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LAA@OAK: A's score six runs in the sixth

OAKLAND -- The Angels had to be happy to depart the East Bay on Tuesday night. Escape is more like it.

After absorbing a one-run loss to the A's in a rain-delayed series opener, they experienced another delay -- their seventh of the season -- and were pounded in its aftermath, taking a 14-0 loss on their way to Seattle.

The A's moved into a first-place tie with the Rangers in the American League West, with the Angels a half-game behind.

Gio Gonzalez mesmerized Angels hitters with his dizzying repertoire, moving to 5-2 with seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven and walking one. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he's "as good as any left-hander in baseball" before the game, and Gonzalez appeared intent on proving Scioscia correct.

"He was good -- and we weren't," said Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo, summing up the night succinctly and accurately. "He has that live fastball, 93 to 95 [mph], and a hard curveball, 80, 81. He was putting everything where he wanted it. We just couldn't get anything going."

The Angels were hitless through four innings before Howard Kendrick opened the fifth with a clean single to the left of shortstop Cliff Pennington. Kendrick was doubled off first on a line-drive out by Alberto Callaspo, handled by Mark Ellis at second base.

By this time, young Tyler Chatwood was gone, having been sent off by the A's with a flurry of hits in the second and third innings -- seven in all, leading to seven runs (five earned). Chatwood, slipping to 2-2, watched his ERA rise from 3.67 to 4.50 after 2 1/3 innings, his briefest in eight Major League starts.

"He has great makeup," Scioscia said of the 21-year-old right-hander with the lively arm and big future. "Sometimes when things go in the wrong direction, he tries to run through it. He had a rough start in Tampa, settled down and won the ballgame. He got some pitches elevated tonight."

It's a "learning curve" for all of his young athletes, Scioscia maintains, and "Chatwood will learn from this experience."

Ellis had two singles and a double, driving in four runs. Coco Crisp doubled home one run and singled home another. Ellis and David DeJesus (two singles and a walk) each scored three times. Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled home a run and singled, scoring twice. Josh Willingham had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice.

Trevor Bell replaced Chatwood with one out in the third, and the A's reached him for a run in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Hideki Matsui and Kurt Suzuki.

A's fans in the cold park -- the announced gate was 12,190 -- were singing in the rain and screaming in delight by this point. It was 53 degrees at game time, after a 42-minute delay, and it didn't get any warmer.

In the sixth, the A's sent 11 men to the plate and six scored -- two on bases-loaded walks issued by Rich Thompson as he struggled with his footing on the mound in relief of Kevin Jepsen.

"Turn the page," Scioscia said. "It's a lot easier than it would be last night. We have to get a little momentum going. You have to start with matchsticks ... you can't go right to bricks. Right now we've got to get that one good at-bat, that focus on the offensive side.

"We have to play a better all-around game -- everything from repeating pitches to getting it going offensively. We have a club that's a little unsettled now. Some guys are struggling, trying to get their feet on the ground. We'll get it together."

The Angels' struggles with runners in scoring position were no issue on this occasion. They didn't get anybody to second base all night against Gonzalez, who yielded eight hits and five runs (four earned) in a loss at Angel Stadium on April 25.

"They weren't as aggressive as before. I would just throw to them," Gonzalez said. "They gave me a chance to go out there and try to get a groove, and my hat's off to them because they're a great hitting team. It was stressful enough trying to go out there and try to find the strike zone every pitch."

His third win in a row came with seven strikeouts and one walk. Jeff Mathis' ninth-inning single was the second Angels hit -- against Trystan Magnuson, after Craig Breslow worked a perfect eighth.

"He pitched a terrific ballgame," Scioscia said of Gonzalez. "He was sharper tonight than what we saw in Anaheim."

In the midst of a 1-4 trip through the AL West, the Angels will be looking to turn things around in Seattle. Their co-aces, Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, are lined up to face the Mariners.

At least there will be no rain delays with the roof available at Safeco Field. Comments