OAKLAND - Joe Saunders threw a complete game, Erick Aybar had a two-run triple among his four hits, and the Los Angeles Angels beat Dallas Braden and the Oakland Athletics, 7-1, on Wednesday night.
Braden dropped to 0-4 with a 4.75 ERA in six starts since his perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9. The left-hander matched a season high by allowing 11 hits for the second straight start. He yielded five runs – four of them earned – in 52/3 innings.
Saunders (5-6) took a shutout bid into the ninth inning before giving up Kevin Kouzmanoff’s RBI single. Saunders, who shut out the A’s on May 14 in Braden’s first start after that perfecto, was efficient all night, this time in an impressive 101-pitch outing that took 2 hours, 26 minutes.
Juan Rivera homered in the eighth as the first-place Angels rebounded from a 10-1 loss a night earlier for their seventh win in eight games — and their seventh in eight contests at Oakland.
Oakland had little success against Saunders a night after producing a season-high 18 hits to snap a six-game home losing streak to the Angels.
Saunders allowed seven hits, struck out two and walked one in his fourth career complete game. He faced the minimum in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings and got Ryan Sweeney to ground into double plays in the fourth and seventh.
The lefty received plenty of run support to win back-to-back starts for the second time this season. Saunders beat the A’s for the seventh time in the past nine matchups.
Improving to 8-2 during their current 14-game stretch away from home, the Angels have won eight games on a road trip for the first time since June 22 to July 1, 1987. That time, they went 8-1 against Texas, Chicago and Cleveland.