Stephen Vogt and Ryan Dull were already walking back to the visitor’s dugout before Albert Pujols’ 581st home run came down.
The towering two-run shot gave the Los Angeles Angels an 8-6 walkoff win and sent the Oakland Athletics to their fifth loss in as many games.
Thanks to a tailing line drive single off the bat of Vogt, the A’s leveled the score in the top of the ninth. With one out and the bases loaded, Oakland actually had the chance to go ahead. Instead, pinch-hitter Danny Valencia hit a check-swing comebacker to Mike Morin who began an inning-ending double play.
An ill-timed twin killing also crushed a potential rally in the top of the eighth. That time it was Ryon Healy who grounded into the double play with one out and the bases loaded. The rookie third baseman had doubled into the right-center field gap in his previous two at-bats.
On Wednesday night in Anaheim, starter Kendall Graveman looked nothing like the pitcher who posted a 2.68 ERA in five July starts. The offense handed Graveman three leads in the first four innings and the righty turned all three back over.
In the fifth, Pujols gave the Angels their first advantage. Mike Trout began the inning with a broken bat single that kicked off the glove of Jed Lowrie as the second baseman ranged into shallow right field. With Trout at first, Pujols lined a RBI double into the right-field corner to give the Angels a 5-4 lead and end Graveman’s night.
In his four-plus innings of work, Graveman ended up allowing nine hits and six runs — the most he’s surrendered since May 8.