KEY MOMENT: A's center fielder Coco Crisp nearly made a spectacular leaping catch to rob Chris Iannetta of a two-run home run in the fifth inning, but the ball squirted out of his glove and over the wall after Crisp slammed face-first into the fence. Crisp suffered a strained neck on the play and came out of the game.
AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols capped the Angels' scoring with a towering solo homer to left in the seventh, his 24th of the season and 516th of his career. Erick Aybar extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single ahead of Iannetta's homer in the fifth and a bunt single to load the bases with two outs in the sixth. Iannetta fouled off a pair of full-count pitches from A's left-hander Jon Lester before drawing a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-0.
ON THE MOUND: Jered Weaver did not allow a hit until Josh Donaldson's two-out double to left in the fourth. A walk and an error put two on with one out in the fifth, but Weaver got Alberto Callaspo to fly to left, Josh Hamilton making a diving catch, and Eric Sogard to ground to second, Howie Kendrick ranging to his left to make a nice play. Joe Smith allowed one hit in a scoreless eighth, and closer Huston threw a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation. Lester allowed three runs — two earned — and six hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one.
PROTEST DROPPED: Oakland dropped its protest of a controversial obstruction call in the ninth inning of Thursday night's game because it "was a judgment call, and there's pretty much no chance that's going to be overturned," Manager Bob Melvin said. The A's claimed Aybar was out of the baseline when he collided with pitcher Dan Otero, who fielded Aybar's high chopper near the line and bumped into first baseman Brandon Moss before Aybar crashed into Otero. But crew chief Gerry Davis, after watching numerous replays, said "Moss did impede Aybar's path to first base," adding that the rule on running out of the baseline only applied "on a thrown ball, not a batted ball." Said Aybar: "I had nowhere to go. My path was blocked. I had to keep going straight."
GLOVE STORY: Third baseman David Freese did not seem thrilled by his third start at designated hitter in a week. "I don't want to talk about it," Freese said. "I'm healthy." Manager Mike Scioscia said Gordon Beckham "brings a little bit of athleticism to the position, which we can tap into. And it's easier to make some pinch-running moves out of the DH spot later in the game."
UP NEXT: Right-hander Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.68 ERA) will oppose Oakland right-hander Jeff Samardzija (4-3, 3.86) at Angel Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times