ANAHEIM -- Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols picked up his bullpen, driving a two-run, walk-off home run to left field off A's reliever Ryan Dull to give the Angels an 8-6 win on Wednesday night.
After center fielder Mike Trout smartly slid to avoid the tag at first base on a throwing error from Ryon Healy, Pujols took a 3-1 pitch from Dull and rocketed it into the stands, giving Pujols his 20th career walk-off (tied with David Ortiz for the most in the Majors since 2000) and 12th via the home run ball.
"I've had so many at-bats in that situation where early in my career I'd try to do too much and try to hit a home run, but as I was getting older and getting experience I've realized that you just go out there and try to put a good swing and start the rally with a base hit," said Pujols. "That's the main goal."
The A's, down 6-4 entering the eighth, loaded the bases and pushed a run across after JC Ramirez walked second baseman Jed Lowrie. Ramirez managed to get out of trouble and preserve the lead by inducing an inning-ending double play, but Oakland rallied again in the next inning to tie the game on Stephen Vogt's RBI single and hand Halos reliever Cam Bedrosian his first career blown save. It snapped a 25-game scoreless streak for Bedrosian that dated back to May 31, the fourth-longest stretch in franchise history.
"It was just one of those nights where I didn't have my best stuff," Bedrosian said. "The walks didn't help. … I wanted to be the guy to get back out there and get another save after my first one, but it's a learning experience. I'll be good to go tomorrow."
Angels right-hander Jered Weaver benefited from plenty of run support from his teammates. Oakland broke through against Weaver in the second, third and fourth innings, taking a 4-2 lead on Healy's two-run double that kicked off Trout's glove in the fourth inning. Weaver managed to get through six innings for the third time in his last five starts, and he allowed more than one run for just the second time in his last five appearances.
Oakland starter Kendall Graveman couldn't evade trouble in the middle innings, allowing solo homers to Jefry Marte and Cliff Pennington in the fourth and yielding two more runs in the fifth, which came home on a Pujols RBI double and a Ji-Man Choigroundout. Graveman lasted four-plus innings, matching a season worst with six runs allowed.
"Really, just today, balls were up," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Graveman. "When you see a lot of balls on the ground, that means he's on. [He] got some balls in the air early in the game, had trouble getting the ball down. That was the key for him tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Welcome back: The Angels' offense came back for good on a pair of homers in the fourth inning off of Graveman. Marte started off the inning with his first opposite-field homer of the season, cutting the lead to one until Pennington knotted things up with a Statcast-projected 425-foot shot two batters later. It was just the second game (and third at-bat) for Pennington since coming off the disabled list on Tuesday. Pennington has now played in just five games this season since initially suffering a strained left hamstring on May 12.
"You want to try to hit balls well," Pennington said. "I felt good yesterday in my one at-bat, and felt pretty good today. I hit that one pretty good, so that was nice."
Game of ups and downs: Healy entered Wednesday with no-extra base hits in more than a week, but he turned that around with a pair of doubles. His fourth-inning hit off the center-field wall gave the A's a 4-2 lead, the last time they would be ahead in the game. He led off the the seventh inning with another double, but Oakland came with nothing to show for it. His game trended down heavily from there though, as a double play he hit into in the eighth inning killed a bases-loaded rally for the A's, then a throwing error in the ninth allowed Trout to reach base.
"I'm not going to make excuses. I didn't get my front foot set in time," Healy said of the error. "Didn't get my front foot set in, dropped my arm slot a bit and made an errant throw."
Innings eater: Weaver moved past Mike Witt for third on the franchise's all-time list for innings pitched at 1,970 1/3. Weaver still has two people to beat -- Chuck Finley is first at 2,675 innings, followed by Nolan Ryan at 2,181 1/3 frames. Weaver currently sits in second in franchise history in wins (146) and starts (312) and has been the epitome of consistency with his four career 200-inning seasons.
"I had to battle," Weaver said. "I felt pretty good for the most part, and there were some balls that just fell in. I just had to battle and I kept us in the game and we were able to pull it out in the end." More >
Positive start: Graveman began his start on a good note, sitting down Yunel Escobar, Kole Calhoun and Trout in order in the first with two strikeouts to neutralize three of the Angels' most dangerous hitters. Things spiraled down quickly from there, with the right-hander allowing runs in every inning he pitched and watching three different Oakland leads slip away.
"I've got to realize earlier in the game it's not the same sinker today and we've got to change that," Graveman said. "You want to reward your offense, nine guys going up to the plate every time, putting good swings together, drawing walks, hustling out ground balls. That is definitely frustrating on my end."
"I was sitting in my locker in a comfy chair with no clothes on, so it was awesome. Any time Albert can come up in that situation, he's had a pretty good career of hitting walk-offs and getting hits when he needs to." -- Weaver, on his view of Pujols' walk-off
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Trout scored from first base on Pujols' RBI double in 9.8 seconds, the quickest time from first to home this season for the Angels, according to Statcast™.
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics:Jesse Hahn will be called up to replace the recently departed Rich Hill in Oakland's rotation. The 27-year-old has bounced between Triple-A Nashville and Oakland this season and will get his next chance in the Majors at 4:05 p.m. PT.
Angels:Ricky Nolasco will make his team debut for the Angels in Thursday's series finale against Oakland. Nolasco was acquired at Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Twins as part of the deal that sent left-hander Hector Santiago to Minnesota.