AT THE PLATE: Josh Hamilton was back in the cleanup spot after a two-game “mental break” from a slump in which he hit .132 (five for 38) with 18 strikeouts in his previous 10 games. He flied to deep center in the first, was hit by a pitch in the third, flied to shallow left in the fifth and lined out to first in the eighth. The Angels were encouraged by Hamilton's early workout with hitting coaches Don Baylor and Dave Hansen. “It's hard for anyone to hit a ball off the tee and out of the ballpark — he did it a couple of times,” Baylor said. “The strength is there. He just needs to get his timing.” Baylor wants Hamilton to clear his head in the box. “It's like Yogi Berra used to tell me, you can't think and hit at the same time,” Baylor said. “He's right.”
ON THE MOUND: Jered Weaver said his stuff was “average,” and he struggled with his location, as evidenced by his four walks. But he found a way to give up only three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. Jason Grilli got the last two outs of the sixth; Fernando Salas threw a one-two-three seventh, and Joe Smith retired the side in order in the eighth.
IN THE FIELD: Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun wasn't the only home-run thief. Boston center fielder Mookie Betts reached over the wall in right-center to turn David Freese's potential two-run homer into a game-ending double play.
SHIFT KEY: Weaver, who has been critical of defensive shifts that haven't worked, benefited from one in the fifth. With runners on first and third and two outs, Kelly Johnson ripped a shot that, against a normal infield alignment, would have been a single. But second baseman Howie Kendrick, stationed in shallow right field toward the line, knocked the ball down and threw to first to end the inning.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Athletics will skip Jason Hammel in the rotation this week so that Sonny Gray, Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir will start this weekend's series against the Angels in Oakland. Hector Santiago, C.J. Wilson and Weaver will start for the Angels.
UP NEXT: Right-hander Garrett Richards (13-4, 2.53 earned-run average) will oppose Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz (5-7, 5.79) at Fenway Park on Wednesday at 4 p.m. PDT. On the air: TV: FS West, ESPN2. Radio: 830.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times