ANAHEIM — Playing with a sore hand and a banged-up left leg, the Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie would be the first to confirm that winning ugly is way better than losing.
Lowrie homered and moved past 1,000 hits for his career, and the Oakland Athletics held on for an 8-7 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, their ninth win in 11 games.
Lowrie took no issue with a potential blowout turning into a nail-biter, a rare occurrence for Oakland’s bullpen.
“Who cares?” Lowrie said. “We won.”
The A’s took the series against the Angels by winning Saturday and Sunday. Oakland, which currently occupies the second AL wild-card spot, moved within 2½ games of first-place Houston in the AL West. The Astros have lost four in a row.
Oakland is now 36-12 over its past 48 games, the second-best record in baseball over that stretch, behind the Boston Red Sox. The A’s have taken 13 of their past 16 series.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia went with a bullpen day, but the strategy backfired when reliever Taylor Cole (0-3), making his first career start, allowed three runs on three hits in 1⅓ innings.
“It becomes more of a ‘Who’s fresh?’ game than a matchup game with the bullpen,” Scioscia said. “You try to do your best to put guys in good spots, but right now we’re not there. We’re looking at whoever’s available to give us innings. We try to line ’em up as best we can, but we’re not as efficient as it is if you have the functionality of having starters get to a certain point in the game, which right now we just don’t have.”
Lowrie doubled to left field in Oakland’s three-run first inning, giving him 1,000 hits in 11 seasons. It was also the 250th double of his career. Lowrie’s 1,001st career hit was his 18th homer this season, a two-run shot during a four-run fourth for the A’s.
“It was a lot of hard work that has gone into (1,000 hits),” said Lowrie, who took a grounder off his hand early in Sunday’s game and has spent the past month recovering from a bone bruise in his left leg. “It’s one of those big round numbers that is exciting and memorable, so it’s a pretty special moment.”
Marcus Semien had three hits for the A’s and reached base four times, a day after hitting two home runs. Lowrie also had a walk as he reached base three times.
Los Angeles trailed by as many as four but pulled within a run in the eighth inning on Shohei Ohtani’s two-run single off Jeurys Familia. Blake Treinen struck out the side in the ninth for his 30th save in 34 opportunities. A’s pitchers matched a season high with 16 strikeouts.
Rookie Francisco Arcia homered for the Angels. The homer, his third, came one day after Arcia pitched a scoreless mop-up inning. Justin Upton had two hits for the Angels.
Scioscia reiterated that he expects Ohtani to pitch again this season.
While the two-way rookie from Japan has returned to designated-hitter duties, he has not pitched since June 6 because of a sprained right elbow ligament.