OAKLAND, Calif. – Josh Hamilton is heating up at the right time, and Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia hopes he can keep going.
Hamilton homered and drove in three runs, Mike Trout also went deep and the Angels regained the best record in baseball, beating the Oakland Athletics 9-4 on Sunday night.
“This is huge for Josh,” Scioscia said. “You can see what he can bring from what he did today. He can control the game by himself.”
Erick Aybar had two hits and two RBI and Kole Calhoun finished with three hits for the Angels, who ended a five-game losing streak to the A’s in Oakland. Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick each drove in a run as Los Angeles won for the ninth time in 12 games.
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“We needed a ‘W’ tonight,” Trout said. “There are a lot of games left but any time you beat Oakland it’s big.”
Alberto Callaspo and Andy Parrino homered for Oakland, which had won three of four to move into a tie for the top spot in the AL West.
“It’s not even about a series any more. We have to bear down every single day,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “When you take the first two, you always want the third one, but you can’t complain when you take two of three.”
Jered Weaver (14-7) struck out eight in 62/3 innings while improving to 7-1 with a 3.78 ERA in his last 13 starts. He allowed three runs and eight hits.
“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.”
• Oakland left-hander Sean Doolittle (strained right ribcage muscle) and infielder Josh Donaldson (knee) each had an MRI during Sunday’s game. Doolittle went on the 15-day disabled list while Donaldson, who hurt his knee in his last at-bat on Saturday, is day to day.
• Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (elbow ligament) felt good after throwing 35 pitches in a two-inning simulated game.
• Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was reinstated from the disabled list and was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts after missing 14 games because of an oblique strain on his right side.