ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jered Weaver pitched seven innings of five-hit ball, Josh Hamilton drove in two runs, and the Los Angeles Angels did a bit more damage to the Athletics’ home-field playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory over Oakland Wednesday afternoon.
Dan Straily (10-8) allowed seven hits while pitching into the seventh inning of his first loss since Aug. 17 for the A’s, who now trail the Red Sox by 1½ games for the best record in the major leagues.
The A’s (94-65) have three games remaining, against the Mariners this weekend. The Red Sox (95-63) have four, beginning with Wednesday night’s game in Colorado. The best record secures home-field advantage for the playoffs.
Erick Aybar had three hits in the Angels’ final home game of their disappointing season. Los Angeles is unbeaten in its past 10 series while winning 23 of the past 32 games, including four of six over the two-time AL West champion A’s in the past two weeks.
Weaver (11-8) finished his season impressively after missing last week’s scheduled start with tightness in his right forearm.
The veteran righthander missed nearly two months of the early season with a broken bone in his arm. He bounced back with a 10-4 record since July 2 to become only the third pitcher in AL history to have 10 wins and a winning record in each of his first eight seasons, joining Addie Joss and Andy Pettitte.
Oakland usually has trouble with Weaver, who was 7-1 with an 0.84 ERA in his previous 10 starts against the A’s. His personal string of 29⅔ consecutive scoreless innings against the A’s ended in the sixth with Jed Lowrie’s sacrifice fly, but Weaver finished strong before Dane De La Rosa and Ernesto Frieri finished.
Frieri pitched the ninth for his 37th save.
After scoring 49 runs in a five-game barrage ending Monday, Oakland managed just 10 hits in the past two games, including Jason Vargas’s four-hit gem for the Angels Tuesday. The A’s have a day off Thursday before finishing the regular season in Seattle.
Mike Trout wasn’t in the Angels’ starting lineup for their home finale. The star outfielder is in a 9-for-52 slump over the past 15 games, seriously endangering his chances of picking up the final 13 hits necessary to reach 200 on the season.