The Oakland Athletics came into Anaheim a game under .500 and two games up on the Angels for second place in the AL West. Three games later, the A’s are four games under .500 and a game back of the Angels in the AL West. With four games remaining at Seattle, the A’s will require a 4-game sweep if they hope to finish at the elusive .500 mark.
The A’s wrapped up the series in fitting fashion with another close loss. The A’s and Angels battled into the 11th inning before Torii Hunter finished off the sweep with an RBI single to drive in Jeff Mathis and end the game. The Angels had opportunities to score in the ninth and tenth innings as well but the A’s escaped the guillotine each time.
In the ninth inning three straight one-out walks loaded the bases before a popout and a groundout ended things. In the tenth inning the Angels put the first two men on and advanced them to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Brad Ziegler intentionally walked Hideki Matsui to load the bases and the A’s brought an OF in to add a fifth infielder. Maicer Izturis grounded into a fielder’s choice up the middle to shortstop Cliff Pennington and Erik Aybar then flew out to left. The A’s couldn’t avoid the inevitable in the eleventh inning as Hunter won it for the Angels.
The A’s head up to Seattle for the final four games of the 2010 season while the Angels wrap things up with a four game series at Arlington. The Rangers technically might still be able to claim a home field playoff berth. If they sweep the Angels and the Twins are swept at home by the Blue Jays, Texas and Minnesota would be tied. I don’t know how the coin flip worked out in that one. The winner of that coin flip would host the wild card winner from the AL East with the loser of the coin flip heading on the road to the division winner from the AL East.