KEY MOMENT: The A’s scored four runs off reliever Mike Morin in the seventh to trim a 5-0 deficit to 5-4, Josh Reddick hitting a two-run double to left, Nick Punto an RBI triple to right-center and Coco Crisp an RBI single to left. But with two on and two outs, Jason Grilli struck out pinch-hitter Adam Dunn with a 93-mph fastball to preserve the lead.
AT THE PLATE: Howie Kendrick had a pair of clutch two-out hits off A’s starter Jon Lester, an RBI single to center in the first and a two-run double to right in the third. He’s batting .408 (29 for 71) with six doubles, two triples, two homers, 19 RBIs and 13 runs in 18 games. Luis Jimenez doubled and scored on Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly in the fifth, and Gordon Beckham singled and scored on an error in the seventh.
ON THE MOUND: Hector Santiago allowed three hits over 51/3 scoreless innings, striking out three and walking two and most likely solidifying his playoff rotation spot. The left-hander was rocked for nine earned runs and 12 hits in three innings of his last two starts. “Putting two, three, four bad starts in a row going into the playoffs is not where you want to be,” Santiago said. “They can lose confidence in you, and as pitcher, you kind of lose confidence in yourself. But I knocked out that negative vibe.”
TROUT OUT: Mike Trout, who singled and scored in the first and dropped a fly ball on the warning track for a three-base error in the fourth, was pulled in the fifth because of a stomach illness. “Before the game, he felt a little queasy, and when he came out, he said he was a little light-headed,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’ll see how he rebounds.”
PLAYING IT SAFE: Josh Hamilton, who has missed 18 of 19 games because of right shoulder, chest and rib-cage injuries, probably won’t play this weekend in Seattle, but he said he is certain he will be ready for the playoffs. “There’s no sense in me coming back and having a setback,” Hamilton said. “We can use the extra days and then play. I’ve been through it before, where I’ve missed a whole month of September, came back for the playoffs and did well.”
REHAB REPORT: Matt Shoemaker (left rib-cage strain) played catch at about 90 feet Wednesday. He’s progressing toward long toss but is still questionable for the playoffs. … Third baseman David Freese sat out his second game because of upper-back stiffness but is expected to play Friday. … Jered Weaver felt better Wednesday after being stricken with flu symptoms Monday and Tuesday.
UP NEXT: The Angels are off Thursday. Right-hander Jered Weaver (18-8, 3.52 earned-run average) will oppose Seattle right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (14-9, 3.54) at Safeco Field on Friday at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 830.