- Associated Press - Saturday, August 30, 2014

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Injuries are quickly catching up to the Oakland Athletics. As a result, they have to start playing catch-up with the Los Angeles Angels.

Jon Lester gave up Albert Pujols’ 516th career homer during his first career matchup with Jered Weaver, and the A’s lost 4-0 Friday night to drop three games off the pace.

“It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Every ball we hit hard tonight was right at somebody. That’s just the way it goes sometimes, but you have to play through it.”

“These guys are fighting and they’re playing hard. Things just aren’t going our way right now, but it will turn,” he said.

A night after the Angels edged the Athletics 4-3 in 10 innings, they won with pitching and power.

Chris Iannetta hit a two-run shot despite a valiant effort by center fielder Coco Crisp for a 2-0 lead in the fifth, and that was enough for Weaver and the bullpen.

Lester (13-9) gave up two earned runs in six innings. He is 0-2 in his last three starts after going 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his previous 11 outings for Boston and Oakland.

Erick Aybar led off the fifth with a single that extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Iannetta followed with a towering drive to left-center that kept carrying before Crisp caught up to it and got a glove on the ball with a desperate leap. But the ball popped out of his mitt and wound up on the other side of the 8-foot fence.

“I was just trying to time it,” Crisp said. “Running back, I knew I could catch it. I caught it, but as soon as I hit the wall, with the momentum of the yank, the ball just kind of slung out of there. If I actually made the play, it definitely would have been pretty high up on my list.”

Lester’s, too.

“It would have been probably the greatest catch I’ve ever seen,” Lester said. “As a pitcher, anytime you make a mistake like that and a guy’s able to at least give you a chance on that, it’s pretty unbelievable.”

Crisp strained his neck on the play and was replaced by Craig Gentry.

“It was an unbelievable effort. He came out of nowhere to get to it,” Melvin said. “We’ve seen him hit the wall hard several times before - no more so than that. I was worried about his head, too, the way he hit the wall, and we thought it was a concussion because he was a little shook up.”

“But his neck is the issue again. We’ve had to deal with that before, and we have to again,” he said.

Iannetta got another RBI in the sixth when Lester walked him on a full count with the bases loaded. The run was unearned, the result of consecutive two-out errors by third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Eric Sogard.

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