Chris Iannetta drove in three runs and was a triple shy of hitting for the… (Ben Margot / Associated…)
OAKLAND -- The Angels cooled the hottest team in baseball and opened a crucial 10-game stretch against wild-card contenders with a convincing 8-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Monday, snapping the A’s win streak at nine.
Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Chris Iannetta each hit home runs, and the Angels racked up 14 hits in the Oakland Coliseum to pull to within 4 1/2 games of the A’s in the American League wild-card standings. But the Angels remained 3 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second wild-card spot.
Wells, reduced to a bit role because of injury and the emergence of young outfielders Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, and Iannetta each had run-scoring singles off Oakland starter Tommy Milone in the second.
Hunter’s solo homer to left and Erick Aybar’s RBI single in the third made it 4-0, and Wells' solo shot to deep left field, his 10th of the season, made it 5-0 in the fourth and gave Wells four homers and 12 RBIs in his last 16 games. The left fielder had three homers and 12 RBIs in his previous 45 games.
Oakland had outscored opponents, 72-22, during the nine-game win streak and won 15 of its past 17 games, but C.J. Wilson subdued the A’s for five innings, giving up two runs and five hits and escaping a key bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fifth.
Some of Wilson’s most dismal performances have come in games in which the Angels staked him to big early leads, and the left-hander who too often nibbles at instead of attacking the strike zone put himself in another danger zone Monday.
Jonny Gomes doubled and scored on Josh Reddick’s bloop single to left to pull the A’s within 5-1 in the fourth, and Josh Donaldson’s leadoff homer to center in the fifth cut the Angels’ lead to 5-2.
Wilson struck out Derek Norris, gave up a single to Stephen Drew and struck out Adam Rosales for the second out before walking Coco Crisp and Gomes to load the bases with two outs for Reddick, who leads the team with 28 home runs.
But after taking a mighty cut and missing an 83-mph breaking ball for strike one, Reddick popped out to second, Wilson’s biggest out of the year preserving the 5-2 lead.
The Angels then extended the lead to 8-2 in the sixth when Wells walked and Iannetta drove a two-run homer to left-center off reliever Pedro Figueroa, giving the Angels catcher and No. 9 hitter three hits and three RBIs in the game.
Trout walked, stole second, took third when catcher Norris’ throw bounced past second and into center field and scored on Hunter’s sacrifice fly to right.
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