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OAK@LAA: Abreu's double ties the game in the ninth

ANAHEIM -- Nobody's perfect. Not even Jordan Walden.

The Angels' closer gave up his first run of the season in his 12th appearance on Wednesday, and it was the difference in the Athletics' 2-1 victory in 10 innings.

Cliff Pennington tripled to left-center leading off the inning and scored on Conor Jackson's high hopper to shortstop, enabling the Athletics to avert a three-game sweep at Angel Stadium.

"It was a play that should have been made," said Angels left fielder Vernon Wells, who came together with center fielder Peter Bourjos as Pennington's drive bounded past the skidding Wells and rolled toward the wall. "Walden throws so hard, it's an inside-out lefty swing [by Pennington], and the ball's going to tail toward me.

"I saw [Bourjos] at the last minute. It's one of those plays where you go as hard as you can until you get there. I could feel him. He's a little faster than me. We're both trying to get to the ball.

"We'll talk about it and figure it out."

Three center fielders in the same outfield is a blessing, but at times it can be dangerous.

Wells, Bourjos and Torii Hunter know all about what happened when the Mets' Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron met head-to-head in San Diego in 2005. Their violent collision pursuing a ball similar to the one that fell between Wells and Bourjos ended the season for Cameron, who suffered multiple facial injuries.

"He hit it in the right spot," Bourjos said of Pennington's drive. "It wasn't hit that high to where I can call it and make sure I get there."

Hunter has been there many times.

"It was no man's land," Hunter said. "It's a semi-line drive, like a sinker, and you've got two center fielders, two great athletes going after it. It happens. You have to give them time to play with each other. That's the first time they've had a close call like that."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia came to the defense of his outfield.

"There have been a couple of plays I know these guys will make that have slipped through the cracks," Scioscia said. "That doesn't diminish the way these guys have played. Our outfield defense has been terrific."

Daric Barton was walked intentionally before Jackson hit his high bouncer that left shortstop Erick Aybar with only one play, at first, as the run scored.

"They got a break to tie the game," A's manager Bob Geren said, "and we got a break to win the game. I thought really it was our game the whole way."

Starters Dan Haren and Tyson Ross both were hard to handle as shadows covered the field in the early afternoon. The A's pushed across a third-inning unearned run to give Ross a lead he protected through seven resourceful innings.

Haren also went seven innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out five hitters.

Walden, who hadn't given up a run in 10 1/3 innings, was charged with the loss, falling to 0-1. Brian Fuentes (1-2) claimed the win after his former team rallied to tie it against him in the ninth. Brad Ziegler picked up his first save.

Kicking off the Angels' ninth, pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis reached on third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff's error. Pinch-runner Mark Trumbo advanced on Aybar's sacrifice bunt, and Bobby Abreu brought him home with a double to left.

Fuentes struck out Wells and retired Alberto Callaspo on a popup.

"It could be worse," said Wells, who heads off on a seven-game road trip batting .178 with one homer and five RBIs. "It has been a smooth transition, but the good thing is it's only one month. We have six more to go, hopefully.

"I'm looking forward to playing good baseball. I've got to do my part."

Asked if he felt he was pressing, as suggested by Scioscia, Wells said: "You don't feel it in the moment. It'll come."

The A's scored without benefit of a hit in the third inning. After Landon Powell opened with a walk, Kouzmanoff cuffed a ground ball that was booted by first baseman Howard Kendrick, a second baseman by trade. Kendrick flipped the ball past Haren covering first.

After Pennington popped out, David DeJesus was hit by an 0-2 pitch and Barton sent a sacrifice fly to left.

In the home half of the third, Bourjos reached second after a bunt single but was stranded when Aybar flied to right.

Wells singled with two out in the seventh and took second on a wild pitch, but Callaspo grounded out.

Mark Ellis' one-out single in the fourth was the first Oakland hit. He was left at second when Haren struck out Ryan Sweeney and Powell. Haren left two stranded in the fifth after a pair of singles.

"I was a little all over the place in the beginning," Haren said, "but the last couple of innings were as good as I've felt all year. I felt really good at the end."

Haren shaved his ERA to a microscopic 1.23 in 44 innings. Only teammate Jered Weaver at 0.99 owns a better ERA in the American League.

Hisanori Takahashi relieved Haren, who threw 111 pitches, and worked a scoreless eighth inning, stranding Barton at third after a one-out double. Rich Thompson turned it over to Walden after shutting down the A's in the ninth. Comments