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Wilson, Angels rout A's to end Parker's undefeated streak.

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The Canadian Press
9/17/2013 1:42:45 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels are playing their best baseball of the season, setting career highs and beating first-place opponents.

This is one September surge that just came too late.

C.J. Wilson pitched seven innings of four-hit ball for his career-best 17th win, and the Angels became the first team in nearly four months to beat Jarrod Parker in a 12-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night.

"We're just going to try to throw a wrench in the works to keep everybody on the edge of their toes," Wilson said. "It's good television when the season comes down to the last weekend."

Kole Calhoun had two of his three RBIs during a five-run fifth inning that chased Parker (11-7), who was 9-0 in 19 starts since a loss at Texas on May 22. It was the longest unbeaten streak by an A's starting pitcher since Hall of Famer Lefty Grove went 21 in a row in 1931.

Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each hit a towering, two-run homer in the eighth.

Wilson (17-6) struck out six and walked three. He extended his career-best winning streak to nine and is unbeaten in his last 13 starts.

Los Angeles has won nine of 12 and 18 of 24. But with two weeks left in the regular season, the Angels are 15 games behind the first-place A's in the AL West.

"There's no doubt this year has filled us with a lot of frustration," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This last month gives us a lot of hope looking forward to some of our kids that are playing well, some of the things we've been looking to take place and be in place during the season."

Oakland, coming off a three-game sweep at Texas that stretched its division lead to 6 1/2 games, is still in a strong position to win the AL West for the second consecutive year. The Rangers lost 6-2 at Tampa Bay earlier Monday, keeping the A's lead intact.

Parker had been a strong and steady force at the top of the rotation since starting 0-4 this season. He was scratched from his start at Texas on Sunday because of an illness that had him vomiting and trying to rehydrate, he said, and he never looked comfortable on the mound back in Oakland.

Parker gave up eight hits and eight runs -- seven earned -- in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.

The winning streak was the longest by an Oakland pitcher since Dan Haren rolled off 10 in a row in 2007. Grove also made 10 relief appearances -- losing once -- for the Philadelphia Athletics during his 21-start unbeaten streak in 1931.

"I can either dwell on it or move on," Parker said. "Early in the game it felt like forever since I've been out there. It wasn't very good execution. Not very many of my pitches were down in the zone, not even my off-speed stuff."

Calhoun and Josh Hamilton hit RBI singles in the first inning off Parker.

In the third, second baseman Alberto Callaspo -- traded by the Angels in July -- had Hamilton's liner bounce off his glove and into centre for an error. Fill-in shortstop Andy Parrino bobbled a grounder on a potential double play, getting only the out at second as Howie Kendrick scored and the Angels took a 3-0 lead.

Los Angeles sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs in the fifth to put the game out of reach.

Trout hit his 24th home run and Trumbo his 34th this season off Pedro Figueroa in the eighth. Trout's homer glanced off a luxury box window in centre field.

Initial estimates ranged from 420-460 feet by various trackers, though many Angels thought the ball cleared 500 feet.

"What is that, yards, meters?" Wilson joked.

"It bounced back 420 feet maybe," Scioscia said.

Trout said it was the farthest ball he'd hit all season.

"I really didn't even feel that one off the bat," he said.

Derek Norris' RBI single in the sixth accounted for Oakland's lone run against Wilson. The lefty hasn't lost since July 5 at Boston.

Yoenis Cespedes returned to the A's lineup after he was scratched Sunday because of a sore right shoulder. He was 2 for 3 as the designated hitter.

Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie sat out with tightness in his right hamstring. Manager Bob Melvin said Lowrie likely would be back in the lineup Tuesday.

NOTES: Calhoun has 23 RBIs in his last 22 games. ... A's reliever Dan Otero missed the game after his wife, Tiffany, gave birth to daughter Kinsley Lynn Otero at 2:54 a.m. on Monday. ... Sonny Gray was set to start if Parker needed another day to rest. Instead, Gray (3-3, 2.63 ERA) will start Tuesday and A.J. Griffin (14-9, 3.81) will go Wednesday. RHP Garrett Richards (7-6, 3.91) will start for the Angels on Tuesday and lefty Jason Vargas (8-7, 4.20) on Wednesday.

CJ Wilson (Photo: Canadian Press)

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(Photo: Canadian Press)
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