- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - About two hours after Yoenis Cespedes made a defensive play for the ages, Collin Cowgill decided not to watch while the Oakland left fielder chased after his long drive in the 14th inning.

Cespedes couldn’t do a thing about this one as Cowgill delivered another resilient win for the Los Angeles Angels.

Cowgill hit a two-out homer, and the Angels outlasted the Oakland Athletics 2-1 on Tuesday night for their fifth consecutive victory.

The Angels bounced back after Cespedes kept it tied in the eighth with a throw that will be a fixture on highlight reels for years, cutting down Howie Kendrick at the plate with a 300-foot heave on the fly from deep down the left-field line.

After five ensuing scoreless innings, Cowgill abruptly connected against Jeff Francis (0-1), driving a two-strike pitch just over Cespedes’ head into the bullpens beyond left field.

“I was just hoping it had enough on it to get it over his head,” said Cowgill, who had three hits. “That guy has made some incredible plays on us the last couple of times.”

Josh Hamilton drove in Mike Trout in the sixth for the Angels, who trimmed Oakland’s lead in the AL West to 2 1/2 games.

The Angels could have ended it earlier, but Albert Pujols and Kendrick both were thrown out at the plate - although it was tough to blame Kendrick after Cespedes made his mind-boggling throw in the eighth.

“He’s capable of doing just about anything on the baseball field, and that’s just another example,” said Jed Lowrie, who drove in Oakland’s only run.

The Cuban left fielder bobbled Trout’s double and chased it down before his soaring throw went straight to catcher Derek Norris to nip Kendrick, who had already rounded third when Cespedes released it.

“When that ball rolled to the corner, I thought Howie was going to score standing up,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He threw a guided missile that was right on the money.”

Cory Rasmus (2-0) pitched two hitless innings for Los Angeles’ maligned bullpen, which yielded one run in eight excellent innings even without closer Ernesto Frieri, who had pitched in four straight games.

Nick Punto doubled and scored on Lowrie’s sacrifice fly in the eighth for the AL-leading A’s, who have lost four of six.

“Hey, what can you do?” manager Bob Melvin said. “They played as hard as they could, both teams did. After a while, everybody is trying to win it with one swing. Unfortunately, we weren’t at our best today offensively.”

Pitching and defense dominated the latest meeting of California’s division rivals. Neither starting pitcher allowed a runner into scoring position until the sixth.

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