BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Mark Canha’s tenth inning sacrifice fly drove in the winning run Sunday afternoon to give the A’s a 5-4 comeback win over the Los Angeles Angels in the rubber match of a three game series at the Coliseum.
The win made Oakland the first team in the American League to reach the 20-win mark (20-9), and combined with the Padres three-game sweep of Houston stretched their lead in the AL West to 4.5 games as both teams approach the half-way mark of the abbreviated 60-game season.
The A’s jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead on the strength of an RBI double by Matt Chapman who was quickly singled in by Mark Canha. But the potent Angels offense struck for three runs in the third to take a 3-2 lead. After Anthony Rendon singled to put runners on first and third, Shohei Ohtani deposited a Frankie Montas pitch 429 feet deep into the left centerfield bleachers to give Los Angeles a lead that would stand until the bottom of the sixth.
Trailing 4-2, Oakland chased Angels starter Dylan Bundy. After Bundy quickly retired the first two batters of the inning, he gave up a double to Robbie Grossman before Stephen Piscotty’s single reduced the A’s deficit to 4-3. Tony Kemp followed with another single, Oakland’s third consecutive hit, which summoned Joe Maddon to call for help from his bullpen. It didn’t arrive as Sean Murphy singled to left center off Mike Mayers to tie the game.
Oakland’s bullpen only gave up two hits in 5.2 innings of relief of Montas. After J.B. Wendelken recorded four outs, Jake Diekman came in to keep the Angels in check for two innings, before Joakim Soria and Liam Hendriks (2-0, 1.17) each tossed scoreless frames to help the A’s close their brief home stand with a 4-1 record.
The A’s now head out on a ten game road trip starting with a visit to Texas for their first look at the Rangers new ballpark in Arlington, before continuing on to Houston and Seattle. Oakland’s Jesús Luzardo (2-0, 3.67) goes up against Lance Lynn (3-0, 1.37) Monday night at 5:05 PM in the opener of the four game series.