OAKLAND -- A day that began with bad news got even worse for the Angels, who lost slugger Albert Pujols -- probably for the season -- in the morning and blew a five-run lead in an unsightly 10-6 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
A pair of fly balls, one lost in the sun and one that somehow fell between a pair of speedy outfielders, dropped during Oakland’s two-run fifth inning and five-run sixth, and the Angels fell a season-high 13 games behind the American League West-leading A’s.
The Angels snapped a 5-5 tie in the sixth on Erick Aybar’s run-scoring double, but the A’s sent 10 men to the plate against relievers J.C. Gutierrez and Kevin Jepsen in the bottom of the sixth.
Seth Smith led off with a walk, and Stephen Vogt followed with a high fly ball that dropped between center fielder Mike Trout and left fielder Josh Hamilton, who clipped each other while going for the ball. Smith scored on the play for a 6-6 tie.
Eric Sogard’s RBI single, Jed Lowrie’s RBI double, Brandon Moss’ RBI single and Yoenis Cespedes’ RBI double gave the A's a four-run lead.
The Angels sent 10 men to the plate during a four-run first inning that featured RBI singles by Howie Kendrick and Mark Trumbo and a two-run single by Alberto Callaspo. They made it 5-0 in the second when Aybar tripled and scored on Kendrick’s fielder’s-choice grounder.
But Angels starter Tommy Hanson lost his feel for the strike zone in the third, walking three in an inning that featured Sogard’s RBI double and Cespedes’ two-run double that pulled the A’s to within 5-3.
A leadoff walk to Coco Crisp in the fifth inning also hurt Hanson. Lowrie’s single advanced Crisp to third base before Josh Donaldson struck out on a curve. Kendrick made a superb diving stop of Moss’ one-hop smash to the second-base hole and threw to second for the force, but Crisp scored to make it 5-4.
Cespedes followed with a towering fly to shallow right-center field that Trout lost in the sun and right fielder Kole Calhoun failed to make a play on. The ball dropped for an RBI single, tying the score, 5-5.
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