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Third-straight walk-off win lifts surging Oakland Athletics past Los Angeles Angels

By Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
Third-straight walk-off win lifts surging Oakland Athletics past Los Angeles Angels
Jed Lowrie's walk-off homer in the 11th earned him a pie in the face as Oakland won its third straight in walk-off fashion. Photo by Oakland As/Twitter

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Walk-off wins are becoming a way of life for the surging Oakland Athletics.

Jed Lowrie hit a solo home run with two outs in the 11th inning, lifting the A's to their third consecutive walk-off win, a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

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Lowrie, who also hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, launched right-hander Deolis Guerra's 1-0 pitch into the right-field seats for his fourth home run of the season, his fourth career walk-off hit and second career walk-off homer.

The A's beat the Detroit Tigers on game-ending hits Saturday and Sunday.

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"Minus some big postseason games, this is about as exciting of a stretch of baseball as I've been a part of," Lowrie said.

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Trevor Plouffe also hit a solo home run for the A's, and right-hander Liam Hendriks (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.

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Before the current stretch, the last time the A's recorded three straight walk-off wins was June 1-3, 2004.

"Momentum carries over from game to game," Lowrie said. "When you can get a couple walk-offs in row and now make it three, coming to the ballpark, it's a lot more fun."

Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer for the Angels.

A's right-hander Kendall Graveman allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings in a no-decision. He struck out six, walked one and blanked the Angels after giving up the Valbuena homer in the first.

Graveman had already changed out of his uniform in the clubhouse, but he put it back on and returned to the bench in the bottom of the 11th inning.

"I was sitting up here the last half and said, 'I got to go down and cheer the guys on,' so I put my stuff back on and went to the dugout," Graveman said. "It's a good feeling. What's special about this team is you don't know who it's going to be getting the big hits at the end of the game.

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"We've had a couple guys now put good swings on the ball lately. We just keep handing it down, passing it down the line, and the guys are really feeling confident right now."

Angels righty Ricky Nolasco gave up two runs on five hits over seven innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts and no walks in a no-decision. He allowed two home runs, raising his season total to 11.

"We just got to keep doing our job," Nolasco said. "It's a team game. There's going to be a lot of games where (the hitters) pick us up, especially with the good offense that we have. They're going to be picking us up when we're struggling."

Ryan Madson threw a perfect eighth and Santiago Casilla a scoreless ninth for the A's. Hendriks pitched a one-two-three 10th, getting Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols on fly balls to the center field warning track. He stranded runners at second and third in the 11th after Valbuena singled and Cameron Maybin reached on an error by shortstop Adam Rosales with one out. Rosales then made a diving stop of Ben Revere's ground ball up the middle and threw to second for the force, saving a run. Hendriks retired Cliff Pennington for the third out.

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Angels right-hander David Hernandez blanked Oakland in the eighth. Guerra (2-2) pitched a scoreless ninth, retiring Ryon Healy on a fly ball to the warning track in left-center for the third out, and a perfect 10th. He retired the first two A's he faced in the 11th before Lowrie ended the game.

"He was rested, throwing the ball well and just made one mistake with a changeup," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Oakland cut the Angels' lead to 2-1 in the fourth inning when Lowrie led off with a homer to right. The A's pulled even in the fifth on Plouffe's solo blast.

"It certainly never gets old," A's manager Bob Melvin said of the walk-off wins. "We've had a number of them over the years here. Once you get one and you come out the next day and you get in that same position, there's still that carryover feeling."

NOTES: Angels CF Mike Trout missed his third consecutive game and fourth in five days with a strained left hamstring. "Definitely improved," Trout said before the game. "Just taking it day by day. I feel a lot better, a lot better. It's improving each and every day." Trout had an MRI of his left hamstring that came back "clean and normal," according to Angels GM Billy Eppler. ... Angels SS Andrelton Simmons was hit by a pitch in the top of the first inning and left the game after the top of the second with left hand and right thumb contusions. X-rays were negative, and he is day-to-day. ... A's 1B Yonder Alonso was named the American League Player of the Week for the first time in his career. Alonso hit .409 with five home runs, 10 RBIs, one double and five runs over six games last week.

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