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Game #157: A's Drop Double-Digits On Angels for 5th Win in a Row

The West may be won, but the A's aren't finished yet; they put up 10 runs on the Angels to pull within a game of the Boston Red Sox for the American League's best record, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a full lineup tonight, minus Cespedes, the A's didn't miss a beat in their first "after-the-clinch" game, and spot-starter Tommy Milone collected the win; the A's fifth in a row.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The box score will show that Tommy Milone gave up 5 runs in his 5+ innings today. Upon closer inspection, only two of them were earned, and to put it politely, he was let down a bit by his defense. He wasn't great today, but he wasn't bad either, and I think it's safe to say that his hopes for a playoff future remain squarely on the bubble.

Once again, all A's starters had a hit in this one; Crisp, Donaldson and Reddick had two. Lowrie and Moss both had home runs in the game; Lowrie's would be a three run job.

The A's started the scoring in the second inning as Reddick singled with two outs for the A's first hit. Seth Smith would double him in, and Stephen Vogt would single him in. The Angels would get one back on a home run by Howie Kendrick, but in the third, after singles by Crisp and Donaldson, Jed Lowrie hit a three-run home run for the A's, putting them up 5-1. That seemed like it would be more than enough, but with some help from an error by Sogard to open the inning, and a one-out infield single also to Sogard, Milone loaded the bases for Mike Trout with one out. Milone certainly has Trout's number; Trout went 0-3 with 3 K's against Milone today, including with the bases loaded. Kendrick, however, appears to own Milone; he hit the two-out, bases-clearing double that brought the Angels to 5-4.

But the A's just scored again, this time in the fifth inning, on a home run by Brandon Moss, following a walk to Lowrie. Chris Young singled in the sixth, and Sogard brought him around for the A's 8th run. Josh Hamilton tripled in the sixth inning (much to the chagrin of A's fans, worried about Coco Crisp crashing into the outfield wall), and scored on a sac fly to bring the game to a save situation at 8-5, but the A's would have none of that. In the ninth inning, after a Crisp single, a Donaldson single, and an intentional walk to Moss, Callaspo singled in the A's 9th run, obviously feeling good against his former team. Reddick would justmiss a grand slam, instead, settling for a sac fly to give the A's double-digits in the run column.

Grant Balfour pitched the ninth. Good news: He struck out the side. Bad news: He walked two batters in-between the K's. But he allowed no runs, and finished the game to give the A's the win. They are 31 games over .500, and looking to make a move for the best record in the AL. Isn't this FUN!? We'll see you back tomorrow night; A.J. Griffin against Jason Vargas. 7:05 start.