ANAHEIM — Yunel Escobar scored when Ryan Dull bobbled Albert Pujols’ weak grounder back to the mound in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 Monday night for their fifth victory in six games.
Mike Trout hit his 29th homer for the Angels, and Jered Weaver pitched five scoreless innings of one-hit ball before leaving with lower-back tightness.
After Sean Manaea largely shut down Los Angeles for seven innings, the Angels broke through against Dull (5-5). Escobar singled, advanced on Kole Calhoun’s double and scored when Pujols got his 119th RBI on a 45-foot grounder.
Stephen Vogt homered in the sixth inning for the last-place A’s, who have lost six of seven.
J.C. Ramirez (2-1) pitched the eighth and former A’s closer Andrew Bailey earned his sixth save for the Angels (70-87), who opened their final homestand of the season needing to go 6-0 to match their worst record since 1999. Los Angeles has missed the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.
Trout homered leading off the fourth, driving in his 98th run. The AL MVP candidate, who hasn’t let up despite the Angels’ woes, drew his major league-best 111th walk in the sixth inning to set a career high.
Manaea pitched seven sharp innings of four-hit ball for the A’s, extending his strong finish to the season. The rookie left-hander has allowed one run in 18 innings over his last three starts after a two-week absence with a back strain.
Weaver retired Oakland’s first 14 batters before Danny Valencia’s fifth-inning single, using his deception and control to flummox the A’s in what could be his next-to-last start at the Big A.
The stalwart of the Angels’ rotation since 2006 doesn’t yet have a contract for next season. But he has been outstanding down the stretch, making a series of quality starts since late August.
Weaver was removed after just 71 pitches on a 90-degree night in Anaheim, and Vogt tied it moments later with a full-count homer off Deolis Guerra.
Athletics: OF Josh Lambo rejoined the team for batting practice three months after testicular cancer surgery. He’s hoping to play winter ball next month.
Angels: RHP Garrett Richards will throw live batting practice Wednesday. He hasn’t faced hitters since tearing an elbow ligament in May.
Athletics: Daniel Mengden (2-8, 5.74 ERA) has the lowest winning percentage in the AL, but is 2-1 with a .232 opponents’ batting average on the road this season.
Angels: Ricky Nolasco (7-14, 4.60) has won his last two starts, throwing 13 scoreless innings. He also threw a shutout at the Big A earlier this season.