OAKLAND, Calif. -- This sure isn't what Angels manager Mike Scioscia wants to see from his defense two weeks before the playoffs start.
AL West champion Los Angeles made two throwing errors in the ninth inning, the second by closer Francisco Rodriguez that allowed the tying and winning runs to score in the Oakland Athletics' 3-2 victory Wednesday night."That's just something that shouldn't happen," Scioscia said. "The ball gets by really what should have been three guys there. There's nothing to do but control the ball in that situation and we didn't do it."Daric Barton singled to start the rally and reached second when fill-in center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. threw wildly back to the infield. Jack Hannahan followed with a four-pitch walk.Cliff Pennington squared to bunt, then hit a high chopper for an infield single that Rodriguez (2-3) fielded cleanly. But the record-setting reliever made a wild throw past first, and both runners scored easily."I thought I had a shot to get him out. That's why I made the throw. It was off the base," Rodriguez said. "In that situation I'm trying to get one out. I don't know what would have happened if I made a good throw. Obviously things didn't go the way I was expecting them to go."Rodriguez, who recently set the major league mark with his 58th save, blew a chance for the seventh time. The A's won four straight games for the first time since June 13-17."It's a tough-timing play but you just react and think if you can make a play, you make it," Scioscia said. "That's an aggressive mistake. That's just part of the game. If he can get that out, it's a huge out."Brad Ziegler (2-0) earned the win despite giving up Mark Teixeira's two-run homer in the ninth. It was Ziegler's first blown save in 10 chances since taking over for Huston Street.Teixeira's drive over the right-field fence was the first home run the rookie has allowed in the majors."It was a weird game," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Two guys were almost perfect and they both blew saves. A very unusual night."Aaron Cunningham hit an RBI double in the fifth following an earlier double for Oakland, which again struggled to score enough runs for Greg Smith. The left-hander gave up four hits in six scoreless innings, but has won only twice in 12 outings since the All-Star break.The Athletics snapped the Angels' five-game winning streak with an 8-1 victory against John Lackey in Tuesday night's series opener, then held their division rivals down again."There's no place better to win than against K-Rod in the bottom of the ninth," Barton said.Travis Buck had two more hits a day after being called up from Triple-A Sacramento, both singles off Angels starter Jered Weaver.Oakland's Jack Cust doubled in the first before striking out his next three times, leaving him one shy of the American League single-season record of 186 Ks set by Rob Deer of Milwaukee in 1987.Angels center fielder Torii Hunter was scratched from the AL West champions' lineup after getting hit in his right cheekbone by a ball while taking indoor batting practice.The injury wasn't considered serious. Hunter had swelling but felt he could have played through it and expects to play Thursday. He didn't need X-rays but underwent a vision test and was seen by a doctor.The ball didn't cut through his skin and he was being treated with ice. Hunter hit a line drive that deflected off the protective "L" screen and came back at him. He turned his head to try to get out of the way but not in time."It just hit me in my face -- a little headache. I'll take my chances I guess," Hunter said. "I should play tomorrow but it's up to them. I told them I feel good, and if not, I understand."
Oakland's Joey Devine hasn't allowed an earned run in 20 outings (19 2/3 innings) since coming off the DL on Aug. 2. ... Oakland 2B Eric Patterson left the game in the fifth with a strained right hamstring. ... A's All-Star RHP Justin Duchscherer is scheduled to pitch a short simulated game -- 15 to 20 pitches -- before Thursday afternoon's series finale as a final test for his strained hip. Duchscherer, who reported no problems from a bullpen session Tuesday, is a candidate to start Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. ... Oakland 2B Mark Ellis will undergo surgery on his right shoulder Friday back home in Arizona. ... Angels 3B Chone Figgins was scheduled to return to Southern California on Thursday to have his tender right elbow re-examined by team orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum.