Angels bats come to life in 7-4 victory over Athletics
Bobby Abreu and Mike Napoli, the latter swinging at a 3-and-0 pitch, each hit two-run home runs in the third inning to highlight the Angels' 7-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics this afternoon in the Oakland Coliseum.
Torii Hunter added an RBI double in the fifth inning while Abreu and Matsui each had run-scoring singles in the seventh as the Angels piled up more runs Sunday than they did in the previous four games combined (six).
Though they are still far back in the American League West, 9 1/2 games behind first-place Texas, they gained ground on the Rangers for the first time since Aug. 21.
Ervin Santana gave up three runs -- two earned -- and six hits in six innings to earn the win, improving to 12-3 with a 1.80 earned-run average lifetime against the A's and 15-9 with a 4.02 ERA on the season.
After giving up a two-run double to Jeff Larish that trimmed the Angels' lead to 4-3 in the fourth inning, Santana struck out Rajai Davis and Landon Powell and got Cliff Pennington to ground out to second, ending the inning.
The A's loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth on a Kevin Kouzmanoff single and two walks, but Santana struck out Larish on a nice slider to end the inning.
Hard-throwing Angels reliever Jordan Walden gave up two singles but struck out three, including Jack Cust and Larish on 99-mph fastballs, in a scoreless seventh. Kevin Jepsen retired the side in order with one strikeout in the eighth, and Fernando Rodney gave up a run on three hits in the ninth.
--Mike DiGiovanna, reporting from OaklandPhoto: Angels left fielder Bobby Abreu is congratulated by right fielder Torii Hunter after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning Sunday. Credit: Ben Margot / Associated Press