(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The two days off for Josh Hamilton have proven to be a perfect remedy for the former slumping slugger. Hamilton drove in three runs, including his 10th home run of the year, on Sunday night as the Los Angeles Angels defeated Oakland 9-4 to regain the best record in baseball.
The Angels (77-52) also took back the top spot in the American League West division with the victory. Los Angeles also got a sixth inning homer from Mike Trout, which opened up a 9-0 lead on the Athletics (76-53). That proved to be more than enough offense for starting pitcher Jered Weaver (14-7) as the righty struck out eight in six and two-thirds innings.
“It’s nice to end the series on top of the AL West division,” Weaver said. “This was obviously a huge game. We didn’t want to get swept, and the offense was the story of the game.”
Los Angeles opened the scoring in the second, plating three runs off Scott Kazmir (14-6) before Hamilton’s two-run blast in the third made it a 5-0 lead. Hamilton brought home another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, effectively ending Kazmir’s night.
Oakland did attempt a comeback late, getting home runs from Alberto Callaspo and Andy Parrino in the seventh to make it a 9-3 deficit. The Athletics added another in the ninth, but Jason Grilli struck out the final two batters of the night.
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Seth Fiegerman, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Robert Patten, EastIdahoNews.com