Athletics Maintain Wild Card Lead With 4-1 Win

Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes is congratulated by third base coach Mike Gallego after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

The Athletics knocked off the Angels, 4-1, on Wednesday, maintaining their lead in the AL Wild Card race.

The Oakland Athletics defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 4-1, on Wednesday, Oakland's third straight win against the Angels.

With the win, the Athletics maintained their lead for the top Wild Card spot in the American League. Oakland has a two-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, who are tied for the second Wild Card spot. The Angels fell three-and-a-half games behind the Orioles and Yankees and five-and-a-half games behind the A's.

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Josh Reddick scored on an error by Erick Aybar. The game remained 1-0 until the sixth inning when Yoenis Cespedes connected on his 18th home run of the season, giving Oakland a 2-0 lead. The A's added two more runs in the eighth inning to extend the lead.

Athletics rookie starter A.J. Griffin didn't need much run support as he improved to 6-0 with the win. Griffin tossed a career-high eight innings, allowing no runs and just six hits while striking out six. Griffin didn't walk a batter and lowered his season ERA to 1.94.

Angels starter Ervin Santana wasn't bad, but he couldn't match Griffin. Santana took the loss, allowing one earned run over six innings while striking out six. No Angel hitter could muster more than one hit against Griffin, with Mike Trout going 1-4 with two strikeouts. Albert Pujols hit a solo home run off of Sean Doolittle in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Angels their only run.

The teams will play the final game of their four-game series Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 3:35 p.m. ET. Thursday's game will be the final meeting between Oakland and Los Angeles during the regular season.

For all news and information regarding the Los Angeles Angels, please visit Halos Heaven.For more on the Oakland Athletics, join the discussion over at Athletics Nation. You can also check out everything we have to offer at Baseball Nation.

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