ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics beat longtime nemesis Jered Weaver for the second time in 11 days, averting a series sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels with a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.
Weaver had dominated the A's the past three seasons with an 8-1 record and a scant 0.87 ERA. Oakland scored six runs off him in six innings June 1, then came back Wednesday with four more runs in 5 1/3 innings, including a two-run home run by Stephen Vogt that finished the Angels ace.
"He's one of those guys who is going to get most teams most of the time," Coco Crisp said. "We got him the last couple of times, put up some numbers, but he's one of the best."
Crisp and fellow A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had big all-around games.
Crisp scaled the center field wall to bring back a potential Josh Hamilton homer in the second, then doubled, walked and singled, scoring the A's first and last runs.
Cespedes made another of his crazy arcing throws after a defensive bobble, this time throwing out Albert Pujols at third base in the sixth inning. The left fielder also singled home Crisp with the first Oakland run, doubled and scored a run in the sixth and singled home Crisp again in the ninth.
All of that made the night a little easier for A's starter Tommy Milone, who threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run. In his last seven starts he's 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA.
"With the defense we have, I want them to hit the ball, because I know we'll run it down," Milone said. "Coco made just an incredible catch. It could have been a homer, but he brought it back."
The Hamilton ball was so close to being a home run that the person in charge of setting off the Angels' homer fireworks lit the fuse before realizing Crisp had brought the ball back.
As for Cespedes, Milone said the left fielder must have a plan. Cespedes had trouble picking up a ball near the left field corner Tuesday before getting it up and launching a mortar to the plate to cut down Howie Kendrick. Wednesday saw him bobble against Pujols, but when the designated hitter tried to turn a double into a triple, Cespedes came up with another throw for his major league-leading ninth outfield assist.
"I think Cespy's starting to do that on purpose," Milone said. "Bait them, then throw them out."
The victory enabled the A's to complete their road trip with a 5-4 record and get the club to 40 wins, the first American League team to do that. More than that, Oakland left Anaheim with a 31/2-game lead over the Angels in the A.L. West when a loss would have seen the lead shrink to 11/2 games.
After the long run of success Weaver's had against the A's, his starts against Oakland this month have had him looking close to completely normal.
"He's one of the toughest pitchers for me," said Vogt, whose two-run homer in the sixth put the A's ahead 4-1. "The way he throws across his body is tough to pick up."
-- Albert Callaspo came out of the game because of a stomach bug. He will leave the team for a few days to be with his wife in Florida, who is about to give birth. The A's haven't decided on who'll get called up, although the list of candidates is relatively small -- infielder Andy Parrino and outfielder Shane Peterson topping the list.
-- Third baseman Josh Donaldson, who had started all but one game this season, wasn't in the lineup but pinch hit for Callapso in the top of the sixth and remained in the game. He grounded out and popped out to extend his skid to 0 for 23 since a first-inning homer Friday in Baltimore. "I didn't go in and ask for one, but I'll take one, for sure," Donaldson said before the game. "I know the last four or five days aren't how I play normally."
-- The buzz around the clubhouse before Wednesday's game was all about Tuesday's throw by Cespedes from near the warning track in left field. "That was amazing," catcher Derek Norris said. "When I saw the ball leave his hand, I knew it was on line. It was either going to hit me in the chest or go over my head. That was absolutely sheer arm strength."
-- The family of Bob Welch, the 1990 Oakland Cy Young Award winner who died Monday, has set a memorial service for Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Major League Baseball's RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program.
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