No shortage of drama: Angels hold on for 5-4 win over Athletics

OAKLAND -- C.J. Wilson survived a rocky start, Howie Kendrick, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each hit solo home runs, and Ernesto Frieri came through with a five-out, 35-pitch save Wednesday, as the Angels snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

There was no shortage of drama as the A’s trimmed a 5-2 deficit to 5-4 with two runs in the eighth inning off relievers Michael Kohn and Scott Downs before Frieri got the last two outs.

Frieri then hit Yoenis Cespedes with a pitch to start the ninth inning. Cespedes stole second base but he slid past the bag and was tagged out by Kendrick. Josh Donaldson walked, pinch-hitter Brandon Moss flied to left field and, after fouling off three full-count pitches, Josh Reddick walked to put two runners on base.

Frieri then got pinch-hitter Eric Sogard to pop up to third baseman Luis Jimenez, who made the catch in foul territory after a long run.

Wilson needed 36 pitches to complete the first inning, escaping a bases-loaded, two-out jam by getting Nate Freiman to fly to center field. After a third inning in which he gave up back-to-back run-scoring doubles to Josh Donaldson and Freiman, the left-hander’s pitch count stood at 73.

But Wilson blanked the A’s on two hits over the next 3 1/3 innings, getting Derek Norris to ground into a double play with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning and striking out Seth Smith to open the seventh with his 123rd pitch of the game.

Kendrick hit his fourth homer on an 0-and-2 pitch from Tommy Milone in the second inning and, after Oakland took a 2-1 lead in the third, Angels left fielder J.B. Shuck tied the score with a slicing RBI single to left in the fifth.

Trout led off the sixth inning with his third homer of the season, a prodigious shot to left, and one out later Trumbo lined his sixth homer, and third in three days, to left, though it took an instant-replay review by the umpires to confirm the shot.

The Angels added an insurance run in the eighth inning to take a 5-2 lead, but they twice ran into outs on the bases, costing them two runs. Erick Aybar opened with a single and was thrown out trying to steal second base, and Trout followed with a triple to deep center.

Trout scored on Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly, Trumbo walked and Josh Hamilton singled to left, putting runners on first and second.

Kendrick followed with a sharp single to right that should have scored Trumbo, but Hamilton was thrown out trying to go from first to third base on A’s right fielder Reddick, the 2012 Gold Glove Award winner who has one of the strongest arms in the league.

Umpires ruled that Hamilton was tagged out at third before Trumbo crossed the plate, so his run didn’t count.

Kohn, who struck out two batters to end the seventh inning, hit Freiman with a pitch to open the eighth. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia summoned Downs to face Reddick, who grounded into a fielder’s choice.

But Luke Montz, who was called up from triple-A earlier Wednesday, drove an RBI double over the head of Trout in center and Adam Rosales followed with an RBI single to center to trim the lead to 5-4.

Downs injured his right side on Rosales’ hit and was replaced by Frieri, who got Jed Lowrie to fly to left field, walked pinch-hitter John Jaso and struck out Smith with a 95-mph fastball to end the inning.


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