Another great starting pitching performance has the A’s on the brink of a four game sweep in Anaheim. A.J. Griffin went eight shutout innings for the first time in his career and Yoenis Cespedes slammed his 18th home run as the A’s beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1. The A’s have taken the first three games and will look to sweep the Angels Thursday afternoon.
Griffin was masterful, allowing six hits and striking out six while walking none on 107 pitches. He becomes only the second A’s pitcher to start his career 6-0 and the win gives the A’s their 12th straight road win, something they have not done in over 40 years. Two more wins would tie the road record of 14 by the then Philadelphia Athletics in 1931.
Oakland’s offense came early courtesy of a Josh Reddick double and an error from Erick Aybar, allowing Reddick to score in the top of the 1st inning. The score would remain 1-0 until the top of the sixth when Cespedes launched his second home run in as many nights to right center field, making it 2-0. Griffin would make that hold up through eight innings, never really being seriously threatened by the potent Angels offense other than the fourth inning.
Insurance came in the eighth when the A’s added two runs on an RBI double by Derek Norris and an RBI single by Coco Crisp, making it 4-0. Sean Doolittle opened the ninth, but gave up a long home run to Albert Pujols and left with a runner on second, giving way to Ryan Cook. Cook would induce a harmless Vernon Wells grounder to end the game and notch his 14th save on the year.
The win gives Oakland a winning record for the first time since 2006, their last trip to the postseason. Going for the four game sweep, the A’s will send Brett Anderson to the mound against Angels ace Jered Weaver with the first pitch set for 12:35 p.m.