who was struck in the head by Aybar’s line drive last week in Oakland. McCarthy is walking again and could soon be sent home from the hospital, A’s trainer Nick Paparesta said before the game.
Angel Stadium put up McCarthy’s photo and a message on its scoreboard before the game: “Get Well Soon Brandon McCarthy.”
NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said ace Jered Weaver will start Thursday against the A’s after skipping a start to rest the tendinitis in his right shoulder. Weaver, who felt strong after a bullpen session Monday, would be lined up to start the Angels’ final game of the season if he returns Thursday. ... Jerome Williams gets a spot start in Weaver’s place when the Angels face the A’s on Tuesday night. Oakland counters with Dan Straily, who will make his fourth major league start in McCarthy’s slot in the rotation. ... Los Angeles reliever Nick Maronde gave up a single to Moss after relieving Haren in the seventh. Maronde, a third-round pick in 2011, had struck out each of the first four batters he faced in his major league career since getting promoted from Double-A Arkansas on Sept. 1.