Angels rally in ninth but lose to A's, 2-1, in 10 innings
Cliff Pennington squeezed a triple between Angels left fielder Vernon Wells and center fielder Peter Bourjos to open the 10th inning and scored on Conor Jackson's one-out grounder to shortstop Wednesday, and the Oakland Athletics avoided a three-game sweep with a 2-1, 10-inning victory at Angel Stadium.
Pennington opened the 10th with a soft liner to the gap in medium left-center off Angels closer Jordan Walden, and it appeared that either Wells or Bourjos could have caught the ball.
But Wells hesitated as the speedy Bourjos closed in, and when Wells attempted to make a sliding catch, his left knee stuck deep into the ground, producing a huge divot in the outfield grass. The ball got past Wells and Bourjos and rolled to the warning track.
Walden, who had not given up an earned run in 10 1/3 innings this season, got David DeJesus to bounce back to the mound for the first out. Daric Barton was walked intentionally to set up a potential double play, but Jackson chopped a grounder off the plate that easily scored Pennington with the winning run.
The Angels tied the score in the bottom of the ninth with an unearned run off A's left-hander Brian Fuentes, the former Angels closer.
Erick Aybar got a sacrifice bunt down on an 0-2 pitch to advance Trumbo to second, and Bobby Abreu went the other way on a full-count pitch, slapping a run-scoring double past the third-base bag to make it 1-1. Torii Hunter was walked intentionally, but Wells struck out, and Alberto Callaspo popped out to second, ending the inning.
Oakland right-hander Tyson Ross needed only 76 pitches to get through seven scoreless innings, in which he gave up four hits, all singles, struck out three and walked one. He was in line for the victory over Dan Haren, who gave up one unearned run and three hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking two.
Haren, a control freak who rarely issues a free pass, walked one batter and hit another with a pitch in the third. Add a fielding error by Howie Kendrick, and it resulted in an unearned run for the A's.
Landon Powell opened the inning with a walk, and Kouzmanoff reached when his grounder squirted out of the glove of Kendrick, a second baseman who occasionally slides over to first. Pennington popped out to the catcher, but Haren hit DeJesus with an 0-2 pitch, loading the bases.
Barton followed with a sacrifice fly to left, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead, and Jackson flied to center to end the inning.
The Angels, who amassed 16 hits, seven for extra bases, in Tuesday night's 8-3 win over the A's, reached second base only once against Ross, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander whose fastball topped out at 95 mph.
Right-hander Grant Balfour retired the side in order in the eighth inning, but the A's defense and Fuentes could not close the door in the ninth.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Angels left fielder Vernon Wells misses a line drive hit by Oakland's Cliff Pennington between Wells and center fielder Peter Bourjos to lead off the 10th inning Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times