OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jed Lowrie homered and drove in two runs against Oakland nemesis Jered Weaver and the Athletics completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a 6-3 victory on Sunday.
Josh Donaldson hit a two-run single and Coco Crisp and Lowrie added RBI hits in a four-run third inning against Weaver (6-4) to give the A’s their first home sweep of at least three games against the Angels since June 29-July 1, 2004.
Oakland leads the AL West by 4 1/2 games over Los Angeles, its largest pre-All-Star break lead since being 5 1/2 up in 1990.
The big inning was more than enough support for Sonny Gray (6-1), who allowed a pair of sacrifice flies and an RBI double by Erick Aybar in 6 2-3 innings to rebound from a rare rough start. Gray has 11 quality starts in 12 outings this season for a 2.45 ERA.
As good as Gray has been this season, Weaver has been even better against the A’s of late. He allowed just two runs in 44 1-3 innings over six starts the past two seasons against Oakland, proving to be the one Angels pitcher who befuddled the A’s on their way to back-to-back AL West titles.
Oakland more than doubled that scoring output in the fourth inning with a rally that got started when Craig Gentry hustled to beat out a potential double play. Gentry went to third on Eric Sogard’s single and scored on Crisp’s double. Donaldson added his two-run single and Lowrie capped the inning with a two-out single that made it 4-0.
Gray escaped a bases-loaded jam by striking out Hank Conger to end the fourth inning before allowing the sacrifice flies to Aybar and Albert Pujols in the fifth.
Lowrie, who entered the game in a 4-for-30 slump, hit his solo homer in the bottom of the fifth to put Oakland back up by three and the A’s added an unearned run in the sixth.
Gray was replaced by Dan Otero after Aybar’s two-out double in the seventh made it 6-3. Otero struck out Pujols to end the inning.
Luke Gregerson pitched a scoreless eighth and Sean Doolittle struck out the side in order in the ninth for his fifth save in six chances.
The Angels committed a base-running gaffe in the first inning when Kole Calhoun tried to advance from second base on Pujols’ groundout to shortstop. Alberto Callaspo made a strong throw from first base to nail Calhoun at third for the final out of the inning.
NOTES: Weaver allowed six runs — five earned — and 11 hits in six innings. … Angels OF Mike Trout was out of the lineup for a second straight day with a stiff back. … C Stephen Vogt started after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento early in the day to give Oakland another bat with 1B Brandon Moss (right calf) and outfielder Josh Reddick (right knee) day to day with injuries. … Both teams are off Monday. The Angels open a three-game series in Houston on Tuesday, while the A’s start a three-game series against the Yankees in New York.