A.J. Griffin pitched eight shutout innings to become the first pitcher in franchise history to start his career with six consecutive victories as the visiting A’s defeated the Los Angeles Angels for the third straight game 4-1 on Wednesday.
Yoenis Cespedes homered for the second time in two nights and the A’s won their sixth straight contest and matched a franchise record with their 12th consecutive road victory.
Los Angeles’ Albert Pujols slammed a ninth-inning homer off Sean Doolittle to avoid the shutout. Pujols has hit 30 homers in 12 consecutive seasons and the blast was the 475th of his career, moving him into a tie for 28th place all time with Stan Musial and Willie Stargell.
Griffin (6-0) struck out six and scattered as many hits to keep Oakland three games behind first-place Texas in the American League West. The A’s have won 15 of their past 18 games and continue to lead the wild-card race.
Los Angeles is now 3½ games off the pace in the battle for the AL’s second wild-card spot.
Oakland scored an unearned run in the first inning. Josh Reddick doubled and scored when Erick Aybar committed a two-out miscue on Cespedes’ grounder.
Cespedes belted an offering from Ervin Santana (8-12) over the left-center field fence in the sixth to make it 2-0.
Derek Norris had a run-scoring double into the right-center field alley in the eighth and scored on a line single to right by Coco Crisp.
Ryan Cook recorded the final out for his 14th save.