By Joe Resnick
ANAHEIM — Stephen Vogt hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot against Jered Weaver, and the Oakland Athletics increased their AL West lead over the Los Angeles Angels to 3 1/2 games with a 7-1 victory Wednesday night.
Tommy Milone (4-3) allowed a run and six hits in 6 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and two walks. The left-hander is 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last seven starts overall, and 4-0 with a 3.54 ERA in five career starts at Angel Stadium.
Weaver (7-5) gave up four runs and six hits through 5 1/3 innings in his 14th start, matching his shortest outing of the season. In his last two starts against Oakland, the three-time All-Star has allowed nine earned runs in 11 1/3 innings.
Both center fielders made home run-saving catches — Mike Trout robbing Yoenis Cespedes to end the first inning and Coco Crisp pulling back Josh Hamilton’s drive leading off the second. Cespedes drove in Oakland’s first run with a third-inning single, and Hamilton drove in the Angels’ first run with a fourth-inning double off the glove of first baseman Brandon Moss.
Cespedes snuffed out an Angels rally in the seventh with his major league-leading ninth outfield assist, throwing out Albert Pujols at third after misplaying his double to left field. Cespedes got a huge assist from third baseman Josh Donaldson, who caught the throw going away from the bag and made a diving tag on Pujols.
Tuesday night, Cespedes threw out Howie Kendrick at the plate with a 300-foot throw from the left field corner after misplaying a double by Trout — the third time he threw out an Angels runner at home this season.
The A’s, who dropped the first two games of the series 4-1 and 2-1 in 14 innings, broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the sixth. Cespedes led off with a double that deflected off the glove of third baseman John McDonald as he dove toward the line, and Moss followed with a dribbler to the left of the mound that got past Weaver for a single with the Angels overshifting to the right side.
Cespedes scored the go-ahead run on Jed Lowrie’s sacrifice fly. Vogt, making his sixth start since his recall from Triple-A Sacramento on June 1 and his fourth behind the plate, chased Weaver with a drive deep into the right field seats on the right-hander’s 104th pitch. Weaver has allowed a home run in six consecutive starts — equaling his career-worst stretch, which occurred in his final six outings of 2011.
Oakland tacked on three more runs in the ninth against Cory Rasmus. Crisp and Cespedes had RBI singles, and Eric Sogard scored when the rookie right-hander tried to pick off Crisp at first base and threw the ball away.
Lowrie ended a career-worst 0-for-21 drought with an opposite-field single in the third. Donaldson, who wasn’t in the starting lineup after making four throwing errors in the first two games of the series, entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth and was 0 for 2 — extending his career-worst hitless drought to 23 at-bats.