- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - When the Oakland Athletics wasted an excellent opportunity to take the lead, Albert Pujols made them pay.

Pujols hit a two-run homer off Ryan Dull in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels an 8-6 victory Wednesday night that extended Oakland’s losing streak to five games.

Stephen Vogt tied it 6-all with an RBI single in the top of the ninth, but Mike Morin (2-1) relieved Cam Bedrosian and got pinch-hitter Danny Valencia to bounce into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

It was the second time the A’s grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners in scoring position.

“Those were two key spots where we’re talking about situational at-bats and getting an extra run, maybe two,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Late in games, when you have runners on and you get two outs in one at-bat, it ends up being a factor.”

Mike Trout led off the bottom half and hit a grounder to third baseman Ryon Healy, who threw high and wide of first for an error. Pujols then drove a 3-1 pitch from Dull (5-3) far over the left-field fence for his 581st home run.

“Just a fastball over the middle of the plate when he needed to throw a strike,” Melvin said. “But we had opportunities, several opportunities throughout the game - not just in the last inning. And we didn’t play defense very well. Those cost you in close games.”

Trout had three hits and reached on Healy’s error to start the ninth, diving headlong into first base to avoid a tag. Pujols also finished with three hits to go with three RBIs.

After his game-ending drive, Pujols slid feet first into home plate before a swarm of excited teammates helped tear off his jersey.

The slugger is two home runs behind former St. Louis teammate Mark McGwire for 10th on the career list. Pujols has 1,192 extra-base hits, passing Lou Gehrig for sole possession of ninth place, and his 20th walk-off plate appearance tied him for third-most since 1969, behind Dusty Baker and Rickey Henderson.

“Guys like Albert, it seems like late in the game, those guys want to be up there,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “They’re going to give you a good at-bat.”

Jefry Marte and Cliff Pennington homered in the fourth for the Angels, who have won 10 of 12 at home.

One night after earning his first save, Bedrosian, filling in for injured closer Huston Street, blew an opportunity when he allowed the tying run in the ninth. Bedrosian put the first five batters of the inning on base before being removed in favor of Morin.

After the A’s scored once in the eighth on Jed Lowrie’s bases-loaded walk to cut the Los Angeles lead to 6-5, Coco Crisp singled leading off the ninth. Max Muncy walked and Vogt tied the game with a single to left-center. Muncy was tagged out in a rundown between second and third, but Bedrosian walked Khris Davis and Yonder Alonso to load the bases.

Morin got Valencia to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.

Jered Weaver limited the A’s to four runs (three earned) and nine hits in six innings. Weaver gave up runs in the second, third and fourth, but the Angels tied it in the bottom of each inning before taking a 6-4 lead in the fifth.

“That’s definitely frustrating on my end. You want to be able to help a team win and hold a lead,” Oakland starter Kendall Graveman said. “I have to manage it and try to make pitches.”

Graveman lasted four-plus innings and allowed six earned runs, tying his season high and marking the first time in six starts that he’s given up more than three.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Lowrie is playing with a bunion on his left foot. The team has ordered him orthotics in hopes of easing the pain but acknowledged that surgery might be an option. Lowrie is trying to avoid the disabled list.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday for his fourth start with Oakland this season. Hahn is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two appearances against the Angels and 2-4 with a 5.53 ERA in eight major league games this year.

Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco will make his Angels debut in the series finale. Nolasco was acquired from Minnesota on Monday along with RHP Alex Meyer in exchange for LHP Hector Santiago. Nolasco, who grew up 50 miles northeast of Angel Stadium in Rialto, is 4-8 with a 5.13 ERA.

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