Big sixth lifts Angels over A's
Kaleb Cowart hit a go-ahead grand slam in a six-run sixth inning before adding an RBI triple, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied past the Oakland Athletics 9-7 on Tuesday night.
Oakland dropped five games back of the AL West-leading Astros and 2 1/2 behind the Yankees for the top wild card after Houston and New York each won.
Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run single to get the Angels started in the sixth before Cowart connected against Lou Trivino (8-3) for his club's first grand slam of the season.
With Simmons batting before his hit, the A's challenged that a fan interfered on a potential catch by right fielder Stephen Piscotty in foul territory. But the call was upheld, with no interference charged.
Noe Ramirez (6-5) pitched 1 1/3 innings of relief for the win. Ty Buttrey allowed a two-run single to pinch-hitter Dustin Fowler in the eighth but got five outs for his fourth save.
Mark Canha hit a three-run double in the fourth for the A's, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Mike Trout homered in the top of the fourth for Los Angeles and stole his 24th base in the ninth.
Trout's 35th home run broke a scoreless tie when he connected off Daniel Mengden.
Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs returned from a third stint on the disabled list this season to throw three scoreless innings. He missed 32 games with a strained muscle in his left leg during his latest trip to the DL. He last pitched Aug. 11 against the A's before dealing with leg issues once more.
Oakland loaded the bases in the fourth against Cam Bedrosian, getting walks by Jed Lowrie and Piscotty sandwiched around a single by Khris Davis. Matt Olson and Marcus Semien each struck out swinging before Canha came through with a bases-clearing double off the left-field wall. Jonathan Lucroy followed with an RBI single to chase Bedrosian.
Oakland's Liam Hendriks recorded the first three outs on seven pitches. Then his day was done, and Mengden took over for the A's, who again began the game with a reliever as manager Bob Melvin copes with an injury-plagued rotation.
OHTANI TOP ROOKIE?
Don't ask Angels manager Mike Scioscia who else but Shohei Ohtani should be considered for AL Rookie of the Year - he doesn't have another name to offer.
Just his Japanese two-way star.
"To do what Shohei did, it's on a different level," Scioscia said of the designated hitter and pitcher. "He's doing everything you could imagine a kid 23 years old coming in and doing. I think he's Rookie of the Year."
Angels: Rookie second baseman and utilityman David Fletcher, who exited Sunday's game against Seattle in the first inning with a strained left hamstring, will only return once fully healthy. "We're not going to rush anything or run him into a game and put him at risk," Scioscia said.
Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill, scratched from his scheduled Saturday start at Tampa Bay with a strain in his upper back before getting trigger-point injections, played catch from 120 feet.
Angels: RHP Felix Pena (3-4, 3.75 ERA) faces the A's for the third time this season seeking his first decision in those matchups. Only one of the previous outings was a start.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (3-5, 4.35) makes his second start since coming off the DL after taking the loss last Thursday at Baltimore, where he lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He has walked one or fewer batters in each of his past nine starts, with just five free passes over 48 innings during that stretch.
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