With the A’s all the rage, turning heads with a nine-game winning streak as surprise contenders, the Los Angeles Angels arrived on Monday with their own message: Don’t forget about us.
Los Angeles strapped on its work boots on Labor Day, belting three homers along the way, to snap Oakland’s win streak with an 8-3 decision with 20,180 in attendance.
The Angels have won six of seven and 10 of 13 to pull within 4½ games of second-place Oakland in the American League West, and the Angels know it’s now or never to make a late-season push.
“Every game now is like a playoff game, especially when we’re playing teams in front of us,” Angels outfielder Vernon Wells said.
Oakland, which lost for only the second time in 13 games, saw the tables turned after outscoring opponents 72-22 during a nine-game streak in which it trailed for only seven innings. Oakland fell a win short of a double-digit streak, which would have matched their 10-game run in June of 2006.
“It’s great to have a winning streak, but it’s just one of those days you try to forget about it and come back the next day and start another one,” losing A’s starter Tommy Milone (11-10) said.
The Angels roughed up Milone, who made his earliest exit in 26 starts this season. Milone consistently left his fastball over the plate after failing to establish anything off-speed. And the Angels were sitting on it.
“They had some good at-bats off of him right away,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of Milone.
Wells’ 10th home run of the season, a tape-measure shot to left, came on Milone’s 67th and final pitch to start the fourth inning, a blast that gave the visitors a 5-0 lead. Chris Iannetta and Torii Hunter also went deep for the Angels.
Josh Donaldson and Chris Carter hit solo homers later in the game for the A’s, but it was far too late.