OAKLAND (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a grand slam to highlight an eight-run seventh inning and drove in five runs, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied from five runs down to beat the Oakland Athletics 12-7 on Friday night.
Pujols hit his 20th home run of the season and 12th this month on a 1-1 pitch from reliever Edward Mujica (2-2), who was activated from the disabled list before the game. It was the 540th career home run for the Angels’ slugger and his 13th grand slam.
Johnny Giavotella drove in three runs for Los Angeles, which has won five of the last six games between the clubs.
Ben Zobrist and Stephen Vogt homered for the A’s, who have lost two straight.
Fernando Salas (1-1) retired one batter for the win, the Angels’ first in four games this season in which Oakland ace Sonny Gray has started.
Los Angeles trailed 7-2 before breaking out against Gray and three relievers in the seventh.
Gray walked the first two batters in the inning then gave up an RBI-single to Matt Joyce. Two batters after pinch-hitter Daniel Robertson drew a bases-loaded walk off reliever Drew Pomeranz, Mike Trout hit a sacrifice fly to left that deflected off Zobrist’s glove, allowing Joyce to score without a throw.
Pujols followed with his 12th home run in the last 21 games. He had an RBI-double in the ninth.
Giovatella, who had an RBI double in the second and a sacrifice fly in the fourth, added an RBI single to make it 10-7.
The A’s committed three of their four errors in the inning, raising their total this season to 69, the most in the majors.
Trevor Gott, Joe Smith and Cesar Ramos pitched one inning apiece to complete the win for Los Angeles.
Gray, who took a majors-low 1.60 ERA into the game, was in line for his ninth win until the Angels’ outburst. He allowed six runs and five hits in six-plus innings while matching his career-low with two strikeouts. The Oakland ace also dodged a potential serious injury in the fourth when he speared Joyce’s two-out line drive just as the ball neared his head.
Zobrist hit a three-run home run in the first inning off Angels starter Matt Shoemaker. Shoemaker allowed five runs and eight hits with two strikeouts in four-plus innings.
Athletics: 1B Ike Davis was activated from the DL before the game. Davis started and batted sixth. ... To make room on the roster, RHP Arnold Leon was optioned to Triple-A Nashville and INF Andy Parrino was designated for assignment.
Angels: RHP Jared Weaver (4-7) pitches the middle game of the series Saturday looking to end a three-start losing streak. Weaver has 13 career wins against Oakland.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn (4-5) is winless in six starts against teams from the AL West this season.